Summary: How God prepared Paul to be a trailblazer for the Kingdom of God.
Title: The Preparation of Paul the Trailblazer for God
Text: Acts 9:20-22
and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”
All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?”
But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
A trailblazer is a person who blazes a trail for others to follow.
The Apostle Paul was one such person. Before his encounter with Christ, he blazed the trails of persecution wherever he went. He was there at Stephen’s stoning. He was responsible for the great persecution that broke out in Jerusalem. Unknown to Paul at that time, God was about to transform Paul from one who blazes the trails of persecution to one who will become a Trailblazer for God.
Through Paul’s missionary journey and the letters he wrote to the churches, Christianity grew from a small group of believers to a worldwide faith.
Long after Paul was gone; his writings continue to affect the church.
When the church was in darkness, Martin Luther read Paul’s writing and started the reformation.
Much of the New Testament doctrines we have today are based on the doctrines inspired by the Holy Spirit which was written and taught by Paul.
There were probably other trailblazers which were not recorded in the book of Acts. The apostle Thomas was said to have brought the Gospel all the way to India at Chennai, where he was speared to death. I was in Chennai a couple of years back and was told that Chennai has one of the highest concentrations of believers and it was credited to the works of Thomas.
In the beginning of the church, God used many lives and through them wrote exciting history of the church. He raised up many trailblazers and used them to bring the gospel into new frontiers.
I believed that God wants to raise up many more trailblazers in this time and hour.
Ac 2:17 “ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Eight years ago, God gave me a vision to raise up a generation of youths who will blaze the earth with revival fires. A Generation of Youths who will become trailblazers for Him.
Today we will examine the life of Paul so as to determine the qualities in his life that makes him a trailblazer.
There are four things which I want to share regarding the Preparation of a Trailblazer
a. The Invisible Hands of the Potter.
God prepared Paul even when he was Saul. The potter was preparing Saul, through his family, through his upbringing, his religious education.
His up bringing, developed Paul’s Character.
Paul was sent to the Jewish school of learning at Jerusalem to study law. He was around 13 when he began his studies under the well-known Gamaliel. Gamaliel was a rabbi and very educated. Due to his religious education, Paul was well versed with the Old Testament scriptures. That is why when Paul encountered Christ, he could preach the word immediately.
In the same way, you have to believe that what you have gone through in life, your family background, you experiences positive or negative has been allowed by God to prepare you for the purposes he has for your life.
Don’t be ashamed of your family background, or even the past experiences. God is working silently in the background, making you the man and woman He wants you to be.
Even when you have yet to know him, the invisible hands of the Potter was already working in your life.
b. Moulding through negative experiences.(Acts 9:26)
When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.
The church is not perfect, nether are Christians. In every church, there are bound to be negative experiences. How many believers departed away from God because they were disillusioned with the church?
Saul was converted to Paul, but the church could not accept him at first as they were unsure whether he was a true convert. They suspected that he was a spy sent from the religious authorities. However Paul was not hurt nor stumbled.
I have gone through a few churches, and I had a fair share of negative experiences. I realized that God used these experiences to prepare me. The Spirit often said to me during those times, “You don’t like what you see in the lives of these pastors and leaders, next time do not become like them.”