What do Kayne West and the Apostle Paul have in common? A radical, almost unbelievable, conversion to Jesus.
When influential people receive a revelation that JESUS IS KING, especially ones whose previous lifestyle was 180 degrees opposite to what they are now professing, occasionally they experience some backlash from either their fans, media outlets, or even Christians themselves. Firmly believing that this blog will somehow find it's way into the hands of Kayne, I wanted to give my new brother some hope and encouragement, hoping that it will eventually lead us to a personal friendship.
My brother, your experience with Jesus is probably most like that of the Apostle Paul (who was previously Saul). You see, Paul was as anti-Christian as they get before he began to FOLLOW GOD. Paul first came on the scene in ACTS 7 and was at that time a highly respected member of the Pharisees. Paul already had tremendous influence.
Paul's life prior to Jesus, is most well known for persecuting and murdering the first Christians. Pauls' secret ambition (prior to Jesus), was to show believers that the gospel was CLOSED ON SUNDAY. Essentially, Paul USED THE GOSPEL to make a name for himself among his associates. Paul's life, prior to his revelation of Jesus was quite dark, yet greatly respected by all his associates.
Then one day, out of the clear blue, while journeying to Damascus, Paul encountered the 'living Jesus.' Acts 9 recounts his incredible experience. Picture it with me if you can.
Paul was minding his own business while taking a journey to persecute more Christians. Suddenly, he was struck to the ground by lightning and a voice from heaven claiming to be Jesus said, "Stop the persecution." King Jesus then spoke directly to Saul and commanded him to go into the city and wait further instructions. He was also blinded by the light, but three days later, God gave him 'new vision.'
In this scenario, Paul wasn't looking for Jesus. In fact, Paul was attempting to eliminate Jesus and all things Christian. Then suddenly, a loving and merciful God reached into the realm of time and chose His special messenger: Paul.
At first, Paul had struggles with the other Apostles and believers. Because of his sordid past, many of the Christians didn't believe his conversion was real. They were afraid of him and rightly so. They accused him wrongly. It took some time, but with the demonstration of consistent good fruit, believers began to accpet Paul as an additional Apostle whom Jesus had personally appointed from heaven.
In fact, Saul, later named Paul, went on to become one of the most influential voices for Christianity in his generation. Paul eventually ended up establishing many churches and writing nearly half the New Testament. Paul's influence was so wide spread, that hundreds of thousands of believers since the New Testament era can quote from his teachings. What's my point? Many of God's greatest messengers had less than perfect lives before they encountered Jesus.
Paul was previously a murderer. Moses was a murderer too, but He was hand picked by God to deliver His people: millions of people. So, it's not your past that defines you. Your past is simply what God allowed you to walk through to equip you for your future. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says this: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" Ultimately, God defines us. EVERY HOUR He is guiding us step by step to reveal our new identity and our new destiny.
So, you see, my brother, GOD IS a HANDS ON kind of God. He meets us where we are, in the trenches of our lives. He comes to us, filth and all, and washes us clean with His living WATER. He cleans us from the inside to the outside. He washes our hearts. Then, as our hearts are purified by the water of His Word, our lives and words change to reflect the image of Jesus.
This is the genuine gospel message.
As I close this blog, I'd like to leave you with two random enouraging thoughts:
And my God will supply EVERYTHING WE NEED according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phillipians 4:19 Paraphrase)
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him (Jesus), and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that JESUS IS LORD, to the glory OF GOD the Father. (Phillipians 2:9-11 NASB) It is interesting note, both these passages were written by Paul.
So my brother, be encouraged. Keep God first. Stay in God's word. Keep the faith. Love Kim with fervency. Love your children with passion. Become the father they need so they can relate to a kind and loving heavenly Father. Bless others when they persecute you and prove to them that you are indeed made in the image of Jesus: you're a king.