A Changed Breath
Have you ever held a fluffy dandelion and gently blown, watching the seeds take flight, captured by a breeze and float away? It has a technical name of Wind Dispersal, I call it childlike fun, a gentle wind caused by my own breath. Sewing seeds.
Not all seed casting can be gentle, often some are thrown with extreme strength, thrusting the seed out, smattering with scattered force. Paints a violent picture does it not. This is where Saul (also known as Paul) was found in Acts chapters 8 and 9. Saul lands on the pages of scripture in this same violent force, he is first seen holding the jackets of those stoning Stephen, accepting and participating. A few verses later, “Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priests and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners…” (Acts 9: 1,2 emphasis mine) Saul breathed out murderous threats. THAT is some really bad, icky wicked breath! These threats weren’t just being mean, the word Luke uses to describe Saul, shares strong ATTITUDE. Saul, being a highly educated ‘religious’ man, was treating Jesus followers in contempt, regarding them as inferior and worthless. His breath was that of severe reproach, fault-finding on petty matters. Sewing seeds. BAD seeds. Harmful, painful seeds.
I often find the Lord’s responses extremely humorous, Saul was heading to Damascus to ‘Get those Jesus followers!” Instead, Jesus intercepts. Gotta love Jesus interceptions! In short, Paul is DRAMATICALLY saved, he has seen the light! What mercy, what grace! What love on God’s part. Taking a step back and looking at Paul’s life, he had a change of breath. His once condemning threats have turned to, he writes: “Paul, an apostle, sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead … To the churches in Galatia: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Gal. 1-5) He continues to greet those in Rome, Corinth and Ephesus, Philippi and Colosse in the same manner, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father.” What transformation! His change of breath helped change the world. From reproach to praise. From scolding to encouraging. From death to life. You would never conceive the same wicked threatening man would pen “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. ” – Eph. 4:29
May we consider applying to our own lives a change of breath. How are our words, actions and attitudes sewing? Do we like as Saul once did, regard others as inferior or worthless. Does our attitude scream contempt? Or does our whispered words float on mean breezes. Do we need a Jesus interception – perhaps AGAIN! Yes, we are saved but need Him in our face! (Just sayin it like it is)
May we sew God loving, grace ministering seeds.
A changed breath.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)