A couple of weeks ago, I preached on the process of transformation.
One of the things I’ve learned in the very (very) short time I’ve been preaching is that you cannot effectively preach anything you haven’t lived or experienced.
Preaching effective sermons is deeply rooted in the lived experience; embodying the text is essential in translating what the ancient text has to say to modern audiences.
Transformation has been knocking at my door all year long, chile. I’ve been fighting it ’bout as long, too.
Acts 9:1-9 tells of the powerful transformation of Saul, a man whose life’s experiences were critically important to what God would call him to do as a transformed man responsible for sharing the Gospel and establishing the Church as we know it today. Saul was a persecutor of Christians, using his power and privilege as a Roman Citizen and Jewish leader against those who followed Jesus. He was a proven leader, a person of influence, and though he was using his skills to do harm, it would be everything God needed to take Saul’s life of destruction to Paul’s life of liberation and transformation.
We are often told that we must shed the experiences of our past in order to be used by God. We think that none of the things we’ve done, said, or experienced can be used by God — but what Paul’s transformation teaches us is that God wastes no experience; God will take everything we’ve done, good or bad, and use it to transform the world!
Check out the full sermon below!