Luke 2:7, Colossians 3:12-15, Philippians 2:6-11
Once there was a very religious, very bold, but very cruel, man. He was cruel because he was out to destroy anyone who had faith in a particular belief that he was against. In fact, he even stood by and watched while someone was brutally martyred for this belief. He would do anything it took to bring about the downfall of anyone who held to this belief.
But then one day as he as traveling, he met Jesus face-to-face. His heart changed; his life changed. Though he continued to be bold, the cruelty he had once expressed was gone. It was replaced by a heart of mercy and grace. Saul the Pharisee had become the Apostle Paul.
As a very religious Jewish man, Saul would have never believed Christ to have been his Messiah. But when Jesus confronted him that day on the road to Damascus, Saul’s spiritual eyes were opened, and his heart was softened.
In the New Testament, Paul writes quite a bit about how we are to treat each other with humility, love and kindness. He compares this behavior with Jesus’ own act of humbling Himself to come to earth and take on human flesh as a tiny baby.
None of us likes to think that we would ever treat anyone else cruelly. But the idea is not just in how we act toward one another. In Colossians 3, Paul says to “put on a heart of….”
If anyone knows the power of a changed heart, it’s Paul!
Jesus our Savior set a perfect example of how we are to treat one another. Today, let’s pray to have such an encounter with Christ this Advent that we can’t help but love others as He taught us.