Recently, Chicago police began visiting the homes of gang members—to warn them about violence. Some people called this a “hug a thug” tactic, but police say they do whatever works to reduce gang activity. Sadly, some gangs have no agenda except to kill, and steal, and destroy. Before he met Jesus, the Apostle Paul had an agenda very similar to today’s gangs. Thinking Jesus was just a religious fraud, Saul (as his name was then) tried to get rid of Jesus’ followers. Paul said before he met Jesus, he demonized Him and cursed His name. He said he used insolence and violence to arrest and imprison people who claimed to be Jesus’ followers. He was gang leader. But on one of his trips to Damascus, Jesus met him, and He spoke to him from heaven. Suddenly Paul realized Jesus was no imposter. He was the King of kings. Paul confessed his pigheadedness, accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, then dedicated himself to spread the truth that Jesus is Lord. He now had a cause to embrace—the Kingdom of God. Paul was so grateful for the grace God had shown him that in writing to Timothy in chapter 1, he said, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’—and I am the worst of them all.” Paul the gang leader came to his senses and accepted Christ. That’s what every gang leader should do.
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