In Galatians 1:11 to the end of the chapter Paul tells the churches directly that the gospel he preached to them wasn’t his idea, it didn’t come from him. In fact, in came directly from Jesus himself. We know this was a special revelation given to him as apostle after he became a believer in Jesus. He reminds them about his former life involved in Judaism. No one was as dedicated to destroying the church of God as him. Not only this, but he was on the path of becoming a great Jewish leader surpassing everyone. But something happened.
We know what happened to Paul from several accounts in Acts. The Lord Jesus confronted him, and he became his follower. Here Paul puts his turning to Jesus in theological terms. First, he tells them that he was “set apart” before he was born. Paul’s salvation didn’t start when Jesus confronted him. Long before, God has chosen Paul to be his. Second, he was called by his grace. This wasn’t Paul merited nor did God see something in Paul that made him choose him. It was an act of God’s grace, his unmerited favor. It was God’s pleasure that to choose to reveal “his Son” Jesus to him. The purpose was to preach about Jesus among the non-Jews or gentiles. And this is exactly what Paul did. These churches were the fruit of God’s calling him.
Initially when he preached, the believers heard about his change but found it hard to believe. But they eventually believed and glorified God because of what had happened to him. People directed their praise to God for what He had done in Paul.
We find this pattern of God’s calling applicable to all of us who have believed in Jesus. In fact, Paul himself teaches this in Ephesians 1:3-14. The steps are clear here. God calls us to follow His Son. But he chose us before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). It was an act of his grace that he saved us from our sins to follow His Son. We did not earn this. We are also called to serve him. This will vary in all of us but we are all called to share with others about Jesus like Paul. All of this is to give God the glory he deserves.
Often when I think of these truths, it leads me to thank God for choosing me. I don’t suppose that I merited his grace. The fact he called me to follow Jesus is a wonder. All I can do is thank Him over and over. And I continue to serve Him and sharing Jesus with those who don’t know Him.
How about you? Do you know Jesus? If you do, how are you living up to his calling?
 Acts 9:1-22 and Acts 26:12-23