In our morning Bible reading, the sweet girl and I recently completed the gospels and moved into the book of Acts.
It's been a while since I've spent a good length of time in Acts, and I'm finding myself swept up into the excitement of the early church as they experienced the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and began to preach and heal with boldness.
That boldness looks especially amazing when you've just stepped from the pages of the gospels. The "before and after" glimpses of Peter are astounding when you stop to ponder them. The power of the Spirit at work in Peter truly made him a new man. It must have astonished everyone around him. It must have astonished Peter himself!
I always think it's interesting that Jesus focused on the "Peter" part of Simon Peter's name. In Acts, we see the rock solidness of Peter's surrendered heart and the fruit of that surrendered heart and of all the years he spent apprenticed to Jesus.
When the sweet girl was very little, she used to say "mean man Saul" and "nice man Paul" whenever we read about Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus in her story Bible. The dramatic movement represented by Saul's change to Paul is so evident. The dramatic movement of Simon into Peter (Rocky, if you will) is more gradual, but nonetheless breathtaking.
If God can so radically transform the hearts and minds of Simon and of Saul, he can transform us too.