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Galatians 1:13-23 (The Message)

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13 I'm sure that you've heard the story of my earlier life when I lived in the Jewish way. In those days I went all out in persecuting God's church. I was systematically destroying it. 14 I was so enthusiastic about the traditions of my ancestors that I advanced head and shoulders above my peers in my career. 15 Even then God had designs on me. Why, when I was still in my mother's womb he chose and called me out of sheer generosity! 16 Now he has intervened and revealed his Son to me so that I might joyfully tell non-Jews about him. 17 and without going up to Jerusalem to confer with those who were apostles long before I was - I got away to Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus, 18 but it was three years before I went up to Jerusalem to compare stories with Peter. I was there only fifteen days - but what days they were! 19 Except for our Master's brother James, I saw no other apostles. 20 (I'm telling you the absolute truth in this.) 21 Then I began my ministry in the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 After all that time and activity I was still unknown by face among the Christian churches in Judea. 23 There was only this report: "That man who once persecuted us is now preaching the very message he used to try to destroy."
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