Posts Tagged ‘King Agrippa’


Acts 27:21-25
After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.

Eventually Paul was sentenced to prison based on King Agrippa’s ruling and this began a treacherous but significant journey for Paul, the other prisoners, the guards and the crew of the ship transporting them. Against Paul’s advice, the centurion, based on the ship crew’s advice, decided to proceed to Phoenix because they believed it to be safer to berth the vessel there rather than Crete. Paul spoke up after many days of suffering in the storm and gave them an assurance of safety revealed to him by an angel of God. This might have sounded reassuring to those seeking God’s intervention or ridiculous to those who were cold to the very mention of God. What is God saying to us this morning?

We like to hear good things about ourselves and our situations and dislike being corrected. Paul’s initial warning might have sounded silly to anyone who had no faith in Paul or his God or to anyone who felt they knew better. Doesn’t that sound like us? We would rather focus on reading what astrologers have to say because they always have nice things for us than read God’s word which seems harsh and painful. God’s direction is like our parent’s advice that seems hard and painful but really is meant to build us up. We need to open our hearts and minds to Jesus through his word because through obedience to him, we have an assurance of salvation, forgiveness of our sins and an eternity in God’s presence whereas without him, we have the world and all the frustrations and disappointments that come with it.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Acts 26:24-25, 28-29
At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable… Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

As Paul presented his own defense to King Agrippa, we see once again how Paul continues to speak the truth in gentle love. However, King Agrippa is quick to realize that Paul is not just speaking in his own defense but that he is giving his listeners reason to believe in his God. In his eyes, Agrippa wondered if Paul has lost his mind in his new realization and therefore acted like a driven lunatic in sharing this new found truth. What was the point of all this we might wonder?

When I look back at the many years Paul was on trial, the one trend that is clear is how God used Paul to share the good news with people who otherwise would never care to give a ear to such a message. Paul’s ministry was focussed on serving Christ to the Gentiles in far away lands and the same man was now standing trial before governors, rulers and people in authority in Caesarea who may never have had the opportunity to be transformed by the truth of Jesus. I am reminded again today that we are called to wear Christ on our person every moment because God will use us to shine his light and love to the lost.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Acts 25:18-19
When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive.

Years after Paul was first charged by Ananias and then brought to Caesarea, his trial continues under the new leadership of Festus and now King Agrippa. This is part of a conversation Festus has with Agrippa regarding Paul and what stood out to me was Festus’ understanding of Paul’s belief in a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. It made me wonder about what the Jews and any non-believers thought about Paul’s beliefs and similarly our belief. It made me wonder why people found it so hard to believe at all?

To most people, religion is a something they do and they do it because it is taught to them, expected of them and makes them feel secure. It is something they cling to for self-comfort and therefore is about their needs being met. For Paul and believers in Jesus, it is about a relationship with God that saved us from the depths of hell. It is not an act but a realization of the truth. Today I am reminded that I need to stop judging those around me, those in authority, etc. but that I should be focussed on seeking the Lord and living a life modeled on His own and let God use our lives as a testimony of lives transformed by Him.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy