Posts Tagged ‘Persuade’


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

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Acts 18:1b, 4-6, 9-11
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth… Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles”… One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

For a long while, I imagined Paul to be a strong and courageous man for his ability to speak out against what was not right and stand up for the gospel. In today’s passage, we see another side of Paul; we see fear and frustration in a man devoted to the cause. So much so that God had to reassure him in a vision. Paul in his ministry traveled significantly with one goal in mind – to serve Jesus to the world and now he seems lost. What happened to Paul? Had he lost his drive and passion? Was it the strength of the opposition or the lack of support in his ministry? What is the Lord speaking to us this morning?

Like many, we tend to put our faith in things we can see and touch and so in Paul, we drew confidence from his powerful ministry and life because he is a person we can relate to. However, we are reminded again that Paul is not the role model we need to follow but Christ. Paul, like you and me, is a servant of God and lived to glorify God, not himself. We need to be focussed on Jesus and draw strength and direction from Him. As human as Paul was, he could only see opposition and hardened hearts but God sees the big picture and directed him to continue to serve. We need to ask God to show us the way to serve him and we need to give it our all. The reason should not be self glory but God’s glory and our eyes need to fixed on Jesus throughout.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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