Making the Most of Every Opportunity
Day: 28 | Plan: Acts
Today's Reading: Acts 26
Acts 26:28-29 (NIV) “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 to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.’”
“You are out of your mind, Paul!” … This is how Festus responds to Paul and the gospel. It’s a typical response to the gospel. And honestly, from a worldly perspective, it is crazy that Paul would use the time he was given to speak and present his personal defense before the highest authorities in the land to present the gospel. Most of us would have made a case for ourselves. Not Paul. He makes a case for Christ. And in doing so, Paul clearly states his obedience to God’s purposes for his life.
Paul’s goal is not to get himself out of a mess or to ease his suffering. His goal is to faithfully fulfill God’s call for his life and use every opportunity to share the gospel with others. No matter what it costs him personally.
God had revealed to Paul that he would be the one to carry the name of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and their kings. (Acts 9:15) So, here he stands according to God’s plan, presenting the gospel to some of the most powerful, influential people in the world. Paul knows it’s only by God’s design and with God’s help he has been given this opportunity. And with great boldness, Paul makes the most of this opportunity.
Not only did Festus think Paul was insane, but King Agrippa flatly refused the gospel. His response is a common response to the gospel too. King Agrippa would not be persuaded to believe, and he walked out. He knew Paul was innocent. He knew Paul should be set free. But he was not persuaded to set Paul free and even more tragically he was not persuaded to believe. Instead, he flat out rejected the gospel. But Paul was not hindered or defeated by that rejection.
Instead, “Paul replied, ‘Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.’” (Acts 26:29)
Paul wanted everyone who heard him speak to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s his passion and his prayer. Even though his hands are bound, his mouth is open for Jesus. He recognizes every situation and conversation as a divine appointment from God and makes the most of each one by sharing the truth about Jesus.
Oh, that you and I would be like Paul. A true, passionate believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, who willingly uses every opportunity to share the gospel with others.
Paul is an excellent example of what it looks and sounds like to keep our hearts and minds focused on God’s purposes for our lives. He was a man who always gave testimony to God’s grace that was extended to him through the person of Jesus Christ.
Why did he do it? He knew the gospel was the power of God for salvation. (Romans 1:16-17) He knew it is by grace through faith that we are saved. (Ephesians 2:8) He knew the truth of the gospel changed him and the direction of his life. (Romans 5:6; Galatians 2:20) So much so that he was completely transformed. And so he faithfully shared the gospel so that others, you and me included, might know and receive God’s gospel of grace as revealed through Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for Paul’s life, his example and his words of truth. I pray that I would be more like Paul. Develop in me a heart of passion for others to know You and a deep desire to share the gospel faithfully everywhere I go. Give me the courage to speak Your truth into each life and the grace to trust You with their response. May I make the most of every opportunity You bring my way. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Paul was a man who shared the gospel relentlessly, patiently and faithfully. And no matter what... Read More
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