Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 We are called to Evangelize

Acts 26: 19-23
Vs 22: But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen

The account of Paul’s conversion is found three times in the book of Acts. The historical record is found in Acts 9, and then Paul recounts his testimony before the Sanhedrin in Acts 22 and here in Acts 26. There are probably several reasons for this frequent repetition. Perhaps a major reason is to give the church of the future a reliable record of the power of the gospel to transform a life.

In Acts 23, as Paul stood before the Sanhedrin, he made the connection between belief in the resurrection (which was an orthodox belief amongst Bible-believing Jews) and the concept of hope (v. 6). This is the backdrop to his threefold use of the word “hope” in this witness before Agrippa. This hope-filled theme pervades Paul’s testimony here in Acts 26. Hope is at the heart of the Christian message and is the motivation for our evangelistic efforts.

Paul recounts his early Christian experience of proclaiming the gospel in Damascus and then in Jerusalem. Paul continued in life as he began his Christian life: witnessing Jesus Christ. He was never tired of doing so. Indeed, he loved to witness. In vs. 21 Paul tells King Agrippa that it was this universal declaration (that is, proclaiming the gospel to all) that landed him in trouble at the temple in Jerusalem. But as far as he was concerned, this was completely unjustified, for he was simply proclaiming what had foreshadowed for so long; namely, that Messiah would be crucified, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and that His gospel would penetrate the spiritual darkness of Jews and Gentiles alike.

Rather than taking the opportunity to defend himself in a legal way, Paul utilizes this moment to tell the story of his life in such a way that points to Christ. Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes. Paul’s opportunity was being on trial. He did not know when he would get a chance to preach to King Agrippa again, Probably never. So he seized the opportunity with both hands. Maybe our opportunity can be totally unexpected. It can be a moment of trial or difficulty. Rather than cursing the darkness, can we shine light into that darkness? Let's take Paul’s teaching as that of an apostle, and the inspired word that God-breathed through him as God’s Word. 

Though our conversion experience may not have been as dramatic as Paul’s, nevertheless it produces the same hope. We, no less than Paul, have hope as an anchor of our soul. Like Paul, we are called to be so hopeful that we will serve like we have hope. We are to believe God’s promises concerning His gospel-intended purpose. And as we do so, let's  not be “disobedient to the heavenly vision” as we go forth to preach the gospel to the world with the goal of evangelism 

Lord, help us to use every opportunity to spread the word of God regardless of the situation we are in.

Thought for the Day
We have been given no greater gift than the gospel, and we have no greater stewardship than to share that message of good news with others

Anish Thomas
Marthoma Church of Greater Washington

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