Paul had been falsely accused of starting riots and defiling the temple. Although innocent of these accusations, Paul was kept in prison in Caesarea where he appeared before a succession of governors and leaders including Felix, Festus and even the Roman-appointed Jewish King, Agrippa. At each court appearance, Paul spoke freely about his Christian faith.
In today’s sermon, we picked up from the previous story where Paul met with King Agrippa, high-ranking officials and the important men of the city (Acts 25:23 to Acts 26). Festus sought the help of the Roman-appointed king of the Jews, Agrippa, to discover some concrete evidence that Paul was guilty so that he could have a reason to send Paul to Caesar. Agrippa was intrigued by Paul because he had heard about Paul’s reputation; “Paul the pest” by unbelieving Jews and gave Paul permission to speak. Though Paul encountered Jesus 25-30 years ago on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), the story was still fresh in his mind. He told about his formal education, strict adherence to Jewish law and his fanatical campaign against Christians before he eventually encountered Jesus. He described, in detail, what Jesus had told him to do.
In the sermon, the preacher mentioned these five takeaways from Acts 26.
WHAT Would YOU DO
Paul was tenacious and zealous. He was truly a fully devoted follower of Christ. Despite all the unimaginable hardships he endured (2 Corinthians 11:24-28), he did not back down and kept on obeying until the end of his life. God can equip and empower us whenever we take steps of faith to obey Him. Luke 10:2 (NIV), “He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field”.
Are we willing to be God’s workers? Let us be like Paul, unstoppable in our zeal and in our passion to obey our Lord’s assignments for us. At the end of our lives, we can say with confidence that we were not disobedient to the heavenly vision.
“So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.” – Acts 26:19-20 (NIV)