May 7, 2019
Acts 26:9-18 Contemporary English Version
Do you make the most of every opportunity the Lord provides you each day? It begins with a proper perspective. Not every situation we face is going to be good, but every situation can be an opportunity for good in the hands of our loving and good God. If we believe the Lord has positioned us in life and He directs our steps, then we are going to trust Him even when we face a hard or bad situation. Tough days can become the most fertile ground for us to bear righteous fruit. Those times become our best opportunities to witness the work of the Lord in our lives. The Lord wants the world to know Him, so how we face things is a testimony to how we view the goodness of the Lord. Think about it. Your testimony of the Lord’s presence with you each day is a way to witness to the resurrected and Living Lord those around you need to know.
In our passage today, the Jews have brought charges against the Apostle Paul; he is in prison awaiting trial for inciting problems among the Jews with his testimony. Yet, he is going to make the most of this opportunity for the Lord. Many Jews hated the content of Paul’s message; that Jesus is the promised Messiah from God—for the Jews and the world—and that the Messiah has been raised from the dead. The resurrection is central to the Christian belief; Paul wants to tell his story about his encounter with the Living Lord to validate the Truth. King Agrippa, of Jewish descent, gives Paul an opportunity to defend himself and explain the foundation of his beliefs.
9 I once thought that I should do everything I could to oppose Jesus from Nazareth. 10 I did this first in Jerusalem, and with the authority of the chief priests I put many of God’s people in jail. I even voted for them to be killed. 11 I often had them punished in our meeting places, and I tried to make them give up their faith. In fact, I was so angry with them, that I went looking for them in foreign cities.
12 King Agrippa, one day I was on my way to Damascus with the authority and permission of the chief priests. 13 About noon I saw a light brighter than the sun. It flashed from heaven on me and on everyone traveling with me. 14 We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice say to me in Aramaic, “Saul, Saul, why are you so cruel to me? It’s foolish to fight against me!”
15 “Who are you?” I asked.
Then the Lord answered, “I am Jesus! I am the one you are so cruel to. 16 Now stand up. I have appeared to you, because I have chosen you to be my servant. You are to tell others what you have learned about me and what I will show you later.”
17 The Lord also said, “I will protect you from the Jews and from the Gentiles that I am sending you to. 18 I want you to open their eyes, so that they will turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then their sins will be forgiven, and by faith in me they will become part of God’s holy people.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for allowing me to be a witness for you each day. Help me to embrace each situation with the perspective that you have promised to work all things together for my good, because I love you and am called according to your purpose. These are opportunities for you to shine your Light. In Jesus’ name. Amen.