By Toni Ford
If you know much about Paul in the Bible, you know that he never doubted his calling, which was to share the Gospel of Jesus to both Jews and Gentiles.
Paul did this with an incredible boldness and never wavered in his calling, regardless of the persecution and trials he faced. In Acts Chapter 26 we find Paul in one of his many trials. He is being held prisoner in Caesarea and stands trial before the procurator of Judea, Porcius Festus, who can’t find Paul guilty of any crimes of which he has been accused of by the Jews. King Agrippa comes to visit and Festus asks King Agrippa to examine Paul to see if he can find him guilty of any crimes.
Acts 26:1-2 says, “Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You may speak in your defense.’ So Paul, gesturing with his hand, started his defense.” Paul continues by giving a summary of the gospel and reminds all the people listening of the facts pertaining to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Then, when Paul added that he had been called to preach this same gospel message to the Gentiles, the people exploded with anger at the mention of the word “Gentiles,” and Fetus accused Paul of being crazy.
At this point, Paul defends himself and turns to ask King Agrippa a question.
“King Agrippa, do you believe in the prophets? I know you do.”
Being a Jew, King Agrippa knew of the prophets and was an expert in Jewish matters, but he knew that if he affirmed his faith in the prophets he then might also have to acknowledge Jesus as being the one whom the prophets wrote about. Paul was actually forcing him to take a stand. Instead, King Agrippa avoided answering Paul’s question and tried to belittle Paul and make him feel inferior.
Paul was extremely polite in his reply when he said, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both of you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.” (Acts 26:29) As a result of Paul’s response, King Agrippa and Festus knew that Paul had a genuine compassion and concern for the two of them. In all actuality, the roles had now reversed and Paul had been the judge and they had been the prisoners on trial. They had been shown the truth, the light and the way to freedom but had deliberately closed their eyes and returned to their sins.
Lately, my heart has been extremely burdened for those I know who are choosing to reject the Lord and the truth of who He is, which is why I am so thankful for the example of Paul, here in Acts. I am quickly reminded that two of the greatest resources we have as believers are prayer and Jesus. I might not be able to convince someone to come to Jesus or even make them, no matter how hard I try, but one thing I can do is pray and trust Jesus to change their hearts. Therefore, today I choose to never give up praying for those who are lost and still need Jesus.
I know that He alone can remove the scales of unbelief from people’s eyes and bring them to salvation.
Oh Lord, I pray today for those who are far from you and continue to reject you. Please open their eyes and bring them to salvation in Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for your love for each and every person, now and always!
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at email@example.com. I would love to pray for you!