“At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” 25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” 29 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.” 30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 After they left the room, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.” 32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” Acts 26.24-32
Paul was doing exactly what the Lord called him to do. Over a period of two years, while in prison in Herod’s Palace in Caesarea, Paul evangelized much. Finally he was at the king-level, bringing the gospel to the Judean-Roman appointed King Agrippa. Paul was attempting to not only give a defense for the reason he was in chains, he was also striving to win others to the cause of Christ. King Agrippa sees through this and says, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” To which Paul says, “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.”
The call of Christ is the call to make disciples. This week at the Awakening Project at Asbury University in Wilmore, KY, a week-long gathering for college and young adults who are seeking the Lord’s call upon their lives, one young man accepted Christ. Most students attending were already Christian but Quinn was a seeker. Some leader scooped him up and brought him to the conference. On one of the nights near the end of the conference, another leader led him to Christ. The whole community rejoiced. I had several great conversations with him following his conversion to encourage him and let him know the work that God had just done in his life. It was a sweet time.
Our desire should be what Paul desired — that all should find what we have found in Christ. The Holy Spirit wrought a change in the life of Paul and had a similar affect on me. Christ’s salvation is available to all people. It only take belief and surrender. I pray for all I know and love to submit to the Lordship of Christ and find strength and hope in Christ alone.
Paul’s commitment to persuade others to Christ should be our own calling. Whether we are in full time ministry or not, the call of Christ compels us to preach and teach the Word of God.
Who can you share Christ with this day? Have you committed your life to his cause? Have you surrendered to Jesus? Why not pray this very moment and ask Jesus to govern over your heart from now until eternity?
“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for allowing me to be your hands and feet, your voice and heart. Help me walk in newness of life and have full confidence that I am a child of God. Help me see others who do not know you and to convince them through love to walk with you also. Your salvation is available to all people. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen