“To this day I have had help from God, and so I stand here, testifying to both small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would take place: that the Messiah must suffer, and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
When I read chapter 26 of Acts I am immediately struck by the eloquence of Paul’s presentation. I don’t know how he was feeling on the inside, but his delivery is filled with calm passion. Calm passion? Yes, I believe passion does not always have to be loud and flashy. We might expect Paul to be arguing for his life, but he had already appealed to Caesar for judgment; so what was he really doing? He was evangelizing. He was confidently and passionately sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. He did not downplay his relationship to Jesus; he said it like it was — simple and direct. King Agrippa’s response to Paul’s testimony reveals the power of the Gospel message. “Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.” (Acts 26:28) And Paul’s response to the King “I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains.” (Acts 26:29) I believe the power of Paul to convince others of the truth came from his complete living in Christ. He was completely converted. For too many years of my life, I was a partially converted Christian. I believed in God, but my life style, my mind, and many of my behaviors were no different than those who did not believe in God. Therefore, how could I evangelize. I lacked the basic ingredient — I wasn’t living in Christ and my lack of testimony proved it.
I pray that some day I will live in Christ in the way that Paul Did. I pray that I can simplify my life so that possessions and worry about the future will not distract me from the most important relationship I will ever have — as brother, friend, and bondservant to Christ Jesus. Lord Jesus, develop in me the gift of evangelism according to the needs of our Father in Heaven. Amen.