Prayer Focus: United States of America

Bible Reading: Acts 24-26

Scripture:

24 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.”  (Acts 26:24-29)

Observation:

Paul knew the end was coming.  He had been warned a few chapters back that he would be captured and imprisoned if he went into Jerusalem.  And still he went.

In this section he has been passed up and up the food chain, no one willing to kill a Roman Citizen, Paul requests to speak to Cesar.  At this point in the journey he is speaking to Festus and Agrippa.  They don’t understand him, and call him insane.  Instead of justifying his actions or pleading for his release, he presents the gospel.

Application:

Can I say of my life, as Paul did, “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.”

I can gratefully count myself as one of those who “are listening” to Paul, so many centuries later.   I count myself as one who – like him – is  changing from what I was into “What I Am”.

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for the work of the Holy Spirit who moves within us and compels us to be more like you!  Amen

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