WOULD YOU PERSUADE ME?

Scripture Reading:  Acts 26:12-32

“And Agrippa said to Paul, ‘In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?’  And Paul said, ‘Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am — except these chains.'”  (Acts 26:28,29)

Two years after Paul’s trial before Felix, he was brought before the new Roman procurator Festus (25:1-12), who gave Paul the choice to be tried in Jerusalem or to be tried in a Roman court.  Paul appealed to Caesar (12:12), which meant that the would be sent to Rome for a trial.

Before he was sent off, King Agrippa and his wife Bernice came to Caesara.  Festus told Agrippa about Paul.  Out of curiosity, Agrippa wanted to hear Paul (25:13-27).  Paul was brought before Agrippa and he told about his conversion experience on the road to Damascus (26:1-27).  After Agrippa heard Paul speak, he said, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” (26:28).

Paul’s reply to Agrippa shows the passion Paul had for the gospel:  “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I — except these chains” (26:29).  Earlier in his testimony before Agrippa, Paul stated the call Christ had placed upon him:  “To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God; that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (26:18).  Jesus has also commissioned us to this same task.

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others” (II Corinthians 5:11).  We cannot save people, but we can persuade them to become Christians.  Our task is to tell others the good news of Christ.  “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us, we implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (II Corinthians 5:20).

Lord Jesus, You have called me to be Your witness and You have commissioned me to be Your ambassador.  May I be faithful in my ministry to persuade others to come to You in repentance and faith.

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