Acts 26 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a follower of Yeshua?” And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to G_d that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become as I am – except for these chains.” Acts 26:27-29
Paul had guts. I love the way he just lays out the gospel, like he’s their rabbi! Then there is the abrupt, albeit somewhat humorous reminder that Paul is in shackles.
Remember the game show, Truth Or Consequences? Maybe you’re too young. Contestants answered questions to win prizes. If they got the answer wrong, they were subjected to some demeaning stunt. It seems just when Paul was convincing Agrippa of the truth, the king was reminded of the possible consequences of following Yeshua. Given his pomp and political power, the consequence of dishonor & imprisonment was too much for Agrippa.
I was like Agrippa. Confronted with the truth, for many years I chose to focus on worldly consequences, and to ignore the eternal one: the certainty of Hell. I was more concerned with temporary earthly glory, than the promise of permanent glory in Heaven.
The L_rd persistently pursued me. He watched as time-after-time I made poor choices. Ultimately, I was convinced the glory of this world is nothing worth having. Even when you get earthly glory, it quickly fades. I was empty & tired, and finally the gospel ceased to be annoying. It became my shelter.
It was because of a person like Paul that I came to believe in Yeshua. I was like one of the onlookers in the Roman Governor’s palace. I overheard a guy boldly proclaiming Yeshua to another guy. The guy he was sharing with just laughed at him…but I believed.
Why do we make our Shabbat services, Shabbat & Havdalah dinners and Havurah groups open to the public? Because, we want everyone to know the gospel of Yeshua, receive it and belong to the greater Messianic community. I suggest putting Havurah groups in coffeehouses, where there is a high probability that non-believers would “stumble upon” them, by G_d’s leading and grace. They come to the coffeehouse for a latte, but they leave with a whole “latte” more: Salvation through faith in Yeshua!
Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become as I am – except for these chains.”
Paul understood that G_d’s target audience “all who may hear me this day” might not contain King Agrippa, the particular person whom Paul was trying to persuade. It is not incumbent upon us believers to produce faith decisions from people. We cannot make people believe. Rather, by all means, we faithfully proclaim Messiah Yeshua, trusting His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to convince men & women to believe…even though we may be in “chains”.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Monday, August 12, 2013