has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great
– Acts 26:22
Mother Teresa dedicated her life to doing what Jesus Christ tells his followers to do in Matthew 25:35-36. She gave food to the hungry. She gave clean water to the thirsty. She gave a home to homeless strangers. She gave clothes to the naked. She gave free medical care to the sick.
three and a half years before she died, 83-year-old Mother Teresa was invited
When given an audience that included the leader of the free world, that’s what Mother Teresa said. If you had been given that opportunity, what would you have said to them? Let’s take a look at what the Apostle Paul said when he was given a similar opportunity.
been cooling his heels in prison for two years while the corrupt Governor Felix
waited for him to bribe his way out. Finally, Governor Felix was booted out of
office, and Paul was called into court to stand before the new Roman governor
Paul knew he’d been given the runaround by Governor Felix, and it seemed Governor Festus was doing the same. So, Paul gave him this very respectful but eloquent response: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” (Acts 25:10-11).
promised Paul that he’d get a chance to share the Gospel in
In Acts 26, before Paul was transferred to
But instead of responding with a genuine, heartfelt answer, King Agrippa took the easy way out by asking a question of his own: “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” (v. 28). That is what we called a missed opportunity. King Agrippa heard the good news of Jesus Christ, and I believe the Spirit of Almighty God was whispering in his ear, “Today is the day of salvation.” But King Agrippa said, “No!” He squandered that moment. He put Jesus off until tomorrow. And as best we can tell, for King Herod Agrippa II, tomorrow never came. He never turned from his sin and received the grace of Christ.
I’d like to share two life lessons that we can draw from this passage.
Lesson #1: When given the opportunity to stand before high-ranking leaders, treat them with kindness and respect. Regardless of the way Paul was treated by governing leaders, he spoke to them with kindness and respect. As Chuck Swindoll puts it: “When God grants us the rare opportunity to stand before prestigious people and high-ranking government officials, it is best to demonstrate courtesy and grace. Regardless of their lifestyle, speak with respect…. To come on like gangbusters will surely be an offense, and the door of opportunity will slam shut…. Despite his chains and their differences, [Paul] addressed them with kindness and respect.”
Lesson #2: Don’t squander your
God-given opportunities to truly believe, repent and submit to God’s will for
your life. King
Agrippa heard Paul share about his experience on the Road to
If you have
never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you are being offered your
own Road to
Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact
Christian Church in Victorville. Pastor Dane’s latest book (Called to
Persevere: One Man’s Journey to Overcome Pain, Disease and Disappointment
with God) is NOW available at Amazon. For more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc or www.Called2Persevere.com.