Monday, October 17, 2022

Make the Most of Your Time With Kings

 “God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike.
 – 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.

And just three and a half years before she died, 83-year-old Mother Teresa was invited to Washington D.C. to be the keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast. On February 5, 1994, Mother Teresa spoke to an audience of 4,000, which included some of the highest-level leaders in the United States, including President Bill Clinton. As the frail little Catholic nun stepped up to speak, her head didn’t even extend above the microphones mounted on the podium. Here is a small part of her impassioned message: “I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child.... Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

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.

Paul had 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 of Judea, Porcius Festus. And Governor Festus responded ... by asking Paul if he wanted to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there.

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).

God had promised Paul that he’d get a chance to share the Gospel in Rome, and Paul probably decided it was time to “get this show on the road.” The quickest way to get there would be to claim his right as a Roman citizen to have his case appealed to the highest court in the empire. So, Paul asked for his court case to be transferred to the Caesar himself, Emperor Nero.

In Acts 26, before Paul was transferred to Rome, he was given the opportunity to share his personal testimony with a lower-level ruler: King Agrippa. Paul spoke to the king respectfully, saying that he considered himself “fortunate to stand and offer my defense” before King Agrippa. Then, in a courtroom filled with powerful leaders, he shared his testimony: the story of his own persecution of Christians, his life-changing revelation on the Road to Damascus, and his mission to share the gospel of Jesus Christ from that day forward. And in verse 26, he pointed out that the king was familiar with both the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah and the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection. In front of everyone in the room—all the political, military leaders and religious leaders—Paul asked the king a question that could lead to him embracing the truth that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the living God: “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do” (v. 27).

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 Damascus and how it changed his life forever. And King Agrippa COULD have had his own Road to Damascus experience right then and there. But foolishly, King Agrippa squandered his God-given opportunity. He chose not to believe, not to repent and not to submit to God’s will for his life. What a tragedy!

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you are being offered your own Road to Damascus moment. You have the God-given opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ, turn from your sin and submit to God’s will for your life. The question is, are you going to respond like Paul or like Agrippa? Will you take hold of this opportunity, or will you squander it? 

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 or

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