By: Dana Parrish
Posted: September 22, 2016
Category: Daily Devotional
“Suddenly, Festus shouted, “Paul, you are insane Too much study had made you crazy!” But Paul replied,” I am not insane, Most Excellent Festus. What I am saying is the sober truth. And King Agrippa knows about these things. I speak boldly, for I am sure these events are all familiar to him, for they were not done in a corner! King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do-“ Agrippa interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?” Paul replied,” Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.” Acts 26:24-29
Even as Paul was chained and imprisoned his greatest desire was to take the Word of God to all. He still prayed each day that everyone he met would become a follower of Jesus Christ. He was standing in front of a room full of people that at the very least wanted him put in prison. Still his prayer was they would all receive the Holy Spirit and be changed. “I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God- and prove they have changed by the good things they do.” Acts 26:20. Isn’t that profound and so beautiful? Even in the midst of persecution he still prayed for these people that wanted him dead. That is something that can only be done by the work of the Holy Spirit inside of us. We can’t do these things on our own. Paul preached this good news first because Jesus told him to. Second, he preached this because the Holy Spirit inside of him caused change in his hardened heart. This should our daily prayer as well. It is God’s will that we take His word to all people not just the people we think deserve to hear the Good News. Even those who judge us, gossip about us and hurt us deeply. We are to pray for those people as well as those who lift us up in the body of Christ. Let us be like Paul and not let anything get in the way of spreading Good News that is Jesus Christ. May we boldly speak His truth without fear of the consequences even if that is rejection or death.
Gracious Heavenly Father, help me to spread your word to all people. Help me to pray for those people who hurt me and lift them up to you. Help me to see them through your eyes not my own. I pray that like Paul, even in the midst of persecution that I would pray for those people. I pray that it is the desire of my heart to share Your good news with all people not just people who are kind to me. I pray that is the desire of my heart to literally put others before myself. I pray that I am not so consumed with my own happiness that I forget my true purpose here on earth as your servant and your follower. In Jesus Name, Amen.