READING: Psalms 37-39, Acts 26
“I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am”
I can only imagine the scene of Paul telling his story to King Agrippa, with the apostle missionary passionately speaking of how Christ changed his life. The zealot for Judaism became a zealot for Jesus. The persecutor became a preacher. The murderer became a missionary. He who had taken life was given eternal life. How could he not speak of Jesus to any person who gave him opportunity, including the king? No one intimidates the one who is just itching to talk about the Redeemer!
Though there is some debate about Agrippa’s response to Paul, there is no debate about Paul’s primary desire for everyone: “I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains” (Acts 26:29). In my mind, I see Paul turning to the crowd and imploring all of them. He wanted Agrippa to be saved. He wanted everyone in the crowd to be saved. He wanted them to know Jesus like he knew Him. He wanted them to be like him – passionate, committed, faithful, evangelistic – but without the chains.
Paul’s words push me at several places. First, am I so passionately in love with Christ that I genuinely want everyone else to know Him like I do? I can say “yes” with my words, but this is one question that can be answered only by my actions. If my heart resonates with Paul’s desire, I will tell others about Jesus. In fact, I will tell them whether or not I wear chains like Paul did.
Second, am I praying for someone to get the gospel to government leaders? I made a commitment to pray regularly for Donald Trump when he became president, but I have not prayed enough for him to know Jesus. I will likely never have the opportunity to speak directly to him, but somebody does. Some believer will have an open door to the president, and I want to be praying toward that end.
Finally, am I willing to say to others in general, “I would to God that you become such as I am”? Here, my question is broader than an evangelistic one; it is about my life in general. Am I so walking with God that I could humbly say with Paul both, “I would that you become such as I am” and “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1)?
I want to live in such a way that those who lives I touch will turn to Christ and give themselves fully to Him.
- On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as the highest), rate your passion for Jesus.
- Evaluate your passion in light of your evangelistic efforts. How strongly do you want others to know Jesus?
PRAYER: “God, break my heart over lost people, from the poorest beggar to the richest king.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Psalms 40-42, Acts 27:1-26