“To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”-Acts 26:18 (English Standard Version)
We have here a very interesting passage of scripture. One in which hopefully we can all relate to. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.-Acts 26:2. That was the Apostle Paul’s plea to King Agrippa who gave him permission to speak and defend himself against all the accusations of the Jews. What was the accusation and why was he on trial? “Because of my hope in the promise made by God to our Fathers,” says Paul. -Acts 26:6
First, he defends himself by reminding them of his past. Paul was a Jew and he belonged to one of strictest parties of Judaism being a Pharisee and he was convinced that he ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. He says, “And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.-Acts 26:9-11.
Yet, Praise the Lord! For then Paul testified about his conversion. For he heard a voice on the road to Damascus, “Why are you persecuting me?” Paul says that he asked, “Who are you, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, “to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you.” -Acts 26:15-16
What a Savior! How merciful and gracious! For we aren’t saved by our own strength, family lineage, education or wisdom but we are saved by the power of God and His alone. Paul said on another occasion to his understudy Timothy that “the saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. -1 Timothy 1:11 Do you believe? Would you like to see your life changed for the better?
I’m not talking about material things, but I’m talking about the Spiritual. You were made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) Fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14) And it’s not about who you were but it’s about who you are becoming that God is most interested in. If we will allow him, God wants to mold us into the image of his son Jesus Christ who loved you and gave his life for you. For the Bible says, “And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.-2 Corinthians 3:18 You can make progress but it is a process.
Oh! The Believer may possess an intellectual knowledge of Christ and salvation, yet prayerlessness, failure to attend church consistently and carnality all indicate a failure to surrender to Christ totally. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that one is changed inwardly—not sincere educated progressions wrought by human strength or self-will.
If you have not already, why don’t you try giving Christ first place in your life? I assure you friend, that by the willingness of your obedience to him, by his power, you will fulfill his purpose for your life which is the best purpose! Amen.
Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.
Learn more about Jason M. Alexandre here.