Thirty-Eight Day of Lent, Maundy Thursday

Acts 26

Somehow it seems fitting that 'God's Not Done with You' by Tauren Wells is playing in the background as I write this. In Acts 26, Paul speaks to King Agrippa and shares his faith and the logic, the truth, behind his beliefs. Paul is ready to share the Gospel to  anyone at any time. This should challenge us to be prepared to do the same.

While he shares about his conversion; he puts more emphasis on who he was before, a zealous persecutor of Christ's followers. He does not hesitate to tell of his work to      oppose Jesus Christ. He doesn't tell us how Christ changed his heart, soul, and mind to now obey him. We only know that he did follow what he was told. Here Paul focuses on Christ and what God's will is—both for the Jews and the Gentiles.

God had plans for Paul right from the beginning and used every detail of his life to his glory. The fact that he had the knowledge of Scripture, had been fervently against Christ, and had had an encounter with Christ that completely turned his world around should speak volumes to all who also had the same training and knowledge. He speaks boldly about his past, about his faith, about the facts, and he is not afraid to share his prayers for others. He is open and honest.

This chapter speaks to me about God's plan for our lives. God will use our past. It speaks to me about boldness—being ready to share my faith, my past, and why I  continue. I haven't always had the strength to stay focused on Christ like Paul. I've questioned God about his plans and told him point blank that he chose the wrong person. But at the same time, I have the hope, the joy, the knowledge that God isn't done with me. He is using my past and my experiences.

Like Paul, who chose to use the intensity of his resolve to persecute Christians to now share the Gospel and to bring others to know Christ; I can take my life—the good and the bad—and the intensity of emotions, including grief, to be used for God and his will in my life. It's his plan, not mine. When you receive that call from God, that swat upside the head or feel your heart grabbed so tightly you can't breathe, it's hard to stay rooted in the old, stubborn thoughts and ways; isn't it? Like Paul, we have to obey. We have to be bold. We have to be prepared.

Colleen Nahnychuk
Missionary, Argentina

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