Acts 25-28- Happy New Year!!!

I hope you enjoyed celebrating Christ's birth and ringing in the New Year! I also hope that the break didn't throw you off from the good habit of reading the Bible every day.  Maybe you jumped to other parts of the Bible during the break like I did.  I ventured into Proverbs and was inspired to pray for wisdom again!!  I can always use more of God's wisdom, that's for sure!!

So this week we read only three chapters.  I was struck by what Jesus said to Paul, which I feel can be applied to all Christians. "I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." (Acts 26:17b-18)

What a powerful verse!! If Christians truly believed that all are under the power of Satan, wouldn't we all want to play a role in turning our loved ones to God so that they may have a place among those who are sanctified? Yes!!

Well, over the break, I was with a friend who accused me of sharing the gospel "too early" with someone we both know. (What a downer to my enthusiasm of trying to turn one to God! 😝)
I was accused of not having "more" of a relationship with the person (mind you, I know the person well, this is not an acquaintance!). Yet, I should have had "more of a relationship with her before sharing according to this friend.  In addition, I was accused of having too much urgency in my approach.  Well, I was taken aback with these accusations even if I agreed they were true. I mulled over this conversation for a few days until I got to Friday's reading. Praise God I got back to my daily reading plan!!!
I was so encouraged (as always is the case when I read God's word) when I read Paul's response to King Agrippa's question, "Do you think that is such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?" (26:28). Paul is quicker on his feet than I am!  I loved his quick response!!
"Short time or long- I pray that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains." (26:29)  Paul wanted everyone around him to have forgiveness of their sins and a place among the sanctified! Relationships don't need to get to a certain point before one can share truth.

Reading Paul's story made me feel like God was talking to me through his word. He used that verse to ease my soul.  I do not need to feel like I made a mistake in sharing truth with this person, "too early". Truth can and should be shared, in love, at every opportunity!

God encouraged me again today with the continued story of Paul.  I got a reminder that even if truth is laid out perfectly and precisely, people will still reject it.  "He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus.  Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe." (28:23-24).
I am only responsible for sharing, it's up to the other as to how they will respond to what they hear.
Thanks for the reminder, God!!

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