After Christ

13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus. 14 Since they were spending many days there, Festus discussed Paul’s case with the king. He said: “There is a man here whom Felix left as a prisoner. 15 When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and asked that he be condemned.

16 “I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over anyone before they have faced their accusers and have had an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges. 17 When they came here with me, I did not delay the case, but convened the court the next day and ordered the man to be brought in. 18 When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. 19 Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. 20 I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges. 21 But when Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”

22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.”

He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.” Acts 25:13-22

When you have a story, people want to hear it. Paul intrigued the Roman leaders, and he infuriated the Jewish leaders. But they both listened to him (and came away with very different accounts).

Most of us do not have Paul’s heinous and violent story to tell, but we do have his “After Christ” story. Paul was making history with each leader he met, and he was faithful to tell each of the living hope he now had. We’re reading what Paul did because it was an important part of the early Church. He was doing exactly what God called him to do, and none of us would want to try to fill his shoes. Nor should we try. Paul had unique revelations, giftings, and calling on his life.

As we all do.

It’s often a good exercise to sit down and make an “audit” of our giftings and calling. Are we doing what we know God wants us to do with our gifts and talents? If not, how have we strayed? What would it take to get us back on track?

Incidentally, finding God’s specific will for your life is not as easy as Bible teachers and preachers would have you believe. His general will for you is clear: abstain from sin, draw close to Him, love your neighbor, and a few more basic actions.

But where to go and what to do with your life? It’s as subjective as each individual is.

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