“So Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You have permission to speak for yourself.’ Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense” – Acts 26:1 (ESV)
I’ve been reading through Acts 26 the last couple of days and have been thinking about what’s happening in this passage. Paul is making his defense before King Agrippa and goes into detail about his life before and after his conversion. To put it mildly, Paul was not someone who shrugged his shoulders about Christianity before his conversion – he was a fierce opponent of it. And he was on his way to make more trouble while traveling on the road to Damascus, until he was of course stopped in his tracks by the Lord Jesus. Acts 26 is an account of Paul’s testimony before a secular audience, and his words appeared to be quite convincing to those who heard him (verses 28 and 31).
My simple take on this is that we should always have our testimony in mind and prepared for others’ sake. We may not be called to appear before a King Agrippa, but we are always appearing before friends, family, co-workers, and strangers. We should speak with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15), and be aware that our actions will speak volumes.
A reminder from Paul today to always be ready.