Acts 26:16-23: Eye-opener.
“16 “Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 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.” 19 ‘So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. 21 That is why some Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. 22 But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen – 23 that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.’NIV UK
Paul’s ministry was supernaturally empowered.
God never calls without also equipping. It is good for us that it should be so, otherwise we would never get the job done.
This was Paul’s primary assignment:
‘’…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.’’
Paul’s mission would require miraculous power. He had to go and preach, but if God was not at work through him, no lives would ever be changed.
In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul presents the big problem for all who preach Jesus Christ as Lord: ’The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.’’ As he goes on to say, it takes God shining His light in these darkened hearts to give ‘’…the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ’’ (2 Corinthians 4:6).
So how important it was for Paul to be able to say:
‘’But I have had God’s help to this very day…’’ (22).
Paul’s ministry was also Scripturally based.
He argued that, like his opponents, he fully believed the Old Testament. The essential facts about Jesus were in there all along – for those who had eyes to see (22, 23).
Paul’s ministry was Sovereignly directed.
‘We must not disobey the heavenly visions that visit us. When Paul in his dream beheld the beckoning Macedonian, he made a straight course for Europe. Sometimes, in obeying, the first appearances are discouraging, as when the missionaries on landing at Philippi met only a few women beside the little river, but the final results will justify the first stepping-out of faith.’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional commentary’, p.500.
PRAYER: Please help me, dear Lord, to energetically pursue my calling, trusting fully in your power to bring about the changes I could never make happen.