Editor’s Note: Today’s AMI QT Devotional is written by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Acts 26:1-3 (NLT)
Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You may speak in your defense.” So Paul, gesturing with his hand, started his defense: 2 “I am fortunate, King Agrippa, that you are the one hearing my defense today against all these accusations made by the Jewish leaders, 3 for I know you are an expert on all Jewish customs and controversies. Now please listen to me patiently!
What if one day you were given an opportunity to share your own story to an unchurched friend? Or your testimony to your unbelieving relatives? Or perhaps your “defense” of your faith to the seeking co-worker? How do you begin your story? At what point do you acquaint your listener with God’s work of saving grace? How does your interaction conclude? How comfortable are you sharing your story? And does it tell how the good news transformed your life?
Here in chapter 26, Paul shares his story that must have been told time and time again during his ministry and missionary journeys. As Paul now stands before King Agrippa, he is given a chance to speak in defense of his gospel.
Time and time again, I’ve sat in Sunday services, retreats, small groups, and Starbucks listening to the testimonies of brothers and sisters. While everyone’s stories contain a different backdrop, an assortment of individuals and diverse stages of life, there is always a common thread in all of them: God is the main character they all encounter. There is a sense that God is the One who is writing and shaping the story.
In one sense, it’s the same story. It’s the story of God’s love for His children who finally acknowledge their need for a Savior. They finally encounter God and come to a place where they are followers of Jesus. But in another sense, the stories are all told through a variety of diverse experiences. Some are as dramatic as Paul’s conversion story (Acts 9)—others less dramatic and rather ordinary. Nevertheless, there is a testimony to be told. A testimony that tells of God’s love for us and how while we were still sinners, He saved us.
So what’s your story? What is the testimony you might share when given the chance when told, “You may speak”? In that moment, take a nice calming breath and say, “Now, please listen to me patiently!”
Lord, as I reflect on what You’ve done in my life, I am filled with gratitude for saving me and calling me Your child. Grant to me opportunities to share my testimonies to others, so that I can tell of your wonderful deeds in and through my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 41
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Peter 3:15-16: But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
Questions to Consider
1. What is the answer that you are to be prepared to give when asked?
2. What kind of attitude should you maintain as you give your answer?
3. What will result in your answer and your attitude?
1. Peter writes that one is to be prepared with a reason for their hope (1 Peter 1:3). Consider how your faith has brought hope.
2. The right attitude is “with gentleness and respect.” This comes from a good conscience which removes from us the fear of what other people may know about us, say against us, or do to us.
3. The results of such a defense are that those who slander believers will be put to shame.
If you’ve never written a testimony in your life, spend some time tonight writing one. See http://evangelism.intervarsity.org/how/conversation/30-minutes-shareable-testimony for some practical tips.