Monday, February 20, 2023

Real Faith

 Tuesday, February 20, 2023

 But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.    Acts 26:16-18

Real Faith


An Authentic Christian Life is vital to evangelism. This is not becoming a Christian 
clone choosing to walk like others in a form of religion.

Authentic Christianity involves being who you are as a unique creation of God, not practicing a ritualistic religion. It is not going through the motions and checking all the boxes to look religious. It is not even being at church every time the doors are open, and the lights are on. An authentic Christian life is a life that displays the Fruit of the Spirit, born of a relationship with God.

When we live authentically in front of the world, they see our faith in action, transparently displayed. This sets us up to be ready to take any opportunity we are given along the way to share the gospel with others. 

Verse 16 in the passage above in The Message translation says I’ve handpicked you to be a servant and witness to what’s happened today, and to what I am going to show you. Paul had just met Jesus on the road to Damascus, and God told him that he was going to use his experience and testimony to share the gospel. God was sending Paul out on a mission, just the way He sends us out to share His story of redeeming love.

God takes the circumstances of our lives and turns them into opportunities for evangelism. God gave Paul a wild story to share but God knew that Paul would probably never come to know Him without that kind of experience. He was a hard case as he had been persecuting and even killing Christians. But God blinded him – literally – to get his attention. God used Paul’s difficult circumstance for His glory. Someone somewhere needs to hear how God changed your life and how He was with you through the hard times. 

Paul regained his sight after three days and soon had the opportunity to share his story with King Agrippa, King of the Jews.  When God told Paul to whom I am sending you, God was telling him to Go and Tell.

When God said that Paul probably did not imagine he would be witnessing to the whole Jewish Sanhedrin, while he was under arrest for sharing the Gospel. I bet that is not how Paul would have planned it, but at the time he got to give his testimony to the whole Jewish Sanhedrin. Just like Jesus said he would -- they will arrest you and this will be a time for testimony.

There was a plot against Paul’s life, and so he was moved to Caesarea on the coast giving him the chance to share his testimony to Felix the Roman Governor. After two years in prison in Caesarea, the new Roman Governor Festus puts Paul before King Agrippa so they can hear what he has to say. So, the whole Jewish legal counsel, and three of the highest political officials in Palestine (Felix, Festus, Agrippa) all hear the gospel because Paul was arrested and imprisoned on false charges. 

Are you living in some hard circumstances today that feel like nothing good could ever come out of it? God can use anything, and He will do it in ways we cannot ask, seek, imagine, or fathom. We can be sure that others are watching to see how we handle it. They are watching to see if the faith we profess has an influence on the way we handle the hard times. 

Crises bring attention to our lives and provide opportunity for witness 
that is not present when are lives are free of trouble.

Our faith can be seen in our living expectantly under the providence of a sovereign God. We can live expectantly and be ready to move every time God gives us the signal, and that is a life lived with purpose in every step. 

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