Readiness to respond
“‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked. “And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’ Acts 26:15-18 From the text, Paul was standing before the king and governor of Rome. When he spoke to them and the dignitaries who were there, he did not speak about his defense but took the opportunity to share the gospel, the message of salvation. He began by recounting his encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ on his way to Damascus. Before he surrendered his life to Christ, he was himself an ardent persecutor of those who turned to Christ for salvation. He was misguided for he thought that the only way to be righteous before God was to keep the law. Those who will seek righteousness apart from the law will be persecuted. Although God knew what He wanted for Paul, He waited to reveal it to him until He gained his attention and that he realized his need of Him. Even before we were born, God already knew what He wanted to do with our life (see Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 139:13). The Lord already knew Paul and had a specific assignment for him. But He only revealed this assignment after Paul’s conversion (Acts 9:15). The Lord Jesus Christ does not come to us so we can discover what we would like to accomplish for Him. Just like Paul, after he came to know Christ as Lord and Savior, God revealed to him His activities and called him to get involved. This is where we have to listen and obey. He does not communicate His will to us through His word so we could have warm feelings about the Scripture for the day. Also, it is not just about gaining information or biblical knowledge but He is after our response so we could join Him in what He is doing. Every time you open God’s word, pray and anticipate that He will talk to you. Prepare your heart to respond for He might have something for you that day that can bless you as well as those you will meet that He planned ahead for you to influence with your life.
Noel De Guzman