This week in small group we went through Acts 24-26 which covers Paul's trail and defense to Felix, Festus, and King Agrippa. I learned a couple things from these passages.
Felix was known as being a bit of tyrant, killing any insurections, and he stole his wife from another man. Soon after Paul began his defense to Felix, Felix cuts him off and says, we will have to postpone the trial. This seems odd as the trial had only just begun, but when Paul begins talking about how he strives to live a life of good conscience between God and man, and stating exactly what he is really on trial for here (the resurection of the dead), Felix cuts him off. Why would he do this? Perhaps it was because it hit Felix a little close to home, it was a little to personal. I realized that this happens alot when you begin to make things personal when talking to people about Jesus and the church. Many people are willing to jump on the 'debate train' about the doctrine or principles of the gospel, but when it gets personal they get off. And I think all to often we stop there, feeling good that at least we opened the door, and had that conversation with them. And that's true! And good! But here's what I learned, its important not to stop there, and to continue to have conversations, because when the gospel gets personal that is where it becomes most effective. That is when it changes lives! And that is what is motivating to me about sharing it in the first place.
The other thing I learned was in Paul's defense to King Agrippa in Ch 26. Paul very clearly lays out his testimony of how he has lived his life, how he came to know Jesus, and how his life has been changed after that. He has main bullet points of each section, a resume of his story, if you will. This made me realize that I need to be more thorough and deliberate about knowing and telling my story, the whole story, and how my life has been changed. Because that is the whole point of telling your story, to connect with people, and hopefully draw them toward Jesus.