When We Speak for Ourselves

“Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You have permission to speak for yourself.’ Then Paul [said]: ‘I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews… I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers…

‘I myself was convinced that I ought to [oppose] the name of Jesus… I not only locked up many of the saints in prison.., but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury I persecuted them…

‘In this connection I journeyed to Damascus… I saw on the way a light from heaven… I said, “Who are you, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting… I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and witness… so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, [and] receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

‘Therefore, O King Agrippa, I… declared… that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying… King Agrippa, do you believe? ‘” Acts 26:1-2,6,9-13,15-16,18-22,27

After trauma, imprisonment, and several hearings, Paul was brought before King Agrippa and his wife, the military tribunes, and prominent men of the city. With all the pomp and appearance of importance, they actually had no valid charges against him. Paul was allowed to speak for himself. (Acts 25:18-19,24-27)

Given the opportunity, Paul described who he had been, how Jesus saved him, and what He had called him to do. His testimony made clear the gospel of Christ in taking him from enemy to friend, from reprobate to repentant, blasphemer to anointed preacher. (Romans 5:10)

Every day we have chances to speak for ourselves. Whether we are asked specifically the reason for the hope we have, or are simply mingling in community conversation, God gives us a platform to talk about Him. We can spend time and words on ourselves and detract from Him, or tell how He works in our lives or helps us see differently. Outlining who we were, and how He has made a difference brings honor to His transforming power. People may not know what questions to ask, but we can pray for discernment to know what answers they need. (1 Peter 3:15)

Are we taking every opportunity God gives to speak for him? Do we retreat, or hide in the crowds, letting louder voices and worldviews reign supreme? Or will we make time with individuals, and zero in on biblical truths? Will we step forward, and boldly proclaim Christ the public arena? When we do not speak, others will. God has given us our mouth, and will fill it with good things when we’re willing to be His instrument. This day, how will we speak for ourselves, for Him? (Exodus 4:11-12; Psalm 81:10; Isaiah 50:4;

Father, may my words be few, but potent. Fill me with your love and truth, to be ready and courageous always to tell the glories of your gospel.

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