“Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, 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 both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”

And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.”

Acts 26:19–25 ESV Read More

Once Paul told about the heavenly vision he had, he talks about how his lifestyle changed because of what he saw.

This is an excellent way for any of us to tell our story about meeting Jesus.

  • Here is the kind of person I was and what I thought.
  • Here is the tipping point I crossed and believed that Jesus died for my sins.
  • Here is my reasonable response and the change in my thinking and/or my way of life.

When you think about it like that, it seems perfectly reasonable.

Some of us went from intense physical expressions of anger to becoming very peaceful. Some of us went from lusty detached lifestyles to faithfulness and commitment.

Jesus has proclaimed “light,” Paul says. That is such a good way to put it once you realize you’re forgiven and out of it. The ways in which we used to live, living according to our flesh and our own ways without consideration of God, were dark and unenlightened. They were purposeless and selfish, even if they may have appeared noble.

But now, through the grace of God, we are empowered and called to live lives turned toward God. We are called to repent from the works of darkness that were coming to no good end.

As Paul explains this, Festus can’t disagree. But he can disagree with Paul’s motivation. He can deny that some vision came to him out of the sky, and that’s what he’ll deny.

It’s a bummer when people get hung up on one part and deny all of the obvious good that is coming from it. I have a friend who would ask people to just take three Bible verses, in context, and try to live by them. They could even choose the verses themselves.

His hope was that while looking for 3 verses out of the Bible, they would see the obvious good of all of it and come to faith in the Lord.

The more we look into the real, true Jesus, the more reasonable it is for us to live for him. We might look like we’re out of our minds, but we’ve never been more true to our created and saved reality than when we act on our fullness of the Holy Spirit.

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