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Short time or long

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Paul replied, ‘Short time or long – I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains’ (Acts 26:29).

The post Short time or long appeared first on Lutheran Church of Australia.

by Marlene Cooper

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Paul replied, ‘Short time or long – I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains’ (Acts 26:29).

Read Acts 26:19–29

Paul never missed an opportunity to testify to the faithfulness of God and the power of Christ in his life. In prison with serious charges against him, he was still ready to share the good news with ‘small and great alike’ (verse 22), among his own people and those of the Gentile world beyond. When called before the Jewish king Agrippa and the Roman governor Festus to give an account of himself, he grasped the chance to tell of God’s saving help for all in Jesus Christ.

This ardent testimony was bound to evoke a response, one way or the other. First, the governor shouts, ‘Paul, you’re mad! Out of your mind with all your learning!’ Then when Paul appeals to King Agrippa, the evasion is complete: ‘In such a short time, you think you can persuade me to become a Christian?!’ Not ready to receive the testimony, both fended off, unable to hear more.

Many of us pray for loved ones to hear and receive the gospel and come to Christ for his mercy and rescue. You may have shared your faith with someone who was not ready to receive the good news message. Perhaps you wonder whether your prayer or your testimony will ever bear fruit. Today Paul encourages us as he looks ahead in time to the church and its mission in our time, to ‘all who are listening to me today’. ‘Short time or long,’ he says, ‘however long it takes, I keep praying that you will know Christ as I do, living in his promise and power, his grace and peace’.

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A seed can hide for a long time in the ground. Though we look for it, we may not see it sprouting and growing. But God is faithful. His mission in Christ continues today through the prayer and testimony of believers just as it did in Paul’s day. We pray on and tell the story again in hope. God is listening, and as Paul reminds us elsewhere, he is able to do all and far more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20), short time or long!

Following you, dear Lord Jesus, we entrust our prayer and testimony for those you love into your gracious keeping. Stir up our faith in your promises and increase our zeal for your kingdom, coming among us by your grace again today. Amen.


The post Short time or long appeared first on Lutheran Church of Australia.

Source: Lutheran Church of Australia https://www.lca.org.au/short-time-or-long/

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