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Daily Devotional

November 10

ALMOST THOU PERSUADEST ME TO BE A CHRISTIAN

by Henry T. Vriesen

Acts 25–26

The next day, king Agrippa and his sister Bernice entered the judgment hall. And Paul was brought in. “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself; I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews.”

“My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the straitest sect of our religion I lived as a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come … Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth … Many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them … Whereupon as I went to Damascus … at midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven … and I heard a voice … Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise … for I have appeared unto thee to make thee a minister and witness … of these things … delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles … to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light … that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa,

I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision: but showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem … and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God … For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue to this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come; that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.”

Paul had spoken with much eloquence, so Festus said to Paul, “Thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad … but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. For the king knoweth of these things … king Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.” Agrippa replied “Paul, almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”

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