Most of us measure success by whether or not we achieved a desired outcome. Success means achievement. Success therefore, is rooted in our ability to control processes and circumstances to achieve the outcomes we want. But as we learn in Acts, for those who follow Jesus, success is sometimes reached in unexpected ways, by surrendering to circumstances outside of our control. Success is sometimes found in undesired circumstances and outcomes. This week we are going to look at how Paul found success when he surrendered to unfortunate circumstances and followed Jesus to an outcome that was incredibly successful but far outside his control.
‘”Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 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.” 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: For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 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. 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. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.” ‘ Acts 26:19-29
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