In today’s Bible reading, Paul delivers his defense to King Agrippa and Bernice. He tells his story of how he came to know the resurrected Jesus. He was a Jew’s Jew. He was a Pharisee’s Pharisee. And he persecuted those who embraced Jesus as the Messiah, even approving of the stoning of those who believed in Jesus.
Now, when I titled this post, I said that Paul apologizes to King Agrippa. This is a play on words. The Greek word behind the idea of giving a defense is the word from which we get “apology“. Peter uses the word in 1 Peter 3:15 where he encourages Believers to always be ready to give a reverent defense of our hope. The Greek word used here is the basis for apologetics, the branch of theology that provides proof for the Christian faith.
So to say that Paul apologized to King Agrippa, I don’t mean that Paul told the King, “I’m sorry.” Instead, Paul provided a defense, a testimony, for his faith. You can do that too. In fact, it would be very helpful to think a lot ahead of time about how you would go about giving your testimony.
How was your life before you came to know Jesus? What led up to taking up God’s offer of the great exchange? How have things changed since you made that life-changing decision?
Look back over today’s Bible reading. Notice how Paul crafted his testimony as I suggested in the previous paragraph. Get with a friend or relative and rehearse your testimony. Ask your “sparring partner” for suggestions on improving your testimony. I’m not saying you should change your story or lie about how you came to Christ. But what changes in the way you tell your story might make it more appealing to a different audience? For instance, Paul told his story several times in Acts. He didn’t say the exact same things each time he told it; he emphasized different things to different audiences. For instance, Paul knew that King Agrippa descended from Jewish ancestors. When he addressed the King, he brought that out. (Acts 26:26-27)
Practice giving your testimony to your Christian friends and family. When the time comes to tell unbelievers, you’ll find yourself well-prepared. Pray for encounters where you can tell other people about the most important decision of your life.