Acts 26 Lesson

A Purpose Driven Life


As humans, we have long been asking ourselves two questions:

  1. “Why am I here?”
  2. “What am I supposed to do with my life?”  

The average life expectancy in the world today is just over 72 years of age.   This equates to 26,000 days or 624,000 hours that the average person will live.   Approximately one-third of those hours will be spent sleeping.   That leaves roughly 418,000 waking hours in the average lifespan of a person. 


One can spend a lifetime thinking about these two questions.   However, as Christians, we do not need to waste our time wondering why we are here, or what we should be doing. The answers to these questions are provided in the Bible for all to read!


The Apostle Paul found out what his purpose in life was on the road to Damascus.   He retells the story in Acts Chapter 26.   For our study today, we will divide Paul’s life into two categories:

  1. His life before the road to Damascus,
  2. His life after the road to Damascus.  

Before Jesus spoke to Paul on the road to Damascus, Paul had this to say about what he thought his purpose in life was:

  • “So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them. And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.” – Acts 26:9-11.

However, everything changed for Paul on the road to Damascus.   Jesus came to Paul and communicated to him what he was to do.   Luke writes about this life-changing encounter in Acts Chapter 9:

  • As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” – Acts 9:3-6.


Paul went on to become one of the most important people in the history of the world.   He listened to Jesus and followed His commands.   That is exactly what we are to do!

We may not hear spoken words directly from Jesus as Paul did, but we will hear from Jesus if we choose to listen and study our Bibles.   The Bible is the same today as it was yesterday, and as it will be tomorrow.  Together with the Holy Spirit, the Bible is our source for determining right from wrong. It is our moral compass, our true north.    

The Hebrew writer said:

  • “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12.


When we study God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we learn that our purpose in life is to do two things:

  1. Glorify God,
  2. Serve others.

God has a plan for each of us, just as the prophet Jeremiah wrote:

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11.

There are many scriptures in the Bible that talk about how we are to live our lives. Two of the most famous are listed below:

  1. “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13,  
  2. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.   Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Mathew 28:18-20.

As Christians, we can wake up every morning with a sense of purpose, knowing what God wants us to do with our lives.   With God’s help and the help of the Holy Spirit, we can all live meaningful and purposeful lives.  

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture taken from Paul’s second letter to Timothy. These are the same words that we hope to be able to say when our time on earth is up.

  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” - 2 Timothy 4:7-8.


Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?


Click To View The Discussion
Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?