Acts 26 Lesson

Living with purpose

The average life expectancy in the world today is just over 72 years of age. This equates to approximately 26,000 days, or 624,000 hours that the average person will live. Approximately 1/3 of those hours will be spent sleeping. That leaves roughly 418,000 waking hours in the average lifespan of a person.

The questions that has been plaguing man since the beginning of time are:

  • “Why are we here?”
  • “What are we supposed to do with our 418,000 waking hours?”
  • “What is our purpose?”

One can spend a lifetime thinking about these questions. However, as Christians, we do not need to ponder such things. The answers are all found in the Bible.

The Apostle Paul found out what his purpose was on the road to Damascus. He retells the story in Acts 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 was important:

“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 of this life-changing encounter in Acts 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 listened to Jesus, and 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!

(For more on the conversion of Paul, click the link below)

Virtual Bible Study's Discussion Forum on the Conversion of Paul

We may not hear spoken words from Jesus like Paul did, but we will hear from Jesus if we choose to listen. The Bible is the same today as it was yesterday, and as it will be tomorrow.

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 read God’s Word and look for purpose and instruction, God will speak to us. Two of the most famous scriptures that speak about the purpose our Creator has for us 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. Every day, every minute, every year. The three things are:

  1. Fear God.
  2. Keep His commandments.
  3. Share the Gospel.

God tells us clearly WHAT to do. It is up to us to determine HOW to do it. With God’s help, and the help of the Holy Spirit, we can all live meaningful and purposeful lives.

Thank you for studying with us today!  Please join us again tomorrow as we look at Acts 27.  The title for our forum discussion will be, “Paul’s great example.”  May God’s blessings be upon you until then.  Amen

Comments

Michael

Why do I have the hope that I do?

Because of what I have read (in the Bible), and what I have seen.

God is real. I believe in God and His Son Jesus.

I was baptized into Christ for the remission of my sins.

I believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

And because of this, and by God's grace, I have hope that I am saved and will be in eternity with God and Jesus and my brothers and sisters.

Reply
John

Because somebody took the time to share the Gospel with me. I tested what I was reading, and found it to be the inspired word of God. That gives me hope to someday be with God and Jesus in heaven.

Reply
Pat Dermody
John

As you quoted from Matthew 28 in your comments on today’s reading,God is with us until “the end of age”. So even in dark times we must quietly remind ourselves that God is with us and Romans8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?

Reply