v 15. (Ananias said to Paul) ‘For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard.’
Is this an invitation or a command for you?
Right from the beginning of his life as a Christian, Paul had been aware of God’s plan for him to tell others about following Jesus. It was not something he just drifted into, or got himself trained to do, it was a determining part of his understanding of life as God wanted it to be for him. Faith and forgiveness had touched his life so deeply that telling others about that shaped his character and motivated everything he did.
It is worth asking ourselves what it is that motivates us. We are given choices every day, some of them very mundane and trivial, but others can have a major impact on the way we respond to other people, or use our time. There will be occasions when sheer selfishness determines the shape of our day – the ‘I want … ‘ that speaks of personal pleasure at any cost. A philosophy of seeking this kind of pleasure and doing what makes ‘me’ feel happy is common; so lifestyle puts me at the centre and allows the ‘me’ to plan the day motivated by only my needs and wants. Paul however felt this very strong obligation, based on his experience of knowing Jesus, to announce the Gospel to all nations. This motivated and shaped his experience of life.
God does not call us all to that same pattern of life, but it is important to check on our motivations. To what extent are we selfish or intent on making a good impression on others? Is it money or status-seeking that shapes our use of time and personal resources? Are we motivated by the need to do good for others and be a blessing to them?
What place do we give to following Jesus and announcing or being good news to those around us?