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Hello my name is Jerral Campfield and this web site is dedicated to Moral Recognition Therapy using Biblical principles. Please come back often to join me in understanding Gods hands are outstretched still to forgive.

Acts 26  E-mail
Contributed by Jerral Campfield   
Friday, 24 March 2017

Here we are seeing Paul on the bench getting what he wanted finally in 
Acts 26New King James Version (NKJV)
26 1Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.” What a relief to know he has a hearing as Agrippa is asking him to tell what brings him here.
So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself: “I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently. Notice he comes to Agrippa showing his gratitude for letting him speak, he is raising his hand as if to say, thanks King Agrippa for your giving me the opportunity to tell what I have been through and accused of as a Jew. Some one that was born into the Kingdom of God being a Jew. So, King I beg you to hear me out. What a request that took a lot of courage, for he was asking for time and He was allowed now to speak of the way, truth and life he was experiencing.
“My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know. Here he begins with what he went through as a child and was a blessing for he was created with a mind that excelled in what he was doing, having grown up in a Jewish home where he had a sharp mind dedicated to working at what his hands found to do. We are all individuals and it seems like still today we are products of what we were taught as children and He was taught the strictest of religions as the country was ruled by Rome. So he grew up wanting to be the best he could possibly be, as he worked at becoming successful. He was taught by the smartest of teachers,  Gamaliel one of the finest and smartest of the Pharisees.
 They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. I lived as a Pharisee, one devoted to being the best he could be. He was not just a fishermen like the Lord called into minister. He did not say this, but it was implied as he was a part of the Pharisees better than anyone else and they knew it. Fair I see, really only interested in what they wanted to see happen and even forced it upon others by wanting to get rid of all other religious forces. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. Now here I am being judged for having my hope in God and not a religion or government. Now I have a promise that if I abide in Him I will be able to produce good fruit that benefits all regardless of where they are born.To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving Godnight and day, hope to attain. Here he is showing that he was a part of one of the twelve tribes and doing all he could to make sure he was working to attain to what God expected of Him, rather than what the king wanted him to be.
 For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. King Agrippa that is the reason people are accusing me of being against you. I have my hope in God for He is the one that allowed be to regain my sight so I now can and will do what I can’t, He can. Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead? You know King Agrippa God raised Himself and the dead and can raise up a new life anywhere. 
“Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Here I was caught up with doing just the opposite, for I was zealous in making sure the dead stayed dead. But I had an experience as I was headed with a letter from the authorities to round up and persecute the followers of Christ. 10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Here I did this in Jerusalem, where the saints where gathered to take them captive and even put to death like Stephen which I witnessed with glee. 11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities. Here he is gloating over how bad he was, even making them blaspheme. This reminds me of what we are seeing with the Brotherhood that makes up ISIS, as they are out to destroy all works of God. It is strange to me how history repeats itself so often. Lord help us to learn when we forsake you, we suffer the consequences. Help us to make sure we stay connected to the vine, so we can bear good fruit like John 15 tells us to. 
Paul Recounts His Conversion
12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. Here Paul really get into what happen to him, as he continues telling about his conversion. Here he is under authority of the chief priest and it is high noon a light shined, from heaven brighter than anything I have ever seen and even those with me saw it.

  14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? What a scare and we all fell to the ground and I heard a voice. Notice the word I. This is how the Lord deals with us as people. You are important, you are one on a kind and thank the Lord for a personal relationship with the Lord. Paul here was addressed as Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me. The voice got his attention at noon day and then it goes on. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ What a statement, for he knew what it was like to know what a goads was used for, as animals had to have a goad to get them to pay attention and not kick a goad, or they would be hurting themselves. How many times has our sins found us out. The wages of sin is going to cause suffering and even pain of death to what is right. 15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ This is a question we all need to ask before we even get into trouble, for it is not who you know, it is how will you know them and God created us all, so knows what we all need. And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  When we understand who Jesus is we want to let Him have His way in our lives, so we can benefit from the many gifts he has in store for us. How many times have we failed to understand who the Lord is and feel ashamed or, feel powerless  addicted to evils wrong, if so, let God speak to you and give you peace about what you're experiencing, so you do not have to be laid down with something you can’t handle. Lord help us to take our burdens to You for You care for us and give us life abundantly and free, as I rest in Your love.
16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. Here is the reason Saul was instrumental in seeing the Church grow wherever he went, for God said, rise and when you rise you're standing on your feet. Everyone has to remember it is your life and God wants us to see the direction we need to go in with the skills and talents He has given to each of us to find freedom in. We are a part of the Body of Christ and our bodies to not argue with one another who is the most important, so help us to relax in the position we may find ourselves. For we are ambassadors for Christ and that is working for Him and not ourselves.
  17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now[a] send you,18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Deliverance is ours as we stay connected to the Lord and he will deliver us from the fear of people regardless of race or color, for God created us all good. To do good is very difficult, for we are born blind to the truth, as we are all born sinners. God wants us to see how terrible it is to miss the mark and we need to keep on practicing our salvation, until we really repent and turn to the Lords way, truth and life and hit the mark, so we can relax until the next problem arises. God wants us to be winners and that takes commitment and discipline following the Lord, not our lust. Thank the Lord we need to ask for forgiveness of or sins, so we are able to become better and not bitter and the world around us become better. Satan is a force that addicts and captivates many, for sin is fun for a time. Lord help us to see the consequence of what sin does to our body, for it certainly paralyzes what is good. God wants us all to have in inheritance as we abide in Him and that occurs when we are dead and given a reward in heaven. An inheritance is given by God and a wage is given by Satan and that is hell, forever when one dies. Our inheritance is ours when we know the power of Sanctification. Saul here was washed up and took upon himself a new nature, one that was cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. It is like soap to our bodies, it has to be applied and the Lord is the one that cleanses us as we accept what He sacrificed on the cross.
Paul’s Post-Conversion Life
19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. Here Paul was very enlightened as he used King Agrippas name again, to make the point he was not being disobedient or disrespectful, but since my experience I declared this to the city I was going to, too persecute Christian in, was now the first city I preached the Gospel to. Then I went to Jerusalem the birth of my Lord and His death and resurrection, then to all of Judea including the Gentiles, I said to them all, repent and turn to God and show the works befitting of a Christian. This was certainly good news for all to hear. It is amazing to me that in Scripture it was as people were committed to doing good works the Lord blesses and keeps then sheltered from all harm.
21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. This should of made people thankful for what God was doing in their mist, but instead people got mad and wanted to lock me up and even kill me.
22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” But King Agrippa, thank the Lord, He was always present to help me and I am standing in front of you knowing that. Moses, and the Prophets said this would happen. Even Christ Himself was put on a cross to die, but death could not hold Him, he arose the third day and appeared for the next 40 days to show He was alive. He wants to give us all life, for He is not a respecter of people.
Agrippa Parries Paul’s Challenge
24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself.
Much learning is driving you mad!” Here I am sure Paul was really caught up with the Spirit of God upon his life and getting more excited until Festus got very uncomfortable, for He was the one earlier that cause such an uproar. Paul your insane your bedside yourself, not making sense. This is still happening today people think we do not know what we are talking about when we share our story of Gods miracles in our lives. Yet it is the Christian world that still holds our world together, preventing us from destroying ourselves. Much learning has made you mad, what a lie. For it is accepting the truth of what is going on that we still need to accept today. We have more book knowledge and understanding than any time in history and it is easily broadcast around the world by our smart phones, yet we have very little wisdom, for wisdom comes from God so we can know the difference between good and bad.
Here Festus is very upset with the truth and let’s everyone know it.
25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. Here Paul says I am not mad, but speaking what I have experienced and no one can take our experience from us. That is the reason every child of the Lord has a testimony that is unique and no one can take it away. Truth and reason can never change, for it remains the same for everyone throughout the world all the time. God’s word cannot change, that is the reason anyone that comes to the Lord with a repentant heart, God hears them.  26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. Notice Paul gets back to address King Agrippa who he wanted to address with telling his story of redemption being changed for a persecutor to one persecuted. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” What a challenge he gave to King Agrippa, you know the prophets and believe and I know you believe and that is assuming before we know the facts. That is so easy to do as Christians, and we need to guard against, as no one knows the heart of a man or women except God.
28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian. This is the same words Pilate said to the Lord and people have said all down through history, for it gives them licenses to keep on doing what they are doing. Lord help us to be a persuader of letting the truth be known in our world today. We are seeing it takes a lot of effort to persuade people to walk and talk with the Lord for they enjoy following the beat of Satan for it is easy.
29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.” King Agrippa I wished you could experience what I have and everyone in this room can have what I have, for it will give you peace and goodwill for man and take away the hate for Gods goodness. I only regret these chains, for they prevent me from being able to walking, running for God. But yet I am free to tell my story of the Love of the Lord. 30 When he had said these things, the king stood up, as well as the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them;  Can’t you see the concern King Agrippa and others in authority had, as they all stand in reverence for what Paul said. 31 and when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.” Here they go aside and communicate about what they heard Paul say and come to the conclusion, he did not do anything worthy of the chains he had around him.
32 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” This had to be one of the most shocking statement ever spoken by a King if you had not appealed to Caesar you would be set free. It is amazing to me God gives us many time what we want and Paul was no exception, for he wanted to go before the highest leader of the Land Caesar. Lord help us to search our hearts, so we do not want what we want, but want what the Lord wants for us. We are in His hands and He can do whatever He wants, so let’s let God have his way in everything we do and say and even think, for God knows what is best for us as we abide in Him.e can do what everycas

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