It is Luke “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14) who travelled with Paul in the later years of his preaching. It is evident he was with Paul when he returned to Jerusalem and was arrested (Acts 21:17). The detailed account is therefore an eyewitness account, and Luke shows himself to be a diligent historian.

Paul gave three fascinating speeches in his defense in which he stresses how his life was turned around on the road to Damascus, causing him to preach the message of Jesus “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light … that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (26:18). Genuine faith brings us into a position of holiness (see Hebrews 12:14).

That brilliant light pierced the darkness in the world, indeed only 300 years later Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. However, history shows how the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles had become corrupted by that time. Nevertheless, God’s word endures in written form, and now brings light into the minds of those who will receive its message and respond to what they read. Paul is an outstanding example for us to follow. We noted today how Paul said to King Agrippa, “to this day I have had the help that comes from God” (verse 22) and his letters and Luke’s writings illustrate this.

Paul is ready to appeal to everyone, great and small, as to what they believe about what they think about the meaning of their lives. He says to the king, “do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe” (verse 27), to which the king responds, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”

Maybe some have too much time! Many are not sufficiently conscious of “the help that comes from God” and fail to read the scriptures daily and allow God’s word to live in their hearts and minds. We know it is only when we look back on the varied pathways of life that one fully realizes the help that has come from God. Do you want that help? Do you need that help? Can you sense that help in the pathways of your life?