Week of Monday, October 25 ­– Sunday, October 31
Bucket List – Man as a Chaplain

And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.” – Acts 26:28-29
Do you have a bucket list? If so, what is still left on it? If not, what would be on it if you had one? Maybe a trip to a country you’ve always wanted to visit, attending the concert of your favorite music artist, making some epic hike, bagging a big trophy, or driving a racecar? Maybe it is skydiving? As you might imagine, I made over 500 jumps from planes while in the Delta Force, so I can tell you that skydiving is not on my list, but I digress. Bucket lists are usually made up of grand adventures for the purpose of helping us remember that life doesn’t go on forever and we should “live like we’re dying”—as that old country song says. And let’s face it, men, none of us wants to get to the end of life with our predominant thought being, “I wish I had, but I never did.”

Believe it or not, it seems like the apostle Paul had a bucket list, too. Several years before the events in Acts 26, Paul knew his time left on earth was growing short and said, “I must go on to Rome!” (Acts 19:21, NLT). But he didn’t want to go there to cross off “float on the Tiber River” or “visit the Colosseum” on his bucket list. Paul wanted to go to Rome to do what God had called him to do. He wanted to preach the gospel. That’s why he is such a powerful model for us as Chaplains.

He ran into some trouble getting to Rome, though (Romans 1:13; Acts 27). When he did finally make it, he was in chains. But imprisonment can’t wreck a bucket list that has the sole purpose of living out God’s calling on one’s life. In fact, Paul’s chains actually provided unexpected opportunities to fulfill it. That’s because his motivation wasn’t really just visiting Rome; it was proclaiming the crucified and risen Christ.
So, no matter what happened, Paul lived like he was dying. He made the most of every opportunity—helping old friends, new friends, and even his captors come to know Jesus. Paul would endure his earthly chains if somehow his testimony could free other people from the chains of sin and unbelief that bound them. Truly, that was the only thing on his bucket list.

Is winning a lost person to faith in Christ on your list? Since every man has the role of Chaplain, it should be. The great thing about how Paul defended himself before Governor Festus and King Agrippa in Acts 26 is that he gave us an excellent outline to follow when giving our personal testimony.

  • He spoke about his life before Christ (v. 4-11).
  • He told about his dramatic encounter with Christ (v. 12-18).
  • He related about his life as a follower of Christ (v. 19-23).

Use that outline to write out and practice giving your own testimony of your life before Christ, how you came to know Christ, and then the difference Christ has made in your life. Sharing your faith with other men is not only our responsibility, but also incredibly rewarding, especially when it results in a person saying “Yes” to Jesus as Savior and Lord. Allow me to ask it again: Is winning another guy friend to Christ on your bucket list?

  • From the first time Paul said, “I must go on to Rome!” (Acts 19:21) until the day he walked into Rome in chains (28:20), more than five years had passed. During that time, Paul had been beaten, hungry, put in prison, on trial, shipwrecked, and bitten by a snake. He had been in danger and near death numerous times. He was relentless in the way he went about fulfilling his God-given call to go to Rome to share the gospel. How persistent are you in sharing your faith?
  • Paul’s statement in verse 29 is his closing argument. As you work through your testimony, how would you plan to ask for a guy to make a commitment to Christ? Write out what you might say.
  • Thank God for the calling He has placed on your life to share the gospel in every circumstance of life. Ask Him to help you share your faith persistently and winsomely.