David Tinnons last message to me
Acts 26:25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.”
The Message translation says: “But Paul stood his ground. “With all respect, Festus, Your Honour, I’m not crazy. I’m both accurate and sane in what I’m saying.”
Today is the 1st anniversary of the death of my friend, David Tinnion, he is with Jesus now. I am thinking about him this morning and his wife Bobbie who he loved immensely. I miss him.
He was the person who brought me into the world of missions. I am where I am today because he opened opportunities for me many years ago where God then touched my life and changed my thinking. I was the one who took him on his last missions trip, back to Africa, where he first took me.
It might seem strange that I refer to him as we read this verse today. But read on and you will see why.
Paul in his defence to King Agrippa had spoken of Christ being the Jews King of all kings, their prophesied Messiah and that his resurrection proved it. It was the great offence to the Jewish mob wanting Paul dead. Festus wades in and accuses Paul of being mad. Paul responds by saying he wasn’t!
Paul says, “What I am saying is true.”
There have been times in my life when perhaps simply exhausted or discouraged, when I have lost focus, that I have asked the question, “is this true. Is Christianity real? Is God there?” Maybe you are never like this. But maybe someone reading today is definitely like me, maybe today is that day.
In February 2017 David and I were in Uganda and over a meal we were chatting and talking about my life, my work, he was always interested in what I was doing. I was having one of those moments that I have just described. In the middle of much laughter we were having I stopped and asked, “David is this true? I mean is all that we have given our lives for, is it real?”
David looked at me as if he was leaving me a message that I would carry for the rest of my life and slowly said, “Paul, listen to me, it is all true!”
He didn’t say it in the way Paul said it to Festus, but he said the same words, “It is true!”
Friends, whatever is going on in your life and the circumstances of your life may tell you that you are on your own and what you are following isn’t there. But I quote what the Apostle Paul says and what my friend says, “It is true!” Everyone needs a friend like this. Everyone needs someone who can hold on to the truth and declare the truth when you need it the most.