Daily Scripture Reading: Acts 24:1-27
Special Prayer Request: I would like prayers for Rev. Rob Dillingham. He is the co-author of these Daily Devotionals. He writes the ones for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He has experienced some health concerns over the weekend. Please be in prayer for Rob and his family as they await answers and pray for a speedy recovery.
Paul appears before Governor Felix. Ananias, the high priest, with his lawyer Tertullus bring his allegations against Paul to the governor. Then Paul shares his side of the story. Notice the difference in what they say and how they say it.
Ananias and Tertullus say that they don’t want to bore the governor with details. Instead he uses attention grabbing language. Paul, is accused of being a troublemaker, a causer of riots all over the world, a ringleader of a cult, and a desecrater of the Temple. They use attention grabbing language with no proof.
Paul seems to respond evenly. Paul was there to worship. Paul is a follower of the Way. Paul worships the God of their ancestors and firmly believes in the Jewish law and everything written by the prophets. Believes in the same hope in God that those gathered have. Paul assumes he is on trial because of his belief in the resurrection of the dead. Jesus is his hope. Jesus is our hope.
Paul isn’t condemned that day. Later on with Felix and his wife, Paul talks about righteousness and self control. Paul demonstrated great self control with the Holy Spirit’s help. Instead of using emotionally charged words, he stated his case. Paul had a clear head and a clear conscience because he had the Holy Spirit with him.
We live in a society that is quick to judge with very few facts and very little self-control. We end up putting ourselves in hot water or pushing others away with the wrong words. But through the forgiveness of God through Jesus, the playing field is made even. Paul was changed through Jesus. Paul had the Holy Spirit with him because he lived a right life. He practiced what he preached he believed in God, repented, and had faith in Jesus. Can you imagine what a trial with Paul would have looked like before he had met Jesus on the road to Damascus?
When has your temper gotten in the way of the truth?
When have people not heard your truth because others were too busy yelling?
How can or how has God worked to help you redeem these situations?
Lord Jesus, help us develop our self control. Teach us to love your people. As the scripture says, help us be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce righteousness. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
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