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Today we read about Paul before the Roman Governor Felix. I love this image below of Paul expertly laying out his case!
(image courtesty of https://www.lamp.ac.uk/hogarth/81to100.htm)
The close of today's readings are interesting. It seems to me that Felix has a double-edged reason for keeping Paul in prison for two years. 1. Felix enjoys talking to Paul! Why do you suppose this is? Do you suppose Felix was hearing the Truth from Paul? I'm sure that he was... 2. Verse 27 tells us: "And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish leaders, he left Paul in prison." So, Felix gets to hear the Truth from Paul and hopefully keep his job by appeasing the Jewish leaders. Sounds reasonable, right? However... it is interesting to see that he is balancing the Truth with the World. How often in our lives do we try to balance the Truth with the World? I am afraid this is a tough balance to keep... Remember always that we are to be "in the world, but not of it." Don't let the World outweigh the Truth in your life...
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "Paul Stands Before Felix: The Preacher and the Politician" is at this link.
We see continued incredible wisdom displayed by Paul in today's readings! His appeal to Caesar may look like on first glance he was trying to save his life. Many commentators believe that Paul was actually doing this strategically to get to Rome so he could preach the Gospel in Rome! Yes, he'd be arriving in Rome as a prisoner, but, if we know Paul at all, we know that being a prisoner will not stop him from preaching the Gospel! I love this whole scenario. Paul certainly seems a bit "down and out" on the ways things are going in his life. He's been imprisoned for two years, he is barely avoiding being killed or beaten, and yet he's continuing to think of every way to preach the Gospel and advance the Kingdom of God! I wonder about this in our lives today? Are we like Paul in this regard? Are we constantly thinking of ways to preach the Gospel and advance the kingdom? My hunch is that most of us are living very nice lives - no real threat of being killed or imprisoned. And I sometimes wonder if our comfort is maybe the real enemy? Are we not focused on preaching the Gospel or advancing the Kingdom of God because we are simply too comfortable? I do think one of the devil's greatest tricks is to simply distract us. Not to get us to do evil. But to distract us. Make us too comfortable perhaps? I don't know... I'm just so impressed with how Paul was so focused on the Gospel and building the Kingdom, in the midst of all his challenges. And I worry about why we are not so focused - and I think it might be our comfortable distractions...
Below is a great image of Festus' conversation with King Agrippa about Paul's case from verses 21 & 22: ""But Paul appealed to the emperor. So I ordered him back to jail until I could arrange to send him to Caesar." "I'd like to hear the man myself," Agrippa said. And Festus replied, "You shall--tomorrow!"
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "Paul's Appeal" is at this link.
Today in Acts 26 verses 24 & 25 we read: “At this point Festus interrupted Paul's defense. "You are out of your mind, Paul!" he shouted. "Your great learning is driving you insane." "I am not insane, most excellent Festus," Paul replied. "What I am saying is true and reasonable.”” Have you ever questioned your sanity when thinking about Christianity? :) Don’t worry – I think it is okay if you have. I honestly think that Christianity is the most logical thing of all time – but, I do understand why many in the world may view Christianity as crazy. (or that maybe even we ourselves at times have thought “this is crazy”) The bottom line is this – I believe every human being has faith in something. We may have faith in Jesus. Or we may have faith in a “cosmic being.” Or we may have faith in crystals. Or we may have faith in atheism. (yes, I believe atheism is too a faith – in nothingness – but a faith nonetheless.) Or we may have faith in altruism or government or nature. We all have faith in something. Faith is our human nature. I believe the statistic is that 85%+ of the world’s population believes in something beyond themselves. We are spiritual beings. And if then we are spiritual beings, then I think it is perfectly logical for us to seek out who our Maker truly is. And to seek out whom our Savior truly is. And to seek out what will lead us to Eternal life. I’ve gone through this seeking phase big time in my early life. And I do believe it was the Holy Spirit that led me to Jesus ultimately. And now, once in relationship with Jesus, I believe that Christianity is the most logical faith there is. Do you believe what Paul says to Festus in these verses? Do you believe that Christianity is true and reasonable? I believe even Spock would find Christianity logical! :)
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "Paul's Appeal to Aggripa" is at this link. Below is an image of Paul´s Defense Before Agrippa by C.F. Vos:
Worship Video: Today's readings in Acts remind me of the Michael W. Smith singing the song "Mighty to Save:"
Has our mighty God saved you? Click here for salvation!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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