Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Dec 12, Acts 24-26.

Today's readings are Acts 24-26. Tomorrow's are Acts 27-28.

In Acts 24, Paul is falsely accused. His accusers are twisting the truth to make his actions look like something they are not. Paul uses his knowledge of the judicial system to not only assert his innocence but to preach the gospel to Felix, the Roman governor. In spite of there being no formal charges, Paul remains in custody. He uses his time to share the gospel, never lamenting his situation but using it to honor God in how he handles it.

Paul winds up in front if King Agrippa. Yet again, he preaches the gospel. Both the king and the governor agree Paul is innocent and should be set free. But, instead of demanding his freedom, Paul takes the opportunity to appeal to Caesar, gaining a trip to Rome, the place he originally wanted to go. It’s becoming clear that the gospel is more precious to Paul than his personal freedom or rights.

Take careful notice of Paul's conduct throughout these ordeals. He remains respectful of the authorities but he is keenly aware of how the system works. His arguments are not bombastic or tinged with anger. Paul effectively navigates through his imprisonment and trials, using them as opportunities to speak of Christ. He asserts his rights as a Roman citizen only for the sake of the gospel, never for the sake of establishing equality, never for self-promotion, never for self-preservation, always with humility and respect. Paul is being "wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove."

In an age where personal freedom and all forms of expression are placed in high priority, sacrificing either of those for the sake of proclaiming the truth of the Bible is being seen as narrow-minded and, in some cases, bigoted. While modern day repercussions can be intimidating and difficult to endure, In Paul’s day, they could be deadly. Paul was willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of the gospel. Are we?

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