Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 16 - Acts 23

Today's reading in our daily plan is Acts 23. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Paul is now in custody, arrested for causing disturbances by preaching about Jesus. He is put on trial before the Sanhedrin (the supreme Jewish religious court). Paul is in a bad position, but uses a theological difference between members of the Sanhedrin to distract their attention away from him. The two sides do debate, but Paul remains their focus and his life is threatened.
  • Throughout the rest of the chapter we continue to see people trying to have Paul killed because of his faith in Jesus.
  • In the middle of this all God speaks to Paul, encouraging him and letting him know that he will give his testimony in Rome.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • The Bible says that God has a plan for each of our lives. God had a plan for Paul's life. But God's plan didn't keep Paul from danger and hardship. Paul may have been tempted at times to wonder if God was paying attention. But God was, and he was working his plan, even protecting Paul from death and encouraging him along the way.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • God has a plan for your life. But the star of God's plan for your life is God, not you. And the goal of the plan for your life is to bring God glory. That plan will be far more fulfilling and exciting for you than any plan you could write or in which you were the star. God's plan may not exempt you from danger and hardship, but God will get you through the difficult times. And he will speak to you and encourage you. So, how aware are you of God's plan for your life? How committed to it are you? What could you do to really start living it?