Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17: Acts 24

Today's reading in our daily plan is Acts 24. 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 was in the Governor’s palace for five days before the High Priest showed up with lawyers to charge him. And the prosecution begins with brown-nosing and pleasant remarks. They call Paul a troublemaker and a ringleader and explain that these charges will be obvious with a simple examination of the defendant. Paul goes next and quickly begins to defend himself. He throws the charges back in the prosecution’s face by talking about the Jews from Asia who could vouch for his conduct but are absent. Paul ends by telling Governor Felix about how it went down with the Sanhedrin.
  • After the trial, Felix wants to wait and hear from commander Lysias, who was at the event. In the following days, the Governor invited Paul to speak to him, hoping for bribes. Paul took these opportunities to explain faith in Christ to Felix. Even when Paul was under guard by the Roman government, he still took every opportunity to share about Jesus. But Felix was a politician and made friends with his province’s residents by keeping Paul imprisoned for two years! Paul must have been reminding himself of God’s promise that he’ll testify in Rome.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Do you know what God has promised you? As we make our way through the bible we’ll come across sections where God makes promises. Some are for bad things like judgment or destruction, while others are for good things like abundant life. 
  • Remember in Luke 12:22-34 where Jesus tells us that God will take care of our needs? He also teaches us how to live in light of that reality.

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

  • Continue to keep your eyes and ears peeled for what God promises you in the bible. When life grinds to a halt or you suffer hardship for an extended period, you will have something to grab hold of to carry you through.