Read: Acts 23
What has happened so far in our story?
- Paul left Ephesus and traveled to Jerusalem against advice by many
- He met with James to report about how God had brought salvation to so many Gentiles
- In chapter 21 we read how he was arrested – falsely accused of taking a Gentile into the temple
- The crowd is trying to kill him when the Roman officials step in
- In chapter 22 he speaks to the crowd and tells his story. Everything is going good until he tells them of his ministry to the Gentiles. The crowd erupts again
- The Romans were about to torture him to get the truth out of him when he reveals to them that he is a Roman citizen
- In chapter 23, Paul is making his defense to the high council of the Jews
As Paul stands before the high council of the Jews to make his defense, he wisely realized who he was talking to. The council was made up of members of the Sadducees and Pharisees. The Pharisees believe in a resurrection of the dead – the Sadducees do not. Paul said, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, as were my ancestors! And I am on trial because my hope is in the resurrection of the dead!” (v.6). This caused the council to be divided and fight among themselves. This eventually causes him to be sent to Caesarea to stand before Governor Felix.
This had to be a rough experience for Paul – not knowing how everything would turn out. So many wanted him dead. Paul did not vacillate from his mission of proclaiming the Gospel – the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Just as He promised, God did not leave him or forsake Him. He appeared to Paul and spoke to him in verse 11…
That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.”
Life is a journey. Sometimes it's peaceful and enjoyable, sometimes it’s challenging and scary. We cannot change this – we must accept it and walk with God through it. I don’t know what you’re going through today – but I know the God who will walk with you through it. Hold His hand. Trust Him above everything else. Don’t depend on your own wisdom and understanding – look to Him.
By: Tim Parsons
Thank you! Both Romans 8:28 and Proverbs 3:5-6 are verses I keep close in my heart as I live. I just read a new one I think I can memorize in Deut. 31:8. Paul’s journey is such a rich example of God “going ahead of us”, being with us, not failing or forsaking us. “Do not fear or be dismayed”
Every step God was with Paul and preparing his way. When Paul was stoned and appeared dead, he was not, and God sent disciples to help and Paul was on his way again. God encouraged Paul when he needed it. He sent Paul inspiration to say the right things to get the Pharisees and Sadducees arguing with each other; the commander saved Paul and had the position to contact the Governor Felix; Paul’s nephew heard the plot to kill Paul and was able to let everyone know; and with so many out to get Paul, he still made it to Felix. That must not have been easy if the Commander had to send 200 hundred soldiers, 70 horsemen, and two hundred spearmen with Paul. Wow
I agree Christy! Thanks for your comment and for being a faithful reader!
I enjoy the fact that God used 200 soldiers to guard Paul and the message of the gospel that it might be proclaimed in Rome. That's awesome!
God’s plans will not be thwarted (Job 42:2). God moves mountains to advance His will. Thanks Korbet.
Verses 2 thru 5 grabbed my attention today.
Ananias orders Paul to be struck on the mouth for speaking the truth of God. Paul responds with truth by calling him a “whitewashed wall” and pointed out the hypocrisy of Ananias.
What happens next is very interesting. Those standing by challenged Paul for daring to insult God’s high priest. Paul admits he was unaware that Ananias was the high priest and then quotes scripture about not speaking “evil about the ruler of your people.”
Paul did not back down from the truth of his comment yet acknowledged his obedience to the commands of scripture. I’m curious if this stood out to other Jumpstart readers today and what the significance might be for believers living in the 21st century? I’ll look forward to seeing comments later today. Blessings CPC and JS readers.
Good observation Mike! Thanks for reading and commenting.
I am so guilty of allowing criticism to slip from my mouth regarding many of our political leaders. This is one of the toughest challenges I face, given the current state of our country. I pray every day that God will help me guard my tongue. I live expectancy of a victory in this area, lol.
Thanks for your thoughts today, Tim.
I agree Lindsay - that's easy for all of us. We need to keep a check on it - good word.
Lately, I have been walking through fairly rough times with a lot of uncertainty, confusion, and nervousness. However, what I have been happy to see is the genuine comfort of the Lord in it. As I am growing with Him, I see, by His grace, a growing sense of me running to Him first.
What is even crazier is just how many small details God works together. Even down to the perfect timing of this devotional written by you, Tim. This was the exact reminder and encouragement that I needed today. Thank you, God!
I'm so glad to hear that Jordan. I prayed for you this morning. Please let me know if I can help - let's get coffee again soon...
Great reminder today, Tim! Paul was facing some serious hardship, but stayed faithful through it all. He experienced the roller coaster that is life much like we do, but with a lot more at stake. What an example he sets for us! God is with us, so we can remain faithful to Him!
YEP! Convicting isn't it? It also encourages me - and so do you!
Amen. God will be with us always. There was another in the fire!! 🙏🏽
Yes - God's the best at leading us through them! Proud of you Rasheed!