Pivotal Decisions | April 3, 2017
Paul's decision to appeal to Caesar altered the course of his life forever. The simple statement, "I appeal to Caesar," begins the wrap-up of the book of Acts. Every time I read this chapter, I wonder what would have happened if he simply waited a few days to make his appeal. He might have been released. After waiting two years was he in such a hurry to resolve this that he missed God in his decision or was this part of the Lord's plan for him?
Then when Festus had conferred with his council, he answered, “You have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you shall go.”
Acts 25:12 (NASB)
And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
Acts 26:32 (NASB)
The Good News In A Minute | April 5, 2017
If you had only a few minutes to explain the reason for your faith in Jesus, what would you say? This was Paul's dilemma in this chapter. He is now standing before King Agrippa, the most powerful person in the land. Paul, speaking with simplicity and boldness, shares the good news with him.
"...to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me."
Acts 26:18 (NASB)
Knowledge or Wisdom? | April 6, 2017
Today's chapter is exciting. It is full of boyhood type adventure and with a little imagination is quite dramatic. One of the things I love about this is its first-hand account. Luke is writing from the first person. I am sure it is where the passion of the chapter comes from.
When considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, since even the fast was already over, Paul began to admonish them, and said to them, “Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was being said by Paul.
Acts 27:9-11 (NASB)
How Well Do You Jump To Conclusions | April 7, 2017
This is a classic story in the life of Paul. It shows us how quickly human opinion can change concerning a person's reputation. It also illustrates how people are subject to conclude that bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people.
But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, “Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.” However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.
Acts 28:3-6 (NASB)