Good morning! Last week we began our reading in Acts 24. Paul was being held in prison until his accusers had arrived. The accusers have given their side of the story. Today we will continue our reading, however this time we will read Paul’s side of the story. Join us as we continue our reading.
“10 The governor then motioned for Paul to speak. Paul said, “I know, sir, that you have been a judge of Jewish affairs for many years, so I gladly present my defense before you. 11 You can quickly discover that I arrived in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago to worship at the Temple. 12 My accusers never found me arguing with anyone in the Temple, nor stirring up a riot in any synagogue or on the streets of the city. 13 These men cannot prove the things they accuse me of doing.
14 “But I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a cult. I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets. 15 I have the same hope in God that these men have, that he will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous. 16 Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people.” – Acts 24:10-16 NLT
A brief re-cap:
- Here’s a list of the claims Tertullus presented against Paul:
- “this man is a troublemaker who is constantly stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world.“
- “He is a ringleader of the cult known as the Nazarenes.”
- “he was trying to desecrate the Temple.”
- Paul mentioned he had only been in Jerusalem for 12 days – less than two weeks, certainly not enough time to incite a riot. Futher daring the people to find a time when he began a riot.
- Tertullus knew Rome did not permit new religions so he described Christianity as a sect. However, Paul informed the people that he worshipped the God of Israel and adhered to the prophets and the law – that his faith was not in a sect but in Christianity “the Way”. Additionally confirming that the same hope in the resurrection is the same as the Pharisees who have falsely accused him.
Sisters and brothers, when someone falsely accuses you remain calm. While our first reaction maybe to lead by emotion, I want to encourage you to take a step back and allow God to lead you through those tough conversations. There may be times when we need to tell our side of a story, but other times the matter is so petty and unworthy of a response that it is better to turn it over to the Lord and keep moving forward in your purpose.
If you are feeling discouraged about false accusations that were brought against you, start praying about it. Start praying for those who have unjustly accused. Pray for the Lord to lead you through the situation with a clear conscience. Continue to do good. Continue to seek the Lord first. Trust He is the one who is fighting your battle. Allow the Lord to use you to speak truth in any situation that you are in.
Father God, thank you for today. Thank you for this opportunity to read your word. Lord, thank you for having our back when people falsely accuse us. Lord, you know the heart of people and you are always aligning things to your will. Lord, thank you for making us aware of times when our actions and motives do not align with your will. Lord, you are always faithful in drawing us back to you. Lord, we surrender our hearts and our emotions to you. Lord, we want to be a good witness, people who speak the truth even when others stand against us. Lord, we want to be a light in the world that shines boldly with truth and your praise upon our lips. Continue to draw us near to you. Use and transform us to be more like you. In Jesus name, amen.
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