Happy New Year! Last month we were nearing the end of Acts 24. We left off with the Apostle Paul in prison but with privileges to move around and see visitors. We know Paul was imprisoned because of false charges brought against him, but it was difficult for leaders to make a decision to release Paul because some of the leaders preferred an unchallenged relationship with the Jewish leaders. Have you ever been in a position where you knew someone was building a false case against someone but because you did not want to be seen as one who takes sides, you remained disconnected or withdrawn about the truth? Join me today as we continue in Acts chapter 24.
Bible Verse – Acts 24:24-27 NLT
“24 A few days later Felix came back with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish. Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.” 26 He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him.
27 After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison.”
Paul was in prison sharing the gospel message. Felix had other motives for calling on Paul, but the gospel message was continuously planted in Felix’s heart when he met with Paul. I wish we had read ‘and Felix’s heart was convicted and he immediately changed his life and began to serve the Lord,’ but we did not read that. We learned that Felix was convicted in the heart with the truth of the gospel message but refused to allow it to penetrate his heart and change Paul’s circumstances.
There are two points I want to bring forth:
- Felix stated, “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.”
- And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison.
Felix was struggling with many things non-believers and believers struggle with and that is to hear the gospel truth and live it out despite what others think. Felix would have had to change his lifestyle and go against the Jewish people, which wasn’t a cost he was willing to pay.
Being a Christian isn’t always convenient and sometimes it will cost you relationships, but in the end or at the beginning or even in the middle of your circumstances the Lord is always with you. Paul spent two additional years in prison because of someone else’s motives, but I know the Lord continued to use Paul in that season.
Sisters and brothers, don’t wait for a more convenient time to believe or follow Christ. The time is now. The Lord has a plan, purpose and a future for you. Don’t sit on the sidelines, don’t linger in complacency, let God use you right where you are.
Questions to ponder:
- Will you allow today to be the most convenient time to follow Christ for the rest of your life?
- Will you seek to gain favor with the Lord first instead of with other people?
Father God, thank you for your willingness to meet us right where we are. Father thank you for your mercy on our lives and for making a way for us to be reconciled back to you. Lord Jesus, thank you for being obedient unto death to ensure everyone an opportunity to believe, repent, and accept You as Lord and Savior of our lives. Lord, whatever comes we desire to trust you and walk in Your truth. Lord, we want to be so intent in our relationship with you that we will not entertain thoughts of going a different way. Lord, we want to be obedient to your call. Lord, direct our steps and lead us today and throughout the year. In Jesus name, amen.
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