Take A Stand

Good morning! A great deal of chapters and verses in Acts were dedicated to Paul’s imprisonment. By this time in the book of Acts, Paul spent more than two years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Paul shared the gospel message with leaders and gave a reasonable testimony to support he was wrongly imprisoned.

At this point, Fetus was trying to make a decision to strictly please the Jewish leaders. Yet, Paul had grown tired of the games. Join me as we continue to read Acts 25.

Bible verse – Acts 25:6-12 NLT

About eight or ten days later Festus returned to Caesarea, and on the following day he took his seat in court and ordered that Paul be brought in. When Paul arrived, the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem gathered around and made many serious accusations they couldn’t prove.

Paul denied the charges. “I am not guilty of any crime against the Jewish laws or the Temple or the Roman government,” he said.

Then Festus, wanting to please the Jews, asked him, “Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there?”

10 But Paul replied, “No! This is the official Roman court, so I ought to be tried right here. You know very well I am not guilty of harming the Jews. 11 If I have done something worthy of death, I don’t refuse to die. But if I am innocent, no one has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!”

12 Festus conferred with his advisers and then replied, “Very well! You have appealed to Caesar, and to Caesar you will go!””

Reflection

Have you ever been wrongly accused? Then I am certain you can relate to Paul’s frustration and his desire to finally escalate the situation to higher authority.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a simple solution for Paul, but he knew his rights and he believed the Lord did not send him there to die. Sisters and brothers, if you are currently facing accusers or are in a situation that requires for you to defend yourself Paul’s situation is a reminder of a minimum of two things:

  1. The best of Christians encounter hardships and are at times falsely accused or misunderstood.
  2. That even when the odds are stacked against you, there is a God who continues to fight for you. It may not be in your time, but it will be in God’s perfect timing.

A few scriptures to hold onto in times like these:

  • Deuteronomy 31:6
    • So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
  • Psalm 46:1
    • “God is our refuge and strength,always ready to help in times of trouble.”
  • Psalm 46:10
    • “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
  • Matthew 5:43-48
    • 43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[q] and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![r] Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[s] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
  • Psalm 118:6
    • “The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”

Sisters and brothers, stand on the word of God.

Prayer

Father God, thank you for your word that is sharper than any two (2) edge sword. Thank you for continously fighting for us, for being our strong tower and our refuge. Thank you for keeping everything together even when we may feel like everything is falling apart. Lord, you have been faithful in the big and small details of our lives. The things we go through or encounter are no surprise to you for you knew us before we were born and you placed us here with a specific plan and a purpose in mind. Lord, thank you for the life you have given us. While it may be hard at times, it is easier knowing you are for us; that you use every detail about our past, present and future to bring glory to your name. Lord, if there is bitterness in our hearts for the things we have had to go through, help us to see you at work in those situations and help us to heal. Lord, we do not want bitter roots taking up space in our hearts, we want you completely and fully in control of our hearts and minds. Lord, continue to transform us into who you have created us to be. Help us to point others to you as we step out in faith and live to bring you glory. In Jesus name, amen.

——–

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Bible Reference: http://biblegateway.com

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