Happy Friday! I think about times when I wish I could erase a comment, a past behavior or be forgiven for unintended consequences. Are there times in your life when you wished there was a magic eraser that you could apply to parts of your life? Join me today as we continue our reading in Acts chapter 28. Enjoy today’s devotion and your weekend.
Bible Verse – Acts 28:17-22
“17 Three days after Paul’s arrival, he called together the local Jewish leaders. He said to them, “Brothers, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Roman government, even though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors. 18 The Romans tried me and wanted to release me, because they found no cause for the death sentence. 19 But when the Jewish leaders protested the decision, I felt it necessary to appeal to Caesar, even though I had no desire to press charges against my own people. 20 I asked you to come here today so we could get acquainted and so I could explain to you that I am bound with this chain because I believe that the hope of Israel—the Messiah—has already come.”
21 They replied, “We have had no letters from Judea or reports against you from anyone who has come here. 22 But we want to hear what you believe, for the only thing we know about this movement is that it is denounced everywhere.”
Paul was lead to address the local Jewish leaders to clear up any confusion that may have heard about him. Interesting enough the Jewish leaders had not heard any derogatory reports from Judea, Jerusalem or Caesarea on Paul, but they wanted to hear what Paul believed.
Look at God – he cleared the slate for Paul. The local Jewish leaders had not heard about Paul’s ordeal and the Lord opened an opportunity for Paul to share the Good News in Rome.
The Lord was faithful to his word to Paul in Acts 23:11 “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.”
Sisters and brothers, Lord is faithful to come through on his promises. He is faithful to turn a bad situation around. Whenever healing, restoration or transformation are needed the Lord is already at work. In Paul’s situation this promise did not occur overnight. There was a lot Paul had to endure, but even as he was walking through it he never failed to point to God.
Questions to ponder:
- What are you walking through right now?
- Who are you pointing people to in the midst of your circumstances?
- How are you ministering hope and love to believers and non-believers?
Sisters and brothers, the Lord may not erase everyone’s memory of your past, but the Lord forgives and no longer counts those sins against you if you believe and receive Him as Lord of your life, ask for forgiveness of your sins and turn to Him. The Lord is the one who restores and makes you whole. Allow the Lord to restore you, seek His will for your life, and He will be faithful to use you and your past for His glory.
Take time over the weekend and think about how the Lord has brought you through past situations. Then think and pray about what he desires to do through you. Finally, pray for courage and obedience to follow through even when you can’t see His plan or purpose.
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