February 20 - Acts 23
BETTER THAN TELEVISION: Dramatic speeches, subplots, an ambush sanctioned by the chief priest, a narrow escape facilitated by the Roman government & supported by over 470 trained soldiers and an appearance before the Roman governor... all in one, short chapter. The next time somebody tries to tell you reading the Bible is boring, remind them of chapters like this!
SHORT SERMON: A few days ago we read about Paul's sermon going "on and on," which bored poor young Eutychus to death. In chapter 23, however, Paul says all that needed to be said in three words: "my hope in the resurrection of the dead" (v6 - three words in Greek- eight in English). Ultimately this is the crux of Christian belief, that there is life after death. The chaos that follows in the Sanhedrin is evidence of the power of these words. Remember this as you evangelize: long & complicated explanations are not always needed.
THE PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING: Can you imagine what it would be like to have "The Lord stand near" you as you endure a trial like what Paul experienced in v11? Here's the thing: you do have the Lord standing near you at all times. We don't physically experience Christ's presence as Paul did, but we have something just as good: we can read from His Word and in doing so experience the same peace that Paul did.
ALIGNMENT: In v11, Jesus aligns Paul's life with His will. He tells Paul that he will go to Rome to testify for Christ as a prisoner.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: A great and mighty God who can even use a pagan army to save His people.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Know that Jesus is standing right alongside of you, telling you to take courage as you seek & do His will.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: