February 21 - Acts 24
GOOD FRIDAY, PART II: If you have children who are reading along with you, a good question to ask them would be to name similarities between Jesus' trial and Paul's. Just a few hints: both trials start with a kangaroo court in the Sanhedrin, and end up transferred to the Roman courts that keep kicking it around because nobody wants to deal with it. But there are lots more similarities. See how many you can name.
MEMORIZE: v16: 'So I strive to keep my conscience clear before God and before man.' It's been awhile since we've reviewed our memory verses: wgtncrc.org/post/memory-verses
HURRY UP AND WAIT: Sometimes it's hard to figure the Holy Spirit out. It seems like the momentum in the early church was just taking off when Paul ended up getting evacuated from Jerusalem by the Roman army. It seems like this would be a perfect time for a miraculous escape or jailbreak like had occurred before so that Paul could harness the momentum and keep building and establishing the Church. But the Spirit had other plans, for in v27 it says that Paul waited over two years for a trial (in addition to the time spent up till that point). What a waste of time, right? Except that during this time, the Spirit inspired Paul to write the epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. Always remember, even when it seems like we're spinning our wheels going nowhere, the Spirit knows what He's doing.
HE WAS SO CLOSE: We're told in v22 that Felix was 'well acquainted with the Way,' and that he listened to Paul talk about 'righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come.' Yet as soon as Paul started to hit a little to close to home, Felix sent him away until he 'found it convenient.' How many millions who, presumably like Felix, will spend an eternity regretting that they never found a 'convenient' time to accept the gospel? How many Christians will regret years wasted on earth because it was so much more convenient to chase after the treasures of the world rather than take up their cross and follow Christ?
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Thank the God of your Fathers that through His Spirit He has made you a follower of the Way (v14).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will follow His will even when it's not 'convenient' (v25) and even if it seems like you're 'wasting' years waiting for Him to lead you (v27).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: