Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
In Acts 24, Luke relates that Paul has been arrested and brought before the high priest and the council. He has been charged with creating dissension throughout the world and even profaning the temple. Felix, the governor, heard the charges against Paul and then gave Paul an opportunity to defend himself. At first, Paul did give a short defense. He said that he didn’t dispute nor incite the crowd and that the accusations could not be proven. Many men would have gone on a greater length to prove their innocence in order to be released. But Paul had a greater agenda than being released from custody.
Paul quickly moved the conversation to a confession of his faith. He declared that he worshiped the God of his fathers and believed everything contained in the Law and the Prophets. He went on to state his belief in the resurrection of the dead. Paul gave up his own defense and gave testimony of his faith in God and the truth of His promises.
He went on to say that he always strove to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. In other words, his faith was manifested in how he lived his life.
The apostle Paul is an example to us in many ways and this is just one of those. Most of us have not been arrested and charged, nor have we been unjustly accused like Paul. But all of us have been in conversations with those who do not believe in our Savior. Some of those conversations may have involved criticism or at least disagreement. Often we have had opportunity to turn the conversation toward our faith and to declare our trust in God’s written word and the promises contained there.
Have we been as faithful to turn the conversation to the object of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ? Have we moved from the defense of ourselves to the declaration of the gospel? Have we stated the truth knowing it might lead to further accusation or strife?
Going further, as Paul did, have we lived our lives with a conscience without offense toward God and man? Has our faith made a difference in the way we live every day?
May our Lord grant us strength and courage to be ready in season and out to give a reason for the hope that lies within us. May He make us bold in declaring the truth of God at every opportunity. May our faith affect every decision we make. May our lives reflect His glory.
We exist to equip God’s people to delight in His glory and declare that glory to our neighbors and the nations.
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Fort Worth, TX 76133
on The City