Devotional for November 4, 2020

Greetings in Christ,

  We have all heard the clichés which have been given to the Christian: Bible thumper, Bible pusher, Jesus freak, holy roller, sermonizer, zealot, fundamentalist, crusader, sectarian, salvationist, Puritan, faith healer, missionary, iconoclast, evangelist, and fanatic.  Many of these terms are used to deter people from believing in what the Christian has to say.  They are an offensive attack on the Christian by those who feel threatened by what the Christian has to say.  It often times works to distract others from listening to the words of the Christian, but what if the person who is being called all these names was very secure in their belief?  What kind of impact could this have on those who did not believe?

  The Apostle Paul was this kind of Christian.  He faced many of his own people turning against him calling him many derogatory names.  He also faced many hardships in his journeys as he spread the word of God.  He spent most of his time in jail writing to others to help them keep the faith while being chained to a guard or a wall. 

  In Acts, Paul is arriving in Rome to face Caesar so he could argue the false claims made against him by the Jewish leaders.   Paul confronts the Jewish leaders in Rome to see if they had heard of these claims made from the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.  They had not confirmed the accusations nor had any witnesses to testify against Paul.  They had heard some of the rumblings and the uproar it was making in the Jewish community.   The Jewish leaders were not about to let Paul be set free so he could stir up more trouble for them in Rome.

  Paul faced many opponents in the battle to be free from wrongful imprisonment as he faced the Jewish leaders and the Roman Empire.  The Roman leaders were not about to let the Jewish leaders be upset because it would not look good for them politically defaulting on their promise to keep peace.  The Jewish leaders were not going to give up because Paul made them look bad.

  In all the turmoil Paul faced, he remained positive, but aggressive in his actions.  Paul never backed down on telling the truth on his behalf and telling the truth about Jesus.  Paul took a stance on man’s law and God’s law.  He did not win in the pursuit of man’s law, but won big time in God’s law.

  As Paul defended the list of wrongful accusations, many people present while he was defending his cause.  He spoke of Jesus and what he was teaching in the temples.  During this time as he spoke in his defense this led to some of the people to approach him later and talk to him.  On the side lines, Paul led many people to Christ because of his bold stance he took for Jesus Christ.  Many saw the determination and the lack of fear in Paul’s actions giving them confidence to follow his footsteps.  They wanted to know the secret of Paul’s faith and how he continued to remain steadfast.

  Paul became one of the great leaders in the church because of his belief in Jesus Christ.  He is a very good example of what can be done for Jesus when remaining true to Jesus.  Paul knew man’s law would not give him satisfaction, but he also knew it was God’s law which would win in the end.  Paul’s life was not easy, in fact it was very burdened down with hardships, but he never wavered from his faith in Jesus, and it was this faith which made him victorious. 

  “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”  Psalms 19:1

  “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change.”  Psalms 46:1-2a

  “Say to God, “How awesome are Thy works!  Because of the greatness of Thy power Thine enemies will give feigned obedience to Thee.”  Psalms 66:3

  “God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us  Selah.”  Psalms 67:1

  Lord help us to have the faith to remain bold for You, and to keep our eyes on You for our strength.  Amen


  Mark Johnson     

  Psalm 19, 46, 66, 67; Acts 28:14b-23

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