Monday, February 17, 2014

Preserving your witness to give God the Glory (self control)

S - Acts 24: 24-26 NASB
 But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, "Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you." At the same time too, he was hoping that money would be given him by Paul; therefore he also used to send for him quite often and converse with him.

O - This is Paul's testimony to the Governor Felix whom he appealed to when the Pharisee's we seeking his death upon return to Jerusalem.  He was able to do so because he was  Roman citizen.   This testimony comes right after the Jews from Jerusalem came to testify that he was violating many of their laws and inciting a riot.  Despite these being outright lies,   Paul does not react to these accusations but follows the customs of the court and waits for his turn to testify.  He testifies and Felix likely recognized his innocence but cowardly just says to wait for the Roman soldier to come testify.    The amazing thing is despite what the Jews meant for Paul's harm, and what Felix did in passivity,  God design for the good.   Why do I say this... because later Felix arrives with his wife who is a Jewess,  and  Paul speaks directly to them about faith in Jesus Christ.    Paul was giving testimony to a high level leader about Christ and this likely played toward God's plan for that nation to hear of Christ.

A -  The application is quite simple and quite consistent through the bible,  "what man meant for evil, God can use for His Glory."   Whether it be Joseph,  or Moses,  or David and Saul,  or Paul,   we go through circumstances in which it appears bad things are happening and yet God has a plan,   I plan for our good, and not for our downfall, for those of us who are called according to His purpose.   I believe the Lord is saying to me personally that I must have this perspective when bad things are happening to me so that I may not respond in a way that would dishonor God,  or damage my ability to witness to the very people are inflicting the harm.   With this perspective I may be able to reel in my emotions, and my sharp tongue to prevent a reaction that does not honor God and all that he has done in my life.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for bringing back to journaling on what your word is saying.  I pray that you continue to sharpen me through reading, reflecting, and writing on what your word is doing in me.   I pray Lord that you would help me be quick to see your perspective on things, especially when challenged with people who appear to want to do evil, or  do harm to me.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment