Wednesday, May 10, 2017 The Plot Thickens

Daily Bible Reading:  2 Kings 10-12, John 1:29-51   H-Icon_Ch30_Chain

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting on the transition on page 441 (chapter 30) where we left off yesterday and ends before the transition on page 446, with the words, “…under guard in Herod’s palace.”

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Acts 21:27-23:35.

Yesterday we read about Paul finding out from the prophet that he would be bound by the Jewish leaders and handed over to the Gentiles.  Today, we see that that is exactly what happened.  But as Paul went through the persecution and beating by the Jews in Jerusalem, he was able to gain protection from the Romans because he was a Roman citizen and because they wanted to avoid a riot.

Paul before the high priestIt is interesting to see how God use the disagreements and conflict among religious leaders to delay what was happening to Paul, and then allowed him to be saved by the Roman soldiers so that God plan to have him handed over to the Gentiles could be fulfilled.

It’s not that this was really good news, because paul knew that ultimately he would die for the Gospel. But for Paul, it was good news because he was able to be used for God’s purposes. He also, because of this strange circumstance, was able to bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews at Jerusalem, first.  Then, he was taken to Caesarea to be able to speak before Governor Felix.  That would allow him to tell the good news of the Gospel to the Gentiles in that place.

It is quite an example for us to see that actions of Paul.  He did not just give up, but he did rely on God in his circumstance.  He understood how the law of the Romans would protect him as a Roman citizen, who could then be removed from the custody of the Jews in Jerusalem and be taken to the Roman governor at Caesarea.  Paul used the wisdom that God had given him to work within the legal system as it existed, in order to be faithful to God’s plan.

Paul never wavered in his faith in God to do His will.  So often, when things are going arrest-of-paul-in-jerusalem-to-be-sent-to-prison-in-caesareabadly for us, we blame God or someone else for our circumstance.  Instead of relying on God and His good and perfect will, we try to make things turn out the way we want them.

Instead of manipulating our life circumstances to fit our desires, we need to follow the example of Paul and rely on God for guidance in our lives.  Not everything in our lives will go well for us all the time.  But we cannot blame God for the evil that befalls us.

God is good.  God is perfect. God is God.  We cannot understand His good and perfect will all the time, but we need to have faith that He knows what is best for us.  Paul relied on God for everything, and God invites us to do the same.

You may be going through a very difficult time right now.  Ask God for guidance and ask Him to be with you and to protect you through life’s challenges.  He will always be with you, just like He was for Paul.  Remain true in your faith, because God will be with you always.

Prayer:  Lord, so often I feel as if life is getting to me.  There are so many times when I cannot see anything good coming from my circumstance and I begin to question You.  Help me to put my faith in You, so that I will rely on You and trust in You always. Amen.

 

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