Ministry Resources

NT Fire Starters – Day 196: Acts 24:1-27

READ: Acts 24:1-27

THINK: The world today is full of religion, and perhaps more than ever, people are searching for something spiritual. But people want “spirituality” on their own terms. They want a religion that fits their lifestyle and a faith that is convenient for their personal belief system. They become very uncomfortable and resistant to anything that judges their actions or puts restrains on their self-fulfilling desires. Most people don’t realize that their deepest desires can only be satisfied by self-surrender and that ultimate fulfillment comes only from following the One who gave them life and will one day hold them accountable for how they used it.

RESPOND: In what way was the lawyer, Tertullus, trying to win Governor Felix’s favor? Had Paul been a troublemaker? Why or why not? Who really instigated the riots that seemed to follow Paul (cf. 21:27; 22:22; 24:19)? What was the one “accusation” to which Paul admitted? (See 24:14 note.) What was the significance of referring to salvation through Jesus as “the Way”? What’s the significance of keeping a clear conscience? (See 24:16 note.) How do you do this? How does a good conscience become corrupted and insensitive, and what happens when it does? Why did Paul have favor with the Governor (v. 22)? What does this likely indicate about Felix’s past encounters with or impressions of people who belonged to “the Way”? How does this challenge you regarding your conduct toward people who don’t follow Jesus? What was significant about the things Paul talked to Felix about (v. 25)? Why do you think Felix became fearful listening to Paul? (See 24:25 note.) In what ways is it evident that people today–like Felix (v. 25)–want to listen to and follow only religious views and practices that are convenient?

PRAY: Ask God to give you wisdom and grace in responding to opposition and accusation. Ask God to give you favor with unbelievers as you strive to honor God and keep a clear conscience toward Him and others.

ACT: If in any way you’ve set an unfavorable example to non-Christians by behaving or responding to them in a harsh, arrogant or less than gracious way, go and apologize to the individuals involved. This includes times when you may have tried to defend your faith and ended up arguing about spiritual issues, but it also includes times when you simply talked or acted inappropriately. This will require a bold effort, but you might be surprised at how it provides a huge opportunity to demonstrate Christian character, to spark spiritual conversations and to share your faith.

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