NT Fire Starters – Day 197: Acts 25:1-12
READ: Acts 25:1-12
THINK: Have you ever known someone who was out to get you for no good reason? Perhaps they were jealous. Maybe they thought you wronged them in some way. Then again, maybe they were trying to impress others by trying to make themselves look tough, cool or in control, and you were the most accessible victim. For Paul, personal opposition was a way of life. But he knew what his accusers were up to, and with God’s help he was able to refute them time and again. You, on the other hand, may have no idea what someone has against you. God, however, knows what you’re facing and He will help you just as He helped Paul. The situation may not go away, but it won’t stop God from getting you where you need to be and giving you the influence He intends for you to have.
RESPOND: Why were the religious leaders still bent on killing Paul after more than two years? What was it about Paul that worried them so much? Why was Paul confident that he had done nothing to violate the law? (See 25:8 note.) What was Paul’s view of God’s law? Why did Governor Festus want to do the Jews a favor (v. 9)? Why are people often willing to compromise what they know is right just so they can please or impress other people? Why was Paul unafraid to die? Why do you think God took Paul through such a long and difficult ordeal in order to send Him to Rome when he could have gotten him there through an easier way?
PRAY: Ask God to help you patiently trust Him when He takes you the long, hard way to your destination.
ACT: Are there people in your life–at school, work or even at home or church–who seem like they’re on a mission to bring you down in some way? Pray for the situation and the individuals involved. Then approach them humbly and graciously to see if there is an issue and if there is anything you can do to help resolve it. Take responsibility for anything you’ve done to hurt or offend anyone. Make an apology if necessary, and forgive people if they confess wrongdoing. If this doesn’t get you anywhere, keep a good attitude and still show kindness, not resentment, toward those involved. Continue to pray for them whenever you think of or see them.