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We see continued incredible wisdom displayed by Paul in today's readings! His appeal to Caesar may look like on first glance he was trying to save his life. Many commentators believe that Paul was actually doing this strategically to get to Rome so he could preach the Gospel in Rome! Yes, he'd be arriving in Rome as a prisoner, but, if we know Paul at all, we know that being a prisoner will not stop him from preaching the Gospel! I love this whole scenario. Paul certainly seems a bit "down and out" on the ways things are going in his life. He's been imprisoned for two years, he is barely avoiding being killed or beaten, and yet he's continuing to think of every way to preach the Gospel and advance the Kingdom of God! I wonder about this in our lives today? Are we like Paul in this regard? Are we constantly thinking of ways to preach the Gospel and advance the kingdom? My hunch is that most of us are living very nice lives - no real threat of being killed or imprisoned. And I sometimes wonder if our comfort is maybe the real enemy? Are we not focused on preaching the Gospel or advancing the Kingdom of God because we are simply too comfortable? I do think one of the devil's greatest tricks is to simply distract us. Not to get us to do evil. But to distract us. Make us too comfortable perhaps? I don't know... I'm just so impressed with how Paul was so focused on the Gospel and building the Kingdom, in the midst of all his challenges. And I worry about why we are not so focused - and I think it might be our comfortable distractions...
Below is a great image of Festus' conversation with King Agrippa about Paul's case from verses 21 & 22: ""But Paul appealed to the emperor. So I ordered him back to jail until I could arrange to send him to Caesar." "I'd like to hear the man myself," Agrippa said. And Festus replied, "You shall--tomorrow!"
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "Paul's Appeal" is at this link.
Worship Video: Today's readings remind me of the song "Mighty to Save" sung here by Michael W. Smith:
Has our mighty God saved you? Click here for salvation!
Do you believe our God is mighty to save? Click here for Might!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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