Cool Under Fire
Today's reading: Acts 24:1-21
Acts 24 takes us to "round two" or a second legal hearing for Paul. This time around, the Jewish leaders ramp up their game. They bring in a hired gun named Tertullus, an orator who was slick with his words and willing to say most anything for pay, to represent them in their case against Paul. The Jews are expecting a victory, but it's Paul who ends up being the bright light of the day. How Paul handled the situation was fascinating. Rather than responding out of fear, he draws on God's strength which enables him to wisely and successfully navigate the hearing before Felix. Here are a few of the things I noticed about Paul:
- He was respectful to his adversaries. He didn’t butt in or behave irresponsibly while they were presenting their false charges;
- He was respectful and genuine to Festus, recognizing Festus’ position but not lathering on fake compliments in an effort to gain favor;
- He was composed and confident, both in his actions and with his words;
- He didn't fall into the trap of trying to refute Tertullus' every point or simply make a general denial of the accusations made against him. Instead Paul states the facts and then challenges his opponents to actually prove what they are alleging.
Paul was able to take a situation that was clearly meant for evil and use it to bring God glory and further God's plan.
What's one example of God guiding, directing and sustaining you through a challenging situation? What encouragement or comfort do you draw from this account? Tami
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