Bible Reference: Acts 23:10-12
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)
Bible Text: 10 The argument was beginning to turn into such a fight that the commander was afraid some evil people would tear Paul to pieces. So he told the soldiers to go down and take Paul away and put him in the army building. 11 The next night the Lord came and stood by Paul. He said, “Be brave! You have told people in Jerusalem about me. You must do the same in Rome.” 12 In the morning some evil people made a plan to kill Paul, and they took an oath not to eat or drink anything until they had killed him.
OBSERVATION: Ever been discouraged, because it seemed like the more you did in kingdom work, the more you felt like the people hated you and didn’t appreciate your sacrifice and hard work? As we read through the New Testament we could see that Paul was especially hit hard by the people he ministered to. In fact you might wonder, how on earth did he keep on going? Well, we see in today’s Scripture that the God he served, was also the God who cared for him and encouraged him. Meditate with me, for you might also need this reassurance as you participate in kingdom work here on earth.
APPLICATION: Have you ever been in doubt about whether you were doing God’s will, when suddenly you receive a revelation, or confirmation that you are convinced, came from God? This is what happened to Paul. His very life was threatened because of his honest words before the Sadducees and Pharisees. The commander saw this coming, so he locked Paul up, for his own protection. However, this gave the people more time to plan a strategy that would lead to murdering Paul. As for Paul though, the Lord came and stood by Paul’s side that night in captivity and reassured him of the next phase of his ministry. Now, did the Lord know what the evil ones was conjuring up in their minds, and their subsequent plans for the next day? Of course He knew, and therefore felt it was imperative to visit with Paul to comfort him (for He stood by Paul’s side), and to give reassurance about his next steps. Was it coincidence that this occurred the night before Paul’s nephew would run to him and tell him about a plot to kill him? Of course not, for Paul was reminded that in spite of what the world had planned to do with him, God’s will would be accomplished. Wow, now stop and imagine that, as children/servants of God, we have that same reassurance as Paul was given! So why do we fear? Why do we worry? Why do we take the concerns of this world on our shoulders? God is in control, no matter what the world or its leaders may have in mind! What a peace is ours dear friends! I plead with you that you join me in building this type relationship with our Savior, that no matter how dismal a situation may seem, we could rest easy in knowing that God is on your side, and He will accomplish His will in and/or through us. Although I believe that God wants to hear from His children on the desires of their heart, I believe that He is even more interested that we relax and allow Him to be God in our lives and in all of life’s situations. Have you ever stopped and said to yourself, “well I don’t know where to go from here, for I have done everything I know to do”? It is often times like these when we throw our hands up and decide to turn a situation over to God, isn’t it? I believe this lesson is teaching us to allow God in on the very ground level, and if things are about to get out of control, at least in our minds, that God would whisper reassurance to us. In what form might this come today? Friends, our communication lines today are just as they were in Paul’s day. Stay in close communion with God through His Word (the Bible), through prayer, and close communion and fellowship with other believers. Remember that old song, “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way”? Remind yourself of that when you have done all that He demands of you. Friends, let Him be God!
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how reassuring to know that You are by my side, when life appears to be a daily joy, and when I struggle to see how tomorrow could possibly be any worse than today. You have shown Your presence in so many ways through so many situations in my life already, and You have always come through in so many ways for me. I pray that I might be quick to realize this when Your will may sometime be in opposition to what I envision for me. I pray that I might always be open to, and accepting of, Your will for me, regardless of my plans and my desires. Friends meditating on this devotional with me might be challenged with a day or night of frustration where life here on this earth appears impossible, and especially in their area of ministry. Please stand by their side today, as You did for Paul, and encourage them. Nudge them on their way and show them hope in all that You would have them do for You here on planet earth. Continue to accomplish great things in and through Your willing servants today, is my humble pray that I ask in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!