· Paul is addressing the crowd who has accused him of defiling the Temple by bringing Gentiles into the inner courts.
· He respectfully addresses the crowds in the preferred language of the Jews at the time and tells them he was raised in Jerusalem
· He tells them that he was trained under one of the most respected Rabbi’s at the time, Gamaliel
· He lets them know that he was a zealous Jew who even persecuted Christians even to death and that he obtained letters from the Sanhedrin to go to Damascus and do the same
· Then he tells the story of his conversion and his personal experience with Jesus
· He shared the charge that God gave Paul through Ananias that Paul was chosen by the God of their ancestors to know God’s will, see Jesus, and be taught directly by Jesus.
· Then he was baptized and called on the name of Jesus (Righteous One is the Messiah, Jesus)
· He shared that when he returned home Jesus told him to leave Jerusalem because they wouldn’t receive his message
· He shared his reputation for persecuting Christians and giving approval to Stephen’s death
· He then shared that Jesus told him that he would be sent far away from Jerusalem to the Gentiles
· At this the crowd went wild again because he dared engage the unclean Gentiles
· The commander ordered Paul taken into the barracks and flogged until he admitted what he had done to upset the crowd.
· Paul claimed his rights as a Roman citizen
· This was reported to the commander who understood what a rare and important fact it is that Paul was a Roman citizen (He had paid big bucks for his citizenship but Paul was born a citizen)
· At this they were afraid because he had unique rights and he was let go.
· However, the next day Paul faced his accusers as Roman law required for its citizens.
· It is important that I am ready to share my testimony
· Our testimony should include who we were, our encounter with Jesus, and what changed because of that encounter
· Be bold in your sharing your story
· Believers can use the rights given them by their government in order to receive fair treatment
Thank you for leaving the throne of heaven, suffering unto death, and rising to victory so that I might be reconciled to the Father. Thank you for choosing to reveal yourself to me. Open my eyes by the power of the Holy Spirit to opportunities to share your story through my story. Help me be bold whether the reception is warm or cold. Lead our body of believers to the harvest that produces a hundred fold.
Lord I also raise up to you a special request. My friend and your precious daughter is beyond the skill and hope of human kind. She is not however, beyond your power. I humbly request that you heal her and spark a spiritual revival among your people for the glory of your kingdom. If you desire to bring her home to yourself, may your will be done.
In the name of Jesus my savior I pray, AMEN
Posted on Thu, March 5, 2015
by Joel King