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Quiet Time in Acts 22


EXPAND TO READ: ACTS 22 (HCSB)

 

PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verse 19): Paul, then known as Saul, was spoken to directly by our Lord and Savior, Jesus. He was told to depart from Jerusalem immediately, but he had doubts and tried to reason with Him. Ultimately, he followed Jesus’ direction for him to leave Jerusalem. I too have had doubts. Although I have not heard Your voice directly, as Paul did here, I have felt the Spirit pushing me into a certain direction, yet I did not go that direction. Please forgive me for my disobedience in this, Father. When I do have doubts in the way You are leading me, please help me to be like Paul here where he initially gave his thoughts on the matter, but ultimately followed Your will for that moment.

 

PROMISE (verse 14): The promise here may have been made directly to Paul in this moment, but I also feel like this is a promise to all of Your followers. You promised Paul that You have directly appointed him to know Your will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of His voice. Although You promised this to Paul in the moment and for immediate certainty, I feel the promise is made to us as an ultimate promise. Most of us may not be able to correctly and immediately discern Your will for our lives. Most of us may not be able to truly see the Righteous One directly. Most of us may not be able to hear the actual sound of His voice. That doesn’t mean we won’t be able to eventually. When I join You in Heaven one day, I know that I will be able to see and hear my Lord and Savior clearly. I know that as I continue to strengthen my relationship with You, I will be able to slowly discern Your will for that part of my life. I may never know the big picture, but I at least will continue to have revealed to me the next steps. Thank You for this promise, Father.

 

ATTITUDE (verse 28): Paul had almost like a “trump card” in his back pocket this entire time for the soldiers who had taken him from the temple with the intent to lock him up in the barracks. He stayed humble throughout the entire situation, however, constantly trying to give the testimony You blessed him without throughout this journey. He tried to simply sway the crowds with Your truth and not in a manipulative way to just get them to like him. He stuck to Your truth and the testimony You gave him throughout. The “trump card” was not pulled out until the soldiers were about to begin giving him lashes. This is when he informed them that he was, in fact, a Roman citizen. He held this back until the very last moment in hopes that Your truth would be enough to sway the minds of those around him. Unfortunately, even those with the clearest of vision are still blinded to see when someone is truly speaking directly from You, Father. Help me to walk in humility like Paul did here, Father. Help me to truly embrace an attitude that glorifies You through this life and not myself. Help me to be better at not worrying so much about an “easy life” and instead be worried about a righteous life.

 

COMMAND (verse 15): You gave Paul such a direct command here, but I also feel as though You are speaking to me as well. You tell Paul that he will be a witness for You to all the people of what he has seen and heard in regard to You. You essentially command him to not hold back the testimony You have blessed him with; to ensure that he is always willing to speak Your truth to others, regardless of the possible consequences. Help me to truly embrace this command in my life, Father, so that as I do come across situations which may have a result I’m not wanting in those moments, that I still glorify You with my testimony and Your truth.

 

EXAMPLE (verses 6-21): I absolutely love Paul’s speech to the crowd here. He was beaten by them, which caused such a raucous that the soldiers decided it’d be best to put Paul in the barracks to maintain the peace in the city. Just before being escorting inside the barracks, he requested to speak to the crowd. What he said to the crowd amazes me. He didn’t try to win them over; he didn’t just give in to their way of thinking; he didn’t plea for his life or for mercy/grace. He didn’t do any of that. Instead, he stuck to what You commanded him to do—always be prepared to give his testimony in truth. He laid out step-by-step exactly what You did in his life without holding anything back and without any sugarcoating. This did not please the crowd as a whole; rather it angered them even more as he continued to point to the fact that You used him as a vessel to help save the Gentiles. He was giving his testimony without fear of the repercussions to a very aggressive and already quite angered crowd. Help me to be like Paul, Father. Help me to always be willing to speak my testimony from You, no matter what the repercussions are.

 

*DAILY NOTE: Paul didn’t really hold back, did he? When I finished yesterday’s quiet time in Acts 21 the way I did, which was essentially a cliff-hanger, I was thinking to myself “oh man, Paul is about to go off on them!” I figured he was going to use this as an opportunity to convict them, to tell them how they’re wrong, or something like that. Yes, I know…my worldly self was speaking in that moment and I’m sorry for that. Now today, as I’m reading this chapter, I find that Paul does nothing of the sort. Instead, he is simply wanting to testify about what You have been doing in his life and telling him to do. That’s all he wanted to do was to share the story again to this very angry crowd! Paul was definitely an obedient follower of Yours after such a hateful beginning towards the changes in faith through Jesus Christ. I don’t know if I would have done the same in his situation, but I am surely glad that he did as he gave me a great testimony about following through with everything You’ve asked of us, regardless of the consequences. Thank You for today’s quiet time, Father.

 

EXPAND TO READ: GENERAL NOTE FOR MY QUIET TIMES


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