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Quiet Time in Acts 23


EXPAND TO READ: ACTS 23 (HCSB)

 

PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verse 5): Paul was so well-versed in Your truth, both the old and new testaments. When he realized what he had said broke a law, he immediately recognized it to those around him that he was not aware that he was speaking with a high priest, then immediately recited the truth he had gone against. My confession today is concerning how quickly, if ever, I admit to fault in a matter when I know I have done wrong. I do often get stuck in my ways even after I realize I am in the wrong. Please forgive me for my fleshly pride, Father. Forgive me for often knowing when I have done or said something wrong but not immediately recognizing it publicly to those I wronged. Help me to be better, more confident, and far less stuck in my fleshly pride in these moments, so that I may glorify You through all I am and all I do or say, even if I do something wrong in the moment.

 

PROMISE (verse 11): In the verse, the Lord speaks to Paul while he is in the barracks yet again. He gives him a promise that alludes to his ministry not being over, yet. He tells him that just as he has testified about You in Jerusalem, he will also testify in Rome. You gave him a promise that his opportunities to testify about You are not over and that he must have courage moving forward. Thank You for this promise to Paul here, Father. This promise reveals to me as well that my ministry on this earth is not over until You say it is over. Just as Paul thought the end was near in Jerusalem due to the circumstances and some words from You, I too sometimes think that the end of my ministry in this life is near. You keep encouraging me to continue my steps in faith forward, so I do not know why I sometimes think my ministry is coming to an end, when it really feels like it is just beginning. Help me to dwell on this promise of a continued testimony, Father. Help me to live in the promise that there is still a next step for me, just like there was for Paul in this scripture.

 

ATTITUDE (verses 16-17): I feel like Paul had an attitude of peace, calm, and trust throughout all of this turmoil. Even when his sister’s son came to him revealing a plot to kill him, he remained calm and simply asked a guard to bring his nephew to the commander to reveal something to him. I do struggle quite often with leaning on You for peace and calm; I do struggle at times with fully submitting my trust to You through all things in this life. Continue to remind me about the peace and calm You bring to my life through my trust and faith in You, Father. Continue to work in my heart, to reveal these truths daily to me, so that when the struggles of this world do seem to tower over me in the flesh, Your glory reigns supreme over all of it.

 

COMMAND (verse 11): The command here is quite simple as it’s only two words—have courage! We aren’t told to be stronger than anything in this world; we aren’t told to take on the burdens of this world by ourselves; we aren’t told to just “suck it up” like the world often tells us. No! We are COMMANDED to “have courage” through anything this life may throw at us. We are told to remain faithful to You and trust in You fully through being courageous in anything we may encounter in this life. Help me to live in this command, Father, so that I may have courage through it all. Help me to remember that my courage is not strictly from myself, but primarily from You through my faith and trust in You. Thank You for helping me strengthen my courage in this life, Father. Without You, I am definitely weak.

 

EXAMPLE (verses 11, 17, 22-24, 34-35): Paul’s faith and trust in the Lord kept his ministry alive. Paul’s consistency in speak Your truth kept his ministry alive. Paul’s testimony that You simply asked him to remain faithful towards and he continued to do so has kept his ministry alive. These verses start out with a few simple words to Paul telling him to have courage because his testimony will be revealed by him to Rome as well. Then we see all from this promise play out rather quickly in that same night. His nephew reveals to him a plan to take Paul’s life, which provokes Paul to calmly send his nephew to the commander to reveal this truth. The commander then immediately sets up a regiment to protect Paul as he is brought to the governor’s location for further protection and testimony. All of this played out in one evening and I am amazed by it. You immediately give him a command (have courage), then make him a promise (you will testify in Rome) and while You are speaking to Paul about this, You already have in motion the things that will make all of this happen. Thank You, Father, for this amazing example of Your faithfulness to us, but also how You always fulfil Your promises whether it be practically immediately like in this example or later down the road—You are always faithful to us!

 

*DAILY NOTE: I am really loving the story of Paul (formerly Saul) and how he progresses through a very law-driven faith through Moses to a more spirit-led faith through Jesus. With You guiding his steps and with him being faithful and obedient to You through it all, great things have happened for many people he’s encountered on his path. Through his trust in You, he has brought a large number of followers, both Jews and Gentiles, to Your kingdom for eternity! Now, he’s being tested even more harshly than ever, yet his obedience to and trust in You never waivers and I guess I would say it’s actually revealed to be even stronger than ever has he has not doubted You or questioned You at all in today’s scripture. Thank You for today’s conversation, Father, and for the great story about Paul’s life so far. I am looking forward to what tomorrow will bring to Paul’s ministry and how he will continue to allow You to shine through him!

 

EXPAND TO READ: GENERAL NOTE FOR MY QUIET TIMES


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