Today we reach chapter 23 of our adventure through the book of Acts – here are some challenging Spiritual Living thoughts by Simon Bardoni, pastor f of 6PM congregation…
“Blessed are you when people hate you…”
Imagine what it would feel like to get the news… Forty armed fanatics have just taken an oath not to eat anything until they see you dead! What would be going through your head? Just apologize. Say it was all a big misunderstanding. Did I go too far?! In a society that’s obsessed with tolerance and political correctness, it’s hard to even imagine saying anything that would trigger that kind of reaction. What kind of conviction and bold love would it take to stand and proclaim the Gospel like that? Not that Paul was looking to start a riot, but nevertheless, he was never one to hold back.
Maybe Paul was just reckless? Maybe he simply didn’t care? Or… maybe he was so unequivocally determined to see the full truth of the Gospel spread that he simply couldn’t be bothered to sugar-coat the bits that might very well offend his hearers (even if it got him killed).
One important side-note… Paul’s imprisonment, along with the help of his inconspicuous little nephew, was the very thing that ended up saving him from that band of fasting marauders – a little move reminiscent of Jonah’s three-day stint in the whale (I mean “big fish”).
Spiritual living is telling people the truth about Jesus, even if it costs you your life (or reputation). And spiritual living is trusting that God always takes care of His ambassadors, even if He has to use a bunch of unsaved, overgrown, Roman guards to get you out of town.