The ACTivate adventure continues. Here are todays thoughts from Acts Chapter 25, by Amanda Smart, pastor looking after marriage & family ministry in our Hammersmith congregation…
Spiritual Living chooses whats right, not whats popular
Having just finished two weeks of jury service, Acts 25 makes interesting reading. What is reiterated to you over and over again as a juror in court is that the defendant, the one charged with a crime, is innocent until proven guilty. It is totally the prosecutions responsibility to prove that they are guilty. In fact the defendant doesn’t even have to defend themselves, although many do.
In the light of that, look at today’s reading of Paul’s trail before Festus. In this case the Jews are the prosecution. In verse 7 we read that they bring serious charges against him which they could not prove. At that point you would expect a “Not guilty” from the jury, the paper work signed and Paul would be a free man.
However the opposite is the case. Festus appears to be more interested in popularity by “doing the jews a favour” than the rights of an innocent man, even though he openly admits he has no clear charge against him!
Spiritual living can often mean going against the crowd or the popular view of the day. It can mean standing up for truth rather than the generally accepted world point of view. Imagine if Paul had been more interested in popularity than sharing the good news about Jesus. How many people would have missed out on hearing and receiving salvation and not been added to the church? Instead he stands up in the synagogues and debates with the Jews and ends up on trial – guilty only of speaking out about what he knows to be true.
In his second letter to the Corinthians, chapter 5 verse 9, Paul writes “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” In everything he does Paul seeks to please the one God above anyone else.
Lord,may we, like Paul, make it our goal to please you above our own popularity and comfort.