Monday, April 15, 2019

New Testament Bible Meditation- April 15 - Text & Audio

Acts Chapter 21 verses 31 to 40 & Acts Chapter 22 verses 1 to 21 

As they were trying to kill Paul, news came up to the commanding officer of the regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
Immediately he took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. They, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, stopped beating Paul.
Then the commanding officer came near, arrested him, commanded him to be bound with two chains, and inquired who he was and what he had done.
Some shouted one thing, and some another, among the crowd. When he couldn't find out the truth because of the noise, he commanded him to be brought into the barracks.
When he came to the stairs, it happened that he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd; for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, "Away with him!"
As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he asked the commanding officer, "May I speak to you?" He said, "Do you know Greek?
Aren't you then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?"
But Paul said, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people."
When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the people. When there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,
"Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense which I now make to you."
When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet. He said,
"I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are this day.
I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
As also the high priest and all the council of the elders testify, from whom also I received letters to the brothers, and traveled to Damascus to bring them also who were there to Jerusalem in bonds to be punished.
It happened that, as I made my journey, and came close to Damascus, about noon, suddenly there shone from the sky a great light around me.
I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'
I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.'
"Those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they didn't understand the voice of him who spoke to me.
I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' The Lord said to me, 'Arise, and go into Damascus. There you will be told about all things which are appointed for you to do.'
When I couldn't see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
One Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all the Jews who lived in Damascus,
came to me, and standing by me said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' In that very hour I looked up at him.
He said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth.
For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard.
Now why do you wait? Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
"It happened that, when I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance, and saw him saying to me, 'Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not receive testimony concerning me from you.'
I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you.
When the blood of Stephen, your witness, was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting to his death, and guarding the cloaks of those who killed him.'
"He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you out far from here to the Gentiles.'"

Those were verses 31 to 40 from Acts Chapter 21 & verses 1 to 21 from Acts Chapter 22

Insight- Paul never shied away from giving his testimony to anyone, be it his friends or detractors. He spoke to them about how God saved his life more than once and how God had appointed him to be a minister to the Gentiles. God spoke to Paul specifically on many occasions when his life was in danger and told him what course of action to take.
He was persecuted many times for being a witness for Jesus Christ, but he kept his faith. At the end of his life, he could boldly say, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. From now on, there is stored up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved his appearing.”

Question- Do you shy away from giving your testimony regarding Jesus Christ? Does God speak to you about coming dangers and show you the way out? If God spoke to Paul, should he not be speaking to you too? Think about it.

Prayer- Dear Father in heaven, grant me boldness to be an effective witness for Jesus Christ all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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