A short reading and prayers for today
Sending for Paul, Felix and his wife Drusilla listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.”
Acts 24:24-25 NLT
Paul is now on the Mediterranean coast in Caesarea, the regional centre of Roman authority. The city had only recently been built and it became the largest settlement in Judaea. It was here that Pilate had been based. Governor Felix was in charge by this stage and Paul was brought before him after the plot to kill Paul in Jerusalem. What I love about our verses today is that they are such a beautiful illustration of the fact that, whatever the circumstances Paul was in, he just kept witnessing. You couldn’t stop him! At one moment he was happy to share his testimony with a crowd who, he knew, were hating every word he said and the next we find him sitting down with the most powerful man in the land and his wife, telling them the Good News.
Felix doesn’t have a great record. He was Governor of Judaea for eight years and had a reputation for cruelty and a love of bribes. It is said that he was hoping to get a bribe from Paul and so frequently asked to speak with the apostle. We have no idea what impact Paul’s testimony had on Felix and his wife, but that isn’t the issue. What is significant is that Paul seized his opportunity. We must leave with God the outcome of our witnessing. What matters is that we are continually seeking opportunities to speak of who Jesus is and what he has done for us.
I remember hearing some years ago from a very shy person who hated the idea of sharing his faith. The whole idea of witnessing was totally alien to him. And so he prayed about it and asked God to give him one opportunity, however small, to speak about his faith every day. He told me that God had never let him down! Whether you are like this man or the apostle Paul, God has given us Good News to share, and we need to be alert for every opportunity, whatever the reaction.
Will you pray for an opportunity to share your faith today?
Lord God, thank you for giving us such Good News to share. Amen
Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son was revealed to destroy the works of the devil
and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life:
Grant that we, having this hope,
may purify ourselves even as he is pure;
that when he shall appear in power and great glory,
we may be made like him
in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
where he is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.