Thursday, March 31, 2016

If it's convenient......

The Apostle Paul took his Christianity seriously. After the conversion of this man Saul, and his new life in Jesus, he seemed so determined to make the good news of the gospel known to all. He took missionary journeys, and they are numbered and detailed in the maps section of most Bibles. All of these trips were for the purpose of preaching and teaching about Jesus, and it would seem that Paul would have smooth sailing as he worked so diligently to practice the Great Commission.  However, numerous readings from the Acts of the Apostles gives us the truth of all the hardships, near death experiences, and opposition that Paul faced. Your reading today comes from accusations against Paul and his defense in front of a judge, Felix. Please read the entire 24th chapter of Acts.  Then the part we wish to focus on is in verses 24 and 25:

24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.”

Paul's preaching on righteousness, self-control and the judgment were apparently too uncomfortable for Felix to hear. Can you think of teaching from the scripture that has made you feel uncomfortable?

Felix is memorable to us because we can see through reading this chapter, he was sympathetic to the words of Paul's defense, and though imprisoned, Paul was given special privileges. But when the truth became more than Felix wanted to hear he said, "That's enough for now! You may leave, When I find it convenient, I will send for you."  Has our response, or lack of response to the Lord ever centered around similar excuses? .....we prefer a more convenient time?

In this case and in every case of adversity for Paul, he remained faithful to the gospel call. He realized that closed doors did not mean defeat as he bounced off of them till he was led to open doors of opportunity to spread the good news. In that, Paul is an example for you and me.

How much you need to see the opportunities God puts in front of you so you can share the gospel.  It may or may not be convenient for you, but regardless, the people you encounter are loved by God, and just maybe, God wants you to tell them about your life in Jesus.  Experience has taught us personal testimony is more powerful than the sermons from the pulpit.  Talking and sharing, one on convenient is that?

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