Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Read | Acts 24:1-16
Paul demonstrated the power of patience when he was brought to trial before Festus. Instead of letting his accusers’ false claims interfere with his calm demeanor, the apostle patiently went through the legal process while remaining faithful to the Lord. He refrained from attacking the opposition or decrying the injustice of the charges. His peaceful manner found favor with the governor and earned him a hearing for the gospel (Acts 24:24-25).
Because our “flesh” is inclined towards impatience, we need to seek the Lord during difficult situations. Through prayer, we can ask Him to take control over our . . .
Thoughts. It is important that we shift our attention away from the circumstance and onto our heavenly Father. His Spirit will help us gain the right perspective.
Emotions. When the Holy Spirit oversees our feelings and reactions, we will find ourselves becoming calmer. Then He will empower us to respond in a godly manner.
Speech. Asking Him to help us have self-control over our tongue is essential. A timely word can defuse a situation; speaking defensively or shouting angrily at the other person can inflame it (Prov. 15:18).
The Holy Spirit will answer our prayers and provide what we need, just as He did for the apostle Paul.
Patience requires self-control and a desire to please God. Paul had need of both when standing before Festus and King Agrippa. Despite the injustice of those situations, Paul held his ground and was not provoked. Imagine what God will do through you as you grow in the virtue of patience.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Accused of Sedition
1 Now after five days Ananias the high priest came down with the elders and a certain orator named Tertullus. These gave evidence to the governor against Paul.
2 And when he was called upon, Tertullus began his accusation, saying: “Seeing that through you we enjoy great peace, and prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight, 3 we accept it always and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. 4 Nevertheless, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your courtesy, a few words from us. 5 For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He even tried to profane the temple, and we seized him,[a] and wanted to judge him according to our law. 7 But the commander Lysias came by and with great violence took him out of our hands, 8 commanding his accusers to come to you. By examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him.” 9 And the Jews also assented,[b] maintaining that these things were so.
The Defense Before Felix
10 Then Paul, after the governor had nodded to him to speak, answered: “Inasmuch as I know that you have been for many years a judge of this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself, 11 because you may ascertain that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd, either in the synagogues or in the city. 13 Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me. 14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. 15 I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead,[c] both of the just and the unjust. 16 This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.
17 “Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation, 18 in the midst of which some Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with a mob nor with tumult. 19 They ought to have been here before you to object if they had anything against me. 20 Or else let those who are here themselves say if they found any wrongdoing[d] in me while I stood before the council, 21 unless it is for this one statement which I cried out, standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day.’”
22 But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case.” 23 So he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him.
24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” 26 Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him.[e] Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him.
27 But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.