May 31, 2018
Acts 25:1-7 The Message (MSG)
As Christians, our reputation as law-abiding, peace-promoting, and honest-living people matters; we are to reflect our Master’s integrity and love.
In our lesson today, Paul’s reputation is under attack, but he knows he is innocent of the charges the high priests are trying to bring against him. He has done nothing to harm the Jewish religion, the Temple, nor Caesar’s empire. Paul’s conscience is clear and his reputation as one who walks with God stands. He is not bowing down to the accusations of others. He knows if he were guilty of these things, the Spirit would convict him.
Sometimes we may be tempted to think how we live our lives does not matter to God, but those are lies the enemy tries to get us to believe. Cast down the temptation to compromise and seek to reflect the reputation of God. The Spirit will guide you.
Acts 25:1-7 An Appeal to Caesar
1-3 Three days after Festus arrived in Caesarea to take up his duties as governor, he went up to Jerusalem. The high priests and top leaders renewed their vendetta against Paul. They asked Festus if he wouldn’t please do them a favor by sending Paul to Jerusalem to respond to their charges. A lie, of course—they had revived their old plot to set an ambush and kill him along the way.
4-5 Festus answered that Caesarea was the proper jurisdiction for Paul, and that he himself was going back there in a few days. “You’re perfectly welcome,” he said, “to go back with me then and accuse him of whatever you think he’s done wrong.”
6-7 About eight or ten days later, Festus returned to Caesarea. The next morning he took his place in the courtroom and had Paul brought in. The minute he walked in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem were all over him, hurling the most extreme accusations, none of which they could prove.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirit who helps me live with your reputation in mind. In Jesus’ name. Amen.