Sticking point

OPENING PRAYER

Father, help me to keep my heart open to You, to live from pure motives and to walk in integrity.

 

Read: ACTS 24:22-27

[22] Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.” [23] He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs. [24] Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. [25] As Paul talked about 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.” [26] At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him. [27] When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison. 

 

Reflect: WHAT WAS MOTIVATING FELIX?

As a student, I knew someone who behaved in exactly the same way as Felix. He sought out the company of Christians (26). He knew a lot about Christianity (22). He was happy to engage regularly in discussion about Christianity (26), but he evaded the “difficult issues” (25). At the time, I remember feeling immensely frustrated that things never seemed to move anywhere for him faith-wise–and I don’t know whether he ever put his faith in Christ or not. It’s likely that we’ll experience both success and failure as results of witnessing for Christ, but he neither applauds us for the former nor condemns the latter. What Christ seeks, and what pleases him, is our obedience and faithfulness to what God asks us to do. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 about us being co-workers with God–and that it’s God who “makes it grow.” Whether we witness powerfully, emotively haltingly–to kings and rulers, or our next-door neighbor–doesn’t matter; what matters is that we take the opportunities we have to do it. Other people’s response is not our responsibility, and whatever the outcome may be of our witness, we trust those people to God.

 

APPLY

Talk with a trusted friend about anything that is causing compromise in full commitment to Christ.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

God, forgive me when I move from fear of man. Help me rather fear that which breaks connection with You.

 

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