Reading the Bible causes me to realize I have more in common with some of these individuals than I care to admit. Today, it is Esau. I easily slip into the perception that right now is all that matters, just as Esau did. He sold his birthright for a bowl of stew! Genesis 25:5 says Abraham gave all he had to Isaac. This act of Abraham provides a visual description of the birthright Esau sold for that bowl of stew. He sold all he was to inherit from his father Isaac for a meal! How often does my focus on the present cause me to lose sight of my eternal inheritance? What infinite value do I forfeit by fulfilling my "right now" desire?
“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
As I grow older, the disciples' question is increasingly relevant to me. I often think of the "signs of times" (Matthew 16:1–3). I wonder how close the end of the age is. Can I interpret the signs of the times? When my mind goes in this direction, I inevitably think of the last of this chapter. Am I staying awake? Am I ready for the Lord's return? Am I the faithful, wise servant?
Jesus, I know You are coming again. I pray "Come, Lord Jesus!" I desire to be one of the blessed who You will find obediently following Your instruction.
These men knew the behavior of those in leadership affected the entire population. If Vashti felt free to reject the authority of the king, why should the citizens of the empire be any different? It seems many people in our day have either forgotten, never learned or don't care about this principle. Actions taken, seemingly in private, very often becomes public, with the consequences affecting not just the parties involved, but the public in general. Numbers 32:23 says, "be sure your sin will find you out."
Paul understood this principle. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul says "I urged that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." Paul understood the decisions of those in leadership affect our lives.
Father, I pray for those in positions of authority in our country. As a sovereign God, you raise up kings and rulers. Therefore, I would ask for those in positions of power to have a heart after You. Would You please surround those You raise up with wise and righteous counsel for Your glory and Your children's good.
Jesus told his disciples events like Paul's imprisonment and trial before Felix would happen. Matthew 10 is a thorough description of what Jesus' disciples should prepare for in the world. Matthew 10:17–20 is very specific to Paul's situation. Paul has been dragged into court, before governors and kings for Jesus' sake, to be a witness before them. Now as he speaks with Felix, he is not to be anxious because it is not he who will speak but the Spirit of his Father. And that is precisely what happens here in Acts 24:25.
In John 16:8–11, Jesus says the Holy Spirit will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. Notice that Paul reasoned with Felix about righteousness, self-control and the coming judgment. The Holy Spirit spoke through Paul and did what Jesus said He would do.
Holy Spirit, as You lead my involvement in peoples' lives, please use me as You have used others through the centuries to speak my Lord's truth. May I live my life, so His truth is reflected; not just by my words but by my actions.