Reading the Bible causes me to realize I have more in common with some of these individuals than I care to admit. Today, that is Esau. I so easily slip into the idea 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 is the description of the birthright Esau sold for that bowl of stew. How often does my focus on the present cause me to lose sight of my eternal inheritance? What of eternal value am I losing because of "right now" desire?
As I grow older, the disciples' question is increasingly relevant to me. With the United States' abstention from the UN vote in December, I think often of the "signs of times" (Matthew 16:1–3). I wonder how close is the end of the age? 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 going to be the faithful, wise servant?
Jesus, I know You are coming again. I pray "Come, Lord Jesus!" My desire is 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. What is done seemingly in private very often becomes public, with the consequences affecting not just the parties involved, but the public in general.
Paul understood this principle. In 2 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 actions 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 authority 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 be prepared 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 exactly 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 exactly 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 would be reflected; not just by my words but by my actions.