New Testament In a Year: July 22 – Acts 24

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Acts 24
(1-21) Paul Before Felix at Caesarea
Paul was happy to defend himself because he knew that he was not guilty of any of the accusations being brought against him. Tertullus called Christianity “a sect,” but Paul called it “the Way.” Jesus the Christ referred to Himself as the Way because by faith He is the way to salvation, truth, joy, peace, and eternal life.

(22-27) Paul Kept in Custody
Felix and his wife Drusilla heard Paul speak about faith in Christ Jesus. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that they themselves ever came to believe in Christ. Perhaps they were not expecting to hear about righteousness, self-control, and coming judgment. Perhaps they thought they had more time to make up their minds about their faith. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “Today is the day of salvation.” Tomorrow and no day in the future is promised to us; that is why we must urge others to make a decision about Jesus the Christ today.

Favorite verse: (17) Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.”

New Testament In a Year: July 21 – Acts 23:16-35

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Acts 23:16-35
(16-22) A Plot to Kill Paul
Before Paul knew of the plot to kill him, the Lord told him, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.” So when the son of Paul’s sister told him about the plot, Paul did not become upset or worried. He knew that God would look out for him and would keep him safe until he had accomplished the purpose he had for him. We too can be at peace in the midst of problems when we take courage and place our confidence in the promises of God.

Favorite verse: (17) Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.”

New Testament In a Year: July 20 – Acts 23:1-15

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Acts 23:1-15
(1-11) Paul Before the Council
Paul did not think that living a life in good conscience justified him before God. He was not trying to imply that he was perfect or that he was never tempted to do wrong. With his first statement before the council, perhaps Paul was just trying to say that when his conscience convicted him of wrongdoing, he responded to it by immediately righting his wrongs. Despite the violent dissension that was created over him, the Lord remained by Paul and encouraged him. The Lord told him to “take courage,” because He had a plan for him to testify about Him not only in Jerusalem, but also in Rome.

Favorite verse: (3) Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?”

New Testament In a Year: July 19 – Acts 22

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Acts 22
(1-20) Paul Speaks to the People
Paul shares his testimony of how Jesus changed his life. He used to be like the people in the mob who now sought to destroy him. He used to think that he was doing God’s will by persecuting the people of God. When Paul came to know Christ as his Savior, he received not only physical sight, but also spiritual sight. He came to realize that the true will of God was for him to be a witness for Him.

(22-29) Paul and the Roman Tribune
The people did not want to hear the rest of what Paul had to say, and he was taken away to the barracks. People are not always going to want to hear what we have to say about Jesus and how He changed our lives either, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to tell them.

Favorite verse: (14) And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth.

New Testament In a Year: July 18 – Acts 21:18-40

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Acts 21:18-40
(27-36) Paul Arrested in the Temple
Just as he had been warned, as soon as Paul reached Jerusalem, hateful chaos broke out on account of his appearance. When the mob of people shouted, “Away with him!” they did not want him removed from the temple and taken to prison. They wanted him removed from the earth altogether. They wanted him dead. This is similar to what the mob did to Jesus when they shouted, “Crucify Him!” Just as Christ had suffered for Paul (and for all of us), Paul was willing to suffer for Him.

Favorite verse: (19) After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.

Women of the Word: Elisha’s Mother

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We all know who Elisha was. He was a mentee of the prophet Elijah, and later became Elijah’s successor, a great prophet in his own right who worked many miracles. We don’t know so much about Elisha’s parents. Elisha mentions his father and mother once in 1 Kings 19:20. Before leaving home for good to follow Elijah, Elisha said, “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and then I will come with you.” Continue reading

New Testament In a Year: July 17 – Acts 21:1-17

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Acts 21:1-17
(1-16) Paul Goes to Jerusalem
Paul felt that God wanted him to go to Jerusalem. Despite being warned that imprisonment awaited him, Paul would not be persuaded to turn back from the course that he was on. Even warnings from the Holy Spirit could not stop him. According to David Guzik’s Commentary on the Bible, “Paul’s insistence on going to Jerusalem despite the dangers predicted by the Holy Spirit was not a result of rebellion, but an obedient response to the command of the Holy Spirit in his heart…The warnings from the Holy Spirit were intended to prepare Paul, not to stop him.” He was ready not only to go to prison for the name of Jesus, but he was also ready to die for the name of Jesus.

Favorite verse: (13) Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”