28 Weeks Acts Devotion Week 25
WEEK 25 - ACTS 25 – January 28, 2019
Written by Fuxia Wang, director of International Ministries, OU Wesley Foundation - Norman; Jurisdictional Conference Delegate
This week we will look at Acts 25 and see how God’s plan came to pass in Paul’s life. May the Lord open up this passage in a much greater way for us this week. Amen.
By the end of Acts 24, Paul had been in prison for two whole years, even though he was completely innocent of any wrong doing. By that time, Paul had already gone through at least 3 trials. In Acts 25, Paul was going through the fourth trial in his life. Festus was now the governor. The high priest and the chief men of the Jews had not waned in their desire to have Paul killed. They were accusing Paul of crimes deserving of death but had no evidence to prove his guilt. According to Festus, Paul should have been set free two years earlier. But in order to keep the peace, Festus attempted to do the Jews a favor by trying to have Paul sent back to Jerusalem if Paul was willing. Paul, however, said “I appeal to Caesar” (v11) for he knew this would be the way God would work out his promise to bring him to Rome: “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome” (Acts 23:11) Also, the Apostle Paul was fulfilling the great prediction which the Lord himself made about him when Jesus called him to be an apostle. “This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.” (Acts 9:15)
“But the accusations made against him weren’t any of the crimes I expected. Instead, it was something about their religion and a dead man named Jesus, who Paul insists is alive.” (Verses18-19) See how slightly Festus spoke of Christ, and of the great controversy between the Jews and Christians. That’s the two essential facts of the gospel: death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul was on trial because he was proclaiming that the Jew’s Messiah was crucified and resurrected.
The appearance before King Agrippa was really a hearing, and not a trial; Agrippa did not have jurisdiction in the matter. He had been appointed by Caesar to be king of Chalcis and tetrarch of Galilee. The emperor gave him the right to oversee the affairs of the temple in Jerusalem and the appointment of the high priest. Of this King Agrippa, his great-grandfather, Herod the Great (37BC-4BC) had tried to kill Jesus as a baby; his grandfather, Herod Antipas, (4BC-39AD) had John the Baptist beheaded; his father, Herod Agrippa I (37AD-44AD), had martyred the first apostle, James. Now Paul stands before the next in line of the Herodian dynasty, Herod Agrippa II (38AD-70AD), the last Herodian monarch.
Will you be so bold like Paul to fulfill God’s calling for your life for the sake of the gospel? Will you trust in Christ and live life to the fullest without fear?
We will never learn to trust the Lord until we learn to step out in faith and do things that are beyond our own abilities. Our God is just, also merciful and gracious. Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God. God will guide us through every circumstance we face and we will see the goodness of the Lord in a greater way in 2019.
Lord, help us, strengthen us and empower us to stay in line with The Way, The Truth and The Life no matter what challenges are. In the Almighty name of Jesus, our resurrected Lord and Savior. Amen.
Suggested reading schedule
• Monday - Acts 25
• Tuesday - Acts 25:1-5
• Wednesday - Acts 25:6-12
• Thursday - Acts 25:13-22
• Friday - Acts 25:23-27
• Saturday - Acts 25
• Sunday - Sabbath
Reflection questions: What a difference does it make when you trust in the resurrected Christ and live life to the fullest without fear?
Prayer focus: UMC Global Ministries missionaries sharing God’s love with people living without knowing the love of Christ.
If you wish to contact the delegation via email the address is firstname.lastname@example.org