Paul’s appeal to Caesar!
Scripture reading for July 7th: Acts 25:1-27
After two years in jail awaiting a decision from governor Felix, Festus replaced Felix and was again approached by the Jews to have Paul brought to Jerusalem for a trial. They again had plans to ambush him and kill him as he was being transported. Old habits die hard! I wonder how the men with the vow had gone without eating or drinking for that amount of time! (Acts 23:21)
Festus again set a time for a trial and invited the Jews to come and press charges at the court in Caesarea. Again the Jews made charges that they could not prove. Paul again reiterated that he had done nothing against their law, temple or against Caesar. (Acts 25:8) Again, Festus asked Paul if he were willing to go to Jerusalem to face their charges. Paul declined and because he was a Roman citizen, appealed to Caesar! Festus granted his plea and the Jews went away empty-handed! Paul’s call to preach at Rome had been granted with an all-expense paid trip there!
As the details were being worked out, King Agrippa and his wife Bernice came by Caesarea to visit Festus. They discussed Paul’s situation and the King asked to hear Paul. Festus arranged this meeting for he hoped to have some better charges to accompany Paul to give to Caesar.
We can see how patience is required of God’s servants as God works out details and brings about His purposes. Where God guides, He provides! He had planned and revealed to Paul that he would stand before the Gentiles and their kings. (Acts 9:15) He would also stand as a witness to the nation of Israel. In confronting the leaders of the Sanhedrin before the court of Felix and now Festus, Paul had opportunity to share the Gospel and his testimony of God’s saving grace in his own life. Some were saved and others were lost because of their hard hearts.
Are you patiently waiting and praying for every opportunity to share the Gospel? Do you complain when things don’t go as you hoped or seem to try your patience? Ask God to show you how to listen to Him and fulfill your calling in the midst of the trying circumstances! God knows every detail of our lives and will work them out for our good and His glory!