Tag: ruling but bound
Scripture reading for November 16th: Acts 24-26
Politicians today have similar problems to those found in today’s reading from Acts. Some in Paul’s day and time found that political office was a good place to make some easy money by extortion and bribes. Felix, governor of Caesarea, was Rome’s chief official and responsible to deal with cases involving Roman citizens. Felix was aware of the politics of the religion of the Jews and played that in hopes of receiving some financial rewards!
Paul was being held in Caesarea in jail until his case could be decided. Jews from Jerusalem and a lawyer named Tertullus came to accuse Paul of sedition and stirring up riots all over the world, as well as in Jerusalem. They made their charges, and Paul was invited by Felix to make his defense. Paul’s final statement was that these Jews had no charges but rather disagreed with Paul’s belief and statement concerning the resurrection of the dead. (Acts 24:20-21) This statement ended the hearing abruptly and Paul was taken away but given some freedom to have his friends minister to him. Felix was acquainted with the “Way” that Paul believed!
Some days later, Felix and his wife sent for Paul and asked him to share his beliefs with them again. Paul shared with them about righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment. (Acts 24:25) Felix fell under conviction and cut Paul off, promising to hear him again at another time. “At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.” This went on for two years!
It is interesting to note that Felix was under conviction at first and was drawn to hear Paul. When the word got strong, he would cut it off, hardening his heart. This man listened to the truth preached to him for over two years! He had preaching on demand, but this powerful preacher with the Gospel message could not break through his hardened heart. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to those who will humbly receive it. (Romans 1:16-17)
It appears that the love of money was a stronghold that Felix allowed into his life. Remember that Jesus said that you cannot serve God and money! (Matthew 6:24) Many try; none will succeed! Check your heart today for this stronghold! Check your checkbook too–are you giving God His share?