Message: In Acts 24 Paul finally saw his day
in court as promised. The high priest came in with his lawyer and began his
suck-up statements to Felix and presented fabricated accusations that Paul was
disturbing the peace that the Roman government had so graciously provided. Paul
defended himself by simply asking for the proof and the people who witnessed
these things and then went on to publicly acknowledge the gospel of Jesus
Christ and his association with “The Way”. Felix dismissed with orders that
Paul be held, but given his freedom and permission for his friends to come in
and serve him. Felix came back later with his Jewish wife so he could hear Paul
speak more about the gospel, but he stopped him when it got convicting. He came
back many times over two years because he expected that Paul might give him
money. Eventually he was replaced by a successor but he left Paul locked up as
a favor to the Jews. Reading all of this reminded me of reading the news today.
Everyone has a motive, and as long as everyone has a motive, truth cannot and
will not be found.
Command: Examine every motive in my own heart.
Promise: God promises that when we hunger and
thirst after righteousness we will see him.
Warning: Our own ideas sound good to us, and
might even fool people around us but our motives do not fool God.
Application: I was recently praying for our
government and our health system as we navigate through this COVID-19 crisis. I
was frustrated that there were so many people involved with motives because the
decisions they make affect the livelihood of our country- both physically and
economically. I saw a picture of this here as I read about all of the people
involved with a motive. As long as people have motives they are unable to receive
truth. Even if they want to hear it. When I apply this to my own life I have to
be honest with myself. What motives do I have when I approach God? Am I coming
to him with an open heart and asking him to show me what he is doing and show
me truth, or am I coming to him with my own agenda and asking God to make it
so? So many things sound like a good idea, but today I challenge myself to
evaluate every motive to the core and see what is holding back my growth or
changing the way I pray. Lord, please show me what you are doing among us and
help me to see truth and cooperate with your plan!