AS A ROMAN CITIZEN
Heavenly Father, thank You for the freedom I have to share Your good news with the world.
Read Acts 22:22–29
22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!”
23 As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. 25 As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”
26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”
27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”
“Yes, I am,” he answered.
28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.”
“But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.
29 Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does it mean to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” today?
With the mob again trying to kill Paul, the Tribune had to save his life once more. But Paul was about to go from the frying pan into the fire: the Tribune ordered him to be punished by scourging — meaning to have his skin shredded by a whip with leather thongs into which were tied pieces of broken glass or metal. You would think Paul would say something to save himself from this torture, but he kept silent once again! Only when the scourging was about to begin did Paul calmly ask a simple question (25). Like an expert swordsman with a delicate rapier, Paul cut through another desperate situation and in one masterstroke paved his road to Rome.
In many cultures around the world and increasingly in the West, Christians are under pressure to keep silent, are opposed when they speak publicly about their faith, and worse. Do you know what protections the law in your country can provide for Christians? In the US, the American Center for Law and Justice has many publications, which outline the legal freedoms Christians have to speak publicly about Christ
Find out how the law in your country impacts your freedom to share your faith
Pray for believers around the world who do not have the same freedoms you do and are being persecuted for their faith.