Paid in Full
You are always watching over me. You are always near to me. Help me to practice faith when it is hard.
Read Acts 22:22-29
 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!”  As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air,  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.  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?”  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.”  The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I am,” he answered.  Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.” “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.  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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat citizenship does your life reflect?
As he is being tied up to be whipped, Paul points out to his captors that he is a Roman citizen, and what they are doing is therefore illegal under Roman law, since Roman citizens were promised immunity from degrading punishments. It is clear from the centurion’s reply (28) that citizenship was not only acquired by birth, but could also be purchased, usually at a considerable price, or received as a reward for service to Rome. Paul’s response must have irritated the centurion’s wound: his citizenship was free by birth. Citizenship is still a valuable commodity today. It can be very hard to get across borders into a country of one’s choice, and then there can be years of residence required (sometimes with tests to pass) before citizenship can be granted. For those of us not born citizens, it comes at a high price. Being a citizen of God’s Kingdom, however, comes at the highest price of all. Amazingly, Jesus has already paid it for each of us, in full, with his death on the cross. We, like Paul, are saved, not through birth (28), but through faith (Eph. 2:8).
Give thanks to Jesus for the price he paid to secure our citizenship in heaven!
Jesus, You have paid the highest price to make me a citizen of Your Kingdom. I desire to live so the world can see it.
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