The X Factor
I know You are the God who speaks in the whisper. Help me to quiet myself enough to hear You, Lord.
Read Acts 21:37-22:5
 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?” “Do you speak Greek?” he replied.  “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wilderness some time ago?”  Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”  After receiving the commander’s permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic:  “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”  When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said:  “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.  I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,  as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished. 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.
ReflectHow has God positioned you for the sake of the Gospel?
The centurion who had arrested Paul and taken him away for his own protection (33,35) was stunned when he spoke to him in Greek (37). The Jews were equally surprised when Paul spoke to them in their own language (2). It is no mistake that God chose Paul. As both a Jew and a Roman he draws the grudging respect of both audiences by using only the facts of his upbringing. He is not just any Roman citizen, but one from a prestigious university town (39); nor is he any ordinary Jew, but a zealot–the most fervent of all the Jews, and trained by a famous teacher (3). Paul’s birth and talents gave him the opportunity to be the mouthpiece for the Gospel with these people in this time. So it is now. God sees us. He knows where and when we were born. He uses our talents and our situation. Or, as Francis de Sales (1567-1622 and Bishop of Geneva) said, “Bloom where you are planted” (1 Cor. 7:17-24).
God has put you in unique situations for his sake. Consider the opportunities that God has given you and use them.
Precious Savior, thank You for coming near to me. Help me bring You near to others.
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