TO THE GOVERNOR
Gracious God, make me always ready for Your divine appointments
Read Acts 23:23–35
23 Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. 24 Provide horses for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.”
25 He wrote a letter as follows:
26 Claudius Lysias,
To His Excellency, Governor Felix:
27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, but I came with my troops and rescued him, for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen. 28 I wanted to know why they were accusing him, so I brought him to their Sanhedrin. 29 I found that the accusation had to do with questions about their law, but there was no charge against him that deserved death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed of a plot to be carried out against the man, I sent him to you at once. I also ordered his accusers to present to you their case against him.
31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night and brought him as far as Antipatris. 32 The next day they let the cavalry go on with him, while they returned to the barracks. 33 When the cavalry arrived in Caesarea, they delivered the letter to the governor and handed Paul over to him. 34 The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. Learning that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will hear your case when your accusers get here.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.
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.
ReflectHas God ever given you an opportunity to “solemnly tes-tify” about him? Have you ever turned away from such an opportunity?
I wonder if this Tribune, Claudius Lysias, ever imagined that his letter to Felix would appear one day in the Word of God? Luke chose by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to include this entire letter. Why? Because it shows the lengths to which God will go to open curious doors and use unlikely characters to achieve his divine purposes. Jesus had appeared to Paul to encourage him, and to tell him that he was finally bound for Rome—after years of longing and patient waiting (Rom. 1:9–11).
In order to get Paul to Rome, the Lord unleashed his strategic genius. First he forged a unique relationship between Paul and Claudius: Claudius saved Paul’s life no less than four times! Then he sat Claudius down to pen a letter to introduce Paul to Felix. And then, in his kind compassion, he moved Felix to give Paul a room in his official residence: Herod’s Praetorium! When God creates an opportunity to solemnly testify about him, he takes perfect care of all the details.
Can you commit to take the next opportunity that God gives you to share the Good News?
Lord, may we expect Your same mighty hand to open doors for us to solemnly testify of Your Gospel today.
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