May 22 – Acts 24:1-25:16
With school wrapping up, it’s time to think about summer. Who am I kidding, I’ve been thinking about summer since last summer ended. Summer often brings a change in routine, maybe more time to spend at the feet of Jesus, maybe less time, but I pray for all of us that it doesn’t become a summer break from our relationship with God.
READ: Acts 24:1-25:16
Acts 24:25 – As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.”
Felix was the Roman governor of Judea. Since riots and conspiracy threatened Paul in Jerusalem, the governing officials in Jerusalem decided to take Paul to a safer location for his case to be heard before the governor Felix. Paul was a Jewish Pharisee, but he was also a Roman citizen by birth, and the Romans liked to take care of their own. Despite being on trial, Paul had clout before the Romans, so much so that Felix allowed Paul to speak the Good News to him. Isn’t it awesome how God orchestrated that? That would be like me being in prison, and Governor Pete Ricketts asking me to coffee, me in my orange jumpsuit and chains with my prison guards, the governor with his bodyguards and paparazzi. There’s no way these meetings between Paul and Felix could have happened without God’s hand.
Luke doesn’t tell us any more about Felix’ salvation, but he heard the Good News straight from the mouth of someone to whom Jesus appeared, and someone who spent his life since then traveling the Mediterranean telling as many people about Jesus as he could find. Paul planted and watered that seed over the two years that he met with Felix, and hopefully it sprouted at some point. I’ll put him on my list of people to look for in heaven.
However, Felix’ response to Paul telling him about Jesus in verse 24:25 could describe me too often, when I get out my whiny voice and cry, “I don’t wanna, God!” Felix uses the word “convenient” for how he needs to be feeling before he’s ready to hear more about Jesus. Convenient = comfortable. Perhaps Felix missed out on salvation because he was waiting to be comfortable before he committed to belief in Jesus? How much do I miss out on from You, striving for comfort and convenience instead of striving to be closer to You? Comfort and convenience are worldly desires, and You want my desires to be for You and heaven. Paul was always respectful to government officials, but I can just sense his Spirit sinking when Felix responds in this manner. Look at Paul’s life—far cry from convenience and comfort there.
Looking for convenience and comfort will not lead me to You.
Thank You for desiring a relationship with me. Help me not to back-up and tell You later when I’m feeling better or when I’m less busy or any of the excuses You’ve heard from me. I want to be all-in for You!