December 9, 2023
DAY 343 JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
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Focus Verses For Today: Acts 22:19-20
Today, our journey through the book of Acts continues with Paul’s return to Jerusalem and the beginning of his journey to Rome.
Ask the Lord for His understanding of Acts 21-22. Read Acts 21-22. Let’s journey!
Acts 21-22: On his journey to Jerusalem, Paul receives a warning from fellow Christians to not return to Jerusalem. Paul listens to the Lord and continues his journey. Paul arrived in Jerusalem, spoke with other elders about all he had seen and done on his journeys, and purified himself to go to the temple. Paul was attacked and accused of bringing Gentiles into the inner courts of the temples and disregarding the Law of Moses. The crowd became enraged and attempted to kill Paul, who was rescued by Roman soldiers. Paul spoke to the crowd, telling of his conversion from Saul to Paul. The crowd again became unhappy when Paul explained his mission to the Gentiles, resulting in the guards arresting and planning to flog Paul. Paul claims his Roman citizenship and is brought before the Sanhedrin. (Acts 21:1-22:30)
Our focus verses for today:
19 “‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’
(Acts 22:19-20, NIV)
We all have a past. We all have moments we would rather be forgotten – skeletons in our closets. Paul was no exception. This passage brings us back to the first time we met him, then as Saul. He was standing by, an approving witness to the stoning death of Stephen, a follower of Jesus Christ. Paul is addressing a crowd in Jerusalem when he recounts this event. He is no longer running from his past. He is acknowledging it, recognizing how far he has come, giving thanks to the Lord. Paul is remembering his past, sharing his past, in the hopes of showing others that their lives can also be changed. What is a moment in your past you wish to forget? Instead of shame and embarrassment, how can that moment help you become stronger? How can that moment become inspirational?
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