Hey guys, just wanna first start out by saying get ready cause this post is about to be super long. Too many great things to talk about about throughout these 4-5ish chapters! Enjoy!
With all of us having gone through high school and half of us have gone onto college, I think we can all relate to Paul in chapter 22. It starts out with Paul being arrested (even though he had not been proven guilty of any charge) because the people did not like that he was telling them to disregard the Law of Moses. As he was being arrested he asked the commander if he could speak to the people in hopes to give his defense and spread the word of God to those who were there to listen. When he asked the commander, it caught him off guard that Paul could speak Greek. Paul was so intentional with his actions and chose to speak to him in Greek to show the commander and those who were arresting him that he was not just some random guy who had come to cause riots. Because of this, he was able to stand before the people and give his testimony. He didn’t start out by just preaching to the people because he knew that they would have no desire to listen to him. Instead he starts by trying to find common ground and relate to the people, after doing so, he gave his testimony.
I know a lot of us feel uncomfortable bringing up God to others around us because we are afraid of how they will react.. Especially during our high school years because no matter what you say, someone is always going to disagree and try to tear you down. As I went into my freshman year of college I was determined to talk to my roommate and my friends about God and possibly even lead them to Christ (I was so excited), but when the opportunity arose, I chickened out because I did not know how to start the conversation or what to say after it had been started. I didn’t want to straight up just start preaching to them because that can be weird and uncomfortable even for people who do believe in Christ right? After seeing how Paul built common ground with the people, I realized that I had been too worried about telling them about God and wanting to impact their lives that I forgot that it would be helpful to build some kind of relationship with them first. I know that I have talked to a few people who also struggle with this and I found that this story involving Paul definitely brought to my attention how we can have the courage to spread the gospel to our family and friends.
What stuck out to me the most in Chapter 23 is that it started off with Paul saying to Ananias, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck.” After he had said this, the people around him were shocked that he had insulted God’s high priest. To this Paul replies that he did not realize that Ananias was God’s high priest because he had broken his own laws.
This story is so important and relatable because we are on this earth to represent God and to preach the gospels to everyone we come in contact with. How are we going to lead others to Christ if we have no influence over the people we come in contact with? It is so important for our actions to reflect our words for us to be consider authentic and taken seriously!!!
Another thing that stuck out to me is how Paul’s sister’s son heard of their plan to ambush Paul and ran straight to Paul to deliver this news. By being bold and confident in what he had heard and relaying the information to Paul, he played a huge role in saving Paul’s life.
I’ve heard it said a million times that God uses people of all ages to bring others to Christ, but I never actually deep down believed that He could use me. After faithfully serving in Detour (due to someones ask and not saying no for me) for about a year, I have seen many young leaders influence so many kids that I cannot believe how wrong I was. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do something because you are too young or too small or not skilled enough, God can use anyone to do anything, all we have to do is let him guide us and let his will be done in our lives!
Paul was speaking the truth of The Lord to Felix (the governor) and Felix had no problem talking to Paul about Christ until Paul brought up righteousness, self-control, and judgment. When these topics arose, Felix became uncomfortable and sent Paul away because he did not want to feel convicted by what he was doing or saying on a daily basis.
Although getting personal and having someone hold you accountable may cause you to become uncomfortable or defensive, these people have good intentions and are only interested in helping you dig deeper into your faith. Our accountability groups are definitely one of my favorite parts of the internship because they challenge me to make life-changing decisions so that I may strengthen my relationship with Christ. So as we carry out the rest of the summer don’t be afraid to get personal with the people in your accountability groups as well as others in the internship!
Being assigned this blog was no accident and God totally knew what He was doing when He placed this opportunity in my hands. Such a learning experience with the things I struggle with most! It is crazy to see how much He has worked in my heart already this summer. Tom and Herc and all the leaders have continuously said, “You get out of it what you put into it,” and by comparing last summer with this summer, I couldn’t say it any better myself! So I just want to encourage you all to dig deep and stay disciplined and say yes to some things you normally wouldn’t! Lets all step out of our comfort zones this next month and half of the internship and see what God has in store for us!