Thursday, October 25, 2012
Welcome to Day 298 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Job 16:2, “You are miserable comforters, all of you! 3 Will your long-winded speeches never end?”
Acts 21:34, “Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. 35 When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. 36 The crowd that followed kept shouting, ‘Get rid of him!’”
Acts 22:30, “So the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul and set him before them.”
Acts 23:9 [Paul before the Sanhedrin] “There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. ‘We find nothing wrong with this man,’ they said. ‘What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?’ 10 The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.”
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.’”
“Two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen?” Just to transport Paul??
Funny how the tables are now turned on Paul… He even admits to the crowd in Jerusalem that he stood by while Stephen was killed. 22:20, “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.”
Paul let them know that he was a Pharisee descending from Pharisees. A Jew. A Roman citizen… He spoke to them in Aramaic.
Paul was real. He pleaded and reasoned with the crowd, quoting scripture and giving his testimony about his experience on the road to Damascus.
And they threatened to kill him.
When he mentioned that Jesus told him to go to the Gentiles, that really pushed their collective button and nearly incited a riot!
Then they beat him until he was rescued by soldiers… whom he asked to allow him to address the crowd.
It’s likely that I’ll never face a beating such as Paul received, or be escorted by TWO HUNDRED soldiers to another city, because of the Gospel.
I am called to what I am called. So are you. We are called to follow Christ. To “take up our cross daily” and follow him.
I wonder how I would react in similar circumstances to Paul’s?
Lord may I stay faithful to you… Thank you that we can draw on the experiences of those who have gone before us.