Journal Acts 24 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla (who was Jewish), and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.
And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgement, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity, I will summon you. (At the same time, he hoped that money would be given him by Paul)
So, he (Felix) sent for him often and conversed with him. When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. (And) Desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.” Acts 24:24-27
Observation: Reasoning about righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgement equals becoming alarmed. When seeking to approach an unbeliever, even one who is familiar about Jesus and Christian doctrine, are these three subjects I talk about? Am I even able to do any of these subjects’ justice?
Analysis: Righteousness is a facet of the Gospel.
Self-Control is a facet of the Gospel.
The coming judgment is a facet of the Gospel.
Am I familiar with these enough to preach the Gospel to others? How about preaching them to myself? Can I do that? If not, am I even motivated enough to pursue them?
If I can’t, it is a good bet that I don’t know about them in any capacity enough to talk about them to the face in the mirror. And, more than likely, I avoid learning about them because I don’t want to hear.
I think this section is not so much about Felix and his response as it is about me. My response is the same as Felix although I hide behind the mistaken identity like the Pharisee in the Temple: “O Lord, I am glad I am not like that tax-collector…”
“I am not that guy nor need that knowledge; I have been set free…”, is what I can think. After redemption, after “salvation”, what more do I need to know?
If I don’t know what I need to know, when I speak to others about Jesus, what kind of converts, what kind of disciples am I making?
Prayer: Lord, strengthen me according to your Word, according to your Will (the stuff I can find out about because of study), according to your Ways.
Change my life and help me, allow me, to engage with you, Holy Spirit, to fiercely and purposefully do so daily. Keep this in front of mind moment by moment.
Bring revival, heal this land,