Empty Cross Ministries
February 8, 2021
Daily Devotion in Acts 25
Problems Present Opportunities
Perhaps, Paul could have chosen a life with fewer problems, but he chose a route that would be the most effective for the Lord. That life had many difficult times, no doubt. Still, those trials allowed him to have a ministry like not many others have ever experienced. Unintentionally, Paul had an opportunity that reached many high-ranking political and religious leaders.
His bold preaching told many about Jesus. Many were angered, and Paul faced prison many times for his courageous stand. While incarcerated, he had the opportunity to give his testimony and the testimony of Jesus Christ to people he would not ordinarily have been able to reach. In Acts 23-25 alone, he was able to speak to a council of Jews and Romans, Felix, Drusilla, Sadducees, Pharisees, King Agrippa, the High Priest, Chief of Jews, Festus, and elders of the Jews.
Many times, we too face hard, trying times. They are often hardships that we would never purposely choose to go through. Still, those trials can allow the Christian to reach people they would never have the opportunity to minister.
One would never choose to face cancer, but many Christians have faced it. They took the opportunity to witness to those they were sharing a hospital room with or with others getting the same chemo treatments. Certainly, those in a car accident would never purposely choose to experience a wreck. That terrible event allowed them to pass a tract to the other person in the collision or to talk to the officer at the accident about salvation. Those in a long line at a store would have chosen a shorter, faster line. Still, it became an excellent opportunity to invite the person in front of them to church.
If we had the ability, I am sure most would choose an easy life without any trials or tribulations. One surrendered to be a witness for Christ can take unpleasant circumstances and use them for the glory of God. Those hard times take us to places and people that we would never have the ability to see otherwise.
Since reaching others with God’s Word and its truths are the most important things to God, it is those unusual circumstances we face that often have us in a place where God wants us to reach out to others. Paul’s trials took him to people that he would not normally have been able to minister. To whom have your testings brought you today to be a witness for the Saviour?
“Every trial can also be an opportunity.”
Words to Understand:
Pomp: elaborate ceremony
Salute: welcome; greet
1 Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
2 Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him,
3 And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him.
4 But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither.
5 Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.
6 And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought.
7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.
8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.
9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?
10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.
12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
13 ¶ And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.
14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul’s cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix:
15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.
16 To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.
17 Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth.
18 Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed:
19 But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
20 And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters.
21 But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.
22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.
23 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus’ commandment Paul was brought forth.
24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer.
25 But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.
26 Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write.
27 For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.