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Bible Pathways - Nov. 18, 2008


November 18

Acts 26

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Paul witnesses to King Agrippa, who rejects salvation (26:28). Paul appeals to Caesar and is then sent to Rome. A storm and shipwreck follow. Miracles follow Paul. Paul arrives in Rome and witnesses to the Jews. Some believed . . . and some believed not (28:24). Paul turns to the Gentiles (that's us) (28:25-28) and dwells in his own hired house (28:30-31) for two years.

Although they were famous, Paul's two listeners, Festus and King Agrippa, were merely lost souls standing before God resisting His Word. Paul testified how before his conversion he had opposed Christ and all Christians. He distinctly claimed he was as sincerely conscientious before his conversion as he had been since. He thought, ignorantly of course, that in opposing, hindering, persecuting, and destroying Christians, he was actually doing God a service (I Timothy 1:13). This clearly points out that one's conscience is unreliable and is a dangerous guide unless it is enlightened by the Holy Spirit and instructed by God's Word.

When Saul of Tarsus (later called Paul) raved against God, blasphemed Christ, and breathed out threats of slaughter against Christians, his contemporaries considered him both wise and prudent. When Paul, the aged apostle, talked in sublime tones of a crucified and risen Savior, Festus, the Judean governor, declared that Paul was a radical who had lost his mind.

Today people who reject Christ as their Savior would agree with Festus, that earnest and enthusiastic Christians, who base their present happiness and future hope of heaven on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, are foolish visionaries.

Paul then appealed to King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest (Acts 26:27). Paul felt that Agrippa believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah of Israel and Savior of our world and that He died for our sins according to the Scriptures (I Corinthians 15:1-4).

Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that . . . thou . . . were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds (Acts 26:28-29). His heart was touched, his mind enlightened, his spirit trembled on the verge of a decision for Christ — nothing was wanting but the decision. Sadly, countless thousands reach this position as did Agrippa and put it off without becoming altogether a Christian.

Andrew. . . . findeth his own brother Simon (Peter), and saith . . . We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ (John 1:41-40).

Thought for Today:

Like many things in life, almost is not good enough, especially when it comes to being saved.

Word Studies:

26:5 most straitest =b> most exact, strictest; 26:7 instantly =b> earnestly; 27:7 under =b> around, keeping close to; 27:12 commodious =b> suitable; 27:30 under colour =b> under pretense; 28:2 barbarous =b> rough islanders; 28:13 fetched a compass =b> circled around; 28:16 suffered =b> permitted.

Cross Reference:

For Acts 28:26-27: See Isaiah 6:9-10.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts to the Middle East sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Casmir Z. Zuranski • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Priscilla & Bud Wilcox • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Official: Sen. Ted Stevens (AK) • Country: Netherlands (15.8 million) in northwestern Europe • Major language: Dutch • Religious freedom • 35% Catholic; 28% Protestant; 3% Muslim; 1% Hindu; .9% Buddhist; .1% Jewish; 2% Other; 30% Unaffiliated • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord with all of your heart, and tell others of the marvelous things He has done (Psa. 73:28).

Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 5:7

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