Acts 26:19-32: God Is Sovereign
February 21, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Leviticus 16-17, Psalm 43, Matthew 19:16-30, Acts 26:19-32
We come to another moment of strange providence. This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar. What does this part of the story show us? Several things:
First, that Paul was a man of unparalleled intellect. He had “great learning.” People might disagree with the apostle Paul, they might not accept his claims, but few who listened to him speak could doubt that there was a great mind at work. This is encouraging to us because we know with the apostle Paul that here is a faith—Christianity—that demands credible consideration before the highest bars of human learning. And of course, more than that: our greatest intellects pale into insignificance compared to the majesty of the mind of God himself.
Second, that Paul was a man with an ongoing and extraordinary focus on evangelism. His goal, even at this moment, was to win those around him to faith in Christ. This was his great ambition. This was the goal to which he was driving. How could we be more focused on winning others for Christ? Evangelism is not something invented by the contemporary evangelical movement, but goes back to the apostle Paul, to Jesus, and indeed to the very heart of the God who so loved the world that he sent his only Son that whoever believes should not perish but have eternal life.
Third, that Paul could (at least the king and the governor suggest) have been set free, leaves you wondering whether Paul had been right to appeal to Caesar. Perhaps you have areas of your life where you second-guess your decisions and look back at your past and wish you had chosen differently. Do not look at life through the rearview mirror. God is sovereign over your decisions, right or wrong, and all you can do is to decide today to make the most of this day for God’s glory (not futilely worry over the past). And Paul’s decision to appeal to Caesar led him right to the heart of the Empire where he was a witness to God there too. God is sovereign.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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