Check out all the previous Acts readings here.
Acts Reading Plan | Week 16 | Day 3
Take a moment to be silent and still. In order to be fully present in body and mind, take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Do this three times.
1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” As you open your time with Jesus, you might ask Him to strengthen you during this time for what you are facing in your life today.
Bible Reading: Acts 23:6-11
Read these verses three times slowly.
Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)
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?” 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.
The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
Reflection & Questions
Yesterday, facing the wrath of the religious leaders, Paul accidentally called the High Priest a ‘whitewashed wall’. Today, to purposefully cause division amongst his accusers, he pulls the pin of a theological grenade and throws it in the middle of them. That was the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. The various factions of the religious leaders had strongly differing beliefs about it. We’re told “there was a great uproar” amongst the leaders and it became so violent, Paul was taken away by the commander.
While this bought Paul some time, he was certainly not out of danger. What is beautiful in the midst of the danger is that “the Lord stood near Paul” and told him, “Take courage!” If this sounds familiar, it is because over and over again in Scripture, this is God’s way with his people. Like when he told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous… for the Lord your God is with you” (Joshua 1:9). Whatever you’re facing today, there are two things you can be confident about. Jesus is with you. And He’s calling you to be courageous.
- Are you confident that God is with you in the situations you’re facing right now? Why or why not?
- Are you courageous in the situation you’re facing right now? How do you think Paul would encourage you?
Talk to God in response to today’s reading.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
Check out more Bible Reading Plans here.