July 30

Acts 28:16-31

Paul had God’s favor! The centurion allowed Paul to stay with him in Rome. When we trust and obey God, He favor follows us! Later Paul rents his own home and is under house arrest for 2 years. He preaches and teaches, without restraint, to those who come to him.

Since Paul had certain freedoms, he was able to call leaders of the Jews together, communicating his innocence. The religious leaders were curious to hear more about Christianity. Paul was able to take the Scriptures and teach. He was able to persuade some of the leaders concerning Jesus, but others disagreed. The last thing Paul said to them was a quote from Isaiah 6:9-10, stating that the Jews would hear, but not understand. Then he declares that God would take His salvation to the Gentiles.

Paul has been a witness to the Jews and Gentiles in Rome, fulfilling God’s mission for Paul’s fourth and final journey. Tradition tells us that Paul was eventually martyred for his faith, beheaded in Rome, between 64 and 66 A.D. During this time of persecution, many Christians were ostracized, tortured, and brutally killed. The Roman emperor was Nero.

As long as Paul had breath, he taught and wrote. When we read these books, let’s remember Paul wrote them as he faced much hardship. When he wrote about living righteously, he was putting his life on the line for the credibility and benefits of salvation through Christ. When he wrote to warn Christians of false doctrine, he was often writing from prison, hoping the believers would not adulterate the truth of God’s Word. When he encouraged the believers to stand strong in their faith, his goal was to see the Gospel message perpetuate throughout the regions of the world and for generations to come.

May we recognize the price that was paid to launch the kingdom of God through ministers like Paul, and with the same fervor may we be willing to pay the price these two thousand years later to prepare the kingdom for Christ’s return. Spread the flame!

Psalm 59-61

Psalm 59-60 are the last in this series of Michtam psalms, which seem to be psalms about deliverance from death. Psalm 59 was written by David when the enemy was watching the place where David was lodging in order to kill him. Psalm 60 was written by David when he fought against Mesopotamia and Syria.

Psalm 61 is also written by David, a psalm about God’s protection. Not only does David declare a trust in God for Israel; but he also mentions God’s motive of mercy and the authenticity of God’s truth. God is trustworthy!

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