The Way

Day 59

Acts 23-24

The Jail of Injustice

When Paul came to town he didn’t check in at the Hampton Inn…he checked in at the jail. Well, anyway, that’s where it seems he always ended up. So Paul’s been arrested and thrown in jail…again. What did he do this time? He was praying at the temple. That’s it. He wasn’t preaching, he wasn’t converting anyone, he wasn’t casting demons out of a fortuneteller or putting idol makers out of business…he was just praying at the temple. But his mere presence was enough to upset hell. So he gets arrested and thrown into jail for doing nothing other than praying. It reminds of some lines from the old song by Larry Norman, Shot Down

I’ve been shot down, talked about
Some people scandalize my name,
But here I am, talkin’ ’bout Jesus just the same.

I’ve been knocked down, kicked around
But like a moth drawn to the flame,
Here I am, talkin’ ’bout Jesus just the same.

Sometimes you get miraculously delivered from the jail of injustice…and sometimes you don’t. God had sent an angel more than once to get Peter out of jail. In Philippi Paul had been delivered from jail by an earthquake. But this time there would be no angel and no earthquake. As we will see, God had a purpose in Paul’s unjust imprisonment. But God did not forsake His servant either. God was working behind the scenes through Paul’s nephew and a very competent Roman commander by the name of Claudius Lysias. Oh, yeah, and Jesus did appear to Paul in jail. The conversation went something like this…

Jesus: Cheer up, Paul!

Paul: You’re going to get me out of jail?

Jesus: No. But you are going to get to go on an all expense paid trip to Rome.

Paul Before Felix

It’s an amazing thing to watch the Apostle Paul give his defense when he’s on trial. It seems he always forgets why he’s there. After a few moments he forgets to defend himself and starts testifying for Jesus. And after a little while longer you forget who’s on trial. It always ends up with the judge seeming like he’s on trial. I can tell you I have no doubt that Governor Felix was much more nervous than the Apostle Paul. In fact, Felix was just plain afraid. The Bible says so.

And Felix could have got saved. But he didn’t. He made some lame excuse about it not being a “convenient time.” And now Felix has no more time at all…only eternity. He has all of eternity to contemplate what a fool he was in not seizing the opportunity he had to be saved. Regret is one of the worms of hell which dieth not.

During the first portion of the trial, when the hired orator Tertullus was presenting the chief priests’ case against Paul, he accused Paul of belonging to a “sect” or “cult.” During his defense Paul made reference to “the Way which they call a sect.” From the very beginning, those who are really on fire for Jesus have been accused of belonging to a cult. It was that way in the book of Acts and it’s that way today. It happens here in the United States, it happens in Mexico, it happens in Russia, it happens in India, it happens in France…everywhere I go to minister, the churches that are really full of life are accused of being a sect or a cult. If you get that slanderous label thrown on you, don’t be ashamed of it, wear it as a badge of honor. They did the same to the Apostle Paul. It’s part of being a true follower of The Way.


“Satan’s Throne”

That’s what I’m preaching on tonight. I’m quite sure you’ve never heard anything quite like it and I’m equally sure you’ll find it fascinating. See you tonight!



I Am A Servant
Larry Norman

I am a servant, I am listening for my name,
I sit here waiting, I’ve been looking at the game
That I’ve been playing, and I’ve been staying much the same
When you are lonely, you’re the only one to blame.

I am a servant, I am waiting for the call,
I’ve been unfaithful, so I sit here in the hall.
How can you use me when I’ve never given all,
How can you choose me when you know I’d quickly fall.

So you feed my soul and you make me grow,
And you let me know you love me.
And I’m worthless now, but I’ve made a vow,
I will humbly bow before thee.
O please use me, I am lonely.

I am a servant getting ready for my part,
There’s been a change, a rearrangement in my heart.
At last I’m learning, there’s no returning once I start.
To live is a privilege, to love is such an art
But I need your help to start,
O please purify my heart, I am your servant.