The Way - Day 126 (Acts 22)

Daily Reading:
Acts 22
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
In Acts 22 the Jews were happy to hear Paul's testimony about Jesus, until he mentioned that this good news was for the Gentiles too. In Luke 4 (refer back if needed) Jesus experienced something similar. Jesus told the people that God shows love and mercy to the Gentiles, who were the Jews enemy. What do these 2 instances reveal to us about the challenges of nationalism facing the early church? Do you see any similar struggles in the church today?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 46:10
OPTION 2: Proverbs 18:10
OPTION 3: Matthew 6:5-6
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for Acts 22 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
Acts 22
Paul begins by telling them about his life before being converted saying, "I am indeed a Jew...but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers' law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. I persecuted this Way [Christianity] to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women..." (22:3-4). In essence, Paul was declaring that he used to be just as antagonistic toward Christianity as they were. But then Paul retells the story of his journey to Damascus, where he was going to imprison more Christians, and how the Lord confronted him about his persecution of God's followers (22:6-9). Continuing to tell the story, Paul says that the Lord told him that he would now be a witness to all people about Jesus Christ and especially to the Gentiles (22:10-21).

Upon hearing Paul's defense, the crowd responded with raised voices saying, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!" (22:22) In preparation to stone Paul, the people began tearing their clothes and throwing dust in the air because of their intense anger at Paul (22:23-24). As they were securing Paul to be beaten and stoned, he said to the centurion, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?" (22:25) Since Paul was a Roman citizen, it was illegal for the Romans to beat him. When the commander became aware of this, they withdrew from Paul for fear that they themselves would be put to death for breaking Roman law (22:26-29).

Again, Paul evidences tremendous courage in the face of imminent danger and God spares him from certain death.

Dear God, give strength to those who continually must stand strong in the face of persecution. I know there are people all over the world who fear for their lives each day because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Help the church to pray for their strength.