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At a Loss

Daily ReadingActs 25

 

Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. (Acts 25.20)

 

Devotional Thought: Paul is on trial again.  This time it is before Festus, the governor who succeeded Felix.  Festus didn’t know what to do with Paul or what to do about Paul’s accusers.  He was "at a loss."

 

Festus was at a loss concerning Paul.  While Paul had spent two years witnessing to Felix, he had just met Festus.  Festus had not had time to observe Paul’s life. It greatly enhances our testimony if people know us.  And that takes time.  We need to let people “inside” our lives.

 

Then, Festus was at a loss concerning “their own religion” (v. 19).  Festus didn’t know the right terminology.  He wasn’t doctrinally correct.  He wasn’t a student of Jewish theology, nor of Christian application of it.  He simply saw them as having a dispute within their religion.  We must understand that people “lump” all Christians together.  They really don’t care about the difference between a Baptist and a Nazarene, a Methodist and a Presbyterian.

 

Also, Festus was an outsider to the God who could raise a man from the dead.  Festus didn’t know Jesus.  He hadn’t seen his miracles or observed his death.  He was not there when God raised him from the dead.  The gods that Festus served were not in that business.  People will not be aware of the power of God to change lives unless they see it in you!  Your personal testimony of how God made you a new person is so important.  But once again it is even more important to back up that testimony with a genuine God-changed life!  Like Paul’s legal testimony, our lives must claim that Jesus is alive!

 

People around us are “at a loss.”  Let us patiently and faithfully show them who Jesus is.

 

Prayer: Lord, not only are people "lost," but many of them are "at a loss," not knowing where to begin or what to believe. Help me to live my life consistently and compassionately so that they may see you in me.  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 77:16-20

16 When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled.

17 The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side.

18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook.

19 Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen.

20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

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