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Car Thief

Daily Reading: Acts 23

Scripture Focus: And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest...” (Acts 23.5a)

Devotional Thought: You've heard the one about the policeman who pulled a woman over. When he approached the window, she was not happy. She said, a bit peevishly, "Officer, what's wrong? I know I wasn't speeding."

"No, ma'am, but I saw you shaking your fist and screaming at the guy who cut you off. Then I noticed your 'What Would Jesus Do?' bumper sticker, and I assumed the car was stolen..."

That's what happened to the Apostle Paul in his trial before the Sanhedrin. The high priest had ordered that Paul be struck. Since, the high priest's actions were unjust and impious, Paul reacted rather harshly himself. Paul told the high priest that God would strike him! That caused quite a stir in court: “Would you revile God's high priest?” So, Paul explained that he had not realized it was the high priest.

Didn't know he was the high priest? How could Paul say that? The high priest was sitting in the right place, wearing the right clothes, and receiving the respect and adulation of those around him. How could Paul be confused about his identity? The only thing that it could have been were the high priest's actions. He was not acting like a high priest, so he must not be the high priest.

We can say all the right words, dress in the right way, be respected by the right people, but if our actions say otherwise, people will not know that we are followers of Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, they will assume that we are not. I want people to know I am a Christian not just by my words, but by my actions - especially the way I treat others!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, live in me with such power that all my actions and words will be a reflection on your holy character and forgiving love. May people always see you in me! Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 18 Remember this, O LORD, how the enemy scoffs, and a foolish people reviles your name. 19 Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts; do not forget the life of your poor forever. 20 Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence. 21 Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame; let the poor and needy praise your name. 22 Arise, O God, defend your cause; remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day! 23 Do not forget the clamor of your foes, the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually! (Psalms 74:18-23)

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