Brothers and sisters, we are all Christians, but do we really know God? When you discover that our God is the most valuable treasure, you will certainly give up everything in order to obtain it. Pray that the Holy Spirit open our eyes so that we know what we have already acquired. Paul knew that he had got the treasure, so he, after his third missionary journey, insisted on going to Jerusalem to bring gifts for the poor and to present offerings, although it had been prophesized that he would be imprisoned and people working with him all spoke against it. Just as anticipated, Paul was persecuted. In Acts 24, Paul was taken by the fierce Jews to high ranking military officers and then to the governor. In later chapters, Paul was even taken to king Agrippa and eventually to Caesar. Paul faced death so many times, but he wasn’t afraid because he depended on God.
In the beginning of this chapter, the high priest Ananias, with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus, brought their charges against Paul before the governor. Tertullus flattered Felix by saying that they have enjoyed a long period of peace under his governance and that he has brought about reforms in the nation. It sounded like that this governor was a wise and able man, but he was actually very corrupted. Afterwards, Tertullus brought up four accusations against Paul: 1. Paul was a highly contagious plague, 2. Paul stirred up riots among the Jews, 3. Paul was a ringleader of the Nazarene sect 4. Paul tried to desecrate the temple.
Paul answered to those accusations by saying: 1. I did not stirred up riots, 2. I preached no heresy but the Truth, 3. I believed in the God of my ancestors, and I believed everything that was in accordance with the Law and that was written in the Prophets, 4. I had the same hope in God as these man themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
Felix knew that Paul had no crime, so he showed courtesy to Paul. Felix and his wife, Drusilla, even asked Paul to preach to them. Paul spoke of the Judgment in the future, and Felix was afraid and anguished.
People feel anguished because they have no determination. For example, “Will I attend the Bible study group today? Ah, but I’m so busy already…” Actually, worship start at the moment you decide to attend the service. Piety and devotion are our worship to God. Listening to God’s words and practice them are both worship to God.
Take serving God for another example. Don’t hesitate to serve, because everyone should serve God. It does not matter if you cannot do a perfect job; you can learn while you serve, and then serve with what you’ve learned. Our goal is to be able to say, as Paul did, ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.” The most important thing is to practice our faith and to run to the finish line with all our strength.
Once there was an African long distance runner. He represented his country in a marathon. He fell to the ground and wounded his foot when he was only halfway through the race. So he had to drag his aching foot all the way to the end. When he reached the finish line, the awarding ceremony was closing. However, everyone stood up and cheered for this runner who had an amazing willpower when they saw his dark and weary body moved slowly into the field. When a reporter asked him why didn’t he quit, he answered, ” My country sent me here not to join the race, but to finish it.”
God wants us to fight, then we have to finish it. God wants us to walk, then we walk all the way to the end. If we do so, we are His faithful and good servants!