Today’s Key Scripture – all references NKJV unless otherwise noted:

the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.

—Acts 23:11-12

The city of Jerusalem was in such an uproar over Paul that the commander of the prison thought the mobs would take him away by force. In the midst of that crisis, we are told how clearly and pointedly God spoke to Paul concerning the upcoming challenges where the apostle’s influence would increase and spread.

Because of God’s power on his life, Paul was brought before Caesar and testified for his Master. And as Paul spoke and demonstrated, God opened doors supernaturally for him and brought him into a greater dimension of influence before men of power and authority for the glory of God. He became, and is to this day, a hero of our faith, despite the continued persecution and eventual martyrdom in Rome.

I find it interesting that the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” and in Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Paul did not see the suffering that he endured as exceptional, but rather typical for anyone who wanted to live a godly life while serving the King of Kings!

A Prayer for Today:

Father God, may I reflect You more and more as I seek to follow You in word and deed. Give me the bravery and dedication of the apostle Paul. When I am awakened every morning, help me to welcome You into every area of my life. Just as the light of a new day brightens my eyes, so I pray that You would illuminate my heart with the light of Your Word and the enlightenment of Your Holy Spirit. Today, empower me for the work You have set for me to do. Help me to walk in obedience and faith as I strive to follow Your will in every word and deed. I pray this in Your mighty name, Amen!