Acts 24:1-27 - God cares more about your growth than your convenience
In our reading today Paul explains the accusations to a new courtroom. Unsure how to handle Paul’s case, the governor Felix calls for help and yet again Paul is sent to jail to wait. What I love is that Paul uses this time of waiting as an opportunity to share the gospel. Paul never let inconvenience or discomfort stop him from growing as a disciple or sharing this story of transformation.
Felix is an interesting character, we read that he was well informed concerning Judaism and Christianity (v.10) and when he summoned Paul, Paul consistently gave him the same message. It was not the message Felix wanted to hear. It was a message about righteousness, self-control, and judgement. This message frightened Felix and I think it’s because he was afraid of what it might cost him to have his life transformed by Christ. It may feel poorly timed, uneasy, sharp, and perhaps even uncomfortable. But God’s Word is always perfectly timed and Paul understood this which is why time and time again he takes every opportunity to share the hope of God. Now let’s look at Felix. See, I think Felix was trying to schedule his growth. Trying to pick and choose what he was and wasn’t ready to hear. How often do we do the same though…sometimes without even realising it? We wait until life isn’t so busy, or wait until the children are older, or until God’s commands feel less confrontational, or worse wait in case something better comes along. But what this means is that we miss out on what God is doing right here right now.
Even though Felix had the head knowledge he missed out on a relationship with Jesus because God’s truth felt like an inconvenience in his indulgent life (v.22) Felix tried to take God in small doses but when he had enough sent Paul away.
It can be easy to slip into comfortable Christianity, consuming little bits of truth sporadically so we can dilute its impact. Growth and change require a daily diet of God’s Word — not appetisers of God served up on special occasions.
Friends, my question to you today is, is your commitment to growth and change more like Paul or Felix? And how are you putting growth and change into your journey as a disciple?