“Flattery vs Honesty—which wins?”

ImageThere is a saying “It’s funny how everyone considers honesty to be a virtue yet no one wants to hear the truth.”  As we read Acts 24 these words should remind us of why, when you share the gospel message and are rejected, it is not you they are rejecting but the very Son of God. But, we are to remain true and steadfast as Paul demonstrated and Dr. Luke shares with us.

In chapter 24 we meet one slick flatterer, Tertullus the high paid lawyer, who arrives with a huge entourage but lacks any genuine witnesses. His flattery and falseness leads to a quick “falling flat on his face” before the Governor Felix. In contrast we see the truth of the prophecy of God regarding Paul to be “my chosen instrument to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel” and the words of Jesus ““Have courage, for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome” is coming to pass. If we were writing this story we might have Felix hear the false and flattering words of Tertullus and like Gallio dismiss the charges against Paul but the words of Isaiah are ringing forth as true: ““Indeed, my plans are not like your plans,” and now the reason…..

God had an eternal plan for this man Felix to hear of the mercy and redemption for his sins but because of his procrastinating, fear and lack of decision making it appears that he never crossed the divide from unbelief to belief. If that is true, he one day will hear these words: “depart from me, I never knew you” because you are “without excuse.”  I sent my servant Paul to tell you about My Beloved Son and you would not listen nor accept My truth that Jesus is “The Way, The Truth, The Life” and no man comes to me without that.

Beloved, as you read this chapter do you see the plan of God for someone you love and has yet to choose Jesus? Are you encouraged that just as God gave Felix many opportunities to hear and to respond so too the very fact that your loved one stands still upon this earthly shore means that God is not finished yet with their soul? Do you see the marvelous patience and power of the Word as Paul presented it to Felix over and over and over? That is my friend, God’s love and mercy for the unsaved. Take courage and be ye steadfast knowing that your labor is not in vain.

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