Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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November 1 – Bearing Witness To The Way

“But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way, put them off, saying, ‘When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.’ Then he gave orders to the centurion that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs. After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.  And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, ‘Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.’  At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him.” Acts 24:22-26

Devotional Thought For The Day

Felix was the Roman governor of a large region including Palestine, and therefore a rather powerful, important, and influential person.  Unfortunately, he was not a man concerned chiefly with justice.  He would have allowed Paul released for a sufficient bribe; in the end he left Paul in prison [for two years] “as a favor to the Jews.” [Acts 24:27]  Still Paul utilized the opportunity to speak with him and his wife about what Christ has done for us.  We are not informed as to whether or not the Gospel made entry into their hearts and minds – although Paul’s words were apparently taken somewhat seriously by Felix.

Luke, the author of the book of Acts, summarizes Paul’s message as having three points:  “righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment.”  The righteousness Paul spoke about was God’s gift of righteousness, the cleansing of our sin which Christ, the Lamb of God, has accomplished for us in His suffering and death on the cross. This is the righteousness of God that is accounted to us through faith in Jesus Christ – just as Paul describes it in all of his epistles.  Self-control pertains to our life of sanctification – that knowing God’s love for us in Christ Jesus we also love one another, all people, even our enemies.  Such love keeps us from continuing in coarse outbursts of sin – since all sin is inimical to true and genuine love. Such love also dictates that we utilize our resources not selfishly or lavishly, but in such a way that we are able to help those in need.  As Christians, we are always aware that we have no continuing place in this world, but we look forward to “the coming judgment,” when all evil will be put away and we will live in perfect righteousness and bliss in a new heavens and earth.

This same fairly simple message continues to be spoken and taught throughout the world to this day – to common people of all nations, and also to important people, governors, presidents, rulers, and the wealthy.  We are privileged to share it from time to time with friends, neighbors, and family – as questions arise and people inquire regarding the hope that is within us, and why we live as we do.  Even more, we are privileged to live this message – in the peace and joy of knowing God’s gracious mercy, forgiveness, love, and His free gift of salvation and eternal life in Christ Jesus, and in the decency of self-control and love for others, always yearning for the joys and blessings to come in Christ’s eternal kingdom.  Times change, and cultures are different, but the “Way” remains very much the same – for it is the same Spirit of Christ Who guides and leads God’s people of faith through His Word, the Bible.

We don’t always know the effect of our witness on others.  The same kind of mixed and ulterior motives remain in all human hearts – greed, the desire for personal profit, politics, self-aggrandizement, the quest for power, privilege, prestige, and prerogative.  We can control these things in our own hearts – casting them aside for the sake of love.  And in this love of Christ we continue to bear our own witness – both in words and lifestyle – regardless of how they are received or what effect they have in others.  We hope that by the Spirit of Christ they will sink in and bring others to faith, but regardless, we are willing to have the conversation whenever the opportunity arises. Thankfully, God continues to invigorate our faith and love through His Word and Sacraments, so that with joy we continue pressing on toward our goal, the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, help us to be sensitive to our opportunities to bear witness to Your Way and to take great joy in speaking of Your salvation to others. Grant that our way of life also bear witness to Your great love for all.  Keep us mindful that our future is not in this life, but in Your eternal heavenly kingdom.  Grant that many of our friends and acquaintances may also come to faith and salvation.  Amen.