Unstoppable! 'Felix Fritters Away His Opportunity' — Acts 24:22-23

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

[After Paul refuted the charges against him,] Felix, who was quite familiar with the Way, adjourned the hearing and said, "Wait until Lysias, the garrison commander, arrives. Then I will decide the case." He ordered an officer to keep Paul in custody but to give him some freedom and allow his friends to visit him and take care of his needs.

— Acts 24:22-23 NLT

Key Thought

Felix was a shrewd politician trying to balance Jewish sentiments with Roman justice. He also wanted to profit from his position.* Felix knew a great deal about the Way — a name for Christians in the first century.** He also needed to hear from Claudius Lysias, Paul's arresting officer, who had sent him to Caesarea (Acts 23:12-35). Felix's interests in Paul included a desire for entertainment and conversation. He didn't want to execute Paul, but he also wanted to keep the Jewish leaders on his side. So, Felix repeatedly put off a decision on Paul's fate and also on his response to Paul's message about Jesus even though he recognized the seriousness of that message.* He reminds me of people interested in Jesus but refusing to yield their hearts to him — people who play at faith rather than following Jesus in faith. They stand in the way of Jesus' mission by refusing to become followers of the Way. Felix refused to yield his heart to Jesus, yet God used him to protect Paul even though he was detaining and delaying Paul. For Felix, Paul became a wasted opportunity to give his life to Christ. He reminds us to pray that those who are interested in just learning about Jesus will change and learn about him in order to follow him!

* See the first Related Scripture Reading.
** See the second set of Related Scripture Readings.

Today's Prayer

O, Father in heaven, my heart is on several who won't commit to following Jesus as Lord. You know their names. You know what is standing in their way and keeping them from coming to faith and acting on that faith. Please, dear Father, act in their lives and have the Holy Spirit open their hearts to following Jesus. Use me in whatever way you choose to bring them to faith. In Jesus' name and for these people's salvation, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 24:24-26
  • John 14:4-6, 17:3; Acts 9:2, 18:24-26, 19:9, 23, 22:4-5, 24:14

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 24:22-23 NLT — [After Paul refuted the charges against him,] Felix, who was quite familiar with the Way, adjourned the hearing and said, "Wait until Lysias, the garrison commander, arrives. Then I will decide the case." He ordered an officer to keep Paul in custody but to give him some freedom and allow his friends to visit him and take care of his needs.

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.