Unstoppable! 'Using the System for Safety ' — Acts 25:9-11

Sunday, November 24, 2024

Then Festus, wanting to please the Jews, asked [Paul], "Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there?"

But Paul replied, "No! This is the official Roman court, so I ought to be tried right here. You know very well I am not guilty of harming the Jews. If I have done something worthy of death, I don't refuse to die. But if I am innocent, no one has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!"

— Acts 25:9-11 NLT

Key Thought

Paul was a Roman citizen,* and he had grown weary with political games being played with his life, ministry, and freedom. He called out Festus for his duplicity in handling his case and took the matter out of Festus' hands. He appealed to Caesar, a right of a Roman citizen. That right ensured Paul would be taken to Rome and heard by the empire's highest official. Paul used every bit of leverage he had legally to ensure he was treated fairly and received the Roman legal system's full protection. This situation is a reminder that we can and should avail ourselves of our similar rights if necessary to defend our lives, ministries, and freedoms!

* See the first set of our Related Scripture Readings.

Today's Prayer

Father, I am aware that some in our Unstoppable devotional family face many difficulties and great dangers because of their faith. Please grant them courage and help us to stand in prayer, support, and solidarity with them. Open our eyes to know how best to help them in their legal battles as they try to protect their lives, ministries, and freedoms legally. We ask for your supernatural wisdom and power to be given to them, and to us, as we face these kinds of challenges. I confess that our world feels increasingly less hospitable and makes me yearn to be at home with you! In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 16:37-40, 22:24-29, 23:27-30
  • Acts 27:21-26; Luke 12:11-12; Acts 6:8-10

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 25:9-11 NLT — Then Festus, wanting to please the Jews, asked [Paul], "Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there?"

But Paul replied, "No! This is the official Roman court, so I ought to be tried right here. You know very well I am not guilty of harming the Jews. If I have done something worthy of death, I don't refuse to die. But if I am innocent, no one has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!"

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.