I APPEAL TO CAESAR (BIG – Day 25 – Acts 25)

Acts 25:10-12 states:  10 Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. 11 If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”  12 After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!

The Jewish religious leaders continued to make all kinds of false accusations against Paul.  Festus, the Roman leader was about to play into their hands which would make it possible for them to ambush and kill Paul.  Knowing this, Paul made his appeal to Caesar which was his right as a Roman citizen.  

The cool thing about this is that in spite of all the bad things that were happening to Paul, he knew God was in control.  And this appeal actually accomplished something he wanted – to go to Rome to share the truth about Jesus Christ.  It took a while, but Paul ended up in Rome.  During his time there was able to share with many Roman guards and wrote a number of the letters that make up much of the New Testament. 

Think on this: very bad things happen to very faithful people.   Paul was lied about – he was threatened – he was beaten – he was flogged within an inch of his life on several occasions – he went without food & water – and faced many death threats because of his commitment to Jesus Christ, but he did not waver in his faith.  You never find Paul asking questions like:  “If God really loved me, why would He let this happen?”  Paul knew God was in control, and in light of this determined to be obedient to Christ regardless of what it cost him.

Sometimes we go through tough times because of bad choices or sin, and there are consequences.   At other times, we may face trials and tough times when we are being obedient to God.  The next time this happens, take some time to think about what’s going on.  I’m not trying to simplify what may be a very difficult situation for you, but maybe you should ask: Is this a result of my own sin or bad choices, or is it something God has allowed because He wants to teach me something or use me in some way I didn’t expect in the lives of other people?

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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