Psalm 26-28 Acts 22
“But the Lord said to me, ‘Leave now. I will send you far away to the other nations.’ The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they began shouting, ‘Get rid of him! He doesn’t deserve to live!’” (Acts 22:21-22 NCV)
The commander had quelled the riot and Paul asked to speak to the crowd. It’s interesting that when he began speaking, they quieted because he spoke in Hebrew – as if they weren’t expecting that. Perhaps the charges got so wild during the yelling and screaming of the riot that the Jews there thought Paul was a Gentile who had wandered into the Temple. Paul used the opportunity to share how Jesus had brought him into a relationship with Him instead of working against Him. His friends who were listening may have realized where Paul was going with this and as Paul began talking about God’s call on his life, began thinking, “Don’t say it, Paul. Don’t say it.” Then, Paul said it. He told the Jews who were rioting because he’d supposedly brought a Gentile into the Jewish area of the Temple, that God had called him to share His love with the Gentiles. The riot started again.
You may have been in a similar situation that Paul’s friends were. Someone you love may have been speaking and they got to that point of no return and you kept thinking “Don’t say it. Don’t say i…he said it.” There are times when we need to speak the truth fearlessly. Paul was telling the Jews in the Temple the truth of what happened, no matter where that truth led. Sadly, some people will say things today just to stir the pot and cause trouble. They speak, or post on social media, and sit back waiting for the firestorm of responses. Paul didn’t tell the truth about his call to stir the Jews up; he did it to begin the process of changing the hearts of the Jewish people who needed to turn to Christ. When we speak to our world today the question that should concern us is whether or not what we say and do is designed to draw people to Jesus or cause an uproar. Are we speaking the truth in love? If we are and what we say causes an uproar, then we deal with that. On the other hand, if we make comments designed to elicit an uproar, whether or not we’re speaking truth, we drive people away from God. Sometimes it seems like social media is designed to stir things up rather than communicate. Make today the day you decide that you’ll stop stirring up trouble and start communicating God’s love on social media and in real life.
Lord, You love people so much. Help me to love others as You do. Let all that I say and do in real life and in social media, draw others to You.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved