Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I wanna be a pest!





Scripture

“For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.
(Acts 24:5 NASB)

Observation

Paul spent all the later years of his ministry in prison, and all because he'd been a "pest." The quote above is from the Lawyer that the High Priest brought before the authorities to explain all the "bad" things that Paul had done. This declaration left the Roman officials scratching their heads because they couldn't figure out what was wrong with what Paul had done. Paul was a "pest," he had stirred up "dissension" and he was "ringleader."

Application

In reality, Paul was faithful and obedient. He was unwilling to compromise in his faith in Jesus Christ. He knew that he was called to share the Good News with the whole world and absolutely nothing was going to get in his way. However, it should be noted that Paul did live within the legal bounds of the countries where he took that Good News. He knew how to contextualize and respect the bounds of those nations, even, at times, using the pagan cultures as a way to bring people to faith. Ultimately the problem was that people responded to his message. The dissension occurred because Jews were turning to Christ, and other were not. This did cause a divide among the Jews, but not because of Paul, but rather, because of them.
I must confess that there are ways today that I see some Christians being "pests" but its not in the same way as Paul. The other day I saw a billboard declaring that Saturday is the true Sabbath (okay, it is) -- but that the antichrist has forced us to worship on Sundays (don't remember that being in the Bible) -- and gave a web-site where we could be turned to the truth of when to worship. This does nothing to draw people to Christ. Paul was drawing many to Christ and that was ultimately the problem and that was why he was a "pest." May we learn from Paul and may we, too, be inspired to be "pests."
As a follower of Christ it is my desire that I be a "pest," -- wholeheartedly passionate about sharing the Good News everywhere I go, and may people be disturbed by how following Christ changes the culture.

Prayer

Lord, make me a "pest" for You! Amen.

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