Book of Acts Chapter Twenty-Three (Part Two)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that believers should be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. Today, we hope to finish our discussion of Paul being escorted to Caesarea.

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Body:

Read Acts 23:16-22

3. Paul escorted to Caesarea (continued). In this section of the book of Acts Paul’s nephew informs him of a plot against him. Paul has a centurion to inform the commander. The nephew tells the commander what is going on.

Applications -

- Family ties. Notice in vs. 16 that family can be a source of blessings. And “yes,” they can be a source of stress and drama as well. But in our text, it was helpful to have family. We may find that family will prove to be helpful in proportion to how well we stay in touch with family.

We cannot ignore family for ten and twenty years and expect them to run to our rescue, when we call. Let’s work on staying in touch with family and being helpful to one another. Even though we can do little to get others to do their part, we should make sure we do our part.

- A prisoner sending a centurion on an errand. Notice in vss. 17-22 of the book of Acts that God works in such mysterious ways. Paul is a prisoner who is sending the centurion to the commander with a message.

We surely will not always understand what God is doing and how He is doing, but we can trust Him to work things out for the good of His people.

Let’s live like we believe that we can trust God to work things out for His people. Such living should be known for obedience and anticipation.

Read Acts 23:23-35

3. Paul escorted to Caesarea (continued). The commander has Paul escorted to Governor Felix. There is a great host of soldiers used to transport this one prisoner who is also a Roman citizen. Felix puts Paul under house arrest at Herod’s palace, until his accusers arrive.

Applications –

- Writing and sendable people. Notice in vss. 23-30 of the book of Acts that a written message is sent by men. First, it is important to write especially important messages down. Too often, when important messages are communicated only verbally all kinds of problems arise.

Sometimes we did not say exactly what we meant. Sometimes the messenger changes what was said. And sometimes the intended message receiver misinterprets what the messenger said. With written communication, some of these problems can be addressed.

Second, it is important to have sendable people around. No one leader or a small group of people can do all that God expects of the church. To be sendable implies having the character and competencies needed to get the job done that one is being sent to do.

Let’s work on written communication and being sendable.

- Soldiers and palace. Notice in vss. 23, 24, 35 of the book of Acts that God has all kinds or protection around Paul and has him in a palace. Surely those who were causing trouble for Paul did not intend for him to have such protection and provision.

But people don’t have the last word. God has a way of working things out for the good of His people, especially when they obey and trust Him. 

Let’s work on obeying and trusting God to work things out for His people. We can help others and ourselves live out this application, by being in supportive and encouraging relationships among one another, as disciples in the same church family.

- Dutiful with our assignments. Notice in vss. 31-33 the importance of carrying out your assignments. The soldiers may not have understood the ramifications of what they were doing, but they did understand the importance of following orders or carrying out their assignment.

There are times in church that members and leaders don’t understand the ramifications of their assignments. But they should feel duty bound to carry out their assignment.

As with any team, what one member of the team does impacts the rest of the team. Let’s be dutiful in carrying out our assignments. We are in this thing together.

- Prudence with conflict. Notice in vs. 35 of the book of Acts that the official had enough sense to hear both sides of the matter, before rendering a decision.

We do well to listen careful to all sides of a matter before making a decision, especially when we are acting as an official representative of others.

So much confusion has been experienced and pain caused in church, family, community, and on jobs because there were decisions made without hearing all of the sides to the matter. Let’s work on being prudent in handling conflicts.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has  much for those who obey His will.

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