Day 38

Paul Appeals to Caesar

from the Acts of the Apostles reading plan


Acts 25:1-27, Acts 26:1-32, Proverbs 2:6-8, Psalm 37:28

BY Guest Writer

Text:  Acts 25:1-27, Acts 26:1-32, Proverbs 2:6-8, Psalm 37:28

At just the right time of day, my home floods with sunlight. There are only two front-facing windows downstairs, but for a few moments the sun angles in just right and, from front to back, there’s a rush of light across the house. It’s my favorite time of day.

This morning, I am sitting at our dining room table trying to sort through my workday needs (this post being at the top of the list). And in that stream of light, all I can see are the particles of dust floating, the worn edges of chairs and tables in the living room, and the small cobweb growing in the corner of the window. The light, beautiful as it is, reveals the grime.

I’ve been busy, see, trying to do what I think God has called me to these days. I’m caring for the needs of my home and trying to figure out what my purpose is in this new foreign place we’ve moved to. I’ve been so preoccupied with learning to be faithful in these things, that I haven’t even noticed the cobweb in the corner of the window. But the light reveals my lack.

None of us likes to have our sin brought out into the light and revealed to ourselves, let alone to others.

No one wants to have that Paul-on-the-Road-to-Damascus moment, where the light as bright as the sun shone around him, pinning him to the ground, and delving into the darkest parts and intentions of his heart (Acts 26:13-14). But God once called the light good (Genesis 1:4), and we have to believe this is one of the reasons why. The light reveals what the night has hidden and brings to sight what has been forgotten.

Psalm 37:28 says, “the Lord loves justice,” and I am a little like that. But mostly I love justice when it’s given to others. I squirm when I myself come under the light—my faults revealed and my sins displayed. I hate justice then. I feel the same about the dust particles and cobwebs as I feel about my propensity to doubt, to fear, to sin with my words and deeds.

In the light I am embarrassed, ashamed, and fearful of being found out. But God loves the light.

As we see in this passage, He wants His children to turn away from darkness and step into the light. The thing that makes us feel most naked and exposed is one of the things our God loves most—not because of the pain and discomfort we feel in the midst of it, but because it reveals our greatest need: God Himself.

What is the light exposing in your life today? What dust particles and cobwebs have been lurking in the living room of your heart? What besetting doubts and fears have taken up residence in your soul?

God is preparing for you a Damascus Road experience, whether here or in eternity, in which every one of your thoughts and sins will be exposed. But He is also like the father of the prodigal son in this and in every moment: picking up His robes and running, undignified, toward His child who has come to his senses and come home (Luke 15:11-32).

Don’t run from the light today, friends. Go stand in it, be blinded by it, and see the manifold magnificent grace of the Father who shines it on you.

SRT-Acts-Instagram38s

Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, tweets @lorewilbert, and posts photos @loreferguson. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

Post Comments (30)

30 thoughts on "Paul Appeals to Caesar"

  1. Hope says:

    This right here is conviction on a cake stand. This right here is redemption in its truest form.

  2. Caroline says:

    As a high schooler, I so often hope and pray that my peers and friends that continue to make harmful decisions would “see the light,” but maybe it’s truly been me that needs the light. Conviction is so much easier to handle when it’s placed on others. It’s when God reveals our own faults and sins that we truly must rely on Him. Yes, I pray that my peers would see His light, but I also pray that I would be guided to it as well.

    1. Caroline says:

      “Search me, God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” -Psalm 139

    2. Nikravesous says:

      That’s very insightful Caroline! It is so much easier to see the sins of others, especially when those sins are reckless and physically as well as spiritually dangerous. But to see that we are in just as much need of grace as those who, by the world’s standards, are greater transgressors is an absolute Holy Spirit insight! Praying along with you that we all would expose ourselves to the light and let God’s grace fill in every nook and cranny of our souls.

  3. Alexandra says:

    Today’s reflection reminds me of a song by the Josh Blakesley Band called “You Are the Light”.

  4. Joanna says:

    Everyday I sit down with my She Reads Truth on my computer, bible and highlighter to one side, and journal and pen to my other side. But, something extraordinary happened today. I was just finishing writing in my journal the question… “So, what is the light exposing in your life?”, when all of a sudden the lamp across the room switched on. I looked around to see the bright light shining in the dark room where I was sitting. I couldn’t believe it. Maybe there was a timer for it to turn on at that time. Maybe someone had turned it on at that time. But, for it to switch on at that exact time I was sitting doing my bible study and writing that question, makes me think it was something much bigger. Maybe it was God telling me to stop running from the light. Maybe it was God showing me how much I need Him. Whatever it is, I’m happy that it happened.

    1. Sarah Jenik says:

      Wow! What a cool story!

    2. Nikravesous says:

      That is what my friends call a GM, a “God Moment.” I love that He has a sense of humor!

  5. Dawn says:

    We in our nation are being exposed by God’s light. May we all discover to recover that we have all made errors, some voiced, some hidden. Not just our leaders, but all of us, too. Discover to recover with the help of a Savior! Thank you, Lord for the painful state of affairs that we all might make an individual heartfelt course correction in order to manifest Your love.

  6. jeanne says:

    A church nearby my apartment has a sign up currently that says “Justice is what Love looks like in action”. I really like that, and always reflect upon it while walking by.

    Before the end of the school year, I was working with a group of 2nd-5th graders on what it looks like to “let your light shine”. Some examples they came up with were helping others, loving people who you don’t even know yet, standing up for the brokenhearted, and “giving the last piece your favorite candy to a friend instead” ;).

    I love how Paul recounts Christ proclaiming light will come both their people and the gentiles, that it’s for each and every person on earth.

  7. Amen says:

    “Listen to me patiently” was Paul’s request – he asked to be heard how he was changed by an experience.
    How often and easily do we forget to love?
    Love opens our eyes during moments of darkness so we can see the light. Every time.
    Doing works worthy of repentence, and turning to God, seems to get complicated because our internal and external compass just spins as we try to evaluate if our works are worthy enough.
    Just have faith. In Jesus.
    Ask, and receive forgiveness of sins, and share among those who are sanctified.

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