Paul’s Defense Before Felix

Open Your Bible

Acts 24:1-27, Jeremiah 29:10-14, Hebrews 13:15

One of my personal frustrations as a disciple of Jesus is being misunderstood by others. Sometimes it comes in the form of practicing a Sabbath, when neighbors find our faithful church attendance as a restrictive rule of faith rather than a rhythm of fruitful labor. Other times it looks like a judgment on our hope in Jesus. Instead of it being understood as unwavering faith, it is deemed as dopey positivity that is unrealistic and immature (Hebrews 10:23). 

The life Jesus calls us to is often hard to understand because it is countercultural and uncomfortable for most, even believers! Paul was misunderstood numerous times in the story of Acts. In this chapter, Paul stands before the governor Felix to defend his faith. Instead of lashing out against the false charges, he says, “I always strive to have a clear conscience towards God and men” (Acts 24:16). He chooses the high road, staying above reproach when it comes to defending the gospel to those who may never fully understand it.

When it comes to defending our faith, there are many who take the wrong approach. They hold signs and yell; they cause unnecessary division. Some isolate themselves in ivory towers filled with theology books to prove they’re right and others are wrong. But Jesus shows us a different response.

When Jesus stood before Pilate, he also chose to not overreact or over explain. When questioned about his actions, Jesus responded, “I was born for this, and I have come into this world for this: to testify to the truth” (John 18:37). His entire life was living above reproach. 

Whether our faith is ever fully understood, may our actions never be disputed. For we know our reward for living faithfully is not found in the acknowledgement and acceptance of people, but rather in God’s promises to restore us in the final days. “There is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved his appearing” (2Timothy 4:8). 

Just like the Israelites in Jeremiah 29, who had been rejected from their land, we may feel rejected by others for our faith. But we can have hope in this promise from God: “‘I will attend to you and will confirm my promise concerning you to restore you to this place. For I know the plans I have for you’—this is the LORD’s declaration—‘plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:10–11). 

May we strive to “walk worthy of the calling” (Ephesians 4:1) we have received and approach everyone with humility, gentleness and patience. Instead of taking a defensive stance, let’s bear with one another in love and walk with a clear conscience before God and one another. 

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45 thoughts on "Paul’s Defense Before Felix"

  1. Odugbesan Ayomide Rachel says:

    Morning BevI think this is a very great one go on Bev

  2. Brittany Carbone says:

    I went back and read these comments today, my little girl was born Thursday afternoon and got transferred to a bigger hospital early this morning. This one really stuck out to me because I have definitely felt peach along side the fear. Thank you.

  3. Margaret W says:

    If you are asking, I would say that you have already heard His call. That may not be a full theological answer, but your heart knows that you long for Him.

  4. Margaret W says:

    Unjust situations—that has been so much of the last few years of my life. May I remember to find my value and my reward in You, Lord. ❤️

  5. Amanda Dahlberg says:

    Good morning Bev,
    This can be a hard concept and many people interpret this differently, but the way that I read it is as a reference to the belief that we seek God because He seeks us first. He calls to us through various ways, a friend, a radio program, a sadness that we are seeking to mend, a passage we read out of the Bible or a message in church, He calls to us and if we have the sensitivity to listen and respond than we are drawn into a deeper, meaningful, beautiful relationship with Him. This is what I believe Paul is referring to, but research and pray, there are many excellent commentary’s on this verse from the great theologians and many commentaries are available through a simple search online, but read and pray about it, this is how we can learn what God’s Word means. Jeremiah 29:13-14

  6. Amanda Dahlberg says:

    Good morning Bev,

    1. Bev Woods says:


  7. Truth Seeker says:

    Dorothy – praying for Jake and that he will see that “jumping bail” only leads to MORE legal problems and that surrendering to the authorities will be SOOOO much better for him to do than trying to hide from the law. God Himself gave the law but Christ gave Himself as the PERFECT sacrifice so that OUR sins may be forgiven and we are presented as HOLY to God. Your sister Carol needs to be concerned about aiding and abetting a fugitive. She could be charged herself for helping a fugitive escape. This is real life – not a TV show. She needs to take this situation seriously in order to not get charged herself.

  8. Truth Seeker says:

    Bev Woods – If you have heard God’s call and received Him as your God and Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior then you are among those who are called. There is no preset number – You ARE SAVED ! May God Bless YOU ! My sister in Christ !!!

  9. Bev Woods says:

    Hi ladies. Wondering if someone can help me understand Acts 2:39. I am wrestling with the phrase, “as many as the Lord our God will call.” Does that mean there’s a preset number? What if I’m not one of these? I’m struggling for sure!

  10. Claire B says:

    Victoria E, unless I am behind I thought you had an OB appt yesterday. Hope all was well – prayers continue.

  11. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I want my actions to speak to those around me about the faith I have in Christ. I know I can easily become defensive, I pray I would walk in humility, peace and patience with those around me.

  12. Jennifer Anapol says:

    Prayers for peace and health for you and your baby Brittany. I know that God is with you during this whole process.❤️

  13. Skylar Hilton says:

    It is very frustrating sometimes, as a follower of God. Some people think that we need to be saved from God, as if worshipping Him is some big obstacle we need to avoid. There’s also some unfair behavior by others to when it comes to wanting to have a life and career for God. Our society around us says to follow our dreams.. but when we want to be a nun.. or work in a church.. then its unacceptable because its “too restrictive” (I do want to be a nun one day, and am so grateful to be in a family that supports me.. but I will always say that I DO NOT need to be saved from God… but God NEEDS to save me!) Sometimes some people don’t even give it time to try to understand it.. they just think our faith is so silly.. and that Jesus won’t be here to save us all the time. When we encounter things like this.. we have to be patient.. and love them like Jesus loved people who questioned the faith…I believe one day they will understand.

    As for defending ourselves, I have a different opinion on that. I think we should let God defend us instead of ourselves defend ourselves. When we defend ourselves.. we get in the habit of being too harsh.. almost to the point of bullying. When we let God defend us.. everything will go one as it should.. but if we have to defend ourselves and our faith one day… I pray it will be as well like how Paul did. So patient, loving, and kind without a hint of being harsh.

  14. Nichole Hobson says:


  15. Helen S says:

    Praying for peace,and safety Brittany.

  16. Dorothy says:

    WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! Bailey has a way with words and knows how to challenge me. Between her devotion and the Scripture, “12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:12-14a). The Lord has always been there when I have seeked Him. These days I seem to go looking for Him more and more.
    Sisters I come to you again asking for prayer, I have found out that my nephew, Jake (the one who I have asked for prayer for before and has been in trouble with the law) has “jumped bail” and left home to who know where. My sister, Carol, refuses to seek help.
    Be blessed and know that God is listening sisters.

  17. Victoria E says:

    Kristen, Searching, and others. Thank you for continuing to pray for me! I am so blessed to be a part of this community.

  18. Victoria E says:

    Brittany. Congratulations! I too am carrying a miracle IVF baby and happy to see that your faith has brought you this far. I will pray for you during your delivery and I cannot wait to hear your good news of meeting this miracle in person.

  19. Mari V says:

    Praying for you Brittany. Praying all goes well tonight and before You know it, you’ll be holding your miracle baby.

  20. Mari V says:

    Recently I was oddly and uncomfortably approached by someone at my workplace.  Something was brought to my attention that I was not aware of. While it wasn’t that big of a deal I still took it serious. I called my former boss who also loves Jesus for advice. This Devo ended perfectly as that’s what I’m striving for. I want to approach everyone with humility, gentleness, and especially patience. and because of Jesus and only because of Jesus I’m so glad I did not get defensive. If anything my hope is that they know that I love Jesus!

  21. Allison Bentley says:

    My prayer today is that God uses us where we are. That could be the stay at home mom tending to her babies, the teenager at school with her friends, the executive leading others, the lonely who thinks no one cares- be present with the Lord so He can use us to share His word!!

  22. Heather says:

    Praying all have a peaceful day.

  23. Brooke P says:

    This devotional was spot on and reading how Paul reacted to being so misunderstood constantly is such encouragement.

  24. Brittany Carbone says:

    I could really use prayers today. I’m being induced tonight to deliver our miracle IVF baby, and I’m having a lot of anxiety and fear about the whole process, and things that can go wrong for me and or my baby. I’m trying hard to trust in God and to not have fear, but wow that’s hard. I trusted him going through IVF, and now I need to do it again and trust that everything will work out according to his plan.

  25. Traci Gendron says:

    We have to head to the ER. Tanner has chronic dehydration which is bad for a transplanted kidney. His values jumped up and I’m worried. I don’t want him to lose this kidney. Hoping all he will need is fluids and discuss how we can make that happen for the future. He chokes easily on fluids which is why I think he became dehydrated. He’s afraid to drink. I’m very stressed and anxious. This will be my 3rd visit to the ER since August. Thankfully my husband is on the mend. Now to turn things around for Tanner. Thank you for your prayers!

  26. Jane K says:

    Hebrews 13:15 Therefore, let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess His name. This is a wonderful reminder to me to continually offer a sacrifice of praise! He is holy and worthy to be praised!

  27. NanaK says:

    So on point and well said Bailey! Thank you! This completely sums up my relationship with my husbands family. “ Whether our faith is ever fully understood, may our actions never be disputed.” Amen!

  28. ERB says:

    LOVE how following God/Jesus are described as The Way!! SO good!!!

  29. Aimee D-R says:

    Thank You Jesus that Your blood makes me worthy. Amen

  30. Michelle Patire says:

    Gosh. Well this is in point. I think the thing I most struggle with is feeling misunderstood because of my faith, by those I love.
    God, may I be confident, like Paul, in my convictions and have compassion and love for those who misunderstand me.

    Happy you are back Taylor :)

  31. Taylor says:

    Spent my devotion time catching up on all the comments from the weekend! THANK YOU to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! :) <3 This community truly means so much to me! Also read through all the prayer requests since I last checked in on Friday so I am lifting those up! This weekend with my teammates was so uplifting and I feel so much gratitude in my heart for the opportunity to all reunite and catch up and share memories and make new ones <3 @Traci Gendron I am praying for Tanner! @Victoria E praying for peace and against Satan's attacks of anxiety @Michelle Patire praying for your heart and good luck recording the podcast!

  32. Phoebe says:

    From the HRT devotion by Jared Kennedy – “God’s promises are true even when our circumstances seem to say otherwise.” Amen! Paul knows this; may I, too.

  33. Elaine Morgan says:

    Lord I pray that You find us all worthy of the calling. Help me Lord! Amen!! ❤️

  34. SarahJoy says:

    Saying prayers for the requests mentioned.

    Today’s theme goes well with today’s.
    Be faithful in your daily work whatever it is.
    Live in a way to honor God regardless of whether people understand it or not.

    Reading in the OT I kept re-learning the truth of God’s faithfulness. Reading the stories of Paul I feel this calling to “imitate him as he imitated Christ.” Faithful. Paul was faithful to the calling of God. May my life speak of God’s truth through my consistent actions.

  35. Jennifer Mitchell says:

    I pray we are all striving to walk worthy of our calling!

  36. Kristen says:

    Joining in prayer for Renee’s son and for Renee, and Tanner. Victoria E, praise God for the good appointment for Victoria E and continued prayers, Prayers for AG’s grandma and for her other family members to remain healthy and not get the virus, also praying individually for your dad, Amanda, praying for your niece and her friends and for the family and all those affected by this. Prayers for Rhonda’s niece and the baby. I’m asking for prayers for my coworker’s aunt. She is in the hospital with Covid pneumonia. I don’t know if she is saved. Her name is Linda. The family is asking for prayers for a miracle. The text said she is fighting for her life. Thanks so much. May God bless, help, lead, comfort, and guide you all today.

  37. Melanie B says:

    This is my prayer! “”May we walk worthy of the calling” we have received and approach everyone with humility, gentleness and patience.” Amen and amen!

  38. Kelly says:

    Bailey wrote “Whether our faith is ever fully understood, may our actions never be disputed.”

    Lord, may those I know and love who have rejected or turned away from You see by my actions the truth of who You are.

    For over two years, Paul’s faith and actions were on display to Felix and Drusilla and all who guarded him. Paul rested in God’s promise that he would go to Rome.

    Lord may I rest in Your promises when in unjust situations.

  39. Helen S says:

    I pray that we can all cheerfully make our defence today. God bless you ladies. X

  40. SEARCHING says:

    RENEE K – praying for your son! For Hope to flourish and drown out the anxiety and depression. Wonder if there is something negative specifically happening at school?

    TRAIC GENDRON – praying for Tanner, for sleep, for swelling to go down and for an appointment to open up quickly. Is there an option to see a nurse practitioner or PA in his doctor’s office?

    VICTORIA E – praise the Lord for your good appt

    AG – praying for your grandma’s healing and for your mom’s & dad’s health

    AMANDA – the saddest news, so sorry to hear that. Praying for your niece and this young girls’ other friends and especially her family

    RHONDA J – thank you for the update on your niece. Please let her know we are praying for her and the little one that will be arriving soon. Is there anything she needs that we can help with? An Amazon or other registry?

  41. Arina says:

    “I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you.” It looks like there isn’t much left of God’s plan for Paul here. The Jews might not have killed him, but he is safely put away in prison. No more missionary journeys, no more preaching. Paul is there for more than 2 years, even though he has done nothing wrong. And yet, God is using his time there. One of the ways is by preaching to Felix and Drusila. His work is at this time no longer to the multitudes. But Paul keeps on speaking faithfully about belief in Christ. Even our ordinary life, God is using for His good. Living faithfully also happens in the small things. “Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.” (Luke 10:16)