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Posts Tagged ‘politician’

Verse 28: “Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian”.”

Have you seen the Snickers commercial where the stadium technician is painstakingly painting the end-zone with the logo of the team, while the team is practicing? He is drawing each letter with precision detail with spray nozzle, paintbrush, and powder cart; he finally stands up to admire his handiwork after several hours. A football player walks by and says “Hey, that’s great…the Chefs!” Then the realization dawns on him that the team is called the Chiefs. In that awkward moment that he realizes he has to tear down and re-do what took hours to do in the first place, you hear the narrator state, “Not going anywhere for a while? Grab a Snickers!”

King Agrippa is not going anywhere at the moment; he must give a reply. Paul continues his argument with the rhetorical question, “do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” King Agrippa is a good Jew, but he is also a wise politician. I read several Holman sources (Bible and concordance) for background on this. When I was a child, I first read the above verse thinking Agrippa had accepted Paul’s witness and became a Christian. The background research seems to suggest that Agrippa was in a bind; he couldn’t disagree with Paul’s references to Jewish history and the prophets, but yet he didn’t want to appear that he was siding with Paul and possibly lose some political credibility. Thus, he answered in the non-committal reply in verse 28.

Paul continues that he wishes Agrippa and all others in earshot would become like him in this aspect: a follower of Christ…to become just like him, except for the chains.

Always be on the lookout for open door opportunities to witness for our Savior, fellow Christian, no matter how great or how small.

Something to think about.

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Verses 2-3: “And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.”

Today I heard a news article about a Hollywood star accepting an award and using the traditional “thank you” speech to “throw some shade” (to coin a current phrase) on a newly-elected politician. At first, I wasn’t too happy, because we had heard so much negative political news this last year, I really didn’t want to hear any more. But the Lord reminded me, that sometimes, there are people who use moments in their professions (like actors at award shows) to thank God for being with them in their lives. Both these moments, negative and positive, are part of the freedom of speech we enjoy in America. Sheepishly, I asked God’s forgiveness, for He was right, and I regretted my attitude at the time.

More than that, though, He got me to thinking regarding today’s passage. I felt God leading me to this set of verses, because it is here that we learn of Paul’s occupation…he was a tentmaker, he worked with leather. In my studies in my Bible and Holman concordance, I discovered that rabbinic teaching of the day urged religious teachers to learn a trade to help support themselves. Though Paul did depend on churches for support, he also always tried to support himself through his given trade when the opportunity presented itself. This he did here with Priscilla and Aquila, themselves tentmakers.

More than that, it points to a major principle I read about in the Holman New Testament Commentary on Acts, page 303: “there is no secular duty for a Christian; everything we take on, from changing diapers to governing a state, becomes a form of service to Christ (Col. 3: 23-25)”. This means in our daily lives, we are to serve Christ, no matter what we do. In our daily jobs, we serve Christ…we pursue excellence in our jobs to glorify Him. In our recreation and leisure time, we might be the only Jesus some people see, so we need to glorify Him in our walk and in our talk. Did Paul quit serving Christ just because he was making tents temporarily? Not at all. I think of the example of the athlete/commentator Tim Tebow; he has unashamedly stated he is a Christian, whether he is on a mission trip, praying for someone, scoring a touchdown in football, or trying out for minor league baseball. Being a Christian isn’t something we do just on Sundays. We do it every day, no matter our station in life, no matter what we do for a living. We serve Jesus whether we are a pastor or a teacher, an athlete or announcer, a homemaker or office professional…and yes, whether we are an actor or a politician (believe it or not, some of them are Christians too! And they should act like it!)

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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Verses 1-3: “Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.”

Enter the villain. Herod the king enters the picture to harass the Christian church. He has James murdered and captures Peter. What strikes me about this is the part of the verses above where it’s stated “And because he saw that it pleased the Jews”.  In other words…Herod was also a corrupt politician, seeking to win over the majority with acts to gain favor.

In this election year, one might say the choices for President aren’t too promising. Each candidate, though they might have some good qualities, also seems to possess bad qualities and extra baggage that make for an old-fashioned, mud-slinging campaign. Promises will be made, and not certain that they will all be kept. One thing all registered voters need to do: make sure you vote, but make your choices wisely. We still live in a land where the right to vote is a privilege not to be taken lightly. If you are a Christian voter, you need to do something before you cast that ballot…pray to the Lord for guidance.

Something to think about.

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