Genesis 5 Part 2–Establishing a Godly Legacy

Whenever I review the lineage of Adam to Noah, I am reminded that the Bible is not a comprehensive ancestry guide, but the History of a lineage of people that ultimately became God’s chosen ones.  Four names really stand out in the lineage to me.  1st and foremost to me was Enoch.  He only lived on earth for 368 years, but in that time, he stood out so much as a man of God, that God simply refused to let him die.  God decided to simply take him and leave. 

Enoch

That becomes significant.  He was the Father of Methuselah.  Methuselah’s name means When He dies then comes judgement.  Interestingly, He lives longer than any other person.  What a picture of God’s patience.

Mehusaleh


His son was Lamech–Noah’s Dad.  By the time Noah’s dad was on the scene, the world was a mess.  Yet because Lamech was the grandson of Enoch, the son of
Methuselah and the Father of Noah, Noah became the last man to live a Godly legacy before the flood.  It was a lineage of God honoring men that saved the world, No single superhero , but a product of godliness that reached back for more than a thousand years. 

Noah


We need to see life as an opportunity to leave a legacy that will go on for many generations. If we could commit to living that way, we could go down in the annals of History as that family that honored God for Generations.  Not a bad epitaph if one says so themselves.


God Bless You


When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind”[a] when they were created.

When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father[b] of Enosh. After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.

When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. 10 After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Altogether, Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.

12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. 13 After he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Altogether, Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.

15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. 16 After he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.

18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah[c] and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.” 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.

32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Genesis 4-5 The Lineage born of Pain

Once sin took hold, it took hold deep.  Adam became a farmer and rancher.  Not only did he care for the animals, but he also worked…and I mean worked the land.  He had two sons, Cain, and Abel.  Cain was a farmer and Abel a rancher.  As the brothers grew, it was clear that Abel had a heart for God and Cain was jealous.  Even as they offered offerings to God, the Lord looked past the offering and saw the men’s hearts.  Cain’s jealousy was apparent, and God called Cain on the attitude of his heart. Sadly, Cain did not listen and killed Abel.

Cain and Abel

The pain of Abel’s death could have been a showstopper.  Adam could have blamed himself and he and Eve could have been done.  That, however, was not the case.  Instead, we learn that Adam had Seth. In Seth, we see the beginnings of a heart for God that literally passed generation to generation all the way to the birth of our Lord and Savior.  As we continue to look at the lives of Seth’s ancestors, we will see a common theme of God’s influence on those lives and an impact on the entire world as a result.

When the Holy Spirit Comes

That theme is the Spirit of God’s influence.  Jesus told the disciples that when the Holy spirit came into their lives, they would receive power to be God’s witnesses.  In fact, the Spirit would leave that indelible mark that shows the world we are the Lord’s ambassadors.  God never gave up on us; and though Adam lost Cain and Abel, God provided a second-round victor, Seth, to build a lineage of people that would carry God’s message of love and hope to anyone that would believe.

God Bless You


Adam[a] made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.[b] She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth[c] a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So, Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”……

This is the written account of Adam’s family line.

When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind”[a] when they were created.

When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father[b] of Enosh. After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.

Genesis 3/Romans 5-The Ultimate Comeback

The Bible is filled with stories of people’s failures turned into God’s victories. The heart of the story, however, begins with original sin of Adam and Eve.  God created the world.  He formed it and filled it with all manner of animals and plants.  He created men (Adam and Eve) in His own image to be in relationship with God and to caretake the garden that had been created for the people’s pleasure.

  
Sadly, they were convinced that if they violated the one rule–eating from the “Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil” they would be Like God.  First, they were created in God’s image–Like God.  Second, good was apparent–they only learned about evil. And finally, their disobedience put sin in the genetics and made all that came after sinful and therefore separated from God.


The ultimate comeback, however, came through God, the Divine Kindred Redeemer. Adam’s sin brought death to all that came after.  But God’s erased the curse by His demonstration of love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  That death on the cross literally took the penalty of sin and opened a door for us to have fellowship again with God.  


We can never underestimate the depth of love and sacrifice God made to be in fellowship with us. All we must do is realize that we are never able to be good enough or can do enough to be saved. Then we simply surrender our heart to God and follow Him closely.  In doing that, we experience the ultimate comeback.


God Bless You


11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

15 And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush[b] your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”

20 Adam[c] named his wife Eve,[d] because she would become the mother of all the living.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment

I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

2 Corinthians 5–New Starts

We are about to start something new.  I am going to start looking at the humanity of God’s heroes.  One of the overwhelming characteristics of God is His willingness to forgive and restore His chosen.  From Genesis to Revelation God showcases His people in the finest and most dismal moments.  Like any Father, God wants nothing more than to see His people live full and meaningful lives on earth and to prepare us for an eternity with Him in Heaven.


Still, try as we might, we find ourselves attempting to assist God or downright rejecting His leadership.  When that happens, the mess that ensues can be painful, devastating and life-altering.  We then turn our faces away from God or simply hang our head in shame knowing we have failed.  The great news is that Our God is a God of a second chance…(actually, considerably more than a second chance.) When, as fathers and parents so frail and sinful, we can love and forgive our kids mistakes and failures; HOW MUCH MORE can the God of the Universe who created us, shaped us, sacrificed for us, guides us, and forgives us; do the same.


When we become one of His own, we receive the ministry of reconciliation.  We become new creatures.  We are justified, sanctified, and glorified through Christ. 

Over the next several weeks, we will look at folks that have hit bottom and then were used mightily by God. We will look at folks whose lives seemed hopeless only to be mighty game changers.  The message is that we are created for a mission.  When we are in process, often God can even use our failures and falls to make the most of the journey.  We can never give up, and we must never believe the lies of enemy that we are not good enough or spiritual enough to be used by God.


God Bless You


 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

The Ministry of Reconciliation

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

Acts 28 Final–The Wrap-Up

Paul fought riots, shipwrecks, torment, and torture but finally, he made it to Rome.  In Rome, Paul continued to meet with Jewish and non-Jewish believers.  He lived in a rented House under guard; but was not hindered from speaking the truth in love up to the time when Nero wanted to make his point.  Then Paul was martyred.


in the end, Paul’s efforts to stop the church led him to make the church an international family.  As he said in Colossians 3–“Here there is no Jew or Greek, Barbarian or Scythian, slave or free.” Believers were advancing across the known world and the church was on the rise.  Ironically, as all roads led to Rome, So did Paul’s mission. God’s plan remained flawless.


As we walk daily on this journey, Like Paul, we must listen for God’s direction, and press on toward that mark.  We cannot plan for God.  Instead, we must simply follow his lead–even in trial, shipwrecks, torture, and torment.  He will, as with Paul, protect, prepare, and provide for us as we continue the mission He has for set before us!

God Bless You


15 The brothers and sisters there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged. 16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.

Paul Preaches at Rome Under Guard

17 Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. 20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.”

21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of our people who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.”

23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe…30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!

Acts 28 Part 1–God’s Man All the Time

Paul and the passengers of the ship were spared and landed on the Island of Malta.  Once they arrived, God began to do a work.  Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake (Ironic) but to no avail.  Paul simply shook the snake off into the fire. (Ironic again).

Paul then healed the Island’s leader’s very sick father. Afterward, Paul healed anyone that was sick on the island that came to see him.  Once they left Malta, no one there doubted that Paul was God’s man.


Paul lived to complete his mission.  He was always the same.  God consistently used Paul to change those that crossed his path.  Paul never sought fanfare or reward, He simply sought God in everything that he did–God honored and used Paul’s obedience to do so much that was amazing.


God calls us to be the same.  We are to live to honor God and share His truth anywhere and anytime.  When we do that, God will use us in the lives of others to meet their needs, change their hearts, and fill them with the knowledge and grace of God.  There is no limit to the places and ways God can use us if we will simply trust and follow Him.  He will use trials, temptations, tragedies, and triumphs to bring about revival within those whom we meet.  We simply need to walk humbly with the Lord in the lead.


God Bless You


Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us.

As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.

Near the shore where we landed was an estate belonging to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us and treated us kindly for three days. As it happened, Publius’s father was ill with fever and dysentery. Paul went in and prayed for him, and laying his hands on him, he healed him. Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed. 10 As a result we were showered with honors, and when the time came to sail, people supplied us with everything we would need for the trip.

Acts 27 Part 2–Faith in the Shipwreck

For Paul, the events of the storm and shipwreck were no surprise. The Lord revealed to him all the pain and loss that were about to occur.  Still, for the other 276 folks on board, this strange little man was a puzzlement.  He continued to tell them to stay on board, to eat and not to worry, they would survive–still the storm raged and the boat was being beat to death.


Paul’s faith inspired the Roman Centurian, it kept the prisoners from escaping and the rest of the crew from mutiny.  Against their better judgement all the men ate and stayed on the boat.   So, what was the outcome? Everybody survived.  Just as God promised, He saved all lives for the sake of Paul.

  
It was a horrific event; none would have ever chosen the ship journey knowing how it would end.  Still, each man on the ship was able to see God do amazing things to save their lives.  They saw God spare them, even though they were not disciples.
How many times has God forced us to trust Him when all seemed lost?

When our lives, like the ship, are being beat to a pulp and we have lost all we knew to be ours; only to later see that God has supplied exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever hope or dream. 

Faith is trusting in things hoped for and not seen.  Even in matters of life and death, we follow God’s lead and do not trust our own abilities to somehow carry us through. Like this story, trusting God often defies human logic–that is why it is so amazing.

That is How Paul brought the men to safety and that is how we finish our journey well. 

God Bless You


On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic[c] Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28 They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet[d] deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet[e] deep. 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away.

33 Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. 34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board. 38 When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.

39 When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 40 Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach. 41 But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.

42 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 The rest were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely.

Acts 27 Part 2–God Directs What Lies Ahead

Paul could see what was ahead.  He advised the Ship’s Captain not to make the voyage, but to no avail.  So as the ship got to sea, a huge storm hit.  Not only did the storm hit, but it lasted for days.  All aboard had given up and expected to die–well all but Paul.  God had already prepared Paul for this journey.  The trials and beatings he had already received convinced Paul to trust the Lord to deliver him to complete the mission to Rome.  So just as everyone was taking final tally of their lives, Paul was assured by an angel that they would not lose even one man to this storm.

One can be sure that the others aboard ship would have liked to have received the message personally, but, Paul had been dead on so far.  Paul did not promise that the journey would be without loss–simply without loss of life.  It was  going to be a difficult cruise, but God promised to deliver all that were with Paul for Paul’s sake.

In our lives, we need to trust the Lord that has taken us through so many trials to continue to prepare, protect and provide for us.  We are never promised an easy journey, in fact, the opposite is true.  The Lord does promise to walk with us and, if we will allow, assist us in completing the mission for which we have been called.

We must keep moving forward and never long for what might have been.  Paul was so clear in Philippians 4: 11-13,”We must learn to be content–WHATEVER the circumstance.  Whether well fed or hungry living in plenty or in want–WE can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.”  The men on the ship would soon learn that principle in no uncertain terms.  My prayer is that I live it in my own life.

God Bless You


When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity; so, they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island. 15 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so, we gave way to it and were driven along. 16 As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure, 17 so the men hoisted it aboard. Then they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Because they were afraid, they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor[b] and let the ship be driven along. 18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”

Acts 27 Part 1–Following God on the Average Days

The trip to Rome had begun.  Paul could see what would happen and saw the doomed outcome.  He was kind to share the vision with the Roman Centurian and the ship’s owners, Sadly, they refused to listen,  So, as they moved forward toward Italy, it was a difficult and arduous journey.  Paul was able to see some friends along the way, but it was mostly just the grind.  Interestingly, there seemed to be no major events–just living day to day.

In our walk, life is very similar.  Most days are just the grind.  There are huge events that mark the journey, but a great deal of the time it is simply slowly moving forward and trusting God along the way.  When we trust God, He reveals himself to us.  As that happens, we can see what is coming and are given the opportunity to prepare. 

In the interim, however, it is our responsibility to push through the daily steps of our lives by faith.  We must live lives that honor the Lord even when it seems mundane. We cannot simply seek God in the turbulent and trial filled times of life.  We must also seek him on each average day.  Paul did that.  In fact, it was Paul’s obedience on the average days that would carry him through the disastrous ones.  Let us also live for our Lord on the average days.

God Bless You


 When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us.

The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs. From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us. When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board. We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea.

Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Day of Atonement.[a] So Paul warned them, 10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” 11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. 12 Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.

Acts 26–Pressing on toward the Mark

Paul continued upon his journey toward Rome. This day Paul stood before regional leadership of Festus and Agrippa.  He was to defend his behavior transforming from being the former Jewish enforcer to becoming the proponent of changing the world for Christ.  Agrippa had listened to Paul before but, now the Roman leader Festus heard Paul speak of his transformation.  At the end of the day, not much was different.  


Remembering that Paul had a single purpose is critical.  He was not out to win his freedom.  He was out to reach Rome and change the World for Christ.  Festus called Him crazy.  Why would such a gifted scholar waste his time giving a simple testimony of how Christ changed his Life? Paul was clear–I am not crazy, I am simply telling How God changed me.  Festus responded by asking if He thought he could so quickly convert him.  Paul smiled and replied he was not concerned about when he was converted–JUST THAT he was converted. 

 
Then Festus made the golden statement–If he had not asked to see Caesar, He would be free to go! Point was that he did ask, and as such, to Caesar Paul would go.  God’s plan executed with precision.  Paul said in Philippians that the Philippians did not need to be worried about his imprisonment in Rome.  Because Paul was in chains it had become clear throughout the entire Praetorian guard and everyone else that he was in chains for Christ.  One can only imagine the number of instances that Paul gave the testimony he spoke to Festus.


In the charge of the light brigade, Tennyson writes, “Ours is not to reason why, ours is just to do or die!” As warriors for Christ, We, like Paul, must charge forward and face the enemy no matter the cost.  If we will, he will lose, and we will make a difference in the lives of our family and our community.  We made be called crazy, fanatical, or even criminal; but truth is we cannot help but to share the difference Christ has made in our lives.


God Bless You


“I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests, I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.

12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,[a] ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

“ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. 21 That is why some Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. 22 But God has helped me to this very day; so, I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23 that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”

24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 After they left the room, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.”

32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”