By: Amy McKee
Posted: August 22, 2016
Category: Daily Devotional
Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished. Acts 22:3-5
It has definitely been an interesting journey learning all about the Apostle Paul. We can all gain a wealth of knowledge by studying the book of Acts. Paul was trained under Gamaliel who was the most honored rabbi of the first century. He was well known and respected as an expert on religious law and as a voice for moderation. Paul was letting the people know his credentials.
Then he goes on to say that he was very similar to his listeners. He was acknowledging their sincere motives behind their desire to kill him, recognizing that he would have done the same thing years earlier, before he was saved. Paul always tried to make it a point to relate to his listeners before starting to preach to them about Christ. It’s very important when we are called to be witnesses to others about our love for Christ that we first share our common ground. Reach out and create that bond and then let the Holy Spirit lead.
Heavenly Father help us to share Your love for us and for others to everyone we come in contact with. Help us to be respectful and mindful and realize that sometimes we have to extend an olive branch before we start “preaching the Word.” Give us wisdom, courage, and guidance when it comes to sharing our faith with others. Amen.