Today’s devotion is written by Pastor Vance Rains.
In today’s reading, the Apostle Paul has encountered significant, vocal opposition in Jerusalem…
Grabbing him, they threw the whole crowd into confusion by shouting, “Fellow Israelites! Help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, the Law, and this place. Not only that, he has even brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.” (Acts 21:27-28)
None of that was actually true. I can’t imagine Paul ever stopped considering himself a Jew, or that he ever preached against Judaism. Instead, he preached FOR a new understanding of God’s grace, specifically through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
None of that mattered. The crowd was in an angry frenzy. The situation quickly became dangerous for Paul. He might have been killed, if not for the arrival of a company of Roman soldiers, who took Paul into custody. The commander quickly discerned the volatility of the situation, but couldn’t determine the cause…
Some in the crowd shouted one thing, others shouted something else. Because of the commotion, he couldn’t learn the truth, so he ordered that Paul be taken to the military headquarters. (Acts 21:34)
Ever feel that way? Too many voices shouting too many different things, too much commotion to discern the truth? Too many half-truths. Too much mis-information. Too many accusations. Too many false-claims. Too many lies. Too much exaggerated reporting. Too many voiced opinions. Too much shouting, and not nearly enough listening. Too much noise.
For Paul, the truth was simple and clear: God was doing a new thing – planned long ago – in the person of Jesus. By God’s grace, all people could be part of the New Creation, made possible by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, and the gift of the Spirit given at Pentecost.
There’s always a lot of chaos, noise, and confusion! That’s why we need to intentionally remain grounded in spiritual truth. That’s why we need weekly worship, and small groups, and daily devotional practices – to counter-balance the misinformation we encounter daily.
What truth keeps you grounded?
How do you stay focused, in the midst of the chaos?
What spiritual practices keep you spiritually grounded?
Please share! We love to hear your thoughts, comments, and questions!