Known by Name - Acts 23

Known by Name

Acts 23:1-35

A missionary was on furlough from his field of foreign service, when he was invited to serve as Minister of Visitation at a large church in Wyoming.  During his year of furlough the church experienced much growth.  A young leader there got together with friends and prayed that the missionary would not return to the foreign mission field, but rather would continue to work at the church.  The missionary went back to the field.

Some years later they both found themselves at a conference center, where they greeted each other.  The young man shook the hand of the missionary and said, "I remember your face, but what's your name?"

The apostle Paul returned to Jerusalem, where he had been a major force in persecuting Christians.  No one remembered him.  He was in the temple for seven days before he was noticed by Jews from Asia Minor.  They cried out, "Men of Israel, help!  This is the man...."  Then the people grabbed Paul, dragged him out of the temple, and began to beat him. 

Roman soldiers came to his rescue.  They carried Paul to their barracks.  Their commander, Claudius Lysias, thought that Paul was an Egyptian assassin.  None of the Romans had a clue as to who he was.

In Acts 23 the apostle had an opportunity to share his testimony before the Jewish council, the Sanhedrin.  He created great dissension between the Sadducees and the Pharisees, when he said, "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged."  A tug of war occurred and Paul was almost pulled to pieces.  Again, the Roman soldiers saved him from the angry mob, and brought him back safely to the barracks.

"But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, 'Be of good cheer, Paul....'"  Paul?  Yes, the Lord addressed him by name.  How quickly others tend to forget!  But not the Lord.

In Paul's last letter to Timothy from a Roman prison just before his martyrdom, the apostle wrote, "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and 'Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."  2 Timothy 2:19.  Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."  John 10:27. 

The prophet Nahum put it this way: "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him."  Nahum 1:7.

He knows you by name.  Wow!

 

Lord, You count the number of stars, and call them all by name.  Thank You for being mindful of us, and for standing with us.  How excellent is Your name in all the earth!  We pray in Jesus' name.  Amen!  

 

Paul's Confession - Acts 24 

 
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