Beyond the Gospels: Acts

Today’s Scripture: Acts 24:1-21
(Click on the link to read today’s verses.)

The drama for Paul continued as the chief priest and his followers along with a lawyer came to make accusations. They accused Paul of disturbing the peace for years… all over the world. How did they know? Paul had been out of the country for several years. They had no news reporters, no televisions. Really, how did they know what Paul was doing “all over the world”?

I recently sat on a jury. Here was a person accused of a crime, but that was about it. There just wasn’t a lot of evidence to back it up. I learned quickly that for some an accusation is truth. It reminded me how detrimental accusing someone of something can be. Accusation is one of the enemy’s main weapons.

Salvation and power are established!
    Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah!
The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out,
    who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
    and the bold word of their witness.–Revelation 12:10

This scripture names our enemy as the Accuser of our brothers and sisters. We’ve all been accused of something. The harder thing for me is recognizing my own hurling of accusations. I do not want to be an accuser. I want to be an encourager. For the rest of this week I am going to be mindful of the words I speak about others. I am going to choose encouragement instead of accusation. Won’t you join me for the challenge?

Lord, help me to remember accusation comes easy,
is often born of assumption and lacks any real evidence.
Do not allow me to fall into the enemy’s trap of lies
when it comes to accusing others. Bless me with the ability
to discern truth and encourage others to do the same.

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