God Thought 7/5/23

'While Paul was looking intently at the council he said, “Brothers, up to this day I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God.” Then the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near him to strike him on the mouth. At this Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting there to judge me according to the law, and yet in violation of the law you order me to be struck?” Those standing nearby said, “Do you dare to insult God's high priest?” '

Acts 23:1-4

'Then a great clamor arose, and certain scribes of the Pharisees' group stood up and contended, “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” When the dissension became violent, the tribune, fearing that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered the soldiers to go down, take him by force, and bring him into the barracks. That night the Lord stood near him and said, “Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome.”'

Acts 23:9-11
You Version Devotional
Serve at Work Day 3
Shift in Privilege

You’ve probably heard the phrase “membership has its privileges.” It’s common to strive for a promotion because of the privileges that come with it – first class tickets, a company car, access to a large expense account. Granted, these privileges make a leader’s long, hard work hours a bit more enjoyable. But when we seek those privileges for our own indulgence, it can lead us down a very slippery slope.

As a Pharisee, and one who was highly respected, Paul had privileges extended to him. He could have traveled on Jerusalem’s dime, and protected himself from hardship and persecution. But he put those privileges aside for the sake of sharing the Gospel. As a result, Paul was poor, persecuted and thrown in prison. Yet Jesus appeared to Paul in prison. Jesus encouraged Paul and let him know he would testify about Christ in Rome, the seat of influence in the ancient world. Paul went from using his privileges for his own comfort to leveraging them so he could reach more people for Christ.

Moving up the corporate ladder provides us with greater influence, more resources, access to other leaders and opportunities to influence change. You can use those privileges for yourself, or you can leverage them to serve others.

Paul used his privilege as a Roman citizen, not for himself, but to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. He put his own interests aside, and even put his life on the line, to serve. Are you using your privileges to serve your own interests? Or do you seek opportunities to use them to serve others? How can you use the privileges you have been given to help someone at work and influence others for Christ?

Heavenly Father, thank you for the success and favor you have given me. Help me never forget that it all comes from you. Lord help me to see opportunities to use what privileges and resources I have, not to serve myself, but to serve others. I pray that I am able to help others succeed in their work and succeed in seeing You. Help me to be an encouragement to someone else today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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