Date: Monday, July 29
Scripture: Acts 17:1-9
Verse: When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also…” (Acts 17:6)
I’ve always thought it must be amazing for a basketball player to get called for goaltending. I could never jump high enough to get above the rim and block a ball on its way down. I once heard of someone who bragged about getting a speeding ticket on their bicycle. It served as confirmation of how fast they could get their bicycle going. On a more serious note, I have heard of missionaries who have had to pay fines for attempting to smuggle Bibles into places where they are not allowed. Many endure torture and are even put to death for their sharing of the Gospel. Some accusations say something about our abilities, what we can do, and what matters to us.
In today’s scripture, Paul and Silas are accused of “turning the world upside down.” Hearing what they were being accused of must have made them smile because that is exactly what they were trying to do. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – the message Paul and his team were trying to share, and the one we are also called to live out each day – changes the way we view the world. The Gospel points to another kingdom where God rules and reigns, a place where “justice roll[s] down like waters, and righteousness like an overflowing stream” (Amos 5:24 NRSV). It is a message that thwarts the understanding of power and value to which the world is accustomed, with new understandings of real power and real value.
I pray today we might be accused of “turning the world upside down” as we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our community and the world.
Prayer: Thank you God for Paul and others who have sacrificed so much to make sure I might know of real power and value in Christ. Amen.
Action: What do you get accused of at work, home, school, etc.? Is it accurate? Are you proud of it? Make a plan for how you might become one who is accused of living a counter-cultural life of faith.
Respond: What accusation would you like having said about you? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.