Acts 23:27 – This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
I once heard Leonard Ravenhill, great preacher and author, tell a story about his father, also a minister of the Gospel, that occurred, I believe, during World War II. The story went like this. Leonard Ravenhill said,
My father was visiting servicemen in a British hospital, praying for them, and ministering to them as the Lord directed him. He came to one British soldier, and asked him if he would like to have prayer for his injuries. The soldier responded, “I don’t hold much with prayer. I’ve never gotten any results.” Ravenhill, in his very astute manner responded with a question. “If you would ask King George for 100 pounds sterling, would he give it to you?” The soldier quickly responded, “No sir. He has no relation to me at all; in fact, he doesn’t even know me.” Then Ravenhill asked, “If the Prince of Wales were to ask King George for 100 pounds sterling, do you think King George would give it to him?” The soldier immediately responded, “Of course he would. The Prince is the King’s son.” At that point, Mr. Ravenhill said, “Precisely, good man. The relationship makes all the difference.”
In the story surrounding our Text for Today, Paul had identified himself as a Roman. Being a Roman gave one a distinct advantage in dealings with government and religious systems that were under the control of the Roman Empire. For a Roman citizen, Roman law held sway over Jewish law. It superseded Jewish law. Paul fully realized that and used it for his advantage in the matter. While we may not think about it, most of us use the same kind of procedure in our daily business. For instance, if you go into a bank with which you do not conduct business, the likelihood that you can cash a check there is very low. On the other hand, if you go into the bank where you have your checking account, they will likely cash your personal check without question. All you have to do is prove your relationship with them.
What do you need from the Lord today? Is it legitimate? That is to ask, is it legal, can it be done within the guidelines of the person with whom you are dealing? In this case, that is Jehovah, and He does indeed have guidelines. They can be found in the Scriptures. My friend, I assure you of this. If you have a personal relationship with our God, and if you are operating according to the standards He has set forth, and if you come to Him in faith and in the Name of Jesus, you can conduct any business you need with Him. But without that personal relationship, it simply won’t work. As Mr. Ravenhill said, “The relationship makes all the difference.”
Manna for Today – Acts 23:23-35; John 15:7; Isaiah 54:17; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Ephesians 2:10