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Summary: When we are criticized it is essential to stick with the facts rather than to conjecture about matters that we are unfamiliar with

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Sticking With the Facts

(Acts 24:1-27)

Illustration:Two men who lived in a small village got into a terrible dispute that they could not resolve. So they decided to talk to the town sage. The first man went to the sage’s home and told his version of what happened. When he finished, the sage said, "You’re absolutely right." The next night, the second man called on the sage and told his side of the story. The sage responded, "You’re absolutely right." Afterward, the sage’s wife scolded her husband. "Those men told you two different stories and you told them they were absolutely right. That’s impossible -- they can’t both be absolutely right." The sage turned to his wife and said, "You’re absolutely right."

David Moore in Vital Speeches of the Day.

1. Many people become flustered when they are criticized and forget to stay focused on the truth. Paul weathered the storm of criticism before the Jews and governor Felix by sticking to the facts.

The great apostle refused to be sidetracked because he knew that he was primarily responsible to speak the truth in love. Paul clarified how particular values were important to Christ’s purpose and to his own without trying to appear to be haughty, insensitive or disrespectful to Felix.

It is not necessary to have to agree about all things in order to have a decent relationship with people. Refuse to accept that you have to surrender your beliefs on essentials just to stay in the good graces with those who have authority over you.

Ask the Lord to help you balance your love and truth as you communicate Christ to all people.

2. Stay calm using the power of prayer, thankfulness and praise. Paul approached his trials in an attitude of trust knowing that the Lord is greater than any problem, person or situation.

Quote:I would define true courage to be a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it.

W.T. Sherman.

Ask the Lord to help you keep your positive approach to everything. Be confident that God is able to deliver you from all things in all situations.

3. Paul came into the court of Felix with plenty of mental and spiritual preparation. The great apostle planned his defense based on the truth in Christ and his commitment to eternal purposes.

While remaining modest and respectful of authority, Paul gave Felix solid reasons for his innocence and Christ’s truthfulness.

Whenever you communicate do the necessary research, homework and study for a solid defense.

Be ready for any eventuality by being over prepared to defend your convictions on a wide range of issues.

4. Paul did research on Felix to tailor his defense and strategy. The wise apostle knew that Felix was a political leader who was cruel, licentious, unrighteous, steeped in blood, rich by oppression, and profligate in conduct.

History tells us that Felix rose to power by corrupt, shameful and sinister means. Felix was a man that abused his powers by severely dealing with any dissenters.

Paul knew that he would need to exhibit great skill or he could be immediately executed.


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