PAUL, A ROMAN CITIZEN
After Paul told his testimony to the Jewish crowd, the crowd shouted to get rid of him or kill him. They threw their cloaks and dust into the air as a show of disgust against Paul. The commander ordered Paul to be taken into the barracks and ordered his soldiers to flog and interrogate Paul to find out why the crowd wanted him dead. As he was about to be flogged, Paul asked the centurion (an army officer) if it was legal in Roman law to flog a Roman citizen who had not been found guilty. When the centurion heard this, he immediately told the commander. The commander couldn't believe that Paul was born a citizen of Rome because the commander paid a lot of money to become a Roman citizen. The soldiers who were about to flog Paul immediately withdrew because to flog a Roman citizen without a valid reason had serious consequences. So the commander released him and ordered the chief priests and the members of the Sanhedrin to assemble to take care of their issues against Paul. The Sanhedrin is like the supreme court in Jewish society at that time. (Acts 22:22-30).
God sovereignly created Paul as a Roman citizen to fulfill His purpose on this earth. God called Paul to be His apostle to the Gentiles, and through Paul's Roman citizenship, he could go freely to the Roman regions and provinces to preach the gospel and disciple those who believed in the Lord Jesus. God's purpose for our birthplace and where we currently live is not for economic reasons but to know and believe in our Lord Jesus. The reason God allowed legal refugees and immigrants to come to America is for them to know and believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved. We still have freedom of religion in America, and the churches have the freedom to share the truth of our Lord Jesus and lead them to believe in the Lord Jesus. Many people are trying to come to America illegally, but only Jesus can give them hope, not this country. They think they can have a better life through a government or a system, but only Jesus can give them a better life no matter where they live because He always cares for those who believe in Him.
As believers of our Lord Jesus, our citizenship is now in Heaven (Philippians 3:20). Our ultimate and eternal home is in Heaven, not on this earth. We are just passing through this earth. Someday, God will take us all home to live with Him forever. The reason we are still on this earth is that God wants to give those who have not been saved to be saved. And He wants to use us as His instrument to lead people to the Lord.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) As a believer, where is my eternal citizenship? What is the reason God allowed me to live where I currently am? Where is my true home?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, would you please help me remember that I no longer belong on this earth, but I belong to you? I praise you for saving me and giving me new citizenship in Heaven and that my eternal home is in Heaven. Please help me to be a witness to others so that they may know you through me. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.