URC Daily Devotion 7th November 2022

Monday 7th November 2022
Acts 24:1 – 9

Five days later the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and an attorney, a certain Tertullus, and they reported their case against Paul to the governor.  When Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying:

‘Your Excellency, because of you we have long enjoyed peace, and reforms have been made for these people because of your foresight.  We welcome this in every way and everywhere with utmost gratitude. But, to detain you no further, I beg you to hear us briefly with your customary graciousness.  We have, in fact, found this man a pestilent fellow, an agitator among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.  He even tried to profane the temple, and so we seized him. By examining him yourself you will be able to learn from him concerning everything of which we accuse him.’

The Jews also joined in the charge by asserting that all this was true.


“A pestilent fellow, an agitator, … a ringleader of the Nazarenes”

What do people think about you? Some of us spend a considerable amount of time wondering what people think of us, when in reality few people think about us at all.

But when they do think of you, don’t you want them to have a good impression about you?
Paul didn’t seem to have had that problem. He also didn’t have to wonder if he had any impact on those around him – it was rather obvious. He was a pest!

What impact do I have?

I’d prefer to be remembered as someone who made a difference – even if I do ruffle some feathers – rather than be someone who just lived a safe life. Safe is boring. ‘Safe’ will never change our world.
The world is being changed by revolutionaries, by the ‘pestilent’, by those who dare stick their head above the crowds.

That was the way of Jesus. That is the way of his followers. We are not there yet – there is a lot of evil, and not yet enough good, in the world. Will I be a pest for the cause of Christ? Will you?


Lord, forgive us when we desire safety instead of action.
Forgive us when we try to play it safe, 
and avoid the excitement of a life with you.
Save us from ‘safe’.
Give us the boldness to change the world for you.
Give us courage to be your followers – not safe within our churches, and doctrines, and traditions
– but out there, touching the world with your love.

Today’s writer

Marius Mazuru, pastor, Pilgrim Church, Plymouth.


New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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