Blessed by liars

Acts 21:27-29  27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 shouting, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place.” 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)

imsev115-031Don’t you just hate it when people make assumptions about you?  How dare they!  I mean, I would never make an assumption about someone else.  No, not me.  My assumptions aren’t assumptions at all.  They are facts.  I know what I am talking about.  Are you seeing the double standard here?  Assumption causes more headaches than I can keep track of.  It creates fights, drama, hurt, and misunderstanding.  And it’s all because someone made a claim without all the facts.

This is what happened to Paul.  He was trying to preach the Good News in Jerusalem.  He did everything he could to show them that he wasn’t there to cause trouble.  He even participated in one of their purification rituals.  But some dudes from Asia stirred up trouble.  First they threw out a bunch of empty generalities to get people riled up. Then they brought out the big guns: they claimed that Paul brought a Greek into the temple.  Their claim was a total assumption and their assumption was based on the fact that they saw Paul walking around town with a Greek.  That’s pretty weak if you ask me.

In Matthew 5:11-12, Jesus said:“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  I guess Paul had a great reward coming.  He was beat and arrested because of this false assumption.  But he knew that He was blessed.  He knew he was blessed because he was in the center of God’s will for his life.  He was preaching the gospel as he had been called to do.  He was living above reproach and made every effort to keep peace.  Blessed by liars.  That doesn’t feel like a blessing, does it?  But Jesus made a promise and a promise He always keeps.

*Have people made false assumptions about you?  Have they tried to trash your integrity and character?  Consider yourself blessed by liars, because great is your reward!

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