Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him. (Acts 24:24-26)
According to historian Josephus (Antiquities 20:141-44), Drusilla married Azizus, the king of Emesa. Felix was taken with her and sent a man who pretended to be a magician into Azizus’ kingdom to convince Drusilla, age 16, to leave her husband and marry Felix.
His plan worked, so Felix needed a savior and forgiveness and sent for Paul often to hear about Jesus. But Felix also wanted a bribe. So when Paul talked about repentance to obtain righteousness and self-control from the Holy Spirit to curb his desire for women and money, he became disinterested. When Paul spoke about judgment, Felix asked him to leave.
Jesus teaches (Matthew 6:24, 33) that we can’t serve both God and money and that we should seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to us as well.
I love to eat, but I want to crave God more than food. I struggle with self-control, but I believe if I pray several times a day and ask an angel and my prayer partner to help me, the Holy Spirit will help me. Self-control is a fruit of the spirit that God promises. What do you hunger after?
Father, sometimes I crave __________ instead of you. I praise you for the gift of self-control. Let me receive it from Your Holy Spirit. Thank you for my prayer partner and for sending an angel to help me. Please keep me and my loved ones safe today and bind us closer to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.