Paid in Full
You are always watching over me. You are always near to me. Help me to practice faith when it is hard.
What citizenship does your life reflect?
As he is being tied up to be whipped, Paul points out to his captors that he is a Roman citizen, and what they are doing is therefore illegal under Roman law, since Roman citizens were promised immunity from degrading punishments.
It is clear from the centurion's reply (28) that citizenship was not only acquired by birth, but could also be purchased, usually at a considerable price, or received as a reward for service to Rome. Paul's response must have irritated the centurion's wound: his citizenship was free by birth.
Citizenship is still a valuable commodity today. It can be very hard to get across borders into a country of one's choice, and then there can be years of residence required (sometimes with tests to pass) before citizenship can be granted. For those of us not born citizens, it comes at a high price.
Being a citizen of God's Kingdom, however, comes at the highest price of all. Amazingly, Jesus has already paid it for each of us, in full, with his death on the cross. We, like Paul, are saved, not through birth (28), but through faith (Eph. 2:8).
Give thanks to Jesus for the price he paid to secure our citizenship in heaven!
Jesus, You have paid the highest price to make me a citizen of Your Kingdom. I desire to live so the world can see it.
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