Today’s Tasting: Acts 27–28
These final chapters of Acts describe Paul’s journey to Rome after his trial in Jerusalem for sedition. Paul exercised his right as a Roman citizen to appear before Caesar and so he was sent by ship to Rome, guarded by a centurion.
On the way the ship ran into a violent storm and they were shipwrecked on the island of Malta. They stayed in Malta for three months, during which time Paul ministered to the people of Malta, healing many of them from diseases. Paul finally arrived in Rome, where he was allowed to live in a house by himself, with soldiers to guard him. Paul addressed the Jewish leaders in Rome, causing a great dispute among them, because some were persuaded that Jesus was who He claimed to be, but others did not believe. Paul remained in his own rented quarters for two years, preaching about the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today’s Nourishment: God is sovereign and His purposes will stand. In Acts 27 and 28 I see evidence of the truth of this statement. His purpose was for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be spread throughout Rome, which at that time was the center of world power. And nothing that Paul encountered on the way, not the violent storm, nor being bitten by a poisonous snake (Acts 28:3–6), could thwart God’s plans. From Rome Paul wrote to believers at Philippi that “my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear” (Philippians 1:12–14).
Paul trusted God so much that even in his imprisonment he was able to see what the Lord was doing around him and because of him. When Paul’s ship was caught in the storm, the sailors began throwing the cargo overboard to prevent the ship from sinking, but after a while they lost hope that they would survive. But Paul told them that an angel of the Lord had told him there would be no loss of life (read Acts 27:18–26). I believe that Paul was able to receive this word from God because while the others on the ship were running around in panic and trying to save themselves, Paul was praying and, because of that posture of faith, he was open to hearing what God was doing in those dire circumstances.
My question for us today is, how do we react when the wind starts howling and the storm blows us off our comfortable path? Do we begin to run around in our own strength to save ourselves? I pray that we would remember Paul’s example, and take our fears and anxieties to the sovereign Lord who has power over the storms that blow our way, confident that He alone is able to keep us safe.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Colossians, Philemon
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