Good morning! We are reviewing our last chapter in the book of Acts. The chapter doesn’t end the way I thought it would, but the Lord works in mysterious ways. Join me today as we read about Apostle Paul’s experience after being shipped wrecked on his way to Rome as a prisoner.
Bible verse Acts 28:1-9 NLT
“Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. 2 The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us.
3 As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. 4 The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” 5 But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. 6 The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.
7 Near the shore where we landed was an estate belonging to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us and treated us kindly for three days. 8 As it happened, Publius’s father was ill with fever and dysentery. Paul went in and prayed for him, and laying his hands on him, he healed him. 9 Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed. 10 As a result we were showered with honors, and when the time came to sail, people supplied us with everything we would need for the trip.”
A few days ago we discussed how things do not always go as we plan. Yet, even our best plans have to make room for God to move. Paul’s initial plan (see Acts 20 and 21) was to travel to Jerusalem, give an offering to the church in Jerusalem which was collected from various churches he had visited on his mission, and arrive in Jerusalem in time for the Festival at Pentecost. Well as we read Paul was imprisoned shortly after his arrival and at this point in our reading still a prisoner years later. The course in which he took was not the plan, but other believers forewarned Paul of what would occur in Jerusalem if he proceeded with his plan. Paul still followed through with the divine plan.
Sisters and brothers, God often calls us to places and to missions we don’t fully understand. When we allow God to lead us we never know what divine appointment/purpose he has, but we can trust his way will prevail. Even in the midst of Paul’s discomfort he continued to share the gospel message with those in Jerusalem, Caesarea, to a governor, a king, soldiers, and other non-believers.
The ship wreck on the island of Malta, was not part of the sailors’ plan but God used it – everyone on the boat heard about the God Paul served and believed in, they saw God’s faithfulness to His servant when they all survived, and at this point many people are experiencing the healing power of the Lord working through Paul. The Lord our God works in mysterious ways.
The ship wreck left the crew without anything, yet it resulted in lives being saved, people being healed; and when the time came to sail, the people on the island supplied them with everything they would need for the trip. Sisters and brothers, look at God- he worked out every detail for his glory.
Are you in a place in your life where you can’t seem to figure out what the Lord our God and Savior is doing? ______ If so, don’t be discouraged. Keep believing and trust His plan. The Lord will use you for His plan and purpose. Don’t resist, allow Him to use you.
Father God, we thank you for always being with us. Lord, we thank you for never leaving us and for saving us. Lord, without you we don’t know where we would be, but with you we trust that we are right where you want us at this moment. Lord, we pray that you will continue to use us and work through us. Lord, right where we are – lead us in the direction that you desire for us to go. Lord, we don’t want to take a step without you leading and going with us. Lord, remove our fears; lead us despite the times we failed to follow your lead. Lord, course correct us and direct us in the way that you desire for us to go. Lord, wherever we are and wherever you send us let our hearts and minds be at peace with it. Keep working out our situations, protecting us, and teaching us while we journey with you. Increase our time in relationship and communication with you. Help us to hear you more than the chaos, fear or anxiety that attempts to hold us back from your calling on our lives. Lord, bless and keep us. Keep working in your mysterious ways. In Jesus name, amen.
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