Good morning! Have you ever been on a trip that seemed to last forever? Maybe it was suppose to be a quick trip but it ended up taking a day or longer than anticipated. Maybe the trip wasn’t extended but the circumstances around the trip made the time nearly unbearable? Today, we will continue our reading in Acts chapter 28 picking up where we left off yesterday.
Bible Verse – Acts 28:11-16 NLT
“11 It was three months after the shipwreck that we set sail on another ship that had wintered at the island—an Alexandrian ship with the twin gods[a] as its figurehead. 12 Our first stop was Syracuse,[b] where we stayed three days. 13 From there we sailed across to Rhegium.[c] A day later a south wind began blowing, so the following day we sailed up the coast to Puteoli. 14 There we found some believers,[d] who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome.
15 The brothers and sisters[e] in Rome had heard we were coming, and they came to meet us at the Forum[f] on the Appian Way. Others joined us at The Three Taverns.[g] When Paul saw them, he was encouraged and thanked God.
16 When we arrived in Rome, Paul was permitted to have his own private lodging, though he was guarded by a soldier.”
- The number three (3)
- Three months
- Three days
- Three Taverns
- The number three is mentioned 983 times in the Bible. And, just in our verses today it is mentioned three times. Yesterday, in verse 7, three days was mentioned.
Do you remember the words the angel of the Lord spoke to Paul? The words were – ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’
God’s faithfulness was on full display. If Apostle Paul was downtrodden or uncertain about what was taking place next, he had the promised word from the angel of the Lord and the encouragement of all the believers who greeted him along the way to Rome. I am certain the three months in Malta was spent telling people about a man named Jesus Christ who is the Messiah and son of God who came to save us all (Jews and Gentiles alike) from our sins, and reconcile us back to God. I am certain he told them about Jesus in the tomb and on that marvelous third day the tomb was empty. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul wrote ‘For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures’. If Apostle Paul wrote those words to the Corinthians he preached them to the people on the island of Malta, and we have them today to read.
The Lord did not make a mistake when he selected Paul to: ‘Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. 17 And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles 18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’ (Acts 26:16-18).
Sisters and brothers, the Lord didn’t make a mistake when he created you – perfectly knitted you in your mother’s womb. He knew you before you were born, He created you with a purpose in mind and has gifted and equipped you for His plan. Maybe this journey seems to be taking longer than you expected. Maybe you feel like you are ship wrecked on an island waiting for the Lord to come through…remember the Lord is with you. His presence is with you.
- Will you take 3 minutes, 3 hours, 3 days, 3 months or even 3 years to draw closer to the Lord?
- Will you allow Him to transform and change your life?
- Will you allow Him to enter into a deeper relationship with you right now?
Sisters and brothers, let the spirit of the Lord reign and be active in your life. Let it overflow so that by your actions others will see Christ in you. Trust the word of the Lord. Hold onto His promises and the words He has spoken over your life. Ponder them in your heart.
Father God thank you for your amazing love toward us. Thank you for never leaving us abandoned or destroyed. Lord, you come through for us more times than we will ever know. You have changed the course of our lives and challenged us to walk in truth and love. Lord, the past year was exceptionally difficult for many, but we trust that you will use everything that we went through and are going through for your glory. Lord, we trust you with the shipwrecks in our lives, when the waves crash around us, or when the terrain is steep. Lord, continue to speak peace into our hearts, lead us in the way you desire for us to go, straighten our paths, and calm our hearts to be patient as we trust you. Lord, bring healing to those in need of a touch from you. Provide employment to those who are without jobs or are looking for improved working conditions. Lord, comfort those who are grieving. Give us clarity in the next steps that you desire for us to take. Continue to heal Your nation. Lord, most of all thank you for ensuring that on the third day the tomb was empty. Thank you for forgiving us of our sins and for reconciling us back to God.. In Jesus name, amen.
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