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13/10/2020 03:00 - 14/10/2020 02:00

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed, That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” - Psalm 27: 13-14 (NKJV).

Yesterday we saw how the Apostle Paul warned the centurion, ship owner and captain not to proceed with a dangerous journey only to be ignored, which all ended in disaster (Acts 27). Today we see another aspect of Paul’s final journey that can speak to any of us.

As the storm raged on (verse 18) everyone in the ship was down with worry. Around 60 AD travelling on the high seas was rudimentary, relying much on Mother Nature. There were no compasses and life jackets. The 276 passengers on board, their ship battered by the savage winds, despaired and feared that all hope was gone. “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved” (verse 20).

But there was one man who was not as worried. Paul had already heard from God that all lives would be saved. Seeing everyone distraught with worry and fearing imminent death, he decided to cheer them up. Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me” (verse 23-25).

Here is the point. In a time of great distress Paul asked all the sailors not to despair but have faith that God would deliver them. Today as back then there are storms raging all around us. There are financial storms caused by the corona virus pandemic. There are storms in relationships that are disintegrating. There are storms from personal loss. Yet, just as then, God is speaking to us not to despair, that all will end well. Everything is fine.

After Paul had delivered his message of hope he told the ship captain to look for a ground to land. And unlike the last time the captain listened. And all the 276 lives were saved!

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, today, just as was then with storms raging, you gave Paul a message of hope, and lives were saved; I here pray that I look up to you in the midst of storms raging around me, that you will deliver me and all around to safety, because of the faith in Christ Jesus!

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    "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands” (Acts 17:24)

    When in his missionary journey the Apostle Paul ventured into the city of Athens he was struck by two things. First, the Athenians spent most of the day doing nothing but talking about the latest ideas (Acts 17:21). In spite of that they could not figure out who the great God is and his plan for their salvation.

    Secondly, Paul noticed Athens was filled with temples and statutes all over. In fact he came across one altar marked with an inscription to an “unknown god” (verse 23). The Athenians were a very religious people, searching God but with no idea of his plans for salvation through Jesus.
    The experience of Paul travelling through Athens could be the same with any of us visiting our modern cities. It is easy to find folks arguing about where truth can be found on social media almost all day. And then also one can find temples of all nature rising across the city. This is usually where they have assigned and restricted God as folks go about their lives.

    One thing Paul reminded the Athenians is that in spite of all their great arguments and temples the truth was actually not far from them. “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundary of their lands. God did this so that they should seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any of us” (Acts 17:27-28).

    Today, you may find yourself in a situation similar to that of the Athenians, where you are searching for the truth, yet it is so close to you. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20).

    Prayer for today: Lord Father in heaven, today I pray in the blessed name of Jesus, to know and share the truth of your salvation like Paul did for you are not far from any who truly desires to know you, this I pray in Jesus’ name!