We had a guest US missionary speak during Service as our Pastor and his wife were away for a weekend of restoration. His message was from Paul’s experiences described in Acts 27:40- 28:6.
Paul had already experienced trouble in arrests and shipwrecks. These verses tell of another shipwreck. When the ship ran aground, everyone on board made it to land.
Believers will always face opposition. When the snake bit Paul, some said he must be bad and ‘he deserved what he got’. After he suffered not harm, they said he was a God. Opposition may come from different points of view, inside and outside. We have to know not to stop the journey when there is trouble.
God is faithful to us in calm and storm. In word and action. How many times has Jesus helped you? Preach the word l, be sensitive to the Spirit.
You don't lie in discouragement, but you recognize it. You recognize the one who can help – Jesus. Jesus carries us to the end. Call on His name and He will see you through your circumstances. Don't give the devil any credit, but rather give praise to God.
The island where they landed was Malta which means refuge. Many times the scriptures tell us that God is our refuge: Psalm 46:1, 99:1, Psalm 57:1 and more.
Get into God's presence and wait. God will lift us out of the miry clay and He brings us to a place of refuge. Then He provides our needs.
Our refuge is also a place of restoration. In between times of immersion in God's presence there may be struggles. Paul went to work gathering wood for the fire because it was in his nature to serve.
The enemy wants to keep God's children beaten down, unable to do God’s work. We must remember that God gives us rest when we are burdened. Matthew 11:28. Jesus is the bread of life to sustain us. Christ lives within.
Satan attacks again as the snake. But we are told, ‘no weapon formed against me shall prosper’.
Paul shook the snake off and suffered no harm. He had the peace of God described in Philippians 4:7.
Satan tries to keep you from refuge. Don’t let him. Seek God and Be Encouraged.
The message concluded telling briefly of a story from Nehemiah where the people near the rebuilding work showed interest in the things of God. They made more room in the house for those who were interested.
I like this song of Refuge for today:Verses for Today:
Acts 27:40 – 28:6. NIV
40 Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach. 41 But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.
42 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 The rest were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely.
1 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
Jesus/God, help me to remember that You are Always my refuge!