Thursday, December 14, 2023
[Because of potentially bad weather, Paul told the ship's officers of his concern about continuing the trip to Rome:] "Men," he said, "I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on — shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to our lives as well." But the officer in charge of the prisoners listened more to the ship's captain and the owner than to Paul. And since Fair Havens was an exposed harbor — a poor place to spend the winter — most of the crew wanted to go on to Phoenix, farther up the coast of Crete, and spend the winter there. Phoenix was a good harbor with only a southwest and northwest exposure.
When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a "northeaster") burst across the island and blew us out to sea. The sailors couldn't turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale.
Now that I am older, I have come to see how foolhardy I was to ignore so many of my mother's warnings. She was nearly always correct. I could have spared myself a world of hurt if I had only listened to her advice. The Roman officer, Julius, listened to the wrong voices. Somewhat understandably, he trusted the ship's captain and owner and the sailors rather than Paul. However, Paul's ignored warning was remembered later and gave him the credibility the crew, captain, and Roman officer would need to save lives and get Paul to Rome.* All of this reminds me to scrutinize the voices I follow today. Are they so-called experts or God-led experts?
* See our first set of Related Scripture Readings.
Lord, you are both my Father and my Shepherd. Help me hear the voices I need to trust, and be with me as I seek to follow them. Help me recognize and reject the voices of those who could lead me into danger or sin. Use my life and my example to help others know to trust in you and your gracious care. In Jesus' name, I ask this. Amen.
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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