Unstoppable! 'Paul Takes Charge' — Acts 27:21-25

Thursday, December 16, 2021

[Paul and his companions were caught on a ship that was storm-tossed and about to break up.] No one had eaten for a long time. Finally, Paul called the crew together and said, "Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Crete. You would have avoided all this damage and loss.

"But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, '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.' So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island."

— Acts 27:21-25 NLT

Key Thought

Paul had his "I told you so!" moment with the crew, but not to belittle them or gloat in his own wisdom. Rather, he wanted to help them understand that he spoke with divine insight and promise concerning their situation. His assurance in God's revelation to him led him to be able to tell the crew twice to "take courage!" because God keeps his promises — or as Paul said, "It will be just as he said." And, some of God's promises go back a long way, to Abram, the father of faith and the Jewish people:

The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:1-3).

As the upcoming shipwreck and the remainder of Paul's adventure-filled trip to Rome unfolded, God kept his promises to Paul, one through him (being a blessing) and one to him (getting him to Rome)! The only way to explain how a prisoner took charge is that others saw in Paul the working of God's blessing. Let's seek to follow Paul's example of being a blessing!

Today's Prayer

O gracious God, my loving Father, thank you for Paul's example in this horrendous set of circumstances. Thank you for redeeming these circumstances and reminding me to look to you and your promises when I face all sorts of trials. No matter what the outcome of my life's struggles may entail in this life, I know that my future is in your hands and that you will get me where I need to be to serve you best. In Jesus' name, I thank you. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Romans 8:28-29; Philippians 2:13
  • Psalm 18:1-6

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 27:21-25 NLT — [Paul and his companions were caught on a ship that was storm-tossed and about to break up.] No one had eaten for a long time. Finally, Paul called the crew together and said, "Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Crete. You would have avoided all this damage and loss.

"But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, '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.' So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island."

About This Devotional

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.