Sunday, December 24, 2023
[After their shipwreck, Paul and all his fellow travelers made it safely to shore as Paul had promised.] Near the shore where we landed was an estate belonging to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us and treated us kindly for three days. As it happened, Publius's father was ill with fever and dysentery. Paul went in and prayed for him, and laying his hands on him, he healed him. Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed. As a result we were showered with honors, and when the time came to sail, people supplied us with everything we would need for the trip.
Just as Paul's presence had been a blessing to all onboard the ship, his presence was now a blessing to those on the island of Malta. After Publius showed great hospitality and blessing, Paul prayed, then by the Lord's power, healed Publius' father who was quite ill. Paul shared the Lord's healing with many others who came from all over the island. Paul, all his shipmates, and the islanders were blessed because of Paul's ministry and influence. Despite his false arrest, hardship, lost time, terrors at sea, and shipwreck, Paul remained open to the hand of the Lord to use him to bless others. For me, this is a good kick in the backside that reminds me that regardless of the circumstances — including during the world's worst messes, my job is not to grumble and complain but to look for ways to bless those around me with the grace of God.
Thank you, dear Father, for Paul's example of grace under heavy burdens and while enduring harsh trials. I need this kind of reminder. I find myself easily joining with complainers who bellyache and whine about every snub, disappointment, and mistreatment. Father, I commit my heart and my actions to your service. Use me to bless those who are tired and weary and who try to help and serve and bless. Open my heart to see their needs rather than demanding they meet my needs. Help others see that you bless those around me with your favor and grace because I follow Jesus and care about them. In Jesus' name, I pray. 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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