Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stormy Peace





Scripture

Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it and began to eat.
(Acts 27:35 NASB)
All of them were encouraged and they themselves also took food.
(Acts 27:36 NASB)
All of us in the ship were two hundred and seventy-six persons.
(Acts 27:37 NASB)

Observation

Paul was merely a prisoner on the ship when they found themselves in a terrible storm. For fourteen days the storm raged on and they all thought that they would die. These were rough men of the sea and they were most certainly not followers of Jesus Christ. In the midst of it all, Paul seems to keep his cool. Not only does he keep his cool, but he uses every single circumstance to minister and share Jesus with the world around him. This scene becomes reminiscent of the last supper when Jesus is with his disciples. Now Paul, the lowly prisoner on the ship, tells the men what lies ahead and he encourages them to stop in the midst of the storm and eat. Paul then prays and gives thanks to God in the presence of 276 people, and they join him in eating the bread. Had the storm not come, could Paul have had the opportunity to minister to all 276?

Application

In the midst of the terrible storm Paul seemed to have a real peace about him. This is probably because he knew that he was living in God's hands, and Paul saw every situation as an opportunity to continue to spread the Good News about Jesus Christ. How else could Paul have had a captive audience of 276 people from Alexandria? This was a boatload of people from Egypt! Paul had never been there and would never go there and somehow on his way to prison in Rome, God gives him the opportunity to spread the Gospel to a group of people to whom he's never ministered before. However, one can only imagine how far reaching that ministry ultimately became as those people, as sailors, traveled the world, and then eventually took the good news home with them. Alexandria eventually becomes one of the major cities of Christianity in the early church. Did it have something to do with with sailors on a boat with a prisoner?

Prayer

Lord, may we experience stormy peace in our lives as we trust in You in all of our circumstances. Amen.

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