This devotional is based on Acts 27 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.
What a gripping drama at sea! This is so symbolic of the course of sin; starts out innocently, but will soon develop into a life-threatening storm. Satan means us no good; his only agenda is to destroy us. Don't board that ship of adultery, revenge, political rivalry, selfish indulgence over biblical conformity and love for God and our neighbours, etc.
An interesting element of this story is how at first Paul's warnings were flatly ignored, "But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said," (Acts 27: 11). Doesn't that happen a lot in our day too? Note:
1. Paul didn't become disgusting and pestering; he spoke clearly and directly, and waited. In time God's servant's words would come to pass. All God's words will come to pass.
2. Paul did not become upbraiding, but sought to help. How easy it is at times to abandon people when they get into trouble after flatly ignoring our warnings (sometimes we want to laugh them to scorn). But until it is really too late, we should always labour for the salvation of men's souls.
3. Paul was vindicated:“Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss," (Acts 27: 21 lp). “When all this comes true - and it surely will - then they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ezek. 33:33). God will not hang us out to dry, what He says will happen, will happen. Let us stand a declare with confidence.
4. Even if at first we're not liked (ignored), if we remain true to the mission, and maintain a genuine interest in the well-being of those we seek to reach, we'll more often than not be respected... protected even at times: "But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan." Acts 27: 43. The prophet ignored did become the prophet protected (note that respect will not always translate to protection: Herod liked John, but still had him beheaded; Pilate liked Jesus too, but...).
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