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Acts Reading Plan | Week 18 | Day 2
Allow some silence for your soul to catch up with your body.
Psalm 23:1 says, “The Lord is my shepherd”. Thank God as you come to spend time with Him, that He is with you always, guiding you and protecting you like a shepherd.
Bible Reading: Acts 27:13-34
Read these verses three times slowly.
When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island. The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure, so the men hoisted it aboard. Then they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Because they were afraid they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.
After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away.
Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.”
Reflection & Questions
As Paul had predicted in yesterday’s reading, their journey is a disaster. In fact, it was such a perilous situation that the sailors were going to secretly abandon ship and leave the soldiers and prisoners to fend for themselves. The sailors didn’t know God, and instead of crying out to Him, they were going to try to save themselves.
Fortunately, the sailors had a special passenger. Someone who did know the true and living God. Paul tells them that God has spoken to him and said, “‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” So he tells the sailors: “Keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.” Incredibly, it is the prisoner who is giving hope and courage to the free men!
Paul’s walk with God, his willingness to listen to the Spirit, is what makes the difference in this situation. His hope isn’t in lifeboats and he isn’t trying to save himself. His hope is in the living God and he is listening for His voice. As we walk through trials in life, our hope isn’t in the “lifeboats” of this world, but only the presence, the guidance and the provision of the true and living God. And that will be a massive testimony to those around us!
- If you are facing a difficult situation right now, are you trying to save yourself or are you putting your trust in the true and living God? Are you listening for His guidance?
Talk to God in response to today’s reading.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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