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Acts Reading Plan | Week 18 | Day 4
Take a moment to be silent and still. In order to be fully present in body and mind, take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Do this three times.
Psalm 10:17 says, “You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.” If you are afflicted today, talk to God about it as you come to spend time with Him. If you are not, thank Him for a time of peace.
Bible Reading: Acts 28:11-22
Read these verses three times slowly.
After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island—it was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. There we found some brothers and sisters who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. The brothers and sisters there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged. When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.
Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.”
They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of our people who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.”
Reflection & Questions
Finally, after a long arduous journey, Paul arrives in Rome. As much as Paul would have been glad to have arrived, his future was uncertain. What would he face in Rome? Would he be handled justly? Would he be killed? The future was uncertain, but Paul remained faithful.
In fact, he used the opportunity in Rome to preach the gospel. Just as he had in every other town he had entered, he began with preaching to the Jews. He tells them his story, and that “it is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” Incredibly, Paul is able to talk of hope even when bound with chains. That’s a powerful testimony. But it was because he knew the Hope – Jesus Christ, his savior.
This hope wasn’t something Paul maintained in a “Lone Ranger” fashion. Paul wasn’t some ‘super spiritual’ person who didn’t need the company of others to encourage him. In fact, on arriving in Rome, brothers and sisters in Christ came to visit Paul and we’re told “at the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged.” The believers had traveled a long way to encourage Paul – and their efforts helped Paul to continue to be faithful in preaching the gospel.
- Are you living for Jesus in “Lone Ranger” fashion, or are you doing life together with others who can encourage you?
- Who around you needs encouragement today? Even if it takes extra effort, are you willing to be there for them?
Talk to God in response to today’s reading.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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