Bible Reading Day 211

by markburlinson

Day 211: July 30 (Acts 28:1-15)

Good morning!

The island where Paul and his companions are shipwrecked is called Malta. This island would have been familiar to the sailors from ports of call on the north side (where the capital Valletta is found today), but today’s reading tells us they did not recognize the island. This suggests that they landed on the south side of the island, drifting there in the rough seas of the storm. A crime scene investigator formerly with the Los Angeles Police Department used the Biblical account and local information to pinpoint the shipwreck location. There is an interesting account of his research here.

The shipwreck is still big news on Malta today, since the miracles recorded in Acts 28 were the spark that lit the fire of an active church on the island. Centuries later, and religion has taken over much of the church, but the record of Paul’s influence remains.

Notice how unflinching obedience to God leads Paul into multiple miracles, and the effect is great honor for the good news, and the messengers. I wonder if the gospel would have a better reputation today if we focused more on being the good news, and less on merely speaking it? There is certainly a place for clear declaration of God’s love, but Paul’s life shows us that demonstration of that love (and power) is equally vital.

After three months, they are able to continue their journey to Rome. Imagine having a compelling calling from God, and going through immense trials, then waiting three months for the opportunity to move forward! Patience and faith are not contradictions to Paul. He is content to wait for God’s timing!

What does God want to do through your life today? Remember that serving others is the salt of the Kingdom. Is God calling you to demonstrate His love? To wait patiently for His timing? Or to be an encouragement to others, just as the believers who went out to the Forum on the Appian Way, and the three Taverns, encouraged Paul and the others?

Have a great day!

Mark.

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