Tag: Paul

God’s purpose in your shipwreck

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80by Claude Houde

You may be in a storm right now but on the other side of that tumultuous sea is a bank of God’s blessing and a deeper miracle. We see the secret of this in the book of Acts when we look at the life of the apostle Paul.

Paul had done no wrong — King Agrippa said, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains” (Acts 26:31) — yet, he was taken prisoner. “They delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius” (27:1) and in spite of Paul’s advice to delay their departure, they sailed toward Rome where Paul was to go on trial before Caesar. Along the way, they encountered numerous storms that caused them much hardship. During this time, Paul stood up in their midst and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship” (27:21-22). An angel had appeared to Paul and assured him that they would all be safe.

Even though they crashed on the island of Malta, demolishing their ship, not one life was lost, just as Paul had declared. It was cold and rainy, and they were in chains in a strange culture with a strange language. But they were met with unusual kindness and were made to feel welcome (see Acts 28:1-2).

A shipwreck is never a pleasant experience, but God used this event to demonstrate his goodness and bring the good news of Jesus to this island. “In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously” (28:7). The father of this local dignitary was ill and God used Paul to bring healing to him (28:8). This demonstration of God’s love and power opened up the avenue for a revival on the island.

All the pain and pressures Paul endured on his trip were preparing him for Malta and the miracles that occurred there. He was shipwrecked under God’s sovereignty! But on the other side of that shipwreck was the miraculous.

Surrender your Malta to Jesus today — God has a purpose for you there! As you hold on to his promises, he will use you, prepare you, mold you, and change you for his glory.

by Claude Houde

When God Changes Your Plans

Carter Conlon90x115by Carter Conlon

Good ideas are not always “God ideas.” We see this in the life of the apostle Paul: “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them” (Acts 16:6-7).

Just as it happened with Paul, a sincere disciple of Christ, it can happen with all of us. We may want to go certain places and do certain things, expecting God to go with us. However, sometimes the pathways we choose for our lives during a particular season may not actually be the pathway of God for us.

Paul had a vision of a man appealing to him to come to Macedonia and help them (16:9). “Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them” (16:10). So, although Paul had had different plans, he and his company headed off to Macedonia. On the way they ministered to a group of women meeting for prayer. One of them was an influential part of the community and “she and her household were baptized” (16:15).

Next, they encountered a demon-possessed slave girl and when she was delivered, her masters seized Paul and Silas and had them beaten and thrown into prison (16:22). This serves as a reminder that we have no guarantee that we will get a pass through trials and trouble. In fact, sometimes obeying the will of God will actually get us into trouble. But God’s plans are always far superior to our own.

In prison, Paul and Silas sang praises to the Lord and witnessed to the jailer, who in turn was transformed and baptized along with his entire family (16:33). And just think, all this started with a man appearing to Paul when he was praying at night, saying, “Come and help us.

The power of God is always found where the Spirit leads you. Today I implore you to have the courage to say, “Lord, I do not want to live simply for my will. What would you have me do? Where do you want me to go? Let your will be done in my life.” Then watch God do miracles!

by Carter Conlon