Friday, November 30, 2007

Faith of Paul

20And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
21But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
22And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship.
23For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
24Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
25Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

Acts 27:20-25, King James Version

As we turn to the New Testament, we will discuss the faith of Paul. As you know, the Apostle Paul considered himself the least of all apostles. Having received a miraculous conversion while on the way to Damascus with the intent of killing Christians, God used him as a missionary traveling from city to city to reach the Gentiles for Christ.

In Acts 27 Paul, as a prisoner, was being taken by boat to appear before Caesar in Rome. For days, the ship was tossed by tempestuous winds and eventually ran aground near the island of Clauda. As the storm continued, all hope was lost that any would be saved. After receiving a message from an angel of God, Paul encouraged the men on the ship, saying the ship would be lost, but all of the men would survive.

Look at the last three verses shown above, For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

No matter what their circumstances of life, God is always right there beside His people aiding and encouraging them as they pass through the fire and the valley of the shadow of death.

Paul believed this. Do you? Pray today that God would grant to you the faith of Paul.

This reminds me of Psalm 23, which was not just a nice little Psalm written by David, but one which powerfully expresses the hope of the Christian. Take a minute to meditate on this Psalm (from the King James Version of the Bible) before you go on with the duties of this day.

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever
.


Amen.



God Bless You,
Linda

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