Despite the circumstances, Paul does not express any fear but continues to live in faith, knowing God has a plan for him.
Sunday, August 29, 2021
By Kathy Burr, Journey Member
This passage records the final portion of Paul’s journey to Rome. They learn that they have landed on the island of Malta and the people there showed them great kindness. After Paul is bitten by a viper and lives, the locals think he is a god. He is welcomed by the leading man of the island. Paul heals this man’s father. The text says:
“Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him.” After this, others on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured.” — Summary of Acts 28:1-16
The snakebite is another way that God shows his protection over Paul, and Paul shows his steadfast faith in God in that he will not be deterred by a shipwreck or a snakebite on his voyage to Rome. He then heals people on the island. Undoubtedly, Paul used this and every other opportunity to teach the people the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, it is interesting that Luke does not tell us that as a result of these miracles, that people believed, and a church was established in Malta. He does say that the people honored Paul and his companions and provided for their needs as they left the island after three months.
Paul does not express any fear but continues to live in faith, knowing that God has a plan for him. He is tossed about at sea, ship-wrecked, cold, hungry and then gets bitten by a snake. There is no negative reaction, questioning why God is allowing all this to happen, but rather confident trust in God. He heals people and perhaps none of them come to faith. Does he quit? NO! He continues to do what God has called him to do and heals in the name of Jesus, praying for them. Counting on God for the results, resting in Him.
“Father, I live in changing and challenging times. Many people have lived and continue to live in fear. Help me to trust completely in you as Paul did. Help me to feel your presence and know that I can rest in you and move forward in faith and confidence as I seek to follow your lead and do the work you have called me to do. Thank you for calling and loving me as you do. Amen!”
Now You Try
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. Take time to read and allow God to speak to you. Write down the one or two verses that stick out. Even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make a basic observation about the scripture you just read. What stood out? Was something repeated? What is the author trying to communicate? What does the Scripture passage teach you about God? What does it teach you about humanity?
Ask, “What does this verse(s) mean for my life?” How might this verse affect your heart — how you feel? How does this verse challenge your thinking? How does it affect your will, asking, “What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?”
Write out a prayer to God. Scripture is God speaking to you, take this moment to speak back. Take a moment to say, “Thank you,” confess to Him what needs to change, or ask for something that is on your heart.