Empty Cross Ministries Daily Devotional 11 Feb 2021


Empty Cross Ministries

Daily Devotional

February 11, 2021

Daily Devotion in Acts 28

Do You See Opportunities in Catastrophes

God placed in Paul’s heart a desire to reach the people of Rome with the Gospel. It was not easy for the preacher to accomplish that task.  He encountered many difficulties in reaching that goal.

Among the many problems Paul faced in reaching his God-appointed destination was a shipwreck (Acts 27-28).  While shipwrecked, Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake (Acts 28:3-4). An unspiritual person in that situation would have thrown his hands into the air and exclaimed, “Just one more thing! I try to serve the Lord and look what happens.”

Because of those “bad things that happened,” much good did result from them. The blessings from Paul’s calamity included:

  • Others witnessed that a poisonous snake-bite did not affect the man of God (Acts 28:5).
  • Because Paul was shipwrecked, he had the opportunity to be involved in the healing of Publius’ father (Acts 28:8). If the Lord had not used Paul to heal the man, Publius’ father might have died.
  • Because of Publius’ father’s healing, others were healed (Acts 28:9).
  • Because of others’ healings, the shipwrecked passengers had many of their needs provided by those who lived in the area (Acts 28:10).

Each “calamity” that befell Paul was used to help someone else and to display the power of God. Many times, we also have hardships in our lives. While going through them, we often have no idea why they are occurring, but God may have a purpose for them.

For a Christian who is desiring to walk obediently within God’s will, they may often face problems as did Paul. As God did for Paul, He can do for today’s believer. Romans 8:28 still applies to Christians today; “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Today’s Thought: 
“The pessimist sees only the problem; the optimist sees an opportunity for God to solve the situation.”  — Author Unknown

Words to Understand:
Flux: dysentery
Hired house: rented house
Laded: imposed upon; added unto
Waxed gross: rendered callous

Acts 28
1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.
2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.
3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
7 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.
8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.
9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
10 Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.
11 ¶ And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.
12 And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days.
13 And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli:
14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.
15 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.
16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.
17 ¶ And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.
19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.
22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
23 ¶ And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
30 ¶ And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

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