Confess Jesus as Lord
Acts 27:13-38: Paul’s journey continues. They sail to reach Crete and harbor there; but having a comparatively favorable wind, they sail past Crete and meet with a tempest, and are brought into extreme peril and distress. Paul preaches to the men, saying that God sent an angel to tell them that they will somehow get to Rome. He encourages them to eat and shares bread with them, thanking God.
Today's Scripture: Acts 27:22-24
“But now I beg you, take courage! Not one of you will lose your life; only the ship will be lost. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship came to me and said, “Don’t be afraid, Paul! You must stand before the Emperor. And God in his goodness to you has spared the lives of all those who are sailing with you.”
13 A soft wind from the south began to blow, and the men thought that they could carry out their plan, so they pulled up the anchor and sailed as close as possible along the coast of Crete. 14 But soon a very strong wind—the one called “Northeaster”—blew down from the island. 15 It hit the ship, and since it was impossible to keep the ship headed into the wind, we gave up trying and let it be carried along by the wind. 16 We got some shelter when we passed to the south of the little island of Cauda. There, with some difficulty we managed to make the ship's boat secure. 17 They pulled it aboard and then fastened some ropes tight around the ship. They were afraid that they might run into the sandbanks off the coast of Libya, so they lowered the sail and let the ship be carried by the wind. 18 The violent storm continued, so on the next day they began to throw some of the ship's cargo overboard, 19 and on the following day they threw part of the ship's equipment overboard. 20 For many days we could not see the sun or the stars, and the wind kept on blowing very hard. We finally gave up all hope of being saved. 21 After everyone had gone a long time without food, Paul stood before them and said, “You should have listened to me and not have sailed from Crete; then we would have avoided all this damage and loss. 22 But now I beg you, take courage! Not one of you will lose your life; only the ship will be lost. 23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship came to me 24 and said, “Don't be afraid, Paul! You must stand before the Emperor. And God in his goodness to you has spared the lives of all those who are sailing with you.” 25 So take courage, men! For I trust in God that it will be just as I was told. 26 But we will be driven ashore on some island. ” 27 It was the fourteenth night, and we were being driven in the Mediterranean by the storm. About midnight the sailors suspected that we were getting close to land. 28 So they dropped a line with a weight tied to it and found that the water was one hundred and twenty feet deep; a little later they did the same and found that it was ninety feet deep. 29 They were afraid that the ship would go on the rocks, so they lowered four anchors from the back of the ship and prayed for daylight. 30 Then the sailors tried to escape from the ship; they lowered the boat into the water and pretended that they were going to put out some anchors from the front of the ship. 31 But Paul said to the army officer and soldiers, “If the sailors don't stay on board, you have no hope of being saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the boat and let it go. 33 Just before dawn, Paul begged them all to eat some food: “You have been waiting for fourteen days now, and all this time you have not eaten a thing. 34 I beg you, then, eat some food; you need it in order to survive. Not even a hair of your heads will be lost. ” 35 After saying this, Paul took some bread, gave thanks to God before them all, broke it, and began to eat. 36 They took courage, and every one of them also ate some food. 37 There was a total of 276 of us on board. 38 After everyone had eaten enough, they lightened the ship by throwing all the wheat into the sea.
Ships in Paul’s time were used almost exclusively for business and military purposes. However, passengers could travel on merchant ships if there was room after all the cargo was loaded. But because departures were unpredictable and shipwreck was always a danger, people usually traveled long distances over land. What other Bible stories involve sailing on stormy seas? What does this imagery mean to you?
God of hope, I am zealous to follow you, instill in me a sense of trust that you will guide me, protect me, and love me, whatever my journey may bring. Amen.
Disaster relief workers