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Today in Acts 27 verses 1 & 2 we read: "When the time came, we set sail for Italy. Paul and several other prisoners were placed in the custody of an army officer named Julius, a captain of the Imperial Regiment. And Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was also with us. We left on a boat whose home port was Adramyttium; it was scheduled to make several stops at ports along the coast of the province of Asia." A great map of Paul's journey to Rome is below:
In verses 10 & 11 Paul's wise advice about the storm is not heeded: ""Sirs," he said, "I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on--shipwreck, loss of cargo, injuries, and danger to our lives." But the officer in charge of the prisoners listened more to the ship's captain and the owner than to Paul." I wonder about this in our lives today - are we like the officer in charge of the prisoners and ignoring Paul's advice? Do we hear Paul's advice to us in his Epistles, and yet are we ignoring it? Are we instead paying attention to the ship's captain, or the world, rather than Paul, when a storm is indeed bearing down upon us?
In stark contrast to Saul in our First Chronicles readings, I love seeing Paul's leadership in action in today's readings in Acts 27! He shows big-time leadership through his encouragement in verse 22: "But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down." And then Paul also shows some leadership in a very simple thing, namely eating, in verses 33 & 34: "As the darkness gave way to the early morning light, Paul begged everyone to eat. "You haven't touched food for two weeks," he said. "Please eat something now for your own good." The best demonstration though of Paul's leadership I think was when he did what reminded me of his Savior's Last Supper in verse 35... "Then he took some bread, gave thanks to God before them all, and broke off a piece and ate it." Does this action of Paul's remind you of anyone else you might know?
Julius, the centurion, shows some amazing respect for Paul in the last 3 verses of today's readings! "The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners to make sure they didn't swim ashore and escape. But the commanding officer wanted to spare Paul, so he didn't let them carry out their plan. Then he ordered all who could swim to jump overboard first and make for land, and he told the others to try for it on planks and debris from the broken ship. So everyone escaped safely ashore!" Below is the 19th century woodcut artist Gustave Dore's take on this very last sentence:
And then it looks like the island of Malta, where Paul and the ship's passengers were shipwrecked, decided to create a stamp that looks quite a bit like Gustave Dore's artwork above... :)
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "A Biblical Look at Leadership" is at this link.
Worship Video: Today's readings in Acts 27 remind me of Laura Story's song "Blessings:"
What if your blessings come through raindrops? Click here for the most amazing blessing you could ever imagine!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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