Tag Archives: Devotions

Bible reading plans

2 Jan

I always have grand ideas about getting stuck into reading the whole Bible in a year. Everyone seems to be blogging about Bible reading plans at the moment, so here‘s a great site pointed out by Justin Taylor with 10 through-the-year reading plans. I’ve just subscribed to the ESV Study Bible one. I love that you can even listen to the passage being read to you!

Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV Bible

An Encouragement from Paul

13 Dec

Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. (Acts 27:22-25)

There’s Paul, having been falsely accused in Jerusalem, tried and found innocent by the local Roman authorities, but because of their desire to please the Jews, and they didn’t want him freed, Paul was compelled to appeal to the Court of Caesar in Rome.   And so we read of his eventful journey, by boat, from Caesarea to Rome.

The ship taking Paul to Rome, with 276 passengers on board, encounters exceedingly high winds and stormy tempestuous conditions.   With high winds and unstable seas, they have to throw their cargo overboard, and much of the rigging.    They have to strengthen the hull with ropes, and spend fourteen days without sun or stars, and all are afraid of being overwhelmed by the storm, and we read of them giving up hope … until Paul speaks.  

 Life in general is often like this when one thing after another seems to pour over us, with ever increasing demands from all quarters, and then some …   It’s at such times that the devil schemes to so overwhelm us to tempt us to major discouragement and despair so that we might give up all hope.  

 So here in Acts, we read how the devil sought to destroy Paul, and terminate the continued benefits of his ministry.   But the Lord  – who as Lord is in total control – in his providence turned this tumult of the storm to further his own ends.   All 276 lives on board are saved, and Paul’s Apostleship and authority is confirmed yet again, and he has the opportunity not only to live in accordance with the Gospel, but also to present it to others for their salvation.

 We have been called into the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ to serve him here on earth in his kingdom.   He has told us to expect times of extreme difficulty, but assured us that we need not be discouraged and despair at such times.   Though much is thrown at us, and much expected of us, and many demand unjustly more than we can actually give, yet the Lord will overrule in our circumstances and enable us to operate to his glory as we look to him for wisdom, as we rely and depend upon him for the resources he gives us. (Aubrey Roberts)