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Acts 27

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 

SCRIPTURE: Acts 27

It is interesting after the last few chapters of long speeches and people interacting at many different levels and with many different motives that we find this chapter.  It is very different.  It provides us a very detailed description of a journey that led to a catastrophe that led to an amazing event.  So, why did God want this chapter in this detail included?

One possibility is the presentation of Paul as a courageous leader who took command of a difficult situation that devolved into a crisis.  So, there are important things that we can learn about leadership in this chapter.  For example, we see in verses 22-26 that good leaders share God’s Word with those around him.  God’s Word is a strong foundation at all times but especially in times of crisis.  Leaders share God’s Word.

Second, in verses 27-32 we find that Paul warned the others on board about what could happen.  One of the best tools a leader has is the truth even when the truth does not necessarily paint a good picture.  Good leaders speak the truth.

Third, we see in verses 33-38 that good leaders set the example for others to follow.  In this particular story, Paul was trying to get the others to eat.  They had not eaten for 14 days and still he was having difficulty convincing them they needed to eat.  So, he took bread and gave thanks to God in his prayer, and he ate.  Others followed that example.  Leaders cannot lead others to places they have not gone themselves.

Fourth, we find in verses 39-44 that good leaders provide solutions.  It is a good thing to speak God’s Word in any situation.  It is always best to speak the truth.  And being a positive, constructive example is vitally important.  But at the end of the day if leaders can’t provide solutions to problems, most people won’t follow them very far.  And Paul’s solution saved the lives of everyone on board that day.

Leadership seems to be in short supply.  When you consider that every organization rises and falls on leadership, a lack of leadership is a devastating thing.  That’s true in our government, in our churches, and in our families.  We desperately need Biblical leadership.

Before you agree with that and then convince yourself that somebody needs to step up and lead, I would argue that everyone of us need to step up and lead.  The things I have written about today are things all of us can do.  I think they are things we should do.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Acts 26

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31

SCRIPTURE: Acts 26

As the chapter opens, Paul is given his opportunity to defend himself before Agrippa.  The problem with defending yourself is it seldom works out well.  If you defend yourself in the face of accusation and proclaim your innocence, your accusers will respond with something like “what else would he/she say”.  If you don’t defend yourself in the face of accusation, your accusers will use your silence against you as proof that you must be guilty or you would defend yourself.

So, what should we do when we are accused?  Sometimes we should count on others to defend us.  We all need people who care enough about us and about the truth that they will speak in our behalf.  The problem with that is those kind of people are not always available.  So what do we do then?

Paul’s approach was actually to tell his story.  He didn’t try to defend himself as much as he just told his story.  And what a story it was.  He started from youth through his early adulthood on to his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and then to what Jesus called him to do.  His story was the story of Jesus in him.

Though there is no need for me to tell you what he said (You can read that for yourself.), there are a couple of things I want to point out to you.

One is the word minister or servant in verse 16.  The word that is translated from the Greek means “an under rower” and refers to a lowly servant on a galley ship.  Paul had been accustomed to being an honored leader in Judaism.  He was well known.  He was very smart.  He was well trained.  He was respected.  And in some circles, he was feared.  But now that he had been saved, he traded all of that in so he could be “an under rower”.  And so are we all called.

The second thing is a phrase at the beginning of verse 22.  Paul says “To this day” or “I continue this day”.  Here’s why this is important.

It is one thing to have a great beginning.  It is one thing to start with great vision, passion, and support.  But it is another thing entirely to keep on going especially when the going gets tough.  Continuing against the odds and obstacles is what separates the strong from the week, the committed from the lackadaisical.  In many ways, continuing is proof of our salvation and our faithfulness.

Of course Festus thought Paul was crazy.  That is typically what the world thinks about people who stay the course in their walk with Jesus.  Let me challenge you to stay committed.  Stay strong.  Keep your eyes on the prize and your feet moving.  Otherwise you will never accomplish what God has set before you.  And life is too precious not to do what God has given you to do.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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