Friday, July 29, 2011

August 9, 2011 (Ruth 2; Acts 27; Jeremiah 37; Psalm 10)

So here is the situation in Acts 27. After being wrongly and unjustly accused of sedition Paul is arrested in the temple and beaten almost to death (Acts 21:27-36). He is then made a prisoner in a Roman jail and forced to stand before various government officials and counsels to defend his innocence (Acts 22-26). During this time Paul is mocked for his belief in a resurrected Messiah, wrongly held as prisoner in the hopes that someone might ransom him, and is the subject of a death plot that he just nearly escapes. So now he is bound on his way to Rome to appear before wicked Caesar to give an account of his innocence. The boat he is on goes through a violent storm (in which he advised them to wait before they set sail. His advice was not taken) and all the crewmembers fear that death is imminent.
As all this is happening Paul sees a vision from God and is told that he and all who were with him will make it to land alive and well.(v.22-24) Now here is the really amazing thing, namely, Paul’s response:
“So take heart men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.” (v.25)
What a basic definition of faith. Faith is really just believing what God tells you. It is taking Him at His word. And this simple faith in God works itself out in love towards others. Notice how Paul encourages the crew and helps them in their fears. True faith working itself out in real love. That is Christianity and it is what the world desperately needs to see.

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