Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23: Acts 28

Today's reading in our daily plan is Acts 28. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Today we finish reading Acts. It’s tied with Matthew for the longest book in the New Testament. We’ll spend one more day following Paul while on his trip to Rome.
  • Last Friday we read that the ship Paul was on became beached and torn apart by the waves. The ship was wrecked but everyone on board made it to the shore of an island called Malta, which is southwest of Italy. The Islanders welcome them and provide for their needs. The first night Paul is bitten by a poisonous snake but nothing bad happens to him. Later he travels to the island chief official’s estate where the group enjoys hospitality for three days. While there Paul heals the official’s sick father. Soon every ill person on the island is brought to Paul who heals all of them. That shipwreck proved to be a blessing for the Islanders who three months later fully supply the group for their continued journey to Rome.
  • When Paul arrives in Rome he is allowed to live by himself with a single soldier as a guard. Days later Paul meets with the Jewish leaders of the city to discuss the charges. But these Jews haven’t heard anything about Paul and want to understand what it is he believes. We’re not told if the charges are dropped or if Paul ever appears before Caesar. The chapter ends with Paul renting a house in Rome and continuing to boldly preach the Kingdom of God.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Paul’s life was eventful, exciting and wild. He traveled great distances to share a message he once opposed with people of other races and cultures, all while being chased and beaten. But the impact that Paul had for the Kingdom of God was enormous. The number of believers exploded after Paul’s missionary journeys and follow up letters. The cities of Rome and Ephesus later became major hubs for Christian thought along with Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Paul’s impact changed the world and many who met him were also changed. Has your view of God or the world changed since hearing Paul’s story? Are there any of Paul’s habits or practices that you want to implement? Have you ever considered yourself a missionary? 
  • We all are missionaries, whether for God or for something else, in foreign countries or our own back yard. What kind of impact will you have as a missionary?