Daily Reading: Acts 28
Each word of the Bible was inspired by God and holds depth and richness that ultimately brings us into relationship and intimacy with our Creator. That is the power of the Holy Spirit, to breathe life into us! Isn't it still awe inspiring today?!! As we open this Living Word, let us fix our eyes and hearts fully on our Jesus. “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” Ephesians 4:8 Let us take hold of the Gift He has for us.
In the second sentence of Acts 28, we see that The islanders showed "unusual kindness." The Holy Spirit had quickened unbelievers hearts and caused them to open up and help Paul and crew. Then, we see blindness and misunderstanding in the Islanders as Paul has an encounter with a viper. Everyone "said to each other, 'This man must be a murderer'" but when he didn't swell up or suddenly fall dead "they changed their minds and said he was a god." Holy Spirit is at work throughout every detail from the rain that caused the Islanders to feel bad and reach out, to the signs of God's power that He wanted to put on display before the Islanders. He also preserved Paul's life yet again.
As we saw earlier, the people believed in many Gods. Publius, the chief officials father ended up healed by God because of the doors opened up through the snake bite incident. After Publius was healed, the rest of the sick on the island were brought to Paul to be healed. During the three months there, I wonder if it was physical healing that led to spiritual change. I'm sure none had seen every sick person on their island healed by the power (or lack thereof) of their many gods.
The true living God took desperate situations, even life or death situations, and turned them into a powerful example of His provision and protection. He can do the same for us today, even in our disasters. Let us be reminded that there is complete liberty in Jesus. In life or death He has us. If we were in a situation like Paul and we were on trial for our faith, would we be like Paul? He is faithful to his God and was still being used for the purposes of God in his everyday life despite chains.
What chains are inhibiting you from witnessing? Could that be just the spot God has chose for you to be in so He can show His strength and love despite your chains? A notable attitude toward fellow Christians: "At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged." This was merely at the sight of them. My brothers and sisters! How great fellowship truly is in unity of Holy Spirit. Might the chains we carry be heavier carried alone? God has given a gift of brotherhood and of His Spirit so we are never alone.