PAUL: ALWAYS BE READY TO SERVE (5)
We will conclude our series of lessons from Paul’s trip to Rome and shipwreck (Acts 27:1 – 28:10).
- A GODLY LEADER USES ANY OPPORTUNITY TO MINISTER The next day developed as Paul had said. The ship got closer to the shore before breaking up and sinking, but all the people drifted to shore on boards from the ship (Acts 27:37-41). The soldiers were about to kill the prisoners before leaving the ship, because if any escaped they would die, but out of respect for Paul and what he had done Julius stopped the plan (Acts 27:37-40). Everyone was saved (Acts 27:41). But the story isn’t quite over yet.
On shore they built a fire to get warm and dry. There was a poisonous snake in the wood Paul picked up, and it bit him. Some thought that was judgment on him because he didn’t drown in the sea. However, he didn’t show any adverse effects of the poison (Acts 28:1-6) and the people were very impressed.
The chief official of the island welcomed them into his home. His father was in bed, very sick. Paul prayed for him and he was healed. Others on the island who were sick came, and Paul prayed for all of them. All were healed. Paul was able to minister to everyone and share the gospel to all on the island. They provided for the shipwrecked people all winter and helped supply them when it was time to leave (Acts 28:7-10).
Despite being tired, wet, and hungry, and having just been bitten by a poisonous snake, Paul saw an opportunity to pray for someone in need and did so. As a result, God opened the door for him to minister to everyone on the island. We see that throughout Paul’s whole life. He was always looking for opportunities to minister and took advantage of all he could. God says we, too, must always be ready to minister by word or deed (1 Peter 3:15).
Are you always ready and willing to minister to others in any way you can, no matter how bad the time or what is happening in your life? Do you sometimes hesitate to reach out and help someone if you are busy? Do you really pray for all those whom you tell that you will? Do you ask God for opportunities each day to minister for Him, and then look for them throughout the day? Or do you sometimes get so busy doing what you have planned that you don’t notice the needs of others around you?
This is just one incident in Paul’s life. Many other lessons can be learned from other aspects of his life and ministry. This is a good example of leadership under tough circumstances. They are good lessons for us to follow.
We have seen from the life of Paul that to be a godly leader we must
- Be trustworthy
- Take the initiative to lead
- Be strong during difficult times
- Encourage others
- Stand against sin
- Set a good example
- Use any opportunity to minister
Do you have these? Which are evident in your life now? Which are you lacking? What do you need to do to start to improve? Pray about these things and ask God help you have each of them in your life.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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