Acts 28:11-16 Final Leg

Favor but not quite freedom

Paul is FINALLY going to make it to Rome. I don’t know how many years this process took from appeal to appearance but it was lengthy! My patience would have been MORE than stretched. Let’s look at the final miles with Paul.

Isn’t it “convenient” how there was a ship from the Roman empire docked on the island of Malta? Can we say, another God moment? Julius stopped pushing for time too at this point. The group stayed on the island for three months; the remainder of the winter. When God says slow down, He means it.

Our natives sent Paul and company off with all the supplies they needed, and probably more. They had not forgotten the man who had done so much for their people. I wonder how many new brothers they left behind on Malta.

The last of the journey was pretty calm compared to the first half. They were, however, able to stop along the way and taking in some of the sights. I wonder if Paul shared the gospel in those stop overs. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did.

When they reached their final port Paul’s group discovered that there were brothers already in Rome. This came as a great surprise and joy to Paul. He was “going into enemy territory” but God had already lain out a bit of a foundation. I’m guessing that these “brothers” were Jewish brothers and not new believers. Tomorrow we will see why I say that.

Paul was granted a great liberty by his captors in being able to stay by himself. All the other prisoners who accompanied him on this journey were taken to the stockade and housed there. Paul was allowed to live in a home with his guards. He wasn’t free but it was as close as it could be under the circumstances. He had appealed to Caesar and until Caesar himself ruled on Paul’s disposition he had to remain in custody. This leniency showed how much they trusted and cared for Paul. And that trust was built by observing how he lived his life on a daily basis. He walked his talk every day.

Father God, I love how You provided for Paul and how You MADE Julius slow down. It takes a bit more to get my attention at times too. I have pushed HARD when I should have waited but You cared for me during those times just as faithfully.

I also love how You provided encouragement for Paul and a new “audience” that he felt comfortable reaching out to. Caesar was the highest in the land so his address might have made Paul a little nervous but addressing his fellow Jews was something he had done from the moment he could understand the scriptures. You settled his nerves and strengthened his heart. Thank You for letting me work with the “familiar” too. I often lack the courage to go beyond it. But when required to do so, You meet me there too.

I want to ask for Your help in “walking my talk” Lord. I know I don’t do it nearly as well as I should. Probably not even as well as I could. I get lazy sometimes and forgo writing. I don’t listen when You say wait. I don’t wait very well. Please help me in these areas. Help me even more in how I speak to people when I’m frustrated or even interrupted. Forgive me Lord for every “eye roll” and whispered “again!” My heart’s desire is to show love at all times but BOY do I fall short. Maybe that is why I have so many opportunities to practice being loving. Keep training me Lord. Someday I pray I’ll make You proud.

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