By: Darrelyn L. TuttToday's Meditation: Acts 28:1-6"And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god."Acts 28:1-6-----Ladder Rung: A281SA and S are the first and last letters of Acts. Selection of words to aid in memory:After Shipwreck.The multiple providences of grace appointed to Paul are outstanding and inspiring;From shipwreck to venom bite, Paul's life is a page turning testimony of God's sufficiency and sovereignty.28:1 is our reference.At 2:00 PM we'll rehearse our passage x8 and record an inspiring reflection in each pass-through.Share the passage with 1 other individual and be blessed yet again.-----Paul's a page-turner;A biography composed of supernatural acts of God,and a life lived for God's great glory to its end.This passage meets us in the midst of a voyage to Italy where Paul is to stand trial before Caesar. A "prisoner of the state," Paul remains subject to the laws invoked upon him as a criminal.But the tide turns as it so often does where God and grace abound:A notable shipwreck is experienced that, temporarily, readjusts the time-frame of men and appoints further opportunity to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles on a far removed island.A beautiful story composed of salvation extended to a distant port and a needy people;A reminder that the "stops" along the way are of God's doing and for His glory;He is always and forever in control.If the shipwreck wasn't enough activity, God allows the bite of the viper to further engage us.Hmmm ...Matthew Henry affords an excellent suggestion:"We often meet that which is mischievous where we expect that which is beneficial; and many come by hurt when they are honestly employed, and in the way of their duty."Yes indeed ...The viper presents a tangible look at Satan and his attempts, repeatedly, to mark God's man, give him the bite, and bring him down.Paul hurls the venomous snake into the flame and gives no time to speaking of him:The viper was a viper ... bent on the destruction of Paul.God was God ... bent on the deliverance of Paul, and many other people beside.Give no heed nor fearful thought to the "vipers" in your life and do not be surprised at their attempt to "bite" the elect. They are a distraction, to be sure, but they will be countered all along the way by the sufficiency and strength of God.See the "viper" for what it is,Fling it off,Be done with it,And then pray and watch for a testimony to spring from it.-----The "Islanders" eyed Paul with much speculation and interest due to the viper.In the end, the extremity of thought moved from judgement to true justice, and they witnessed, first hand, the glory and goodness of the God that Paul preached about.God's man, God's glory,God's story.Be faithful in telling it ...God will be glorified as He deems best.-----Great and sufficient God,Let Thy glory be revealed inside my life.Whether through shipwreck or viper bite, let a story be told of Thy salvation and deliverance.Let evil be flung off and burned in the flame and let glory be alone unto Thy name.Translate a testimony of Thy making in the trials and tests Thou hast chosen for me and cause me to fear Thy name alone.Make me to see Thee in order to rightly serve Thee.For Thy great and glorious salvation,We give Thee thanks.Amen.
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