Saturday, 30 January 2021
“Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him..” -Acts 28:16
We see God providing rest for Paul in Rome after the long journey, in an unusual way. He is free yet not free. When Paul set out on his voyage, he faced several problems. When God calls us to walk and work according to His will, everything we need will be provided, but there will be difficulties, perils and restrictions. Christ says, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome…” What did He overcome for us?… FEAR of the future. Most of us feel assured of our afterlife, but somehow we are not able to translate that to our life on earth because of the unexpected things that come up in course. God has given us great and precious promises and instructions on how to deal with these issues in Matthew 6. But when unexpected things happen our mind goes into total UNREST because we often resort to our SELF.
The Lord had already spoken to Paul that he would witness Him at Rome. The subsequent events paved the way for Paul to go to Rome. On his way his life was in danger, but God gave him the assurance that none would perish. None did, but they still had to work hard to get to safety. God told the Israelites to go to Canaan and He provided all their needs and brought them to the place of rest. But they still had to fight several battles to completely possess the land. Along with these battles, they also had to keep themselves from the ways of the nations around them. In today’s reading, we see that even though Paul reached the safety of the Island, he ended up having a viper hanging on his hand and the mindset of the people to deal with— physical and mental challenges. Subsequently, the glory of God was revealed through him and all the supplies that were needed for the onward journey was provided. This can be seen as a pattern in our lives.
Our place of rest is our salvation in Jesus Christ
We are called out of the kingdom of darkness into the light, God placed us in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6) and gave us the Holy Spirit as our guarantee (guard) (Eph.1:13-15). From our place of rest on the earth which is in CHRIST JESUS, we have to constantly fight a battle FROM OUR SELF! There are battles of both within and without but more so the one within – the SELF that constantly tries to dominate. The battles the Israelites had to fight were to conquer the land and to keep themselves from the ways of the surrounding nations. A believer is assured of his heavenly abode yet in his sojourn on the earth, he has to go through several tribulations in which he will be proved more than a conqueror in Christ! Jesus said in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” The battle within is (Paul says in Phil.2:12), working out our salvation- from our old way of thinking to become renewed in the SPIRIT of our minds (Eph.4:23). This new thinking will compel us into the freedom to do all good works God has called us to do without fear while in this place of rest.
Thought for the Day: “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Matthew 6:34 [MSG]