Ministry in an Unexpected Place: Today’s Quite Time – Aug 29, 2023 (TUE)
Today’s Quite Time Bible Reading: Acts 28:1-10
¹ Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta.
² The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.
³ Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand.
⁴ When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.”
⁵ But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.
⁶ The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
⁷ There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days.
⁸ His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him.
⁹ When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured.
¹⁰ They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.
Reflection on the theme: Ministry in an Unexpected Place
Service While Suffering (28:1–6)
As the ship comes ashore on Malta, consider how exhausted the apostle Paul must be. Both the travails of his nautical journey and the mental strain of the trials ahead would have weighed down on him. It’s also cold and rainy, so now he’s soaked! And yet, we see Paul’s heart of service as he gathers brushwood to help make a fire for all the people. There will be times in our lives when we are bone-weary, and yet called to continue serving, be it in our homes or in our churches. Even in those seasons, we can serve with gladness because we know what the people of Malta discover when Paul is unharmed by a venomous snake: God is ever smiling over us, and will always sustain us.
How is God calling you to serve in this current season? How can you maintain a joyful heart of service even when life is difficult?
Faithfulness Begets Favor (28:7–10)
Paul’s healing of Publius’s father mirrors what Jesus did for Peter’s mother-in-law: Jesus healed her, which caused the local people to bring their sick before Him. When we lovingly minister to those around us by encouraging, providing, and praying for them, God will use us to impact even more people. He knows that faithfulness in one setting cultivates more faithfulness in further ministry tasks. And as we obey God, He may allow us to find favor in the eyes of others, just as Paul and his shipmates received favor from Publius and his people. Therefore, we strive to live as conduits of God’s blessing, out of love for God and others, but also being confident that the Lord will bless us for our efforts.
When have you seen God give you favor in the eyes of others? Who in your life is God calling you to serve as His conduit of blessing?
Dear Lord, thank you for Your eternal smile over me, which strengthens me so that I can serve well at home, work, and church. Help me to be faithful in the opportunities You have given me, and grant me favor with You and with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.