Voyage to Rome | Malta

canstockphoto20640734
White Cliffs of Malta

Just as God promised, all two hundred seventy-six persons aboard the doomed ship are saved!  The natives are friendly, and help the soggy sailors build a fire on the beach, as it is cold and rainy.  They let Paul’s party know that the island is called Malta!

Luke records that the natives are UNUSUALLY friendly.  I wonder why?  Perhaps some of the foodstuffs and boat gear has been washing up on the beach during Euroclydon and they are in a happy mood.  They may think their gods are favoring them with more surprises from the sea for their entertainment … or exploitation.

No sooner does Paul gather wood for the fire than he is bitten by a viper, which scares the locals.  Paul just shakes the snake into the fire, and the Maltese immediately expect Paul to succumb to the venomous attack.  They suspect the prisoner Paul of being a murderer or something.  He must be deserving of such horrid judgement.  But Paul is not harmed.

So now he must be a god!

This is so true of humans even today.  Idol worship still makes no common sense.

Anyway, the mayor of the area, a man named Plubius, courteously invites the shipwrecked crew into his home for three days.  Plubius’s father is sick with fever and dysentery, so Paul prays and lays hands on the man.  The man is healed, and the good news spreads across Malta.  If there are any lingering suspicions of the foreigners in their midst, all doubt is now erased.  Is this further proof that Paul is indeed a visiting god?  Here come the island’s sick and diseased.  Their sicknesses are healed, too.

Of course, Paul does not allow the Maltese to worship him as a god.  He ministers to the entire island about Jesus and many become believers.

Why do I believe that there were many saved at Malta because of the witness of Paul?

Because that is what Apostles are instructed to do by the Master, Jesus (Yeshua).   And throughout the Book of Acts Prayer for the sick and Laying on of Hands leads to Healing and that leads to Belief in Jesus and Salvation in Him – it’s a heavenly formula!

12And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people … 13Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed. ~ (Peter) in Acts 5:12-15 NKJV

God even uses resurrection of the dead to reach people for salvation in Jesus.  Take the instance of Jesus raising Lazarus; or the Apostle Peter at Joppa:

Tabitha (Dorcas), who was a Christian disciple,  took sick and died.  Other disciples knew that Peter was staying at Lydda, which was not far from Joppa.  Two men went to Peter and asked him to help.

39Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. ~ Acts 9:39-42 NKJV

There are  many other scriptural examples of what I think happened on Malta.  Enjoy your Bible study and research!  God makes sure that His Gospel is going out to every people, nation and tribe.  Paul is an obedient servant of Our Lord.  He knows that his destiny is Rome and time is short …

I want to talk about today.  The Gospel message is still going out and it is as strongly received by lost people as it was in the day of the apostles.  People all over the world are still lost in sin.  They still worship idols, are sick and tormented by devils.  They still need hope and salvation.  The same formula still works: Pray for the sick, Lay on hands, let people experience the raw Power of the Holy Spirit Heal folks, Cast out demons, or Raise the dead.  The darkness of Africa is being lifted in this same way and Belief in Christ is working over the whole continent. HALLELUHAH!!!

“Praise and thank you Jesus, for lighting that fire in Africa and across the world! Amen! Amen!!”

In the meantime, Julius finds another Alexandrian ship that has wintered over on Malta, whose figurehead is the twins, Castor and Pollux.  In three months it will bear them to Rome.  Until then they must suffer the honor and island entertainment of Malta.  What a nice break after all they had just survived!

Stay tuned if you are feeling the spark of the Holy Spirit and where it is taking us on this Voyage to Rome.  There are plenty of twists and turns to this story left to be told.  God bless and thank you for following

Dad's Soul Winner's Bible
Importantstuff.Live

 

Photo Credit ©Can Stock Photo Inc / dinozzaver

Clinging to Good

canstockphoto40134124

The season of giving and thankfulness is upon us – My favorite time of the year!

9bCling to what is good. 10Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; ~ Romans 12:9b-10 NKJV

Is that even possible in our society today?

Of course it is.  And no better time than now.  Tis the season to invite friends over for food, drink, and conversation by the fire.  Give cheerfully – not expensively.  Bake cookies.  Be kind.  Mend fences.

Some folks suffer from depression during the holidays and my heart goes out to them.  It isn’t easy to be cheerful when your heart is heavy or the budget does not allow for much gift giving.  Toss the materialism and enjoy giving the most valuable gifts:  Time, love, laughter and hope.  God does not want any to suffer pain or fear.

Be of the same mind to one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. ~ Romans 12:16 NKJV

Continue to pray for God’s strength while clinging to good.  He is faithful and your example will bless others.

Thank you for following

importantstuff.live
importantstuff.live

PC: Can Stock Photo Inc/liveslow

Expect a Miracle

At any moment in time there must be multitudes of people who expect a miracle to manifest in their lives.  Each circumstance is different, but oh! so equally important.

Would some expect a miracle of healing from God after fervent prayer, while others place their trust in a team of doctors?  Do miracles manifest with or without any human expectation?

I think so.  For instance, our planet earth is spinning around the sun at an astounding speed of  18.5 miles/sec (30 km.sec).  Even more shocking is the fact that earth is rotating at 1000 mph (1600 km/hr) near the equator without any person or object flying off into outer space!  Gravity is a miracle that I have come to expect.  I don’t pray or hope for it, as it has existed for millennium.  However, just because I don’t expect it doesn’t make it any less of a miracle.

Are you expecting a miracle today? – Perhaps a miracle to land that “perfect” job? Rather than adopt, some barren parents might be praying to conceive a child when the doctors have given no hope.  In medical circles, that would qualify as a miracle.

Whatever miracle you are expecting today, consider that a miracle is likely the glory of God revealed.  Wait for it patiently.

canstockphoto27713327

I pray God gives you favor and that you receive the miracle you expect.

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. ~ Romans 8:19 NIV

God’s blessings and thank you for visiting

importantstuff.live
importantstuff.live
Photo Credit: Couple on beach at Maldive – ©Can Stock Photo/haveseen

The Crying Days

canstockphoto13942052

Everyone has them, and most of us just want them to end.  For me, that is not happening; so I am left with a journey I call “living through the crying days”.  At least I am not traveling this road alone.  Jesus fights my battles for me when I think to ask Him, and the Holy Spirit consoles me as the tears flow.

Whether illness, grief, loneliness, or unwelcome burdens – sometimes one can only cry.  Our Heavenly Father knew this, of course, before He even created the cosmos.  He lovingly created tears for all broken-hearted souls.  The ancients collected tears in bottles as highly prized keepsakes.

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle, are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know, for Elohim (Supreme God) is for me. In Elohim will I praise his word: in Yahweh (Self-Existent; Eternal; Jehovah) will I praise his word. In Elohim have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O Elohim: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before Elohim in the light of the living? ~ Psalms 56:8-13 RSB  (Parentheses added)

The act of crying has a bad rep in many circles.  “What good does it do?”  “Just buck up and take it on the chin!”  “Crying doesn’t solve anything!”  But God’s Word is clear:

The prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah in 713 B.C. that Hezekiah would soon die.  Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed for mercy:

And Hezekiah wept sore. Then came the word of Yahweh to Isaiah, saying, “Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith Yahweh, the Elohim of David, thy father, I have heard thy prayer, and I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.” ~ Isaiah 38:3b-6 RSB

So Almighty God not only added fifteen years to the life of Hezekiah, but He vowed to deliver the Israelites out of the hands of the invading Assyrians and to fight the battle for them.  Wow!  Hezekiah hadn’t even prayed for that!

Our God is SO GOOD!  He promises to one day create a new heaven and a new earth.  There will be no more crying days.

And Elohim shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. ~ Revelation 21:4 RSB

Today there are reported over 900,000 believers martyred every year on this earth.  These are Crying Days, folks.  Don’t hold back on the prayers or tears for our persecuted brethren suffering for their faith in Christ; for our nation in peril; and for those lost and on their way to eternal outer darkness.  These crying days are the last days before Christ returns.  Pray tearfully for the sick, the dying, the poor and the needy.  Remember to love one another as He loves us and in the words of Jesus, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  Few of us are called upon to make that level of sacrifice, but prayer changes things.  Sincere prayer can even change the will of Almighty God, as we have seen in the case of Hezekiah.

Prayer:  Thank You, Lord, for meeting our every need with your tender Spirit of love and truth; for hearing the prayers of your church; and for noticing tears of the humble being shed during sorrowful days.  We look forward in faith to victory in the Only One Who Fights Our Battles For Us – our Savior and Redeemer, Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus The Anointed One.  In His Holy Precious Name Above All Names, Amen.

I pray that you are encouraged by God’s Word as you are living through your own crying days – whatever they may be.  God bless you, and thank you for following importantstuff.live.

PC: Can Stock Photo Inc/stakkete
Link

If My People

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. ~2Chronicles 7:14 NIV

According to this verse of scripture, it is not necessary for unbelievers to repent of evil and turn to God in order for God to forgive their sin and heal their land of drought, locusts, or plagues (read preceding verse 13).

How’s that???

The often quoted biblical If my people verse is not a salvation message for individual unbelievers.  Why would the unsaved bother praying to a God that they do not serve, or repent, or turn from sin?  Truly, 2Chron 7:13-14 is a healing message from Almighty God to His own people – the believers of a nation! Are we American believers praying that others are repenting, praying, turning, or humbling themselves instead of ourselves?

What do you think?

“If my people” =           Old Testament Hebrews                      New Testament Christians

This tells me that if the Christians of a nation repent of their own pride, sin, and hypocrisy, that God will hear, forgive, and heal their land.  The whole population does not have to participate.  However, God calls all nations including the U.S. to righteousness.  I know that thousands of believers are praying for our nation daily.

But what are we praying?

 

Image

Paid in Full

24He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.  By His wounds you are healed.  25Once you were like sheep who wandered away.  But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.” ~ I Peter 2:24-25 (NLT)

Without the precious blood of Christ, the innocent Lamb of God, there is no hope of salvation.

“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”~ Acts 4:12 (NLT)

Some reject the “blood” part of the gospel, but God paid a ransom with His own blood. According to His Word on the cross, “It is finished.”  Our sin debt is paid in full.  There is no other true gospel.

God Bless.