Daily D – Acts 28:11
It was three months after the shipwreck that we set sail on another ship that had wintered at the island—an Alexandrian ship with the twin gods as its figurehead. ACTS 28:11 (NLT)
Delays are not denials.
Some things are worth waiting for.
Three months after the shipwreck on Malta in a cold rain, Paul, Luke, and the others arrived on Sicily, then the toe of Italy, on to Puteoli, and finally made their journey up the Appian Way to Rome. Puteoli is near modern Naples. A few miles south lies a village called Pompeii. It made the news a few years after Paul, Luke, and Company disembarked. No doubt thankfully, the last leg of the journey was by land. It was a long walk or a bumpy ride, but either way, there were no more shipwrecks in store for the water-weary travelers.
The church in Puteoli was hospitable and charitable and invited Paul, Luke, and who knows how many others to spend the week with them (vv. 13, 14). “And so we came to Rome,” Luke records. They were met by Christians from Rome along the Appian Way at the Forum. They journeyed together the last forty plus miles to the City of Rome. More believers joined them at The Three Taverns for the last thirty miles. This was a bit overwhelming. “When Paul saw them, he was encouraged and thanked God,” (v. 15).
It is amazing what happens when we move in the direction of God’s dreams for us. Where God guides, God provides. He makes us lie down and rest. He leads us beside quiet waters. He restores our souls. He leads us along the right paths. He protects us and defends us. He prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. He anoints our wounds and heals our hurts. He is better to us than we would be to ourselves (Psalm 23).
I wonder how precious that last stanza of Psalm 23 was to Paul? “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” Luke tells us in v. 16, “When we arrived in Rome, Paul was permitted to have his own private lodging, though he was guarded by a soldier.” At home in Rome with a world-class security system. What more could he ask for?
Three months in Malta. Ninety days. So close, and yet so far. What will be true for you ninety days from now? What one big goal will you accomplish to move you closer to fulfilling God’s dreams for your life?
The first quarter goal this year became my second-quarter goal after the disruption of the pandemic. Adjustments were made. Details were rearranged. I finished June about ninety percent complete on that goal. Launching into this new quarter with its big goal, I discovered in the first week that I should hit that major milestone due to opportunities arising from all that has been accomplished through my other ninety-day goals for the past couple of years.
Again, what is the most important thing you can accomplish in the next ninety days? What would move you most delightfully in the direction of God’s dreams for you? Then, what four things will you do daily or weekly to empower you to turn that goal into a reality? What new life-giving habits will you develop? What bad habits will you replace with better habits?
Paul sat in jail for two years. He endured a dangerous journey lasting more than a quarter of a year. Then he experienced blessing after blessing on the way to arriving at his ultimate destinations. What does life look like for you three years from now? What do you want it to be? More importantly, what does God want for you? Remember, his plans are always better than ours.
Today is a good day to dream God dreams. Today is a good day to write out what God puts on your heart. Today is a good day to set a new goal and to support it with life-giving habits.
Today is a good day to become who our Father in heaven always dreamed you would be.
I will dream God’s dreams with him for now and for all that is ahead.
Our Father, fill my mind with your thoughts, my heart with your dreams, my life with your direction. I want to live the life you want for me because I know it is better than anything I could want for myself. Amen.
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Jeremiah 18:1-4 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
Philippians 1:4-6 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Jeremiah 17:7, 8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)