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 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.