To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
September/October 2015 Issue – Standing Strong, ‘I pray … that you may know … his incomparably great power … the working of his mighty strength’ Ephesians 1:18-19
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Acts 28:1-10 (NIVUK): “Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.
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. 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.’ But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 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.
There was an estate near by that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. His father was ill in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of those on the island who were ill came and were cured. They honoured us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.”
This is the last day of this issue dealing with inner strength – a strength based on God within us – a strength, which enables us to continue in the face of all kinds of troubles.
Selwyn concludes with these words: “The inner strength that Jesus displayed was shared not only by Paul but also by all Jesus’ disciples. The Early Church was filled with men and women who had ‘something inside so strong. But can we share it in this age too? Is it for some and not for others?
With all my heart I say there are divine reinforcements available for all who give their lives to God. Life holds no shipwreck that need leave us a wreck. Together with God we can stand strong in the storm.”
In 1 John 4:12, we read: “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” It is God living in us, who provides the strength to remain strong and secure on the inside. Again, in John 16:33, we hear Jesus say: “‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’” Here Jesus is telling His disciples that we will have troubles – but take heart – I can overcome anything. The same message is true for us.
Be strong – God is in control – and He loves you intensely.