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Daily Devotions – Listen Carefully

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:

 

Acts 27:1-16 (NIV)
Paul Sails for Rome
27 When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us. 3 The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs. 4 From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 5 When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board. 7 We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. 8 We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea. 9 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Day of Atonement. So Paul warned them, 10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” 11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. 12 Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.

The Storm
13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island. 15 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. 16 As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure,

 

What do you think was going through the centurion’s mind when he heard Paul’s warning in verse 10?

 

Sometimes I find that my heart is divided between following You and following my own desires. Listening to You is one of the keys to my relationship with You. The centurion was not open to listening to Paul, who was a prisoner, telling him something that didn’t agree with what he wanted to believe. You spoke through Paul. The centurion had the opportunity to listen, but he didn’t. In today’s society, we are bombarded with information and people telling us what to do, think, and act. Some are credible, others are not. Help me to identify the difference. Protect me from complacency or carelessness. Don’t let the enemy lead me to disobey You. I know that Your desire is always to bless me. You will never tell me to make a decision that doesn’t agree with Your Word. Help me to listen carefully to what you say. May I be quick to ask You for help. Reason will only take me so far. Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to follow where You are leading me. Help me not simply to do what the people around me do, Rather, help me to listen to Your voice, follow You and enjoy your presence with me. Amen