Acts 28:1-10 (NKJV)
Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. 2 And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. 3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.”
Paul was on his way to Rome as a prisoner, the Lord had warned that the journey would be treacherous but the warning was brushed off by the decision makers. They ended up being shipwrecked and on the island of Malta.
The natives started off by showing them unusual kindness, they were so warm and accommodating, but as soon as they saw Paul in trouble, they judged him, and no one tried to help.
We are not qualified to judge one another, we only know in part. Paul was on that island through no fault of his own, he had even passed along the warning he received from God, before they set sail. The islanders assumed he was a criminal and that the viper biting him was retribution for his crimes.
Pray that in the Body of Christ, we will not judge one another, that even when we see one another’s nakedness we will cover it and pursue restoration, reconciliation and recovery.
Pray concerning those issues plaguing us; fault, addiction, obsession, sickness, disease etc., those things that men have begun to label us with like the “Woman with the issue of blood.”
5 But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.
Pray that we will all shake off the thing the enemy thought to use to silence and destroy us. That its power over us is broken and we shake it off. Every burden shall be lifted off our shoulders and the yoke from around our necks and the yoke shall be destroyed in the presence of the anointing.
6 However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
Pray that what the devil intended to short-circuit your destiny, what he meant to silence your voice and bring reproach will turn out to be a rich area of ministry for the Lord. Untold numbers will be saved, encouraged and inspired by what the Lord will bring forth.
7 In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days. 8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed.
Paul did not get offended at the islanders for judging him, rather he loved and ministered to them willingly.
We have no control over offence coming, but we do have a choice whether we will get offended.
Pray that we will not get offended. That we will be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.
Pray we will have the right focus. How long are we going to be on this earth? Maybe 100+ years? What is that measured against eternity? May we keep our eyes on the prize and may our constant prayer be “Lord, glorify Yourself in me and in this matter, Thine kingdom come, Thine will be done.”
10 They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.
The very ones who despised us and labeled us by our issues, will turn around to acknowledge the Lord has done great things for us.
Paul and all the other passengers on the ship lost everything, all they had left were the clothes on their backs (that is if those survived the shipwreck). However by the time they were leaving the island, they had everything necessary.
Pray that the Lord will be glorified in every area of our lives, that everything we lost during the season of affliction will be restored.
Just like the Israelites in the exodus, we shall not leave empty.
Speak restoration and recovery, renewal and refreshing, revival and rest.