Shipwrecks and Snakes

This Sunday we’ll be continuing the story of the Apostle Paul and a ship tossed in a storm. We’ll be picking up where we left off, reading chapter 27:27-28:10.

We’ll be following the same theme of reading the account as an analogy for how we respond to the stormy times we go through in life.

There are several theories that float around as to why Paul warned that the sailors shouldn’t leave the ship. Why do you think he gave that warning? If you were on a ship in peril, how would you feel if you saw the one’s who knew how to steer it to safety trying to sneak away?

When Paul encourages the sailors, soldiers and prisoners to eat, what does he do when he holds the bread? How do you think being thankful for what God has already provided help to encourage our attitude during times of stress?

When they finally get off that sinking ship and get to shore, you’d think that would have been enough trials for one lifetime. Yet the very next thing Paul gets to encounter is a snake dangling off his wrist. The people of Malta are expecting a specific reaction from Paul, but it doesn’t happen. Paul is not poisoned by this trial. How can we keep from being poisoned by the difficult situations we face as Christians? What would a watching world say about you as they observe the way you handle troubles in life?

All of these circumstances lead up to the point where Paul is able to minister to the people of Malta. How has God used disaster in your life for ministry?

I think this study will be an encouragement – hope to see you there!

 

One comment

  1. This will be an encouraging study!! I’m sure I could write a novel here but will keep it brief…Man I’m not sure why Paul gave that warning but it would make since that if others saw the guys in charge bailing out it probably would have completely crushed any sliver of hope they may have had left for survival.
    Thanking God for what we do have in the storms of life reminds us that we’ve not been abandoned, that He hasn’t neglected to care for us. He hasn’t bailed out of the boat so we can still be hopeful of a good ending.
    Even though Paul wasn’t through with his trials when he hit dry land, I imagine the prior deliverance built his faith and trust in God supplying the anti-venom…Keeping our eyes on our King in the midst of trials keeps bitterness at bay. Remembering what He’s done in the past, what provided in the present reminds us of His goodness. Paul’s ministry there at Malta proved that God was up to something much larger than pain in Paul’s life…..Knowing that our pain is not pointless but instead leads to participation in His noble purposes enables us to endure and overcome!!

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