WEEK SEVEN, DAY THREE, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE COMPANION
WEEK SEVEN THEME: HOSPITALITY
DAY THREE THEME: HOSPITALITY IN THE CHURCH
SCRIPTURE: ACTS 28:1-10 (CEB)
“After reaching land safely, we learned that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us extraordinary kindness. Because it was rainy and cold, they built a fire and welcomed all of us.
Paul gathered a bunch of dry sticks and put them on the fire. As he did, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, latched on to his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, ‘This man must be a murderer! He was rescued from the sea, but the goddess Justice hasn’t let him live!’
Paul shook the snake into the fire and suffered no harm. They expected him to swell up with fever or suddenly drop dead. After waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to claim that he was a god.
Publius, the island’s most prominent person, owned a large estate in that area. He welcomed us warmly into his house as his guests for three days. Publius’ father was bedridden, sick with a fever and dysentery. Paul went to see him and prayed. He placed his hand on him and healed him. Once this happened, the rest of the sick on the island came to him and were healed.
They honored us in many ways. When we were getting ready to sail again, they supplied us with what we needed.”
THE WORD OF GOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD – THANKS BE TO GOD!
SOAKING IT IN: When in the aura of Kingdom Living, nothing is a problem. Shipwrecked just leads to new friends and open arms. Provisions are handy and abundant. Disasters become miracles – like a snake bite turning into nothing and a father being healed became a routine occurrence.
There is no frustration in the circumstances, there is just taking the next step and seeing how God is always at work. And through these next steps, more and more people are experiencing Kingdom Living and becoming engaged with it daily. Remembering back to the creation stories, God simply puts things in motion, and then his creations move from one thing to the next in perfect order and harmony.
In Kingdom Living, there is no agenda, it is in the movement that God’s will unfolds like an opening flower into wornderful experiences and further Kingdom Living. Adapting a Kingdom Living mentality is the hardest part. We are so wired for smooth sailing and solid results that we make no plans for the unexpected and often see it only as an intrusion and frustration. When we determine to take on the Kingdom Living approach, we find all of those things as blessings rather than challenges and see God at work.
With each breath we take, Lord, let us take in you and your approach to our living rather than setting up expecatations and agendas that cramp you and frustrate us. Help us to be open to seeing your adventure in the midst of our living and embrace it for what it does for us and how it helps us lean more and more into you.
Blessed to be a blessing, Lord help us take our next steps in light of your ongoing creation and enjoy the journey. Amen.