Let’s revisit the story of Paul’s journey from the Part 1 message from Friday.
The men on the ship had lost all hope. The storm was too big. The reality was that they were not going to make it. Everything indicated that things were not going to end well.
But God, in His faithfulness and goodness, showed up right on time. He is never late. As the story continues, Paul stands up and tells the men, “…now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said,
‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”(Acts 27:22-26)
God showed up on the scene and gave them hope — a reminder so they’d know, “we are His.” One thing to note is that even though God made himself known in the middle of the storm, He did not take away the circumstance. He promised that not one of them would be lost but warned them that the ship would be.
In the same way, we must understand that God will see us through the storms in our lives. But it will not always be smooth sailing.
While in the midst of the storm, we must remember two things:
- Whom we belong to.
- Whom we serve.
Paul had also lost hope. God had to remind Him who he was. When we forget who we are and what our purpose is when the trials of life come, we see them as impossibilities. That is when we become afraid and we become anxious as we face them. Be sure that you remember these truths in those hard and difficult situations.
God holds you in the palm of His hand.
As you continue being a part of these 40 days of praying and fasting to see abortion end, do not lose hope. During this time, many things might come your way. Do not forget that you serve God and you belong to Him. We are His.
Devotional for Day 13
Scripture: “He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, ‘whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life? Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.’” ~ Mark 8:34-38
Reflection: Seems pretty clear to me, doesn’t it to you? Being a Christian, a TRUE disciple is not a bed of roses or a field of butterflies. Christ is telling us plainly: live for yourself, for your own wants and desires and at the end of your life you WILL be empty and lost forever. Just look around at the lives of the “rich and famous” glamorized on the big screen, or in the tabloids. We are so easily led astray. Yet Christ plainly and openly tells us, he makes us a promise, and we know his word is truth, because he is TRUTH itself. He says: deny yourself, live for me, serve me, love others as I have loved you, tell others about me and who I am, and what I’ve done for them. Take my love and truth, because truth must always be coupled with love, and bring it into your homes, your work place, your schools, the market place, everywhere you go, and in everything you do, and to everyone you meet. When you stand on in front of “Planned Parenthood” or the “Women’s Reproductive Clinic,” holding a life-affirming sign, and praying for the conversion of the abortionists and clinic workers, or those driving by, for their hearts to be softened and opened to the truth about the abortion industry, for the change of heart for the mom contemplating abortion, and for the saving of the life of those babies who are in danger of being aborted, YOU are acknowledging Christ, YOU are denying your own life, and choosing to stand up, and be a public, prayerful witness of life. YOU are not being ashamed of Christ, and He will not be ashamed of YOU.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, please send forth an outpouring of your Holy Spirit upon us and grant us the grace and the courage, the fortitude, to not be afraid to stand for YOU, to stand up for life, to not ever be ashamed of YOU. May the denying of our lives, the sacrificing and fasting, the prayers we pray be a holy and acceptable offering to you and may you answer our prayers for ending abortion in our City, in our State, in our Country, and in the entire World, now and forever! Amen