“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 27:23-26
No doubt everyone on the ship prayed for God to save their lives. Even atheists might pray when their life is in danger, and all else fails. Everyone on the boat had been tossed about on the high seas and faced the same risks. So why did God appear to Paul and not the others?
James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous man releases great power.” Even though Jesus took all sin on the cross, God only sees those who have repented and asked Jesus to save them as righteous. But over two hundred men were on the ship. Surely someone else was Christian.
We know that Paul prayed for everyone who sailed with him because the angel said God had graciously given him their lives. In the Old Testament book of Job, God restored Job’s fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before after Job had prayed for his friends.
The third reason I believe that Paul was set apart from the others is that Paul didn’t keep quiet when God blessed him. God knew that Paul would tell the men about his vision. How often, when God arranges a coincidence or blessing for you, do you share it with others and give God the glory?
We receive more of God’s blessings when we repent and ask Jesus to save us, when we pray for blessings, when we pray for others to be blessed, and when we share our blessings with others and give God the glory.
Father, I praise You for my many blessings. Please give me the courage to share them with others and give you the glory. Please bless my family and all who read this devotional. Keep us safe and bind us closer to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.