Those Sailing With You! Acts 27:22-25
“22) … for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23) For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, 24) saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ 25) Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.” Acts‬ ‭27‬:‭22‬-‭25‬
What an intriguing part of the story; “ and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ I wonder why the angel included this detail? According to Acts 27:37, there were 276 people altogether including Paul and Luke on that ship. That’s a lot of people! Paul had most likely been interceding for both their safety and salvation.
This brings up some interesting questions. Who does God have “sailing with you” right now? Who has God placed within your sphere of influence? Who is within the reach of your salt and light for the glory of God?
I believe God sovereignly places people in our life for gospel influence. He wants us to witness to them. At the time of this story, the 276 people sailing with Paul represented his immediate sphere of influence. They were his target ministry.
It appears that Paul had been praying for them. I am sure he was ministering to them and sharing the gospel with them. There is no other explanation for this unique word from the angel; “God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.” Paul had consciously embraced these people as his immediate mission field. What an example of evangelism. It should be both constant and intensional.
Are you conscious of those “sailing with you” right now? This might include friends, relatives, neighbors, classmates, work associates, casual contacts, your health care providers or some one sitting next to you on an airplane or sporting event. Paul was very aware of those “sailing with him.”
These people represent your ministry and sphere of influence. Pray for them. Share kind words with them. Sow appropriate gospel seeds into the encounter. Be sensitive to promptings of the Holy Spirit for deeper spiritual conversations. Offer to pray with people when you perceive needs.
This is what Jesus trained His disciples to do as He sent them out. This is the thrust behind Acts 1:8. The Holy Spirit arranges those who “sail with you” through life. Purpose to be constant salt and light to those around you! It yields supernatural conversations and stories.
Whether you realize it or not, God has given you a very unique and important sphere of influence. Granted, some of it is in constant flux and change… but that’s part of the excitement of walking in the Spirit.
Opportunities for Jesus and the gospel abound daily for every Christian! “Those sailing with you” in life represent ministry at its best! There is nothing random about the sovereignty and providence of God concerning those He sends to “sail with you!”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global