God’s Plan to Reach an Island: Acts 28:7-10
“7) Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us courteously three days. 8) And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9) After this had happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured. 10) They also honored us with many marks of respect; and when we were setting sail, they supplied us with all we needed.” Acts‬ ‭28‬:‭7‬-‭10‬
What an amazing paragraph. Paul arrived on the island because of being shipwrecked. He was a prisoner of Rome and guarded by soldiers. He had no schedule or agenda, but simply followed the example and command of Jesus to serve others, pray for the sick and use every resulting open door to share the gospel. (See Matthew 5:23-25; Matthew 9:35, Matthew 10:7-8; Luke 10:8-9 and Acts 4:29-31)
Soon, the power of God showed up. Open doors for the gospel rapidly opened. Paul started by healing Publius and the story spread across the entire Island. Shortly crowds were coming to Paul for healing and hearing the gospel.
I can only imagine the impact on the soldiers. They were both seeing the miracles and hearing the gospel preached multiple times a day. It may well be that some among them who believed became part of Paul’s ministry team. The question each morning may have been, “Who wants to guard Paul today?” The answer was most likely; “We will all come and bring the other prisoners with us!” Can you fathom the dynamic impact on this group?
In three months, the gospel spread like lightening across the entire island. By the time their journey resumed, they were honored with many marks of respect and abundantly supplied with provisions to continue their journey.
What Satan intended for evil in the shipwreck, God intended for good for the evangelizing of the entire island of Malta.
I am confident this movement of the Holy Spirit was not on any strategic plan. Paul and Luke were merely willing to suffer for the gospel and exploit every opportunity to serve people and share the gospel. The Holy Spirit orchestrated the rest.
When we are obedient and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, similar spontaneous doors can open for us. Much of the abundant ministry for us over the years were not even on our radar screen a few months earlier. It resulted from flowing with the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Let me share a small spiritual secret. Learn to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit throughout each day and just serve the people God brings across your path. Give food and shelter to those in need. Pray for those who are sick. Your caring will open a door for the gospel. As you lift Jesus up, people will be saved and lives changed. Then be ready for a tsunami of Spirit filled momentum. Like in this story, God will open doors for the gospel across the whole island.
Jesus wants to reach people with the gospel more urgently than we do. The challenge the Holy Spirit has is finding available people to work through. Our lives are so busy we squeeze God out and silence the voice of the Holy Spirit. Purpose to be available and obedient to those promptings.
Ironically, Paul’s trip to Rome freed him up for spontaneous ministry. Go through each day listening for the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Be part of Gods plan to reach islands around you! They are everywhere.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global