PAUL SAILS FOR ROME
It was decided that Paul would sail to Rome, Italy's capital city. Paul was with other prisoners, but Luke and Aristarchus accompanied him, not as prisoners but to help with his needs. As they set sail to Rome, they landed in Sidon for a brief stopover. Julius, the centurion in charge of the voyage, allowed Paul to visit his friends there to provide for his needs for the long journey ahead. When they continued to set sail to Rome, the wind was against them, so they had to sail slowly and eventually arrived at Myra in Lycia. While there, they boarded an Alexandrian cargo ship to continue their voyage to Rome. Since it was already October, traveling through the Mediterranean sea was dangerous because of its fierce western wind that could create massive waves. Paul warned everybody that it would be dangerous to continue to set sail during that time because of the fierce western wind. But the centurion listened to the ship's captain and continued their voyage, hoping they would reach the city of Phoenix and stop there for the winter. (Acts 27:1-12).
One of the blessings to have is faithful friends that will be with us through good and bad times. God blessed Paul with faithful friends like Luke and Aristarchus, who were willing to accompany him through this dangerous and uncomfortable voyage. They set aside their comfort and chose to minister to Paul's needs. When Paul arrived in Sidon, his friends provided for his needs for the long journey ahead. We need friends like Luke and Aristarchus, who will walk with us through good and bad times. Similarly, we also need to be like Luke and Aristarchus with others.
Let us be thankful to God for providing us with faithful friends. We need a faithful community around us. If we do not have faithful friends, we need to ask God to provide or give us the wisdom to build faithful friends. There are times when we need to be the ones who would initiate faithful friendships. It was easier for Paul to endure hardship because he had faithful friends with him.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) Do I have faithful friends who will stand by me through good and bad situations? Am I a faithful friend to others? What must I do if I do not have faithful friends?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for the blessing of having faithful friends. Please bless my faithful friends and help me to be a blessing to them. Please help me not to focus on myself and what I want only, but help me to focus on others and be considerate and kind to others. Thank you for showing me what being a faithful friend means. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.