6.30.2015

What's Your Malta?


this sunday at church we had missionaries that were home for a couple weeks from their creative access country. he got to share during the service and i was so blessed. he shared about what him and his wife were doing and how they were reaching the lost. it def. brought me back to my Africa days - unashamed and so bold for the fact that people need to hear the gospel. his message was from Acts 28:1-10 and i was very challenged by it and wanted to share some of my sermon thoughts with you:)

if you have a bible it might be helpful to turn to Acts 28 and read the passage for yourself first.

basically to summarize Paul is on a ship with 276 people (Acts 27:37) and Paul is a prisoner because he is preaching the word of God. the ship got stuck and was becoming shipwrecked (vs 41) so the plan was to kill Paul and the others (Acts 27:42) but a centurion who wanted Paul to survive told them to jump off the ship and all of them [crazy!] ended up being alive when they came to this island called Malta.

so Paul is shipwrecked and now freezing cold on a island where he has never been before after fleeing from people who wanted to kill him… oh and he is still a prisoner? does that sound like the christian life you've been told about? lets continue…

Paul instead of just lying down and crying [i think that would be my first reaction that i'm alive] helps make a fire with the native people and is super helpful.  (Acts 28:1-3)

then out of nowhere a viper/snake comes out of the fire and bites Paul. the natives know the snake is deadly so they are watching/waiting for Paul to die  (vs 6) yet Paul casually just throws the snake into the fire and suffers no harm. 
just a bit of humour because i like taylor swift 
the people of Malta first thought Paul was a murderer [karma mentality - what goes around comes around] but after the Lord miracleously  didn't let the snake kill him they preceded he was a god. (vs 6)

now this text doesn't end there. what happens next is just blows my mind of the calling and purpose Paul has on his life to preach the word. 

Publius' [leading man of the island] father became very sick and Paul got to see Publius father, lay hands on him and heal him. then (vs 10) "the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured." how incredible is that.

after this they set sail again and the people of Malta provided all what they needed. (vs 10)

so whats were some of my takeaways?

PAUL! Seriously! You were going to be killed, were shipwrecked, arrived on this random island, got bitten by a deadly snake & then was able to heal and pray for the all the sick people of malta before leaving for Rome. 

reading the text it is easy to see that how God was using the plan to kill Paul to make him shipwreck and being shipwrecked God brought him to the island. the  native people probably wouldn't have allowed Paul to pray and heal the people if the snake hadn't bitten him and the Lord didn't preform a miracle. all of these awful things that happened to Paul brought him to a place where he could be used so greatly on the island of Malta. 

personally, if i knew someone was trying to kill me as a prisoner i would be freaking out. then to just jump out of a ship with a wood plank and try to survive would test my faith….and i could go through the list of how i would probably fail miserably if i was put into this historical account.

another thing that amazes me in this text is that Paul never complained, he didn't question God or his sovereignty…instead vs 2-3 tells  us that he was helpful in building fires with the malta people. 

God had Paul at Malta for a reason and Paul knew to trust God in that reason. maybe you are in a "Malta" [somewhere you didn't plan on being] but do not for one second believe that God doesn't have a purpose and plan for your life in Malta. God wants to use us for his Kingdom wherever we are even if it seems like we are in the total wrong place. Paul was headed to Rome, not Malta but God used Paul greatly because of his obedience.

Are you in a Malta place? If so do you have the calling, purpose and faith Paul had when being shipwrecked? & then what challenges me even more, are you ready and in the right head space to seek out opportunities to witness and serve God in Malta? that's such a hard one for me. i think i'm far enough in my walk that even if i am shipwrecked i wouldn't disown God… but i think i would be ineffective, crying and moping around. Paul didn't. he remember his purpose on being alive. to preach the word. thats big for me. i need to preach the word when i am in a comfortable place and when i am in Malta.

i love God's word and how it encourages and challenges my faith so much. 

if you need prayer for anything or are stuck in 'Malta' i would love to connect with you. madeline_hockley@hotmail.com








6 comments:

  1. Not complaining and being more positive is my current challenge to myself. I feel I'm always in a Malta, until I'm in Heaven, but a wise elder's wife told me to "grow where planted" even in times of transition. Blogging has become my source of preaching the word, encouraging others, and being encouraged. Enjoyed this refresher on Paul's journey!

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  2. I keep feeling like God is telling me something, but then I feel like I'm in the wrong place to achieve what He's telling me. I need to put more trust in Him!

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  3. I think I need to be still long enough to hear from God, period! :D

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  4. Thank you for this post, and the reminder that God is at work in us even when we may be afraid or unsure of the future. He is control.

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  5. What a fresh reminder!! I think we all get caught in a slump wondering "Why?" we are in the place God has placed us. I have lots of examples from my life that I can look back on and be in awe that God brought me through. We don't usually see the purpose until we are through though, right? But if we just remember God IS working, then we an have peace no matter what the situation :)

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  6. What a refreshing reminder and a great way to think about the larger whole as opposed to the smaller (though for sure louder) perspective of just the self. - Jerusha, TheDisneyChef.com

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