Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Rome at Last

Paul is encouraged. Act 28.11-16

The Trials of Paul (19)

Pray Psalm 48.1-3.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised
In the city of our God,
In His holy mountain.
Beautiful in elevation,
The joy of the whole earth,
Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north,
The city of the great King.
God is in her palaces;
He is known as her refuge.

Sing Psalm 48.1-3.
(Cwm Rhonda: God of Grace and God of Glory)
Great is God, now greatly praise Him in the city of the Lord.
Holy she, His lovely mountain, great and glorious by His Word!
God her King is great within her, He, her Stronghold ever sure!
He, her Stronghold ever sure!

Read Acts 28.1-16; meditate on verses 11-16.

Preparation

1. How many places does Luke mention in these verses?

2. What was Paul allowed to do in Rome?

Meditation
Luke’s account of the final leg is as historical as the rest of his story – places, details about travel and wintering, weather, and how long it takes to get from here to there (vv. 11-13). The Kingdom of God unfolds in real history, and it turns real history rightside-up. Luke helps us to see this.

Paul must have been elated to find fellow believers in Puteoli (v. 14). Remember, “we” would have included Paul’s Roman escort as well as his friends, companions, and other prisoners. The Christians showed hospitality without discrimination.

The brethren in Rome were so excited to hear about Paul’s arrival that they went out to meet him and escorted him along the way – a kind of “triumphal procession” into the imperial capital (v. 15). Rome was known for such processionals when a general returned leading captives and booty into Rome. Makes you wonder who’s leading whom here, who are the captives and who the victor.

We note how the company of other believers encouraged Paul’s soul, provoking him to give thanks (v. 15; cf. 2 Cor. 4.15). In Rome, Paul was placed under house arrest, with a good deal of freedom (v. 16). The oneness Paul felt with these brethren cheered and emboldened him.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Paul is now a man “of a certain age” who has just been through two years of house arrest in Caesarea. Then experienced hunger, cold, wet, sleeplessness, shipwreck, viper bite, exposed to fever and dysentery; and then enjoyed around two more weeks of the antithesis of pampered Viking Ocean Cruising. The man must have been exhausted! And he also knew what was coming. Another house arrest. And yet another angry trial.

But just the sight of the Christian brethren in Rome renewed his spirit. “When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage” (Acts 28.15). These people, by their presence and encouragement spurred him on to be ready for the next steps in his life. They were Jesus to him: “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11.28-30). They were a sight for sore eyes.

And Jesus spoke to us in the Old Testament saying: “The LORD God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary” (Is. 50.4). And He did just that.

We are promised this same help from our own weariness: “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Is. 40.31). Strength to reach out to those wearier than we.

Paul overcame his weariness through the power of the Holy Spirit and through the encouragement of Christian brethren.

Are there people in our Personal Mission Field who are weary from the storms in their lives?
Are there people who are experiencing trials of many kinds who need to see us coming to greet them?
Are there people who have just washed up onto shore from a shipwreck?
Or have been bitten by vipers? Or are sick with a fever or dysentery? People who are just worn out?

To greet, pray for, care for, and love these brothers and sisters in Christ are the good works that God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Eph. 2.10).

All we need to do is show up.

For reflection
1. What is encouragement? Why is it so important?

2. Whom will you encourage today? How will you do that?

3. What is the role of prayer in seeking the strength and encouragement of the Lord?

God, from heaven, mitigated the imprisonment of his servant, not only to lessen his troubles but also so that the faithful might have freer access to him. For he did not wish the treasure of his faith to be held confined within the walls of a prison but to be kept free and open, to enrich many on all sides. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Acts 28.16.26

Pray Psalm 48.9-14.
Thank God for His Church and for all the kindness He shows His people. Rejoice in His judgments and ask Him to lead you this day in working your Personal Mission Field and building His Church.

Sing Psalm 48.9-14.
(Cwm Rhonda: God of Grace and God of Glory)
For Your grace and lovingkindness we proclaim Your matchless worth!
As Your Name is, great and boundless, let Your praise fill all the earth.
Let Your people sing rejoicing for the judgment of Your truth;
for the judgment of Your truth.

Walk about the blessèd city, see her beauty, see her power.
Count her ramparts, filled with glory, look on ev’ry mighty tower.
Tell her glory to the nations: God will guide her evermore;
God will guide her evermore!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

Now you can receive our monthly Personal Mission Field Workshop through email on your desktop. Just click here, enter you email, and choose the teaching letters you’d like to receive, including the Personal Mission Field Workshop.

If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal or Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.

No items in cart