Posts Tagged ‘worry’

Verses 23-24: “For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.'”

Whenever I do not drive myself on Carpenters for Christ mission trips, most of the other times I travel with my father in his truck. Since he is driving, I’ll chart our progress on a map to see how close we are to state lines and such (in most cases to take some snapshots). There have been times he has asked me where we are on the map and how close we are to certain landmarks or towns. He has even asked before how many miles we are to a certain area (good thing I took land navigation in high school!) I thought of this when reading all the detail that Luke put into the account of Paul travelling to Rome aboard the ship and his trials during the storm. Most of the account is filled with this navigational detail, but there were three things that drew my attention while reading this account.

In verse 3, Luke writes that Julius (the centurion in charge of the prisoners) treated Paul kindly. I’m reminded that God “clears the way” when we need His help, and sometimes that help comes in unexpected people that He sends our way.

The second item is in verses 23-24: that God reminded Paul that he was to make it to Rome alive to be brought before Caesar. Worry is one of the devil’s favorite weapons…with that weapon, he can rob us of the energy and focus that we need in ministering for God. Paul was probably emboldened and strengthened to be reminded of this by God’s angel. The weight of concern about their survival was lifted from him with this reminder, allowing him to focus on the task at hand.

The third item is in verse 36; Paul encouraged the men, who hadn’t eaten anything in the last 14 days, to take nourishment for their survival. The angel had told Paul that they would survive, but the ship would be run aground, so they would need strength to make it shore (go without food for 2 weeks, and see how strong you are!) This verse is a reminder that God gave us physical bodies that we need to take care of in order to better serve Him. That means making sure we take the nourishment we need to keep our bodies running as they should.

Sounds like common sense, right? But as I’m often reminded in this old world, common sense ain’t as common as it used to be. It’s better to let God do the driving and we “ride shotgun” with Him!

Something to think about.

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Philippians 4:11: “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:”

“A restrictor plate or air restrictor is a device installed at the intake of an engine to limit its power. This kind of system is occasionally used in road vehicles (e.g., motorcycles) for insurance purposes, but mainly in automobile racing, to limit top speed and thus increase safety, to provide equal level of competition, and to lower costs; insurance purposes have also factored in for motorsports.”– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restrictor_plate . This type of engine governor is used in NASCAR to level the playing field by limiting how much a race car team could “soup up” an engine, and thus drive the ability to win (pardon the pun) to be in a driver’s skill in handling the machine, not just the machine itself.

The devil likes to use worry as a “governor” to limit us Christians; unlike NASCAR, who mandates restrictor plates, some of us (me included) allow the devil to use that tool. Worry is probably one of the worst sins I have to fight; it takes energy from us and wastes it, when we could use that same energy for God’s purposes. Paul wrote here in the Philippians letter that he learned to be content, no matter what the circumstances; that contentment comes from God, not the world. This is something I’ve tried to add to my daily quiet time: the prayer that no matter how the day goes (good/bad/somewhere in between), that I thank God at the end of the day for the day…it’s one more day of life that I didn’t have to begin with, and that that day came from Him…and to thank Him for it.

So, for your information, don’t let worry be a restrictor plate on your Christian engine; rev it up and live for Jesus every day. The race is still on.

Something to think about.

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verses 14, 16: “knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.” “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”

I remember reading a story presented by Dale Carnegie in his book on worrying that talked about “Don’t Let the Pine Beetles Get You Down”. The story described how pine beetles will destroy a tree from the inside out. The outside will look fine, but eventually the tree will fall down, nothing more than a husk, because the inside is rotted away.

This is the reverse of the picture Paul paints here. As Christian missionaries, we will take our lumps, our wounds, our injuries, and our scars as we travel life’s road. We won’t physically be as hale and hearty as we were when we were younger (I can tell you that now, and I’m not even that old yet!) But as long as we are growing in Christ Jesus, the “inner man” will be strong. More so, we become better “megaphones” for God’s message. Paul knew the state of our bodies here on earth was just a temporary matter.

I found an interesting fact once about violins. Did you know if they are not played, they will decay and become worthless instruments? But, as long as they are used, and taken care of, they continue to produce their marvelous sounds for many, many years? Be an instrument of God’s message today.

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