since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the fast was already over, paul advised them, saying, “sirs, i perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” [acts 27:9-10]



paul is not fearful for his life. we know this because states it explicitly in many of his letters to the churches. he knows the promise of the Lord, that he will testify in Rome to the gospel of Jesus. he doesn’t know the details of how he will get there or in what state he will be upon arrival, but he knows this is not the end for him.


so what is compelling him to advise these seafarers toward a safe voyage? what else can it be but compassion? he knows he will get to rome, and knows well the possibility that he will die in rome, but, like Jesus with his disciples, he is loving these men to the end. would you do this for your captors? i fear i would remain silent, out of anger, bitterness, and self-righteous pride, hoping for God to teach them a painful lesson, or just take them out altogether. but paul is extending an olive branch in the midst of trial and tribulation. why?

for the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. [2 corinthians 5:14-15]


paul has compassion because it is the very compassion of Christ that is controlling paul. the old man has died, and the new man lives for Christ because Christ has died and risen for the new man.

in what relationship or situation do you need the love of Christ to take over and control you? where does the old man try to raise his cold, dead fingers in defiance to the new creation who walks in step with the Spirit? cry out to the Lord for help, for he is still your Savior! or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? you are not your own, for you were bought with a price. so glorify God in your body. [1 corinthians 6:19-20] 


you are not your own. today, in the presence of a God who longs to fill you with all of his fullness, give up any grasp of control over your life. let his love fill you and control you, so that in joy you can pour out compassion on a world who so desperately needs it.



~ arwen eastman