Week 52 Sunday

Whose I am, and whom I serve

Today’s scripture selection: Acts 27-28

Key Verse: Acts 27:23

In route to his “appointment” with Caesar; the apostle Paul – and those with him – ran into more than a little trouble.

During a tempest at sea, the ship on which Paul sailed – and all aboard – were about to be shipwrecked.  The Scripture says “when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.”

But then Paul spoke up.  And he told them how “there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve.”  And that he had been reassured that while the ship would be lost; they would be saved – and Paul would keep his appointment with destiny.

I love that turn of phrase, as the King James Version of the Bible puts it, “…whose I am, and whom I serve.”

Those six words speak volumes.

We have the opportunity to belong to God completely; and we can serve Him just as completely.  Do that – and your destiny is set.

Will it be free of troubles; a life without “tempests” of one form or another?  No.  In fact, there may particularly violent storms to endure as a person of faith.

But no storm will be faced alone; no tempest too great.  God simply will not allow His own to be dashed against the rocks.

So, as Paul would say, “be of good cheer” – all is as it should be.  And whatever your destiny might be – you go to it – held in the palm of God’s own hand.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your ever watchful care – especially in the storms of life.  AMEN

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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