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Shepherd Daily Devotional – The Big Picture

Written By Ben Dankaka

Meditation – Acts 16:25-36

Just about midnight, Paul and Silas were worshiping God in the prison. Suddenly, a violent earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. God’s power was so great that it flew open the prison doors and everyone’s chains fell. When the prison officer saw the prison doors open, he tried to end his life, thinking the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jail officer rushed in and fell before Paul and Silas, begging to be saved.

One interesting thing about this story is the way Paul and Silas stayed faithful to their cause in the midst of a crisis that almost claimed their lives. While evangelizing, these men were unjustly arrested and put in prison. However, a miracle happened and they became free. The normal thing to do was to rush out of the prison cell, assuming that God had done His own part; therefore, they should play their own role by running out. Instead, they ignored the freedom and stayed focused on the big picture, taking advantage of the opportunity it gave them to gain new converts. They acted as if their freedom wasn’t as urgent as the task of winning more souls to Christ. Clearly, Paul and Silas knew that even if they escaped from the prison they would continue their job of preaching. And since the miracle had created an atmosphere for evangelizing; they stayed, sacrificing their freedom. In the end, their patience paid off as they were released by the magistrates, the next day.

David found himself in a similar situation when he miraculously got the chance to kill Saul. His associate, Abishai said to him, “Today, God has delivered your enemy into your hands…”But David declined, preferring to spare Saul’s life. By doing so, he forfeited the freedom he would have had at that time. However, David’s actions reveal, he was more interested in the big picture. After a while, God’s initial promise to him came to pass as he became a king without having Saul’s blood on his hands. When you are trying to fulfill your purpose, you would meet temporary setbacks that will come together with speedy solutions. A quick solution might come to you in form of a juicy job offer. It might also come as a counsel that appears to be sensible. You may be given answers that are good, but not right. The solutions might be a test or a temptation capable of getting you off track. But when you stay focused on the big picture, you will be able to avoid mistakes.

Prayer: Lord, help me keep my eyes on the big picture. Amen.

REFERENCES/FURTHER STUDY: Acts 16:25-36; 1 Samuel 26:1-10

Unless otherwise stated all scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version.

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