Relevant Text: Acts 13:10
Full Text: Neh. 3; Acts 13

Search-and-Rescue | On March 23, 2003, a US Army convoy took a wrong turn and was ambushed near Nasiriyah. A rocket-propelled grenade hit the Humvee that carried PFC Jessica Lynch. Since she was severely injured, Iraqi forces took her as a POW to a hospital, where she was abused and raped. When the US military learned of her location, they organized a search-and-rescue mission. On April 1, US Marines staged a diversion to draw Iraqi soldiers away from the hospital, which enabled Joint Special Operations to launch a raid and successfully extract Lynch [1].

Straight Paths | Like the US military, God is on a mission to seek and save the lost [2]. As the church in Antioch was worshiping and fasting, the Spirit called Barnabas and Saul to go to Cyprus. He was sending them on a mission to seek and save the governor of Cyprus, Sergius Paulus, who was in a city nearly 275 miles from Antioch. Unbeknownst to them, God was already working in the governor’s heart. Thus, when they arrived, he “summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God” [3]. It was astounding that this powerful, pagan ruler would request to hear the gospel from these unknown, insignificant men. It had to be the Lord.

Crooked Obstacles | An acquaintance of the governor, however, was “seeking to turn the [governor] away from the faith” [4]. Saul, however, was Spirit-filled and stopped him: Will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind” [5]. Immediately, the governor believed and, after seeing the man go blind, was astonished at the Lord’s teaching. No obstacle would stop God from bringing the governor to faith. He would send, pursue, search and save him. He was on a mission. And He was successful.

Prayer | Lord, You have straight paths that lead to faith and you send us out as emissaries on your mission to seek and save the lost – including some of our own family and friends. Yes, there are obstacles, where straight paths are trying to be made crooked. Yet, you will have none of it. You long for your people to be free from the heavy and lonely and deceiving burdens of sin [6]. So, you conquer all obstacles to carry us along the straight paths of faith. Amen.



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[1] For historical information about Jessica Lynch, see Wikipedia. Jessica Lynch; Andrew Chang. “’Search and Rescue’ Is Not Just a Frill.” ABCNews. 5 April 2003.  |  [2] See Lk. 19:10; Jn. 3:17.  |  [3] Acts 13:7 ESV  |  [4] Acts 13:8 ESV  |  [5] Acts 13:10-11 ESV  |  [6] See Rom. 6:20; Jn. 8:34; Gal. 3:22. Matt. 11:30.