Leadership In Crises
How are you in crisis? Pray that God will show you how to face tough challenges in ways that honor him.
Read Acts 27:1-12
 When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment.  We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us.  The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs.  From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us.  When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia.  There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board.  We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone.  We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea.  Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Day of Atonement. So Paul warned them,  “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.”  But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship.  Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat warning did Paul give the sailors here?
Yesterday we saw Paul in chains, but with an inner freedom. Today we find him a prisoner, yet exercising leadership. Paul, no doubt with insight from God, warned the pilot and owner against any further voyage. This was the most dangerous time of year for sailing, as the risk of bad weather increased daily. His advice was sound (21), but ignored (10,11), perhaps because the commercial instincts of the owners won out. Sailing in the winter was highly dangerous. The “Fast” referred to in v. 9 is the Day of Atonement, which in 59 AD would have fallen on October 5, making this the most likely year for this trip. It’s also possible that the owner simply wanted to find a nearby port that would offer better winter shelter (12). We can only speculate. One thing is certain: Paul did not hesitate to offer his leadership in this serious situation. He listened to the Lord and passed that counsel on to the others. In times of crisis, that’s a wise path to follow. As we’ll see tomorrow, had the pilot and owner followed Paul’s counsel, they would have been spared the great loss that followed.
Is there a situation in your work, home or church where you can offer good counsel that might save others some loss?
Lord, I pray that I’ll be alert to any counsel You give me that I can and should pass on to others. Help me be ready and willing.