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Summary: Shake off the Vipers of Discouragement, Criticism & Low Exectations through what Paul went through

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Shaking Off the Vipers

Acts 28: 1-6

Follow Paul on His Journey to Rome

Paul was going to Rome as a prisoner

Many trails awaited him in Rome

Where he landed Melita – It lay about 60 miles South of Sicily and was placed under the province of Sicily by Rome. The Natives called Barbarians were neither of Greek or Roman Blood. The island was relatively unimportant in the trade of the world

The word barbarians does not mean they were an uncivilized people – they just did not follow Greek customs or speak Greek – So all non Greeks or Non Romans were foreigners which made them barbarian people

Recall the storm and the Shipwreck

The Storm – terrifying for 14 days

Paul had his life threatened by Roman soldiers who feared he might escape

Paul was comforted by an angel in the storm (Acts 27:22-25)

They were shipwrecked and stranded on an island, but all alive

He is soaked by the bitterly cold rain and he is cold, gathering wood for the fire which had just been built.

They were met by kind natives, a warm fire and trouble ahead

He had not even had a chance to get warm when the snake leaped out of the fire and latched onto Paul’s hand

A Viper, Coming Out of the Fire, Attacks Paul

Vipers often appear out of the fires of life

Times of trouble make us vulnerable

God has a promise for fiery times (Isaiah 43:2)

Paul shook off the viper when attacked and so should we

I. Shake off the Viper of DISCOURAGEMENT (v.3)

How often believers ask, “Why? O God, Why do I have to keep on suffering so much pain, so many trails?

God took care of Paul through the trial, healing him instantaneously

God used the trail to reach many for Christ –the natives, the soldiers

a. Paul was attacked while helping…doing good

i. He was gathering a bundle of sticks for the fire

ii. Vipers often appear when were doing right

b. Paul could have allowed his attack to make him doubt

c. Instead, he shook off the viper, remembering God’s promise of safety

d. Le God’s promises deliver you; shake off discouragement

II. Shake off the Viper of CRITCISM (v. 4)

a. The reaction of the critics: “No doubt this man is a murderer”

b. Many are quick to judge and falsely accuse

i. Are you being wrongly judged, falsely accused?

ii. You are not the first to endure this kind of trial

c. Jesus was constantly criticized

i. He was called a blasphemer (Matthew 9:3)

ii. He was accused of being in league with Satan (Matthew 9:34)

d. Remember how Jesus responded to His critics (I Peter 2:23)

e. Shake off the viper of criticism by looking to Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2)

III. Shake off the Viper of LOW EXPECTATIONS (v. 6)

a. The natives expected Paul to swell up and die

b. Some have low expectations of you as a Christian

i. They think you’ll stumble and fall


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