Paul Gathered a Bundle of Sticks

After the shipwreck, Paul could have said, “I told you so!” Or “Now do you believe that I am an anointed man of God?” Or “You should have listened to my prophecy!”

Instead, he gathered sticks and threw them on the fire, Acts 28:2. He worked to meet the physical need of everyone. It was raining; they needed warmth.


When we were on tour in Israel, we took several bathroom breaks a day. There were times no one needed a break.

Our guide, Elle said, “It doesn’t matter how informed I am. I can give you a ton of information but if you need a bathroom, you won’t remember or appreciate it.”

A mural outside of a bathroom in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem.

A person’s basic needs must be met before they can listen. Instead of preaching, we could ask, “Do you need anything?” Or “How can I serve you?”

They will automatically ask questions because we are different from everyone else. We give; others take.

Acts 28:8, “And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid hands on him and healed him.”

New American Standard Bible


Once again, Paul met a physical need. This time it was through a work of God, not his physical work.

Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”

New American Standard Bible


“How can I serve you?”

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