THE APOSTLE PAUL #18

19/13/2020

Paul and some of his friends are on a ship traveling to Italy where he is going to stand trial before Caesar. He tried to warn everyone that they should not sail until next spring, but the captain decided to ignore Paul’s advice. As a result, they now find themselves caught in a violent storm that is threatening to destroy the ship and their lives.

Now, picking up from last week…  Acts 27:20a   “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging…”

The troubles kept piling on. The trial just wouldn’t let up. It was just one thing after another  After a while, we become numb.  The days all seem to run together as the storm just keeps on raging.  Pretty soon we can’t tell if it’s day or night and it doesn’t really matter.  We don’t even care anymore.    

Acts 27:20b  “we finally gave up all hope of being saved.” 

The world’s hope is an empty hope, an uncertain and insecure hope. It doesn’t take much to give it up. But Luke doesn’t say “They gave up all hope.” He says, “We finally gave up all hope.” A believer’s hope is guaranteed. Our hope is a sure and steadfast hope. Our hope is built on the promises of God that will never fail.

But there is only one superman. There’s only one who is brave and confident all the time, and that’s Jesus. The rest of us are human. The rest of us are weak and imperfect. We’re just dust. Sooner or later, even the strongest believer reaches the point of giving up hope.

The good news is that even when our faith is gone, the Lord will still be faithful to us. (2 Timothy 2:13)  We may give up hope but HOPE WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON US. Jesus will never leave us. He will always keep His promises.

Acts 27:21 “After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said, ‘Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourself this damage and loss.’”    

No one wanted to hear what Paul was saying when they were getting ready to sail.  Then, who in their right mind would listen to him when the south wind was blowing so gently?  When the storm came up and the ship started falling apart, no one had time to listen to what Paul was saying.  They were all too busy trying to save themselves because they still thought they could fix it.

Are you ready to listen now; now that everything you’ve tried has failed; now that you’ve run out of bright ideas and you can’t come up with the answers; now that everything you’ve been trusting in and counting on has let you down? Are you ready to listen to what God has to say NOW?

This is not what God wants for you. You’ve brought this on yourselves. But it does no good to regret the past. We can’t go back and undo the past. But we can decide to let the Lord determine our future. It’s what we do from this point on that will determine the ending of our life’s story

Acts 27:22a “But now I urge you to keep up your courage.”     

Our God is a God of the now.  He’s the Lord of today.  He’s a God who’s present to help us get through the troubles we’re facing right now.  He’ll begin putting the pieces of our life back together again right now; if we’ll let Him; if we’ll surrender our lives over to Him; if we’ll begin to listen to Him; begin to trust Him, right now. 

We’ve gone a long time without food.  We’ve been fasting for quite a while.  When the flesh is weak enough; when the mind is desperate enough; when the spirit is hungry enough; when the fight has gone out of us, it finally becomes obvious to us that our lives and our eternal futures depend on God’s word. If Jesus doesn’t save us, we will never be saved.

Acts 27:22b   “Not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.”

 “Not one of you will be lost.  The ship will be destroyed.”  What are you; some kind of psychic?  How do you know what will be?  I’m not psychic.  I’m just someone who’s trusting in Jesus and I know what will be because it’s promised in God’s Word.  The world is lost and afraid of the future, but a Christian is confident and secure about the things that “will be.” 

This global ship will be destroyed someday.  In spite of all our so-called advances in science and technology; regardless of how progressive and enlightened we like to think we’ve become; in spite of all the laws were passing and all the money we’re spending trying to save it, this temporary, earthly, physical world will someday be destroyed.  Jesus is coming back to earth again and that changes everything.  This global ship will be destroyed, but those of us who believe in Jesus; those of us who are trusting in what He did for our sin on the cross will be saved.    We will not perish.  We’ll have everlasting life.  When we’re absent from this earthly body, we’ll be present with the Lord.  We will not be going down with the ship.    

   Lord willing, we’ll continue from here next week. I hope you’ll stay with us to finish Paul’s journey. Thanks for being in God’s word with Pastor Buj.

Published by pastorbuj

I have over forty-five years of pastoral experience serving churches in Rhode Island, New York State and California. After retirement, I wrote and published a book titled, "Why Did He Bother? A Pastor's Account of God's Abundant Mercy, Love, and Grace." It is available as a paperback, e-book and audible from Amazon.com. My newest venture is a Bible teaching blog site called "pastorbuj.wordpress.com"

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