What to expect

A traditional church that is passionate about loving our community to the gospel.

Acts 27:1-12


Speaker 2: Take your bibles if you have them and turn to the Book of Acts Acts Chapter Number Twenty seven. Acts chapter number twenty seven is where we're going to be this morning and you find your place there, if you wouldn't mind, join me in standing in honor of reading God's word. And we'll begin reading in verse number four x twenty seven, verse number four. Bible says when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus because the winds were contrary when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and pamphleteer. We came to Mira, a city of Lies. See it there. The centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy, and he put us there in. When we had sailed slowly, many days and scarce were coming over against Senate senators, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete over again, Salminen hardly passing. It came into a place which is called the fair havens nye. Where into was the city of Lecia? How much time was spent when sailing was now dangerous because the fast was now already passed? Paul admonished them and said under them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the leading and ship but also of our lives. Nevertheless, the centurion believe the master and the owner of the ship more than those things which were spoken by Paul because the haven was not commodious to winner, in the more part, advise to depart thence also, if by any means that they might, may, might attain the finish and there to winter, which is in haven of Crete lith toward the southwest and northwest. Let's pray. Emily, Father, we thank you for this day. Thank you for the opportunity we have to be together here this morning or thank you for those that are joining us on live stream. Lord, I pray that you would bless each one who has made time for this this morning. Help us as we look into your word. I pray that you give me the words you have me to say, you know the folks that are here to listen. The priority here to their lives for it's in Jesus name. I pray. Amen. Thank you. May be seated. I was a little nervous about getting to this part because there's a lot of cities, there's a lot of travel that's involved in this, this chapter of the Bible. But the good news is God, in his foresight, decided to put maps at the back of your Bible. I just getting a publisher did that, but it would be helpful as we're going through this. If you want to look in the back of your Bible, you can see usually there's a tracing of Paul's route through x twenty seven in your Bible. It might have a different heading for my Bible. Let's see here. It just talks about Paul's third missionary journey, but it marks where he he went and the route that was taken. So if you want to reference that, that might be helpful for some of you. But the places that I got to talk about are not as important as the things that happened either there or on the way there. This this chapter is really incredible because this chapter is almost, well, not almost. This chapter is a wonderful example of trying to live your life by your own strength, trying to live your life, playing out your life, overcome the struggles of life with your own ingenuity, your own creativity, your own strength, and just the frustration that comes from trying to live a life that way. And my Sunday school class with the young adults, we've been going through a book called Stop Trying, you know, like, Wow, that sounds depressing. Stop trying and then do what? Well, let God do the work. But we've been talking about the the weakness of the world's identities. In the book, there's two basic identities that you can adopt from the world. There's the traditional identity, which says, I am what other people say I am. And then there's the modern identity, which says I decide who I am. Both of these are man's attempt to deal with purpose for life. Dealing with the struggles of life. What you're going to be, how you're going to act, all of these things. But throughout the book, as we've gone through it with young adults, we have seen that God has a better way. God has a better way. Jesus came. He died on the cross. Not just purchase our eternity in heaven, but also provide for us an abundant life here on this Earth. But in order for us to experience that abundant life, that gospel life, then we have to learn to let go of our own strength and our own ideas and adopt his. And so we're going to see that struggle take place here in Chapter twenty seven. And hopefully by the end of it, you'll be able to apply some of these things to your life as well. Last week, we rehearsed some things that we'd gone over before from verse number three of this chapter, where Paul is shown quite a bit of courtesy from the centurion that was tasked with bringing him to Rome, a man by the name of Julius. Julius had allowed Paul to go ashore there at Seiden to refresh himself. We talked about the refreshment that comes from being around God's people and think that that is an absolutely necessary part of the Christian life. But as Paul in his his centurion over Caesar and the rest of the group leave Sidon, they begin to make their way towards Italy because Paul has a date with Caesar. He has got to make it to Rome. And so right off the bat, the Bible tells us that Paul is taken south around the southern part of the island of Cyprus and then north to the city of Myra. This is inverses four through six, and it is during this first stage of the trip that we start to get a glimpse at the struggle that awaits Paul in his journey to get to Italy and to get to Rome. Now remember on this journey, Paul is a prisoner. He has absolutely no control of his life on a day to day basis. He goes where he is told he sits, where he is, told he stands, where he's told he eats, when he's told everything is decided for him. He is completely out of control of his life. If you're looking at your Bible maps and you're thinking that, you know, it sure seems like a strange route to take, you know, to go south in order to get to a northern destination. Well, you would be right. That is an odd thing to do. Some of you ladies are probably thinking it doesn't sound too odd to me. My husband gets lost all the time. We're always taking odd routes to get places normally. I mean, you know, I go to work and Alisha drives her car, and even for church, I get here early and. She comes a little bit later, and so we we aren't in the car very often, and so we both have our own ways of getting places. And I can feel. A force in the passenger seat when we are riding together and I maybe take a different direction than she would take and the disapproval is building. You know, though. But you know, we do, we have our own ways to go in places. But they didn't take this route because they wanted to. Verse number four tells us that they had to take this route. Why? Because the winds were contrary. There's no steam engine. There's no outboard motor for this ship to make its way across the ocean. It is reliant upon the power of the wind to move it. And so the normal way to sail would have been to go around the north side or the north part of Cyprus. But try as they might, the winds would not permit them. And so they end up having to take a route that would have taken much longer. And so you can imagine that all of these sailors are frustrated. You know, they want to get to their destination so they can go home. They want to get to the airport so they can unload their goods. They can sell. They can make money. They can get real food. Not the kind of food they have on the ship. And so this detour meant that all of them would have to be on that boat longer than they wanted. I'd be shocked if someone didn't say something like this man. I can't believe it. Why don't things ever go our way? Why can't the winds ever be on our side? Why do they have to be contrary so often? Maybe someone else would have said something like this. This just goes to figure why does everything have to be a struggle? You ever feel like that? Why can't things ever go my way? Why does everything have to be a battle? Why does it always have to be a struggle just to get where you're going? Unfortunately, because we know the whole story, I would have to tell these guys, this is only the beginning of your struggles in getting Paul to Rome. The Bible tells us that they landed mirror and as they're there in mirror verse number six, the centurion found a ship about yacht sailing into Italy, and he put us there in. And so the centurion, he says, You know what? This boat here? Maybe it. Maybe that was the end of its journey. That was where it was stopping. It wasn't going any further, but maybe he was thinking, You know what? This ship and this crew isn't working for us. We got to make a change. And so he finds this ship based out of Alexandria. This would have been a grain ship. Later on, it will say wheat. Some say it would have been wheat and corn. Egypt what Egypt is where Alexandria is. And it was the corn capital for the Roman Empire. This ship would have been a very large vessel. The Bibles will tell us later that there were two hundred and seventy six passengers on this ship. And so that's a pretty good sized boat for that time in history. And so you know what we had before? It wasn't cutting it. If we're going to make it to Italy in good time, we need a bigger ship. I think there was a movie about somebody saying they're going to need a bigger boat. Maybe. That. That now, you know. So, so fun fact, brief side note. Two hundred and twenty years after Paul visited Myra, did you know there was another person that worked in Myra, a pretty famous guy? You know him as Saint Nicholas? Yeah, kind of interesting, huh? Yeah, IRA. So anyways, Paul's there in Myra and somebody else was there in Myra, and hopefully you can figure that out. But I'm sure that they're in Myra. This a.nd Julius thought that by changing ships, things were going to go a lot better. Surely this bigger ship would be less susceptible to the sea as the previous smaller vessel had been with this change. I'm sure they thought that they could expect better results than what they had previously experienced, because up to this point, they had faced inhospitable conditions that had forced them to make a detour and spend more time doing something that should have been very simple. They had to go a much farther away to get to the same destination. It would probably have felt like watching a a toddler trying to get from point A to point B. If you ever watched a toddler, you know their heads like 40 percent of their body, you know. So this head is like flopping around and they're trying to get from here to there, but they're taking this like crazy weaving journey to get there, and it takes them forever. That's kind of what these people were experiencing. But now things will be better. Right? Things will be better now because we have a new ship and we have a new crew. If you can just change your equipment and you can just change the people around you, then surely that will mean a better future for you and your fortunes. But as the centurion and as prisoners leave Myra, they quickly discovered that their hope for change was short lived. Verse number seven, the Bible tells us that they had to sail slowly for many days, that the wind would not suffer them. And so once again, their westward progress is stifled by the winds blowing against them. This newer, bigger ship creeps along, sailing slowly for many days. They were probably on. It felt like they were on a two lane road here in Oklahoma, stuck behind some slow person and they can't get around them. That's frustrating, isn't it? You just want to be able to go, but they couldn't do anything about it. The winds were not in their power and they were making so much they were making such poor progress that once again they had to choose a longer southern route just so they can make some headway. The Bible tells us that they sailed under the creek. You can look at your map and find where Creek is. And finally, they make it to a port to stop at called the fair havens. I don't know about you, but the fair havens doesn't sound like a bad deal. I mean, it's called the fair havens. I mean, if you said to me this morning after church, Hey, Pastor, we've got a two two night stay at the fair havens. I would assume you're talking about it like a resort or something like that. That just sounds inviting. It sounds pleasant. And but verse number 12 tells us the truth about the fair havens. Says that it was not odious to winter in. The geography of the port called the fair havens, meant that there was little protection from the winter winds. Winter was fast approaching. We'll talk about what time of year this is all happening here in a moment. But winter would be there soon. They are right in the middle of the most dangerous time to be out on the Mediterranean Sea. And so they know because they've experienced this before that they have got to find a place to stop. They've taken so long to get to this point. They face so much hardship and slowdowns and detours that they know it's hopeless for them to get to Italy before winter comes. And so they have to find a place where they can stop and wait out the winter storms. And so here they are at the fair havens, a place that sounds inviting. It sounds welcoming. But the fact of the matter is it is not the place you want to spend the winter. Those winds are going to come blowing in to the fair havens, kind of like they blow into our church for a year when the when the north facing doors are open for people to come in. That doesn't sound very comfortable. That doesn't sound like the kind of place you want to spend the winter. And so if you look at verse number nine, Luke tells us what time of the year it was. It says that now, when much time was spent, when sailing was now dangerous because the fast was now already past. Paul admonished them So the fast there that they're talking about would have been the day of atonement, which would have been late September, early October. So they are moving into those fall stages where winter is coming. And so talk begins among the sailors about leaving the fair havens. It's not a comfortable place. They want to find somewhere more comfortable to wait out the winter. It's funny to me that they're so concerned about avoiding discomfort. They're they're willing to risk dangerous seas in order to push forward to find some, some place where they would be more comfortable. They want to make it to a safer place to winter, wanted to find a place that was more inviting. And so the idea of something waiting for them just a little bit further down the road pushes them to take risks that they should not have taken. Here they are. They had acquired a bigger ship. They have a different crew, but it had not improved their situation. Can you see how conventional wisdom is failing them? Their circumstances had not gotten better. And if anything, they were getting worse. And so while nothing they had tried had worked, the sailors in this A.N. prove that they are unwilling to consider a different opinion. And you try to do something over and over, maybe trying to fix something on your car and you think, Oh, this is easy, I could do this. I've done this before. I know what to expect when I get under the hood. You get under there, and it's not what you thought it was going to be. And your experience is not helping you, so you try and you try to figure it out and eventually you get frustrated. And so what do you do? You call YouTube. See if they can help you. You look for another option. A different opinion on what needs to be done here in the Bible, we see that these sailors, the centurion, are offered a different opinion. Paul admonishes them in verse number 10, says Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with heart and much damage, not only of the leading and ship also of our lives. Paul warns them that he perceives that things will not work out if they push forward with their journey, if they try to leave the fair havens to find something more comfortable. He says this isn't going to turn out well now. I don't see anywhere where it says that Paul had received any sort of divine revelation just based on what how things have been going before. It probably wouldn't take divine revelation to understand, Hey, things aren't working out for us. Maybe we should just, you know, take a break. Well, let's not push our luck here. Let's not risk this. Perhaps he was basing his counsel off of the very unfavorable conditions they had faced up to that point. Paul foresees great peril for the ship, its cargo and the passengers if they try to continue on. But you realize Paul is not the only voice to state an opinion here in this chapter. The master and owner of the ship in verse number 11 expresses a different opinion than Paul in verse number 12. The rest of the passengers on board also held a different opinion than Paul. None of them wanted to stay in the fair havens during the winter, but ultimately the decision on whether or not to sail rested with one person. It's not the owner of the ship. The decision on whether or not to leave the fair havens rests with Julius, the centurion you see as a Korean ship, the centurion was viewed in higher position than even the owner of the vessel. Rome had the freedom to commandeer any grain transport in order to get them to their to their destination. And though Julius had been courteous to Paul in the past, and that's probably why he even allowed Paul to speak a word on the matter at all. Julius did not think enough of Paul to heed his word over the owner of the ship and the majority of the other passengers. So here they are on this trip. Nothing's going right. Nothing's working. And here comes Paul saying, Let's stop. Let's wait. Let's not risk going out and risking the danger that could come to us. And Julius is getting this input from this, this counselor here. But then he's also over here asking the owner of the ship saying, Well, what do you think we should do? I don't want to stay here. Let's push forward in the Julius is going to the other men on the council or the other passengers and saying, What do you think we should do? We don't want to stay here either. Let's go. Let's risk it. And so Julius is faced with listening to Paul, who earlier he had shown he he thought a lot of Paul. But he was willing to ignore Paul in order to go with the majority opinion. He went with the opinion of the majority, and even we could say with the owner, the expert. Rather than listening to Paul. So Investment 13. We see that the decision is made. And it seems to be that the majority opinion is confirmed, at least at the start. Verse 13 says when the south wind blew softly. So they get ready to leave, they get the ship all prepped for the journey and that south wind begins to blow and everyone that had been in favor of resuming their journey supposed, hey, we have obtained our purpose. We were right. The inexperienced prisoner had been wrong, and so they all felt justified in their decision. You see, nothing had gone right up to this point, but now we've got this south wind map, our fortunes have finally changed. Now things are looking up. Any thoughts that maybe Paul had been right were washed away by the warm air blowing in from Africa? Fortunately, it didn't last long. Verse number 14, Luke records the onset of a tempestuous wind called your rock lead on. Iraq late on as a typhoon, Mediterranean still sees these type of storms on a regular basis. It happens not quite the same as a hurricane, but there are some similarities they actually call Americans. Well, sounds like something you take for a headache medication. Mediterranean hurricane put them together. The thing about this why was why was it so slow going for them as they were trying to head north from Sidon to Greece? If the winds were against them, that means the winds were coming in from the North. Now they've got this favorable what? South wind, you north winds and south winds coming at each other. What does that cause? I have one of our local weather expert experts, you know, telling you there's a hook echo here, you know, or something, I don't know. But if they had radar, you could have predicted this. They didn't have that. They had the south wind and they thought, Man, things are looking great. The peak season for these storms. What do you guess? Remember, we're late September and October, maybe even close to November now. Peak season for medications is between September and January. Is hurricane type storms blow up can have sustained winds up to 110 miles per hour? It can last for up to or over a week. This hurricane type storm comes up in verse number 14 and it captures the boat, and it negates any good fortune that they thought they had achieved. And as we look at the description of this storm, it is a disastrous experience. We're not going to read all of the verses, but you can follow along. The Bible tells us that those seas were so rough, the strong the winds were so strong that the ship's steering mechanisms were useless. So rather than waste their strength and risk destroying the ship's rudder, the sailors are forced to give themselves up to the will of the storm. They evidently had a form of a lifeboat that also that almost got away from them. Well, verse number 16, Luke says after much work, they were able to save it. The pounding waves were battering the boat, so much so that they threatened to break it in pieces. And so in verse 17, the sailors and the passengers have to undergird the boat to try and keep it together. What they would have done is they would have had large ropes available to them on board the ship, and they would have guided those ropes under the front of the boat and pulled them along to the back and tied them up to keep all of the boards together and from coming loose. Or 17 also tells us that after letting the boat drive with the wind for so long, they became afraid that they would be cast onto a sand berm so they stripped the ship of its sails. And finally, in verse number 18, Bible tells us they had no choice to cast the ship's cargo overboard to lighten the load. For many days, they remained stuck in the storm. All all, throughout all of this, what do we see of Luke as he tells this story? He doesn't say they them. He says we. It's all hands on deck, though Paul had protested and Luke and Aristarchus had seemingly no say in the decision to sail. They fought beside everyone else to save the ship. I'm sure that every one of those sailors would trade their current situation for the contrary winds that had slowed them down at the beginning. I'm sure that the centurion, the owner of the ship and the majority all wished that they had listened to the lone voice that warned them of the consequences of their decision. Don't you think as they're getting tossed in and buffeted by the storm, the fair havens were looking pretty fair. A little discomfort in winter was probably not looking too bad. All of that was too late. There was no detour they could take this time in order to avoid the situation. It didn't matter how big of a ship or who the crew was. When you're stuck in a hurricane, you're stuck. The storm seemed like the one that would put all of them under. In fact, in verse number 20, it says all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. Caleb, you got little sisters. You know, there's a difference between losing something and having it taken from you. You lose something. It means you misplace it. You don't know where it is. You have something taken from you. I mean, some other force has acted against you. You sailors. Well, Luke says we. Even Luke and Aristarchus and Paul thought, this is it. We're done. Look at verse from twenty one. Does after a long time of silence? After he had been absent and speaking. Paul stood for fourth in the midst of them and said serves. He should have hearkened under me, not have loosed from Crete to have gained this harm and loss. I exhort you to be of good cheer. There shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship for there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am and whom I serve, saying, Fear not Paul, I must be brought before Caesar. Lo God has given the all of them that sail with the wherefore sirs be of good cheer for, I believe God that it shall be, even as it was told me. Paul begins this little statement by rebuking them for not listening to his counsel previously. Say what you want about, I told you SOS, but they would not be in the current situation if they had listened to Paul. Right. It's like telling your kid, don't touch that stove, it's hot. They touch it anyways. What do you say, I told you it was hot. Your mom tells you don't like the battery acid, but it looks so much like chocolate milk, you just can't help yourself if you like it anyways. She's going to say I told you don't lick that. See, the little glass jar of grease that has turned white looks just like vanilla pudding, which you love. So you stick your finger in there after your mom told you to leave it alone. Stick that Greece, that has. Gelled into your mouth. He tells you, I told you to leave that alone. All saying, I told you, if you would have just stayed where you were, you would not have what is he say inversion between one gained this harm and loss? We think of gain, we think of getting something good. Paul says you have gained harm and loss. We're unwilling to put up with some discomfort by wintering in the fair havens, but how uncomfortable were they now that they had ignored his advice? Paul doesn't just speak to point out the obvious. Besides, it's not like he has any joy in their current situation. It's not like is like, yeah, I told you guys, no, it's not. I mean, he's he's probably puked a few times off the side of the ship himself. But he does offer them hope. Offers them hope, which can I remind you, was the thing that was taken away from them. The storm was big. It was bigger than anything they had faced. It was bigger than their attempts to save themselves, remember? They had tried letting the ship drive. They had tried stripping the ship of sails. They had tried lightening the load. Nothing was helping. This storm was bigger. But it wasn't big enough. It wasn't too big for God to reach into and speak to Paul, the storm that had captured them wasn't too big that God couldn't save these men from their own mistakes. Who was it that got them into that storm? Then. These experienced, knowledgeable experts on sailing had gotten themselves into the storm. Paul tells them that God had sent his angel to him in the night, the angel had told Paul that the ship would be lost, but the lives of every person on board would not be. God had a purpose for Paul and their bull headedness would not prevent that from happening. So Paul tells them to be of good cheer. They might have believed Paul, but all believed God. That was going to save them. Paul tells them that they will be cast on an island. The ship would be lost as a consequence for their disregard for counsel, but God would miraculously save their lives from a storm that should have killed them. Is he even their bad decisions, though, their lives would be saved, it would still have consequences. Sure enough, after 14 days in the storm, the sailors in verse number twenty seven begin to see signs that they are getting close to land. They begin taking soundings to check the depth of the water in verse number twenty eight. And sure enough, the water was getting shallower. They were getting close to land, and so the men on board start to panic. In verse number twenty nine, the Bible tells us that they cast out the ship's anchors to try and stop their drift towards the island. They hoped that this would stop the ship's movement. The Bible says they longed for the Sun. Why then, maybe they can make out the land before they crashed on it, though, Paul had given them hope, you could almost say that things had to get worse before they got better. In verse number 30. Several of the sailors prepare the lifeboat, which they had saved earlier through much work. Paul tells the Centurion in verse number thirty one, except these abide in the ship, you cannot be saved. To me, this is the. Climax of the story, I know there's still a lot to happen, but this is the point. It's the point of testing. You see, once again, Paul was up against the majority opinion, the majority opinion was to man the lifeboats abandon ship. Paul says you either stay or we will not be saved. The last time this happened, this sectarian had ignored Paul for the majority. This time he listens to Paul. Verse number thirty two The Bible says the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, let her fall off. It let the lifeboat go. No lifeboat. Now you're stuck. See, they were now totally committed to Paul's way of doing things, which we know was really God's way. But now they had nothing to fall back on. I had several teenagers as a youth pastor who would surrender to the ministry of some some sort and. Several times there were parents. It's their decision to do this, but would require their son or daughter to go and get a secular degree before they would go and get a theological degree so that they would have something to fall back on. There is not there's not a single one of kids that actually ended up in the ministry. They all went and got degrees to be a CPA, to be a nurse, do all sorts of things and just stuck with that career. It's different when you have something to fall back on. These men had nothing left. They were in the ship. There was no light lifeboat. Is the morning of the 14th day arose in verse thirty three? Paul gathers the men and implores them to eat something. He tells the Record, tells us they had been fasting. For 14 days. So dire was their situation, there was not time to eat. They were completely consumed with trying to maintain their lives. It's been slow before he reminds them that they will all be saved. Paul, publicly thanks God and verse thirty five, and I'm sure it's not just a prayer of bless this bunch as we munch on lunch. I'm sure it's a prayer of Thanksgiving for the salvation that has not yet been realized, but has been promised. Once they had gotten their fill, they threw out the leftover food they had on board and verse number thirty six, the Bible says that they all eight and were of good cheer. It's amazing how your mood improves after you eat something. I see what the time is. Don't worry, I'm hungry to. First, thirty nine. When it was day. They knew not the land, but they discovered a certain creek with a shore into the which they were minded if it were possible to thrust in the ship. They didn't know what island that they were looking at, didn't know what this place was, that they had found that they were getting close to, but they saw a spot on the on the coast that looked hospitable for them to beached the ship. They raised the anchors. Disconnected the rudder. Raised the sale. They didn't quite make it to shore. Vers, or forty one, it says, falling into a place where two CS met, they ran the ship aground. The four part stuck fast and remained unmovable, but the Hind part was broken with the violence of the waves. The ship became stuck at the front of it, was stuck, the back was still loose and so as the waves came and crashed against the ship, the back part was becoming unstable and it was clear that it would soon break apart. And so as the ship is in the final stages of its existence, the soldiers said everyone has to act quickly. They have to get off the ship before it breaks apart. But the Roman custom in this circumstance was to kill all the prisoners on board, lest they should escape. So the soldiers prepared to quickly dispatch with their training. When Julius, stop them. Very courteous of him, don't you think? Courteous flip Polish go ashore, courteous to let Paul stay alive. Julius commands everyone. And verse 43. To. Swim for the shore. Says commanded them that they should they which could swim, should cast themselves first into the sea and get to land and the rest, someone boards and someone broke. Broken pieces of the ship. So it came to pass, escaped, all safe to land. Into the water, they plunged, those that could swim did. Others grabbed a boogie board and kicked their way back to the shore. One by one. Every single one of the two hundred and seventy six people on board made it to the beach. For the first time in 14 days, they were not being tossed by the sea. Remember when you used to go to the amusement parks, maybe you still do, you'd ride the roller coasters and that night you would lay down in bed and you would still feel like you were perhaps on some of the rides. Are you familiar with that feeling? Maybe, maybe you spent a lot of time on boats. And so you know what it feels like to get off the boat and you still feel like you're bobbing. Imagine what they must have felt like after 14 days of being pummeled by the sea. For the first time in 14 days, they felt like they were safe. The time that they had left Saigon to now. Julius and his prisoners had faced one problem after another. They had tried almost literally everything humanly possible to fix their problems. But instead, things had progressively gotten worse and worse and worse. When Paul made a suggestion about staying somewhere uncomfortable instead of continuing to press forward. They rejected his counsel. And as a result, the inconveniences and discomfort of the past looked incredibly tame compared to the violence and the danger of the typhoon that they ended up in. On the way, though, they learned that the majority isn't always right. They learned that the majority isn't always right. On the way they learned that man's ideas and attempts to fix his problems don't always work. Through great pain and consequence, Julius and his crew learned that it is always better to heed godly counsel. Even when godly counsel means discomfort. It won't be comparable to the discomfort of ignoring it. I believe Julius knew Paul was a godly man. But he ignored them anyways. Sometimes our lives feel kind of like this trip through the Mediterranean. Things never seem to be going our way. We try to work around the resistance that comes against us. We try to take different paths hoping for better results. We think that if we can just escape our current set of circumstances, we'll have smoother sailing. Maybe we even identify some things that we know need to change if we're going to have a better, easier life. We think that if we can replace the people in our lives, we'll have less issues. If I can just get away from them then then all my problems will be fixed. We think that if we had better things, maybe a bigger ship, we wouldn't be so dissatisfied with our life. You see what how this mirrors what you and I go through. Over and over again, we try to overcome our circumstances with our own abilities, our own ingenuity, our own creativity. Sometimes we're able to make slow, painful progress. They did. Let's go under Cyprus and get some. It worked. It lost a lot of time. It was a struggle, but they got there. Let's go under Crete. The winds are contrary. Yeah, they went under great and they made it to the fair havens. Sometimes, though, your rock laden blows it and it doesn't matter what you try to do. You can't just keep it. Sometimes. God sends us a godly counselor. To help us avoid the pain and futility of living a life of our own design. The position of these councilors are varied. God might send you a counselor in the form of a Christian friend. Someone that you've known for a while that speaks truth into your life. It could be a Christian family member. Maybe you're a young adult and your parents are still trying to offer you advice and you're like, Just let me live my life, how I want to live it. To be a preacher. Or even a stranger? Anybody else ever had a complete total stranger? Offer a word of advice. Godly counsel usually has some form of discomfort tied to it. You need to be reading your Bible. That takes a little bit of discomfort. You need to give. But that takes some discomfort. You need to keep your mind pure. That takes a little bit of discomfort. So instead of going through temporary discomfort and following God, instead, we push forward with life according to our plans and our methods. And as a result, we end up driving ourselves into a greater mess than we were in before. What if Paul could have gone back and given the sailors the choice between winter in the fair havens versus sailing through your chocolate on? What do you think they would have chosen? Temporary discomfort. Near death. I'll take a little bit of discomfort. What if you could see the end results of your decisions? What if you could see the end results of the methods and lifestyle that you are shaping for your family where that will lead you and your spouse? Fifteen years from now, where that will leave you and your children ten years from now, how will your parenting style affect your kids parenting style, which will then affect your grandchildren? What if we could see the end result of the decisions we're making as a church 15 years from now? With Halloween Godly Counsel. Are we putting up with a little temporary discomfort for following God as opposed to the tragedies of following ourselves? See, that's the thing with identity. You and I are capable of forming our own identity. I didn't create myself. Somebody else did. I didn't form myself. God did. He knows everything about me. So he knows what's best for me. I didn't I can't write the best story for my life. Only God can do that. And if I continue to push forward with my own way, then I will find myself in a storm that I cannot escape. Maybe this morning you feel like you're in a storm that you cannot get out of. Life's circumstances for you seem to be insurmountable, like a hurricane. That you can't get out of. You realize no matter how big of a storm you've gotten yourself into. God is bigger than your storm. You may have gotten yourself into a storm of addiction. God is bigger than your addiction. You may have gotten into a storm of a family crisis. God is bigger than your crisis. There may be so much pain. There may be so much brokenness and damage that you think this will never be fixed. God is bigger than all that. If God can pull two hundred and seventy six men out of Iraq killed on. Don't you think he could save you to? I'm not saying there won't be consequences because there were consequences. They lost their ship. They lost all their goods, which means they lost all their income, but they had their lives. A man asked his fellow believer how he was doing. Man answered. Well, I suppose I'm doing all right under the circumstances. First man answered back. And you place your hope and confidence in God, he can keep you above the circumstances. God gives us all godly counsel from different places. Maybe it's from this pulpit, maybe it's from your Sunday school class, maybe it's from a good friend or a family member. You're willing to listen to godly counsel. Or are you so stuck in your path? They say, no, I am unwilling to put up with any discomfort, and I would rather push forward into tragedy. Are you in a storm today? Do you believe that God is bigger than your storm? Do you believe that God can overrule the mistakes you've made in your life? I believe you can. Paul said, I believe God. What did you believe in for it that he could get him out of the storm? And get you out of your storm, too, if you'll turn to him. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day. Thank you for the good attention of your people. Thank you for the amazing picture that we have here in Chapter twenty seven of what we so often do with our lives, pushing forward, dealing with the problems in our own, our own strength. Not all the time you've got. Godly counsel from your word and from your people that want to help us avoid the the tragedies in the storms of life. What I pray that today you'd speak to our hearts and use your Holy Spirit to convict us. There's somebody here this morning that is pushing forward with their own path in disregard to your will and what you would have them to do. I pray that today they would stop. Sailing in the direction they're going. They were he'd godly counsel. They would seek to deal with life your way instead of their own. Maybe there's somebody here this morning that's in a storm of their own making. Or I pray that you would. Strengthen them and encourage them in the fact that you are bigger than any storm, even the ones that we make ourselves. Or I ask that you would be at work in our lives here today. There's a decision that needs to be made. We would make that decision, I wouldn't be afraid of what other people think of us. We would turn to you. Or if there's someone here today that doesn't know you as their savior. All they know is their own way, I pray that this morning they would realize there's a better way to live. Then on our own strength. It would come to you, Lord, for forgiveness of sins, power of your Holy Spirit. Lord, will, thank you for what you do here during this time, it's in Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Latest Sermon

Joshua 14:1-15