“And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing. Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat. Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves. And in all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship.”
Acts 27:33-37 NKJV
Sure, steady anchor
God has given the church of Jesus Christ an open door. Our world is increasingly out of control, and the effects are manifesting in the lives of people everywhere. Even as all seems abysmal, the people of God have a sure and steady anchor in the midst of the storm. We have the opportunity to demonstrate the loving power of the God we worship.
Paul was preparing to go to Rome in Acts chapter 27, where he would take the Gospel of Jesus to the western world. As they were preparing to set sail, Paul could tell that the weather was not good for travel and warned of impending doom if they continued. The Fast had come and gone, as the passing of the Day of Atonement signaled the coming of winter and harsh seas.
As I read the passage, I reflected on the season we find ourselves in now. Those of us who read and believe the Book, sense the coming change in weather. We are seeing the signs and trying desperately to warn society of the coming doom, as our world careens toward abyss.
Like the world today, the powers that be did not heed the warnings of Paul, and once at sea, bad things began to happened.
We are adrift on perilous seas, as all the warnings of God have been ignored. We explain the consequences our sin, and accept the diminished state of our lives as “progress.” The skies are darkening and the winds are growing more brisk.
Even now, as the waves are splashing over the bow, the world ignores the church, and is even seeking its demise.
Paul stood in the midst of the crew and all those on the ship, and proclaimed the assurance he had received from Jesus. Paul knew that God is sovereign and that his ministry must be completed.
“But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. However, we must run aground on a certain island.””
Acts 27:21-26 NKJV
God’s hand was on all of it, every detail, as He had even chosen the island in which they must run a ground.
God is in control of all the things that are happening in our world today. He has a plan and He is bringing it about. He is preparing the earth and his people for His finished work. We who call upon the name of the Lord, know that He is soverign and in control. He has told us beforehand of the peril to come, and is now here.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
II Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV
He has also told us that He is coming again.
One of the greatest temptations in these times is to give in to the flow, and panic like everyone else. As chaos was reigning on the ship, Paul remained calm and consistently demonstrated his faith in Jesus. He showed his love and compassion for the crew, urging to eat, reassuring them of their survival if they followed God’s plan.
The Holy Spirit was working in that situation, as Paul’s witness was effective and he was able to comfort all aboard the doomed ship. All made it safely to shore.
Brothers and sisters, let us be a comfort for all those who are aboard this doomed ship called earth. Let us be faithful to go and tell of Jesus, the one who can forgive them from their sins, and give them peace with God. We are on a rescue mission and all who come to Jesus will be saved from one wrath to come. As all is stormy and the waves crashing, He is our sure, steady anchor on these stormy seas.
Christ the sure and steady anchor
in the fury of the storm
When the winds of doubt blow through me and my sails have all been torn
In the suffering, in the sorrow
when my sinking hopes are few
I will hold fast to the anchor
it shall never be removed
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