Tag: storms at sea

Rough sailing to Rome!

Scripture reading for July 9th: Acts 27:1-20

Paul knew he was to stand before Caesar to testify of the Gospel.  (Acts 23:11)  The Lord had appeared to him to encourage him nearly two years earlier and told him what was to come.  Now the time to sail to Rome was at hand.  The voyage was being paid for by the Roman government and Paul had personal bodyguards and escorts.  A centurion named Julius was over the prisoners and was especially kind to Paul.  The progress was slow, because of contrary winds and it was late in the season to travel North.

Paul urged the centurion not to travel onward because of the possible loss of ship, cargo and lives.  (Acts 27:9-10)  But the centurion listened to the pilot and ship owner and sailed on towards another harbor on Crete.  A storm of hurricane proportions swept down on the ship and continued for many days.  They ended up throwing the cargo overboard and tying the ship together with ropes.  The storm continued and they all thought that they would die at sea.  Paul stood up and spoke to the crew and prisoners.  “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.  But now I urge you to keep your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.  Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said “Do not be afraid, Paul.  You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” (Acts 27:21b-24)

God is faithful to His servants.  God gave Paul wisdom that helped him and those with him survive a difficult and possibly fatal storm. He was given a word of wisdom by God that gave courage to go on.  God never promises His servants that that they won’t suffer through trials, but He does promise grace for every trial!  He used this storm to accomplish His purposes!   If you are going through a storm today, look for the Lord’s guidance to His desired destination in your life!

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Stay With the Ship!

Scripture reading for November 17th: Acts 27-28

When God has His hand on your life and you are in His will, He will care for you.  This doesn’t mean that your life will be trouble free and that you will have clear sailing from start to finish!  The health, wealth, and prosperity message may seem encouraging, but reality is sometimes different.  God does take care of all our needs if we follow Him and listen along the way.  He is working out His purposes, not ours!

Paul, in the custody of a Roman centurion named Julius, was taken by ship on the two thousand mile journey to appear in Rome before Caesar.  This journey began in late fall, at the end of the shipping season and because of this faced some dangers from incoming early storms of the winter season.  The journey was in several stages and the progress was slower than expected because of contrary winds that kept the ship from making progress.  Paul warned the centurion and soldiers of the approaching dangers of sailing late in the season.  Loss of life and cargo as well as the ship were probable.  (Acts 27:9-11)  The centurion ignored Paul and found another ship willing to sail on to a better harbor to winter in.

Things looked good when they set out, but soon a violent wind swept in and tossed the ship and its occupants.  The ship was unable to be directed because of the wind and waves.  The storm continued many days and they threw cargo overboard and lashed the ship with ropes to try to hold it together.  They gave up all hope of being saved and refused to eat.  At this point, Paul addressed the group and encouraged them with a word from the Lord.  They would all be saved but the ship would run aground and be lost.  God had spoken!  (Acts 27:21-26)

On the fourteenth night of the storm, the sailors sensed they were approaching land.   Some sailors attempted to escape by lifeboat, but Paul warned them they must stay with the ship.  “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” (Acts 27:31)  It turned out that all were saved and made it to land.  Obedience to God is important.  We must stay with the ship of Jesus Christ to be saved!  There are no other lifeboats to take us safely to heaven’s shores!

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