Summary: A sermon to provoke people to action towards Christ after passing through a trial or storm of life.
Intro: (reported in the Sun Sentinel) Arthur Levon Davis Jr., age 56, died on Sept 27, 2004, two days after Hurricane Jeanne swept through South Florida. The man was repairing the roof of Dixie Shoes when he fell two stories. An experienced roofer, he failed to realize the danger while working on the weakened structure. His mother, Aletha Davis, said, “You’re in a different frame of mind after a hurricane.”
Reports the Sentinel, “That might be one reason why the mundane can be so deadly in the AFTERMATH OF A STORM—survivors are in a different frame of mind, glad to have survived yet unaware of the existing danger around them.
Furthermore, the Sentinel examined and categorized storm deaths reported by medical examiners across Florida in the past two years, confirming the well-known admonition from authorities, far more people die after a storm than during it.
Transition: Many times it is easy to recognize when you are in a storm, but many times we don’t recognize the danger that still exists after the storm has passed.
It’s not enough to just make it through the storm. We must continue forward.
Text: Acts 28:1-10 [read text]
Context: Paul and his companions have just passed through the worst storm of their lives. On the third day after being driven in front of Euroclydon (northeasterly gale-force winds), they had despaired of life. In a desperate attempt to preserve their lives, they lightened the ship, throwing out the cargo and the tackle. After a total of 14 days of fasting, they come near land. [Recount the events of the morning] Ship hits the reef, and everyone must swim for their lives or make it to land some other way. Everyone’s life has been saved.
Outline: AFTER THE STORM
I. Strange Environment – Mélita (Malta), St. Thomas Bay
a. Paul finds himself on an island that he has never been before. While he has escaped the sea, he must deal with the situation at hand.
b. Application: After the storm, yes the deadly storm seems to have passed, but because of the surge of events, emotions linger with us. We’re not the same as we used to be. Things around us physically might not have changed, but inside we have changed.
II. Cold Rain and Wind is Blowing
a. Though the storm has past, the cold rain and wind make for misery. If Paul doesn’t do something about the situation, chill will overtake him.
b. Application: After the storm is a dangerous time. Character has been pressed. Emotions have been experienced, and reflections upon the string of events are like cold rain and wind blowing on an already frigid soul.
III. Rekindle the Fire
a. Paul puts forth EFFORT to gather sticks and rekindle the fire. He recognizes that to last, the fire must be fed.
1. The fire would comfort them.
2. The fire would change their condition (cold & wet to warm).
3. The fire would guard them from the elements.
b. Application: We must kindle a fire in our soul AFTER THE STORM
1. The Holy Ghost fire will comfort you.
2. The Holy Ghost fire will change your condition.
3. The Holy Ghost fire will guard you from this world.
c. To many are waiting on someone else to kindle the fire for them
i. Waiting on the evangelist to preach it down.
ii. Waiting on the pastor to pray it down.
d. Our very lives depend on keeping that fire burning
IV. This fire brought out the serpent
a. Sting of the enemy’s anger, for kindling the fire.
i. Criticism of others-declared Paul sinful
ii. Criticism of others-any negativity/sting
b. Paul shakes the snake off into the fire
i. Paul focused on building the fire, NOT the sting
ii. Paul did not defend himself to the others
c. Paul felt NO HARM
i. He wouldn’t let the criticism slow him down
V. The fire was only the beginning
a. A revival that turned CRITICS into CONVERTS
b. A revival that OPENED DOORS
c. A revival that SPREADS (over the entire island)