Summary: What should we do? 1. Be grateful to God (vs. 1-2; 10). 2. Have servant hearts (vs. 3). 3. Strongly trust in our Savior (vs. 3-5). 4. Give the glory to God (vs. 5-6). 5. Be a blessing to other people (vs. 7-9).
If God Gives Us Another Day in this World...
The Book of Acts - Part 91
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 19, 2015
*Please open your Bibles to Acts 28, as we focus on what to do, if God gives us another day in this world. In this last chapter of Acts, the Apostle Paul had been an innocent political prisoner of the Roman Empire for over two years.
*Paul was a prisoner for only one reason, and that was preaching the truth about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As a Roman citizen, Paul had the right to appeal his case to Caesar, and in Acts 25:1-12, the Apostle was forced to take this legal step. Paul's appeal seemed necessary to escape the murderous intentions of the Christ-rejecting Jewish rulers in Jerusalem. But Paul's appeal to Caesar also seems to be God's way of getting Paul to Rome. And I say that because the Lord had already promised Paul he would get to witness for Christ in Rome.
*Paul had been arrested by the Romans in Acts 21:33 after the Jews stirred up a vicious riot against him. Then two nights later in Acts 23:11, "the Lord stood by him and said, 'Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.'''
*Once Paul appealed his case to Caesar, Acts 27:1 tells us that the Roman authorities decided to send Paul and some other prisoners to Italy by ship. Thankfully, Paul was accompanied by Luke and some other Christian friends. Then in Acts 27:14, the ship was caught by a terrible storm. Two hundred and seventy-six people were on that ship. They all almost died, and they would have died, if Paul hadn't prayed.
*Acts 27:20-26 gives this report:
20. Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
21. 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.
22. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
23. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve,
24. saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.'
25. Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.
26. However, we must run aground on a certain island.''
*Acts 27:41-44 adds this information about the shipwreck:
41. But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves.
42. Now the soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape.
43. But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land,
44. and the rest, some on boards and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.
*Now here in Acts 28, we see what happened next. Let's begin by reading vs. 1-10. And as we read, please think about what we should do, if God gives us another day in this world.
*I surely don't appreciate this truth as much as I should, but every day of life is a gift from God. In fact, every breath is a gift from God.
*Daniel spoke to wicked King Belshazzar about the judgment that was soon to fall on him. And here is part of what the prophet said in Daniel 5:23: "You have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. . . and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified."
*God holds our breath in His Hands, and He is protecting us moment by moment. By His amazing grace, God has let me live longer than my brother, my father, my grandfather, and my great-grandfather.
*Today, the Lord has given me another day to live in this world. The same thing was true of the 276 men on board that wrecked ship. And the same thing is true of you. So, if God gives us another day in this world, what should we do?
1. FIRST: WE SHOULD BE GRATEFUL TO GOD.