10.21.07 AM Smyrna Assembly Pastor Shell Osbon
“Are You Anchored In The Storm? - Pt 3”
Acts 27:13-29 says, 13“When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. 14But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon (a violent agitation). 15So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive. 16And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty. 17When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail and so were driven. 18And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. 19On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands. 20Now 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. 21But 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. 22And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. 26However, we must run aground on a certain island.’ 27Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors sensed that they were drawing near some land. 28And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms. 29Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come.”Intro
Part 1 & Part 2 Review
1. When You’re In A Storm, You Cannot Depend On Human Wisdom
The sailors that were traveling with Paul were skilled and knowledgeable men. They knew what to do when they found themselves caught in a storm so they begin to lighten the ship’s load and even threw the tackle overboard.
One of the most difficult things to do when you’re going through a storm will be to resist the temptation to handle your storms in the way that you think they should be handled.
2. When You’re In A Storm, You Can Depend On Godly Wisdom
After the sailors had done all that they knew to do, Paul stands up and gives them the “Word of the Lord” to let them know that they will all survive the storm they were in.
Whenever you’re in the middle of a storm, you need to remember that God will still be talking to you, you can depend on whatever He tells you and that He will bring you through every storm that you ever face!
3. When You’re In A Storm, You Need To Drop Some Anchors
Acts 4:29 says, “Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come.”
A. The Anchor of Prayer
Jeremiah 33:3 God says, “Call unto Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”
Whenever a storm comes your way, don’t be like these sailors and let prayer be the last thing that you do. Drop to your knees and pray before you try to do anything else!
B. The Anchor of Fellowship
Hebrews 10:25 Living Bible says, “Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near.”
So many times, Christians make the mistake of pulling away from their church whenever they are going through a storm. Satan knows that if he can get you separated from the rest of the Body that you are an easy target for him.
C. The Anchor of Faithfulness
Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not lose heart.”
Sometimes when people are going through a storm, they will quit being faithful to the ministry that God has called them to.
Another tragedy that often happens when some people are going through a storm, is that they stop being faithful to God in the area of giving.
2 Corinthians 8:1-4 Contemporary English Version says, 1“We want you to know that the churches in Macedonia have shown others how kind God is. 2Although they were going through hard times and were very poor, they were glad to give generously. 3They gave as much as they could afford, and even more, simply because they wanted to. 4They even asked and begged us to let them have the joy of giving their money for God’s people.”
The Macedonian Christians were going through an incredible storm but they still remained faithful in their giving. In fact, the text tells us that they “begged” Paul to allow them the opportunity to give.
Giving to the Lord is not a financial decision. Giving to the Lord is a spiritual decision.
1 Kings 17:8-12 says, 8“The word of the Lord came to Elijah, saying, 9‘Go to Zarephath and dwell there. I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.’ 10So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the city, a widow was there gathering sticks and he called to her and said, “‘Please bring me a little water in a cup that I may drink.’ 11As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, ‘Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.’ 12She said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar. I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.’”
This widow woman was in the most difficult storm of her entire life. She only had enough flour and oil to bake one final meal for she and her son and she knew that death was imminent.
1 Kings 17:13-16 says, 13“Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear. Go and do as you have said but make me a small cake first and bring it to me. Afterward make some for yourself and your son. 14For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ 15So she did according to the word of Elijah and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16The bin of flour was not used up nor did the jar of oil run dry according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.” Because this widow woman was willing to trust and obey, God miraculously caused her flour and oil to never run out!
Psalm 37:21 New Living Translation says, “The godly are generous givers.”
Billy Graham says, “The key word of the dedicated Christian should be ‘give.’ Charitable contributions speak eloquently of your unselfish Christian generosity.”
God blesses us so that we can be a blessing and that He desires for us to be a river of His blessings and not a reservoir!
Less than 5% of American Christians tithe. If every church member were to tithe, there would be an additional $131 billion available for God’s work (Julia Duin in “The Philanthropy Roundtable”).
On the way home from church one morning, a mother said, “The music was awful this morning.” The father said, “The sermon was too long.” Their 7 year old daughter said, “But you’ve got to admit, it was a pretty good show for a dollar.”
Deuteronomy 14:23 The Living Bible says, “The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your lives.”
Psychiatrist Karl Minninger once said, “Generous people are rarely mentally ill.”
Ron Blue (Christian financial advisor) said, “You can’t fake stewardship. A person who has been a Christian for even a short while can fake prayer, Bible study, evangelism, going to church and so on, but he can’t fake what his checkbook reveals.”
God can be trusted even when you’re in a financial storm! In fact, He will prove Himself to be your Provider even when you’re out of a job as He makes a way where there seems to be no way!
Proverbs 10:25 Living Bible says, “Disaster strikes like a cyclone and the wicked are whirled away but the good man has a strong anchor.”
“Are You Anchored In The Storm?” If so, please remember:
1. You Cannot Depend On Human Wisdom
2. You Can Depend On Godly Wisdom
3. You Need To Drop Some Anchors
a. The Anchor Of Prayer
b. The Anchor Of Fellowship
c. The Anchor Of Faithfulness
d. The Anchor Of Hope