Summary: Just because we have been bit by a snake we do not have to lie down and die, difference makers shake off the snake and stay the course
Snakes are horrible creatures. They are sneaky; they lie dormant in the cold they are hardly noticeable, they come out in the heat and some strike and bite for no reason. Now you know why I do not like snakes.
Snakes are cunning.
1. In the Garden it was a snake/serpent that tempted Eve
2. He twisted God’s word
3. Snakes speak with a forked tongue
4. Satan is equated with snakes.
5. Ever since the beginning of time, the snake/Satan tried to thwart God.
Paul had been snake bit
1. In his first evangelistic adventure he had to be lowered down in a basket at night to escape the city with his life
2. Fellow Christians did not trust him for many years
3. His Fellow Jews tried to kill him
4. He was imprisoned
a. He was stoned and left for dead
5. If that were not enough, now while trying to keep the fire going, he is snake bit.
6. Paul could have thought, maybe God does not want me to reach Rome after all.
7. Yet Paul knew he was still in the center of God’s will.
Many Christians may feel the same.
1. They had the fire
2. Tragedy struck
a. Job loss
b. Friends loss
d. Trials and tribulations of all sorts
e. Storms that blow us off course.
3. Hurt, talked about, overtaken in sin, afflicted,
4. It would be very easy to say, I guess God does not want me to do this anymore.
Just because you been snakebite, you don’t have to lie down and die!
Many around us have come through the storms. This is what Paul is talking about in the Pastoral letters when he commends Timothy and Titus to let the older Christians teach the younger one. Let the ones who came through the storms, who have been snake bit, to teach the younger how to shake the snake off.
How to shake the snake off
1. Keep paddling
a. Paul and the others were shipwrecked
b. They paddled their way to shore
2. Keep the fire burning
a. Revivals depend on the Christians to light the fire and keep it burning
i. Draw near to God (prayer/bible study)
ii. Hold unswervingly (keep the course) Fix our eyes on the prize.
iii. Have fellowship
1. To spur one another on
2. to encourage one another
3. to strengthen one another
4. To help each other shake off the snake.
Paul shook off the snake into the fire, well no problem, he might as well get used to it, because he is going to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.
Jesus said “Get behind me Satan.” He also said “resist Satan and he will flee” that is not just put up with him, tell him where to go, tell him to leave. He is afraid of our big brother.
The world is watching, just like the people on that beach. They waited to see Paul bloat and die. But when he didn’t it opened the doors to evangelism. Shake off the snake, put him in the fire, and tell the world how good God is.