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Summary: This message, using the backdrop of Paul's shipwreck on Melita, reveals some principles of commitment to Christ.

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The Character

Of

True Commitment

Text: Acts 27:9-10, 22-25

Intro: The word “committed” is found but twice in Acts chapters 27 and 28. And even there it does not refer to the Christian’s commitment to God. However, I find in these two chapters, a number of principles of Christian commitment that we would do well to take note of, and to practice in our daily lives.

What is true commitment? How can we tell if a person is really committed to the Lord? Are we to assume that a gung-ho attitude about good works is evidence of real commitment to Christ? Is commitment merely a fair-weather quality, or is it deeper than that—something that will take one through the difficult storms of the Christian life?

As we look into Acts 27 and 28, we find the Apostle Paul in one of many predicaments he faced in his tumultuous life and ministry. However, throughout Paul’s trials and tribulations, he remained faithfully committed to His Savior and Lord. In spite of beatings, constant criticism, and even death threats, this great man of God never quit on God. He remained steadfastly committed to the Lord Jesus.

When we pick up Paul’s story, in Acts 27, he has just come from a hearing before Festus and Agrippa, in which the Jews had accused Paul of sedition against the Roman Empire, and sacrilege against the temple of the Jews. Paul is on his way to Rome to appeal his case before Caesar. The circumstances of this fateful voyage give us much insight into how true commitment to Christ responds in life’s upheavals. The principles found here should help us to take stock of our own commitment to the Lord. It should also help us to see if our commitment and faithfulness to God is real, or mere religious rhetoric.

Theme: The character of true commitment is demonstrated in…

I. LIFE’S STORMS

A. Commitment Is Seen In Our Surrender In The Storms.

Acts 27:14 “But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.

15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.

16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:

17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands (“sandbars of Syrtis”1), strake sail, and so were driven.”

NOTE: [1] The analogy has been used many times, but it still illustrates my point. Just as a stiff, and unyielding tree is quickly broken by the high winds of a storm, even so will the Christian be broken, who angrily refuses to yield and submit themselves in the storms of life. It is its ability to bend and yield itself to the assaulting storm winds that prevents a tree’s destruction. In the same way, the Christian’s willingness to be shaped and stretched by God in the trials of life will find that not only will they survive the ordeal, but that their walk with God will be strengthened.

[2] The committed Christian will learn that if it isn’t possible to “…bear up into the wind…(v. 15)” in one of life’s storms, then the only answer is to yield one’s self to God in it, to see if God is using the storm to drive you in a different direction. You see God had an assignment for Paul on the island of Melita. That’s precisely where the ocean storm took him. What may appear to be disaster to us may actually be direction from God. We must learn to yield ourselves to God in the storms, and see what beauty He may bring from it.

I Almost Failed to Give Him the Key

The early years of the 19th century were troubled times in the German confederation. Rumors of revolution and rioting had the federated government in panic. Klemens von Metternich, the chief statesman of the confederation, ordered thousands of young men drafted into the army to guard the borders and put down internal revolts. Across the countryside, young men in uniform tramped off to an unknown destiny.

In one German village stood a grand old stone-walled church with an ornately carved facade, beautiful stained glass, and a stately pipe organ. The organ was famed throughout the region for its beautiful, rich tone. One day the aged caretaker of the church was interrupted during his chores by a knock on the great oak door of the sanctuary. He opened the door to find a young man in uniform on the steps.

“Sir, I have a favor to ask,” the young soldier began. “Would you please permit me to play the organ for one hour?”

“I’m sorry, young man,” the caretaker replied. “No one but our own organist is permitted to play the organ.”

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