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Acts 27

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Acts 27

What was the most frightening experience you ever had?  How did you respond or react to that experience?

ILL: Over the Himalayas going to Tibet, the plane dipped.  Short experience and hope wavered.  Paul and Luke were in the ship 14 days.  Paul demonstrated courageous leadership.  Why?: Prayer; Trust/Faith in God/He obeyed God by going and completing his task.

My purpose is in coming into the New Milleneal year, you will be motivated to incorporate three vital spiritual componenets into your life: 1.)  prayer; 2.) Trust/Faith  3.)  and to Go in God’s name (to obey God and do His will).

Background: Paul arrives in Jerusalem on May 27 (Passover), 57 AD.  Arrested and appears before the Sanhedrin a few days later.  Next day, before Felix, and then before Felix & Druscilla, and left in prison for 2 years (bribe & favor to Jews).  In July, 59, he’s brought before Festus, and Paul makes his appeal to Caesar.  During the first of August, he brings his defense before Agrippa II and Festus.  Festus asks for Agrippa’s help, so he may know what to write to Rome in regards to charges against Paul.

In fact, Luke records in detail Paul’s speeches in the last book of Acts, to possibly serve in defense for Paul.  I.e.: Gallio’s ruling of Paul’s innocence in Corinth.  Later, Paul is acuitted of these charges and then martyred in 67 AD on later charges.

And now in Acts 27, Paul, as a prisoner, is sailing to Rome to stand trial before Caesar.

In 27:1-12, tells us that Paul is under a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment.  He is kind to Paul.

They board a ship and travel slowly against strong winds.

Then they transfer ships and sail once again against strong winds.

They continue on until they land at a place on the island of Crete called Fair Havens.

It was now October; 59 “the fast” (v. 9) was the Jewish Day of Atonement, and on that year it fell in the first half of October.

According to the navigational practice of the time, sailing was considered doubtful after September and impossible by November.

Ancient ships had neither sextant nor compass and in cloudy and dark weather they had no means of finding their way. 

Directed by God, Paul warns the centurion to winter in Fair Havens, as he knows there will be in great danger and disaster if they press on. 

The ship was an Alexandrian corn ship. The owner would be rather the contractor who was bringing the cargo of corn to Rome.

The centurion, being the senior officer on board, had the last word.

It is significant that Paul, the prisoner under arrest, was allowed his say when counsel was being taken.

However, the centurion rejects Paul’s advice, taking the advice of the master and the contractor to sail farther along the coast to Phoenice where there was a more commodious harbour and a bigger town.

Like the centurion we may become impatient and rush ahead and disobey the will of God.

We should not be like the horse that rushes ahead, or the mule that lags behind (Ps. 32:9), but trust God to lead us in His timing.

God is never late, but does not always do things according to our time table.

ILL: Wanted to go on mission field, but worked as a social worker for 1 1/2 years here in TN before God opened the doors.  That time seemed forever, but God knew exactly when it was best for me to go.  Again, we are in the USA for schooling, and looking forward to return to Thailand next summer, but it will be in God’s perfect timing.

Furthermore, the centurion had faith—but his faith was in the wrong people!

God’s wisdom is far above the wisdom of men.

The person who knows the Word of God knows more than the “experts” (Ps. 119:97–104).

While knowledge is important, we also need wisdom (James 1:5).

Let’s begin looking at the passage and drawing applications for us today, particularly in the areas of prayer, faith and going:

13           When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.

The very wind they needed came along and seemed to prove how wrong Paul was.

We must beware of “great opportunities” and “ideal circumstances” that seem to contradict the Word of God.

 

Put your trust in the Word of God and what you know is true.  Seek wisdom when situations come up that appear attractive.

Make sure they don’t go against God’s Word.  Seek counsel and pray.

 

We must be careful to obey God’s Word by faith, even when circumstances seem to prove us wrong.

 

God will be faithful and help you see you through situations.

14           Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the "northeaster," swept down from the island.

 

The balmy south wind soon turned into a terrible storm.

It is a “Northeaster” storm, or hurrican proportions -- a typhoon.

Often, when we disobey the Word of God, we have storms in our life.

God doesn’t do this to be mean, but that we learn to trust in Him and be obedient to Him.

God’s first line of discipline is the Word of God.

Then, God may resort to providence: suffering, crisis, etc., so that we may humble ourselves and cast ourselves on Him.

ILL: We prefer John & Josiah obey us so that we do not have to use other means to discipline.  But when they disobey, we will discipline, because we desire good fruit in their lives.  They don’t like it, but we can see what they can’t see in their immaturity; that it is for their very best.  That is how it is with God’s hand in our lives.  He desires us to obey, but He will discipline us for our best -- so that we will produce good fruit in our lives.

15           The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.

With a favorable wind in their mainsail, these ships could cover about fifty nautical miles in daylight, or ninety miles in twenty-four hours; but they had little resistance to a powerful wind going in a direction they wished to avoid.

  

16           As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure.

17           When the men had hoisted it aboard, they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Fearing that they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along.

18           We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard.

19           On the third day, they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands.

The only place to anchor at Cauda is also exposed to the east-northeast wind and thus could not help them.

Note that Luke uses “we” in this section, indicating that all the crew and prisoners were busy trying to save the ship.

These corn ships were not small.

They could be as large as 140 feet long and 36 feet wide and of 33 feet draught.

But in a storm they had certain grave disadvantages.

They were the same at the bow as at the stern, except that the stern was swept up like a goose's neck.

They had no rudder like a modern ship, but were steered with two great paddles coming out from the stern on each side.

They were, therefore, hard to manage.

Further, they had only one mast and on that mast one great square sail, made sometimes of linen and sometimes of stitched hides.

With a sail like that they could not sail into the wind.

The crew then take 4 measures that was standard in trying to save a ship during the storm:

1.)  Life-boat was taken in (v. 16).

The “boat” or “lifeboat” was used for landings, to maneuver the ship for tacking and so forth.

Sometimes these boats were kept on deck; at other times, as here, they were towed behind.

Here, filled with water or in danger of breaking loose from the ship, it has to be brought on deck to be rescued.

2.)  Ropes/cables were past under and around the ship to bind it so that it won’t fall apart (v. 17).

Worst thing of all, the single mast and the great sail put such a strain on the ship's timbers in a gale that often they started so that the ship foundered.

It was to avoid this that they they passed  “supporting cables” or “ropes” under the ship and drew them tight with their winches so that they braced the ship and held it together like a tied up parcel.

3.)  The anchor would be dragged to serve as a brake, so the ship would not drift further south, along the shoal coast and dangerous quick sand along the north African coast (modern Gulf of Sidra).  Many ships were lost that ventured into this area.

Even in good weather, Alexandrian grain ships sailed northward to Asia and then westward to Italy, rather than directly northwest, because a sudden change in winds could wreck them on this shoal.

Along with the anchor, they would have pulled down part of the sail, leaving enough to steady the ship (v. 17b).

4.)  The next day, they began to lighten the ship by throwoing some of the cargo overboard (v. 18), just as in the days of Jonah centuries earlier.

In crises like this one no distinction is made between valuable and cheap cargo.

By the third day even the gear and tackle was thrown out (v. 19).

 

It would take most of the manpower on deck to lower the yard, or tackle, which was a spar, or mast that could be nearly the ship’s own length—down to the deck.

One would secure it if possible, but in the severity of this storm, they cannot afford the encumbrance created by retaining it.

 

20  When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

 

By comparing v. 27 with v. 19, we learn that the “many days” of v. 20 amounted to eleven days of being in a huge storm!

There was no light and no hope!

Would you have lost hope in this situation?

Well, even Doctor Luke had lost hope!

What a picture of lost souls today, driven in the storm of disobedience and sin, without God, without hope!

But unlike being in the midst of a storm, people don’t even know they are lost.

Satan’s power is in deception.  Satan’s hold on people is only when he can deceive.

That is why it is so important to have the Word of God as our standard.

It is not old fashioned and out-of-date.  If is daily relevent to what philosophies, etc. that we fact to day, and God’s Word is the standard of truth that guides our life.

Well, there was one person who did not lose hope, and that was Paul.  Of 276 men on board the ship, Paul, alone, did not lose hope.

It can easily be seen what peril they were in and to see how they could lose hope.

Then an amazing thing happened: our of necessity Paul took command; the prisoner became the captain, for he was the only man with any courage left.

2 Cor. 11:25 (written in Macedonia on his 3 missionary journey before this experience) states that Paul experienced ship wreck three times and had spend a night and a day in the open sea.  So Paul has experience on the sea - not all of it good!

Scriptures teach us that leadership is always to be done in the form of servanthood, just as the example of our Lord Jesus, and now, Paul.

21           After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: "Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.

So Paul takes command, reminding the men that their plight was the result of not listening to God’s warning.

 

It was not the “I told you so” of a small nature, “but a reference to the wisdom of his former counsel in order to induce acceptance of his present advice.”

22           But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.

23           Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me

24           and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.'

Back in Jerusalem, the hour of darkness came for Paul.

It looked as if he would never see Rome at all.

In that hour of darkness, despair, and defeat, God appeared to him to reassure him. "And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome" (Acts 23:11).

The Lord had assured Paul that he would go to Rome.

And now, once again, the Lord confirmed His Word that Paul shall arrive in Rome.

It is because Paul communicated to God!

The success of preaching hangs on prayer.

GO -- Our passion should be to make known the supremacy of Christ in all of life.

Prayer is the walkie-talkie of the church or the battlefield of the world in the service of the word. 

ILL: When the Gulf War alliance attacked Iraq, we destroyed their ability to communicate, which left each isolated area calling their own shots.  It annialated them and they were ineffective.

We isolate ourselves when we don’t pray!

Prayer is the power that wields the weapon of the word, and the Word and the weapon by which nations will be brought to faith and obedience.

Obviously, this is a very encouraging word to Paul.

It was the only thing they had to hold onto.

It brought Paul hope; and so he had more than a rebuke for them; he also had a message of hope from God (23:11).

How could Paul offer an upbeat message when life on board seemed hopeless?

Because God had promised Paul that he would minister in Rome, and Paul believed God’s Word.

God had spoken. That was enough.

This is Paul’s reason for his own good cheer and for his exhortation to confidence in spite of circumstances so untoward.

Paul had doubtless prayed for his own life and for the lives of all.

He was sure that he was to bear his witness in Rome.

25           So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.

26           Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island."

It is faith in the Word of God that gives us hope and assurance in the storms of life.

God had also told Paul that the ship would be wrecked upon a certain island, but that all the passengers and crew would be saved.

 

How can we be joyful in spite of our circumstances that may not be favorable?

 

Trusting in God!  Taking Him at His Word, such as Romans 8:28 that says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

ILL:

 

 

27           On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land.

28           They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep.

 

Three days later, at midnight, Paul’s words came true.

The sailors heard breakers and knew they were getting near land.

They took several soundings and learned that the water was indeed getting shallower and that land was near.

Soundings were made by throwing a weighted, marked line into the water.

When the lead hit the bottom, sailors could tell the depth of the water from the marks on the rope.

Now a new fear arose: would the boat be dashed on the rocks and everybody killed?

29           Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.

As a safety measure, four anchors were put out, only to be taken in (literally, “cast off”) later on (v. 40).

 

30           In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow.

31           Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, "Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved."

32           So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away.

 

By this time they had lost all control of the ship. She was drifting, broadside on, across the Adriatic; and they could not tell where they were.

In the darkness they heard the crash of breakers on some distant shore; they cast out sea anchors from the stern to slacken the drifting speed of the ship in order to prevent being cast on the rocks that they could not see.

It was then that Paul took the action of a commander.

The sailors planned to escape and sail away in the dinghy, which would have been quite useless for two hundred and seventy-six people; but Paul detected their plan and stopped them.

Note that Paul said in v. 31 “you cannot be saved” and not “we” as though he were thinking only of himself and his friends.

Paul tells the centurion that the only assurance of safety is for all to remain with the ship.

The ship's company must sink or swim together.

 

Paul has put his trust in God.

 

What a wonderful thing it is to trust the Word of God.

The angel of God had told Paul that he and the men would be saved, but they couldn't be saved their way.

They must be saved God's way, and God's way was for them to stay with the ship.

It was a question of believing that God would save them or not believing and taking matters into their own hands.

Paul had told them that he believed God. And he tells them that if they want to be saved, all will need to stay on board the ship.

Paul has given the information to the centurion.

The centurion now listens to Paul.

33           Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. "For the last fourteen days," he said, "you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food-- you haven't eaten anything.

34           Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head."’

 

There was plenty of grain on board, but no appetite to eat (sea-sickness) and no fires to cook it.

Because of the storm, the necessity for constant watch, the lack of food from lightening the ship, and perhaps the desire to fast to please their gods had kept the passengers from eating. they had little heart being left for food.

However, Paul insisted that they should eat from what they had left.

Paul was a visionary man of God; but he was also an intensely practical man. 

He had not the slightest doubt that God would do his part but he also knew that they must do theirs.

He knew that hungry men are not efficient men; and so he gathered the ship's company around him and made them eat.

35        After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.

36           They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.

 

Paul gave thanks to God in the presence of them all.

Paul’s action here is saying grace like the head of a Hebrew family.

Probably Paul and Luke had memories of the Lord’s supper while to others it was only an ordinary meal.

 

This example of Paul would encourage the others to eat. 

The original language here suggests that his words and actions brought both comfort, cheer and courage.

 

During a raging storm, there seems to come a strange calm.

This man of God has somehow made others sure that God is in charge of things.

The most useful people in the world are those who, being themselves calm, bring to others the secret of confidence.

Paul was like that; and every follower of Jesus ought to be steadfast and courageous in the face of  turmoil.

37           Altogether there were 276 of us on board.

38           When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.

39           When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could.

40           Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach.

41           But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.

 

As day broke, they saw a creek on an island, cast off (cut off) the four anchors, and, hoisting the sail, headed for this haven. The front of the ship stuck in the mud, while the stern was beaten by the waves.

 

42           The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping.

43           But the centurion wanted to spare Paul's life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land.

44           The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land in safety.

 

Once again the fine character of this Roman centurion stands out.

Satan was at work, as the soldiers wished to kill the prisoners to prevent possible escape, including Paul.

It is difficult to blame them, because it was Roman law that if a man escaped, his guard must undergo the penalty intended for the escaped prisoner, which in this case probably meant death.

But the centurion stepped in and saved Paul's life and the other prisoners with him. 

God spared 276 people because of one man—the Apostle Paul!

How precious is all of life to God.

Even today, God holds back His judgment on this evil world because the church is still in the world.

B 2 Thessalonians 2 says that when God’s people are taken away, His judgments will fall (2 Thes. 2).

God’s justice will prevail.

Just as Satan tried to prevent Paul from getting to Rome, even today, he will attempt us stop us from going -- from doing God’s will -- from telling others about how they may have eternal peace and security.

But God’s  Word and His will shall prevail!

 

God is never out of control in any given situation.

We can completely trust Him and place our faith in Him.

All else is unstable and likely to falther, but God is not.

You may not be able have trust anyone else in your life, but you can trust God!

How many of us will commit themselves to the trust of a pilot; and yet it is often with great difficulty that we can trust themselves to the providence of God, whose knowledge, power, and goodness, are infinite.

God fulfills his promises - all made it to shore!

 

1  Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta.

2  The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.

This is the island which we know today as Malta

It is an island about 18 miles long and 8 miles wide.

The bay where this took place is known today as Saint Paul's Bay.

Ancient Malta was on the shipping route from Rome to Egypt, whereby empty ships would sail quickly to Alexandria to load up more cargoes.

The Maltese were of Phoenician, but Roman citizens and retired soldiers also lived there, and the island was certainly not considered culturally primitive.

 

Your translation may have the word “barbarians” rather than islanders.

 

Luke uses this term, as  “barbarians” were any people who did not speak Greek = “foreign folk.”

Because they spoke a language and had a different culture, those shipwrecked probably did not expect kind treatment, and we can only  imagine how cold and wet the prisoners were when they arrived on shore!

However, this is not the case -- they were shown unusual kindness.

For three months the party stayed in Malta, and the natives treated them kindly - not the kind of kindness given every day.

 

They did not try  to take advantage of the calamity, such as we often read about today.

Remember, ut of this crowd, many are criminals who are being sent to Rome for punishment, but yet the islanders were compassionate and helpful.

How many of you have been treated kindly when you were not expecting it?

ILL: When we went into Laos, we were along the old Ho Chi Men trail near Viet Nam, and I was concerned how we would be accepted.  But like this passage, we were shown unusual kindness.  Villagers gave of their best and made us feel very welcome.

Friends, part of the Gospel message, is that in Christ, all ethnic, age and relational barriers are broken.

Paul came from an extremely prejudice background.  He went from town to town, persecuting and killing Christians.

Then Jesus appeared and said, “Paul, I am Jesus, who you are persecuting.”

Paul was persecuting Jesus!

Are you persecuting anyone by how you treat them, or even by your attitudes?

Jesus says that if you’ve done it to the least of men, it’s as if you’ve done it to Him.

We need to honor others, whatever their race, social position, etc.

And praise God, God accepts us who we are -- no matter what we have done!

 

7             There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and for three days entertained us hospitably.

8             His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him.

9             When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured.

10           They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.

 

7 Though Paul spent three months (cf. v. 11) on Malta, Luke gives us only one more incident from his stay there--the healing of Publius's father. It is an account much like that of Peter and the crippled beggar (cf. 3:1ff.) in purpose, though not in length. Luke seems to have included it to illustrate the continuing power of Paul's ministry despite his being in Malta as a prisoner destined for a hearing before Caesar. No matter what the circumstances are, the true servant of Christ is, like Paul, never off duty for his Lord.

    As the Roman governor of Malta, Publius had the title "the first man of the island."  As an act of official courtesy, he brought the survivors of the wreck to his estate and entertained them for three days while their respective situations were sorted out and arrangements made for their lodgings over the winter elsewhere on the island. Luke's reference to the governor only by his praenomen, though remarkable, was not exceptional in the ancient world. Perhaps the islanders regularly spoke of the governor simply by his first name, and Luke, who had no great sympathy for Roman nomenclature, simply reported the name he heard in common use. Or perhaps this use of the first name reflects the friendly relationship that had developed between Publius, Paul, and Luke during those three months.

8-9 The malady the father of Publius was suffering from may have been Malta fever, which was long common in Malta, Gibraltar, and other Mediterranean locales. In 1887 its cause, the microorganism Micrococcus melitensis, was discovered and traced to the milk of Maltese goats. A vaccine for its treatment has been developed. Cases of Malta fever are long-lasting--an average of four months, but in some cases lasting two or three years. Luke uses the plural pyretois ("fevers") in his description, probably with reference to the way it affects its victims with intermittent attacks.

    After Paul had healed Publius's father-in-law through prayer and laying on of hands, "the rest of the sick on the island" came to him and were healed. Luke's use of "the rest" (hoi loipoi), implying that all the island's sick flocked to Paul and that he healed them all, is doubtless somewhat hyperbolical. What Luke is telling us is that Paul's ministry to those he met consisted in both proclaiming the Good News of Christ Jesus and healing them physically. Luke's inclusion of this vignette prepares for the climax of his book-- Paul's entrance into Rome and the triumphant note "without hindrance" (akolytos) on which his two volumes end (cf. v. 31).

10 As a result of Paul's ministry during his months on Malta, the islanders honored him and his party in many ways. Paul was no god, as they had soon learned. But he was a messenger of the one true God, with good news of life and wholeness in Jesus Christ. In carrying out his God-given commission, Paul gave of himself unstintingly on behalf of people. That they appreciated his ministry is evidenced by their giving him and his colleagues supplies for the rest of their journey.

    From what Luke tells us it seems that Paul may have looked on his stay in Malta as a high point in his ministry--a time of blessing when God worked in marvelous ways, despite the shipwreck and his being still a prisoner. God seems, through the experiences at Malta, to have been refreshing Paul's spirit after the two relatively bleak years at Caesarea and the disastrous time at sea and preparing him for his witness in Rome.

The leading man on the island was Publius.

Publius was a top official who probably received a grant of Roman citizenship.

Hospitality was an important virtue, especially toward people who had been shipwrecked and were stranded without possessions, and so He allowed Paul and his companions to lodge with him three days.

 

The Maltese were affected by a special sickness due to a microbe in the milk of the goats there.

The attacks are intermittent, and the sickness described here is similar todysentery or malaria.

Paul healed the man’s father and then cured many of the natives who were diseased.

God allowed Paul to perform these miracles to win the confidence of the people who, in turn, assisted Paul and his party when they left for Rome three months later (v.10).

However, before they left, they had a regular stream of patients came during these months.

The question has been raised whether or not Paul preached the gospel in Melita.

Some believe that this is one place where Paul did not preach.

Common sense would tell us that Paul preached the gospel.

By now Dr. Luke expects us to know what Paul would do.

Remember that Paul is the man who wrote, "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (1Cor. 2:2).

With the apostles, healing was God's witness that the gospel they preached was from Him.

It is very important for us to realize that Paul preached the gospel and that the healing mentioned above was the result of it.

It was the evidence of the truth he was preaching.

While Paul shared the Good News, it is highly probable that Luke ministered to them physically - the earliest picture we possess of the work of a medical missionary.

In doing God’s will, Paul suffered tremendously, but he did GO, and much fruit was brought about.

Even today, we can be thankful for Paul, for without him, we may not be believers today. 

God used him mightily to spread the Gospel to the non-Jews.

Likewise, God has commissioned us to GO today.

Matthew 28:19& 20: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It is not an option, but a command.

He may not be calling you overseas, but we are to be His witnesses right where we are at.

You may not be able to talk, but your lifestyle says much more than words.

Are you living consistently with God’s word?

Do you fill your mind with impurity, such as pornography and filthy language, or do you focus on that which is pure, noble, and good?

Are you loving others, treating all people with dignity and respect?

Are you refraining from drunkeness, adultary and fornication?

Are you honest -- not cheating on your income tax or in school?

Are you patient with others?

Do you complain, gossip, or criticize, or do keep silent when you want to tell somebody off, or say a kind word about someone you don’t particularly care for, rather than to say something behind his or her back?

Do you pray for that individual who rubs you the wrong way and think of ways you can bless their life?

Do you honor your parents, and listen to your children?

Do you take time to visit those in the nursing home, or those sick in the hospital, or those in prison? 

Or ...

How might you show hospitality to a new family in the neighborhood?

What act of service or help can you do for people in your neighborhood this week?

Or ...

Is God calling you to serve Him overseas, to the billions who have never had the opportunity to hear?

These are practical ways that we can daily be our Father’s witnesses.

These are ways that we can practiaclly share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

And these are ways we can sacrifically share the Gospel.

Finally, God’s goal to be glorified will not succeed without the powerful proclamation of the Gospel. 

And that Gospel will not be proclaimed in power to all the nations without the prevailing, ernest, faith-filled prayers of God’s people.

Go - Jim Elliot quote: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Go - p. 76  Because of the inner death & new life, we are able to take risks, and suffer pain, and even die without despair but full of hope.

Go p. 83  Why did he (Charles Wesley) go?  God put it in his heart to go and he yielded.  There are 100s of strange and radical things God that He is calling His people to do in the cause of world missions.  Not everyone will hear the same call.  Yours will be unique.  It may be something you never dreamed of doing.

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