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TRỞ THÀNH NGƯỜI HỮU DỤNG (2)

TRỞ THÀNH NGƯỜI HỮU DỤNG  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God longs for His children to take charge in time of crisis, as well as in any secular situation. Outside of the church walls is where “salt” is saltiest. Our

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Be an inspiration and influence
Be an inspiration and influence
God is an expert in opening doors for those in whom He is pleased and who long to rise up for Him to be an influence.
Opportunities are God’s best creation in the midst of troubles. When the ungodly is thrown into confusion, it is the day of promotion for a godly leader who is ready with God’s solution.
In the worst of crisis, Christ’s character and His firm leadership are desperately sought after.
Somebody has to fulfill that call, fill this need, and stand in the gap—and it is not a position in an organization, but a source of courage, wisdom and inspiration!
Be a reliable agent of Hope!
So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. () .
With this saying, Paul restored their hope. When it looks like a dead-end, position yourself as Christ’s agent of hope in your world.
Lead the way and pay the price to gain faith, by entering deeper into God’s presence on others’ behalf.
They who be friend the Lord have one advantage; they see further than the faithless world—more than a few steps ahead—and find hope.
Make decisions with a sound mind!
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. 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.” () Leadership needs to give a prompt and accurate answer. Even though Paul was a spiritual man who was anointed by the Holy Spirit, he also used reasons.
He knew that the hungry would not find strength to swim to the shore when the ship sank. They would be most useless when they were most needed.
Moreover, the physically weak and starved would become a serious burden to all later on. Thus, they must eat.
Indeed, often, it is the “down-to-earth” decision that could save a company from its downfall.
Common sense is, after all, a wisdom of the Holy Spirit!
Witness Christ in the most polite and natural way!
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. They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. () Look at the change in the hearts of these sea-battered men: their spirit had been revived by the apostle’s leadership. Now, Paul wouldn’t miss this opportunity to witness to them.
He did it by giving thanks to God before they began to eat, so they would know who the Source of his Wisdom and strength is who has been such a blessing to them—Christ! Evangelism doesn’t always have to be aggressive; our testimonies could be easily accepted if we have been a blessing in the first place.
Then, with a simple touch of politeness, the name of Jesus can naturally be glorified and lifted-up. Who ever thought that saying grace before meal could lead to salvation!
The Bible Guide The Voyage to Rome and Shipwreck (27:1–28:10)

The voyage to Rome and shipwreck

(27:1–28:10)

PAUL SAILS FOR ROME

Paul is at last on his way to Rome—even though he is being taken there as a prisoner (27:1–44). Luke and Aristarchus sail with him, together with other prisoners. Some are on their way to death in the amphitheatre at Rome.

Luke keeps a diary of the journey. It is fresh in his mind, vivid and exciting—the most detailed record of a storm and shipwreck that we have from ancient times.

At first they sail from Caesarea to Sidon, and then north of Cyprus to Myra. This is only a coastal ferry, and they need to find another ship to take them on to Rome.

At Myra they transfer to a large grain-carrying vessel which is on its way from Alexandria to Rome. This can take up to 500 people. The wind is against them and progress is slow. The gentle breezes of summer are now giving way to the stiff north-westerly winds of autumn. The ship is blown far off course and has to take refuge at Fair Havens, on the south coast of Crete.

Paul is one of the most experienced travellers on-board. Luke has recorded eleven of his voyages, which total 3,500 miles at sea. Paul knows that they have lost time and fair weather. The Jewish Fast (the Day of Atonement) has come and gone, and it is now mid-October. They are late, and their voyage has become very dangerous.

Paul warns the centurion—a fair-minded man called Julius—that some lives will be lost if they continue the voyage. But his advice is ignored by the pilot and the owner of the vessel. They will risk the ship and the lives of its crew in their determination to deliver the cargo.

A soft south wind gives hope that they can move along the coast forty miles, to Phoenix. This will be a better harbour for the winter. But they are mistaken. A hurricane blows up which drives the ship out into open sea, where they are at the mercy of the storm. For two weeks they run before the gale, abandoning cargo and all spare equipment. They attempt to slow their runaway progress with a sea anchor, and pass a rope around the hull to hold the vessel together. In the end, they are forced to give up in despair.

But then Paul speaks. He tells the sailors they will all survive. God has promised Paul that he will live to stand trial in Rome. For his sake, the crew and prisoners are safe. From now on, although he is merely one of the prisoners, Paul is the effective commander of the ship.

About midnight, they sense they are approaching an island. Later they will discover this is Malta. Some of the sailors try to escape in the lifeboat, but Paul insists that they all stay together. Towards dawn, he encourages everyone to have something to eat—and leads by example in saying grace and breaking bread.

At first light they see a cove with a beach. They steer towards it, but run aground on a sandbar. The ship begins to break up. The soldiers want to kill the prisoners to prevent them escaping, but the centurion forbids it. He wants to save Paul’s life. By swimming, or clinging to planks of wood, everyone comes safely to shore. Today the place is called St Paul’s Bay.

ASHORE ON MALTA

The survivors of the wreck are given a friendly welcome by the islanders (28:1–10). As Paul helps to build a fire, he is attacked by a viper. He shakes the snake from his hand, but the natives think he must be a murderer whom the gods are punishing. When Paul doesn’t swell up or drop dead, they change their minds and believe he’s a god! Certainly God is protecting Paul from both shipwreck and snake.

The chief official of Malta invites some of the visitors to stay at his house, including Paul and Luke. Paul is able to heal several islanders of illness. Among them is their host’s father, who has a fever. There is a sickness known as ‘Malta fever’ which is caused by microbes in the milk of the local goats.

Journey to Rome
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