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storm tossed, ship wrecked and snake bitten

Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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storm tossed, ship wrecked, snake bitten

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Acts

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Who wrote Acts?

Thrown off Course, Ship-wrecked

The winds seemed favorable. They had a plan. The storm caused them to be forced off course.
What are some things that force you off course?
Quickly propelled away from familiar land they intended to stick close to. They were powerless to obtain their original plan, there was no going back, they were carried along by the storm. You may have strength to resist for a while but at some point you are overpowered and overwhelmed.
What are some things that force you off course?
divorce, abuse, job loss, a move, a diagnosis, poor decision, addiction, a toxic relationship, the death of a loved one
Sometimes these situations are our fault and other times we just happen to be on the boat…like some of the mean aboard. Wrong place, wrong time.
In this case, Paul tried to warn them that the path they were headed would lead to injury and insult but they didn’t heed wise counsel. They chose to listen to the voice of man rather than God. Who is the captain of your ship? Who are you listening to? Who is guiding you? If it’s man, be prepared for a journey filled with disappointment, discontentment, disillusioiment, and discouragement.

10 saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.”

11 But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said

HEED WISE COUNSEL. And then turn back and direct others as they embark on new voyages in life. Hey, I’ve tried that and there’s strong wind that you will run into. Or be prepared, Noreasters are really common along that route. So I want to take the opportunity to tell you about some voyages that might result in injury or loss whether they are your fault or just a result of the broken world we live in.
Our doing: being wreckless with drugs or alcohol, sleeping with every guy you date, living detached from reality, maintaining close friendships or confiding in the opposite sex while you are dating, engaged, or married to someone else
Not our doing: an affair, an unexpected break up, miscarriage, having to re-locate for your career or your spouse’s career, losing a child
These sailors find themselves in the middle of a storm with no end in sight, they haven’t eaten (not because there wasn’t food on board but because they had no appetite), no tackle or provisions, they had no direction (no sun or stars for days), and ALL hope was lost.
Have you been in this situation? All hope seemed lost?
The Holy Spirit asked me this question as I was thinking about what it’s like to be in this seemingly hopeless situation.
WHO’S ON YOUR BOAT?
When we find ourselves in these situations… storm tossed, ship-wrecked, snake bitten… it’s important that we’ve carefully chosen WHO is on our boat!
When we find ourselves in these situations… storm tossed, ship-wrecked, snake bitten… it’s important that we’ve carefully chosen WHO is on our boat!
What type of person do we want with us while we run our race, proceed along our course, show up for our calling?
Who’s on Your Boat?

22 Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24 and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26 But we must run aground on some island.”

someone who will encourage, provide direction, restore HOPE, someone who is God’s representative…His extension, someone who can bring meaning to an overwhelming or confusing situation, someone who consistently hears from God and isn’t scared to declare the full counsel of God
Who’s boat has the Lord placed you on? What type of crew member are you? Do you convince people to remain when they want to give up and jump ship? Are people safer or more in danger with you as part of their crew? i.e. Jonah vs Paul
When you are forced to throw out your original plan…your cargo…the reason you set sail in the first place, and you have no direction (no sun or stars for days), ALL hope is abandoned, it’s important that you have someone in your life who is God’s representative. Someone who can bring encouragement and meaning to the situation because they’ve heard from God. Notice Paul doesn’t provide an escape or rescue or a way to cope with the circumstances, He declares the counsel of God.
Did the constant rain and howling wind and loud thunder and crashing waves prevent Paul from hearing God’s voice clearly?
We think that the storms of life would hinder us from hearing the Lord speak but sometimes God speaks the clearest through storms!

38 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

6 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

Storm-tossed, Ship-wrecked, but ALIVE

39 Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore

to come to be in a place, to come into a new state of being, happen, come to exist, to be brought into
to come to be in a place, to come into a new state of being, happen, come to exist, to be brought into
The storm put them in an unfamiliar place around an unfamiliar people for a specific purpose.
Sometimes storms are the most effective way for God to bring us to the place he needs us. Storms strip us of our own capabilities. Storms bring us to the end of ourselves. Storms make us throw extra baggage overboard. Storms let us know a lot about our crew. Storms reveal who our trust is really in.
When
Let’s read:
The New Revised Standard Version Paul on the Island of Malta

After we had reached safety, we then learned that the island was called Malta. 2 The natives showed us unusual kindness. Since it had begun to rain and was cold, they kindled a fire and welcomed all of us around it. 3 Paul had gathered a bundle of brushwood and was putting it on the fire, when a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “This man must be a murderer; though he has escaped from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. 6 They were expecting him to swell up or drop dead, but after they had waited a long time and saw that nothing unusual had happened to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.

First off, instead of complaining about the detour, the storm, the weather conditions, Paul begins to gather wood for the fire.
What would you do? You’ve been washed ashore, wet, cold, way off course… would you be bitter or would you immediately get to work to try and make things better?
Snake-Bitten
Paul gets bitten by a snake and simply shakes it off into the fire. The people had likely seen people be bitten by these poisonous snakes before and they waited in anticipation for the expected results.
-swelling, collapsing, death
What are some situations that have the effect of poison in our lives? Things that would cause us to be not well, to collapse, to be spiritually paralyzed or dead if we don’t shake them off like Paul?
persecution, betrayal, chronic illness, prodigal children, a bad breakup,
What are the (worldly) expected effects?
-depression, numbness, anger, discouragement, anxiety, fear, bitterness
But nothing bad or unusual happened to Paul and so they thought he must be a god.
“but none of these things move me”

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.

Paul was invited into the home of the most prominent man on the island and learns that his father is sick with dysentary.

8 It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him, healed him. 9 And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.

Mark 16:17-19
the rest of the people on the island....EVERYONE WHO REMAINED with sickness, disease, or weakness sought association with Paul and they were healed, made well. Everyone was healed!

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.]]

The worst news for Paul and the crew became the BEST news for Publius, his father, and the rest of the island.
Has God used what you thought was bad news for you to bring good news for someone else? Has a storm in your life led you to people who needed healing? Has an unexpected detour in your life been an answer to prayer for someone else? How grateful would the people of Malta be for the storm and the ship-wreck?
unable to have kids, adoption.
Joseph, genesis 50:20

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

26  “ ‘Go to this people, and say,

“You will indeed hear but never understand,

and you will indeed see but never perceive.”

27  For this people’s heart has grown dull,

and with their ears they can barely hear,

and their eyes they have closed;

lest they should see with their eyes

and hear with their ears

and understand with their heart

and turn, and I would heal them.’

You have the ability to hear, but you don’t understand. You can see but you aren’t experiencing what you’re seeing. Their hearts had grown calloused and they were prevented from being healed, restored.

30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.

welcomed ALL, proclaimed the kingdom (announced the good news), and instructed with condifence and wihtout hindrance.
Mark 16:17-19

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.]]

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