Work Where You Are

Featured

In Acts 28, we find the apostle Paul at the end of a long journey. He made it through a number of storms. He has survived the attacks from the Jews who wished to harm him. He’s endured a lot for the sake of the Lord.

When one really considers all that Paul experienced, I think it would be easy for many to say, “It’s time for me to stop. I’ve done enough.” But that wasn’t the case for Paul.

In Acts 28:23-24 Luke says, “When the had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening. Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe.”

In Acts 28:30-32 Luke says, “And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.”

Despite Paul’s situation, he continued to work. He continued to teach Jesus Christ crucified. Paul worked where he was. He wasn’t in the best situation. But he made the best of it.

In Acts 16, Paul worshiped God in prison. He also shared the gospel to the Philippian jailer.

In Acts 24, Paul shared the good news of Jesus to Felix and Drusilla.

In the midst of storms in Acts 27, Paul shared his faith to the souls on the ship.

Wherever he was, he worked. He shared his faith.

As you think about 2019 and moving into 2020, let’s follow Paul’s example. Let’s work where we are. We may not always find ourselves in the best possible situation. In fact, like Paul, we will face many difficult days. We will suffer. But no matter what we may be experiencing, there’s an opportunity to work.

There are opportunities in both the good and the bad days to talk about our faith in Jesus. There are opportunities in both the good and bad days to teach others the word of God. In 2020, let’s look for even more opportunities to share the good news of Jesus.

-Benjamin Lee

STEADY IN THE STORMS

Featured


Introduction:

  1. There are certain chapters in the book of Acts which stand out. For example, Acts 7, we have the powerful story of Stephen and the introduction to Paul. In Acts 17, we’re introduced to the brethren in Thessalonica and Paul’s trip to Athens. But what about Acts 27?
  2. After Paul laid out his defense before King Agrippa, we find Paul would leave with some other prisoners and set sail from Caesarea to Rome. We know Luke the physician is with Paul at this time based on the word “WE” used throughout the chapter. It was Luke who penned, Acts 16:9-16, Acts 20:5, Acts 21:17. We aren’t given details about exactly when Luke joined up again with Paul.
  3. Consider the details given to us in this chapter. It’s been said, “Luke’s account of Paul’s voyage has been minutely investigated by an experienced Scottish seaman (commodore James Smith, of Jordanhill), and established the remarkable fact that Luke, though not a professional seaman, was a close and accurate observer of the winds and storms, and the management and movements of a ship. He furnishes more information of ancient navigation (Chapters 27 and 28) than any single document of antiquity.” There are books written about what Luke has recorded in this chapter! What Luke recorded for us here and in the rest of the book is accurate and true!
  4. As we read about Paul’s voyage, we will also see storms that would come. Yet, what we find is Paul was steady in the storms. The physical storms Paul endured I believe provide us with some reminders concerning the spiritual storms we will face. All of us are on a voyage. We have a destination we’re headed to: heaven. But storms will come. We will have to be steady in the midst of storms. Paul’s physical voyage will help us as we navigate in our spiritual voyage.

The Lesson:

Storms will come

As we find Paul traveling, we see in Acts 27:9-10, that it was the dangerous season. They had already face tough winds, Acts 27:4, 7. Paul could see traveling at that time would be a bad idea. But they did anyway. In life, we need to be recognize and know storms will come our way. We will face difficult days. We will face challenges, Matthew 5:10-12. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself in a storm. Expect them! I’m not saying we live with a sense of dread, but we will find ourselves in storms.

Storms may last a long-time

Luke shares with us exact details of what they faced, Acts 27:10-20. In my Bible, I have words like “next day” “third day” and “many days” marked in red Then in verse 21 “a long time…” That’s what Paul and the 276 men experienced. They were in a storm. It wasn’t going away for a long-time! The storm began to wear on them. That’s what storms do. They cause people to lose hope, Acts 27:20.

Isn’t it often the same in our lives? We find ourselves in a storm. We have wishful thinking. This will pass. But the next day becomes three days and then many days, and then a long-time! I think about Job. He was in a storm in Job 1-2. He was in the long-time category because of Satan. I think about Israel. They were in a storm. It was due to their SIN! It was a long-time storm (70 years of captivity). I think about Paul. He had been in numerous storms after becoming a Christian, Acts 9:18. His life is being sought after. It’s one storm after the next for Paul. Why? Because he was proclaiming the truth. Storms are going to come. Hopefully, our storms aren’t because we’ve been evil doers, 1 Peter 4:13-16. We don’t always know how long storms will last.

Storms will require us to have courage

In the midst of the storm, Paul, a prisoner took the lead, Acts 27:21-26. I love what Paul said: “You should have listened to me!” He encouraged the men. Take courage. Note as you read the word courage or encouraged found in verses 22,25,33,34. Paul encouraged because he had been encouraged by God through an angel, Acts 27:21-24. This is the third time in the book where Paul has been reminded not to be afraid, Acts 18:8-10, 23:11.

In the midst of storms, we will have to be courageous. Paul believed God, Acts 27:25. He believed it would work out exactly as the angel said! We know it did! That’s the faith we need in storms. Storms come in a variety of ways and sizes. In the midst of storms, we all need to hear from God. Not through an angel, but through His word. Before storms, we need to be hearing from God. We need to believe what He says. Believe what Jesus said, Matthew 6:33-34. Believe the promises of God. Storms have a way of causing Christians to doubt. However, we must remember God is always bigger than our storms. Paul would stand before Caesar. No storm could stop that from happening. No plots from wicked men could stop God’s will. Paul would witness in Rome, Acts 23:11. Which is why in the midst of storms, we must remain with Jesus.

In Storms, we must remain with Jesus.

Paul told the crew they were to remain in the ship, Acts 27:31. They would be saved if they did. He continued to encourage them to eat, Acts 27:31-34. If they remained in the ship, all would be well. While fear would creep in, they would all make it safely to shore, Acts 27:44.

When storms come it can be easy to want to jump SHIP! But don’t!

    1. What the devil would love for us to do is to leave the place where salvation is found: Jesus Christ. In the midst of storms, remain with Him.
    2. You may not always know what’s happening, why things are happening (like Job), but remain with Him. Don’t bail on Him.
    3. Maybe you’ve brought your storms upon yourself. Paul warned these back in verse 10 that danger lied ahead. Maybe brethren, your spouse, your friend, your Shepherds have warned you of danger that lies ahead. But you decided to go on that voyage. Don’t be foolish and leave Jesus. Remain with Him. Repent and sin no more.
    4. Maybe you feel like your life consists of nothing but bailing water and you’re just trying not to drown. Remain with Jesus. Let Him be your anchor.

Conclusion:

  1. In the midst of storms, consider Acts 27. Be like Paul. Listen to God and not to others. People in the world will lead you astray. Let Paul, give thanks to God. I know we see Paul gave thanks when it came to eating food, Acts 27:35. Give thanks to God for everything in the midst of storms. It will be a reminder of how He provides.
  2. Even though you may not recognize how things will work out, Acts 27:39, remain with Him. God is in control. We are not! He is with us. Remain with Him. He will provide in ways we may have never thought, Acts 27:42-44. He provided safety for Paul through the centurion in the midst of his storm. God is with us as well. Remain with Him. Be steady in your faith, in your hope, in your hearing from God and know all will be well.