April 30, 2022
“For many days, neither sun nor stars appeared, and the severe storm kept raging; finally all hope that we would be saved was disappearing. Since many were going without food...”
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“For many days, neither sun nor stars appeared, and the severe storm kept raging; finally all hope that we would be saved was disappearing. Since many were going without food, Paul stood up among them and said, ‘You men should have followed my advice not to sail from Crete and sustain this damage and loss. Now I urge you to take courage, because there will be no loss of any of your lives, but only of the ship. For this night, an angel of the God I belong to and serve stood by me, saying, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar. And look! God has graciously given you all those who are sailing with you.’ Therefore, take courage, men, because, I believe God that it will be just the way it was told me. However, we must run aground on a certain island.’” Acts 27:20-26
Most of us, who are followers of Jesus, didn’t simply hear the gospel once and believe. It took time for us to warm up to the idea. Perhaps, we visited several church services or hung around Christians for a season before we decided to believe.
As for me, I grew up around churches. I sat through countless sermons and youth group meetings. They all seemed to say the same thing: If you don’t commit yourself to follow Jesus and repent from your sinful lifestyle, your sins will find you out! Although I knew I sinned, I laughed at that message. I figured that God hadn’t judged me thus far, so why should I expect He was going to any time soon, or EVER for that matter?
Without going into too much detail, the night I heard the gospel for the “umpteenth” time, yet finally surrendered to Jesus, it was because my sins had found me out! On the outside, I probably seemed bulletproof, but on the inside, I was bleeding to death from self-inflicted “sin shot” wounds! I was hurting and humbled, ripe for the gospel.
If you can relate to my story, you can understand the spiritual state Paul’s traveling companions were in when Paul, a Roman prisoner, took charge and rallied the troops.
Because of God’s revelation to Paul, he could transcend his physical conditions and focus on the greater goal: the salvation of those shipwrecked alongside him.
BELIEVER, have your circumstances run aground, seemingly for no reason? Look around at those people alongside you and ask the Lord to direct you on how you can parlay your situation into a Kingdom-building opportunity. He is building “preparedness” into us daily as we read His revealed will, the Bible. This is so we may be constantly ready to give reason for the hope within us in all seasons.
UNBELIEVER, have you run aground as a consequence of a storm you created with your sin? Stop rebelling against God’s revealed truth and accept that you need Him. God has promised salvation to all who, by faith, believe in His Son, Messiah Jesus. Do it today!