Stay in the Ship

Acts 27:27-31

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. 

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

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.”

Remember when Princess Diana died, the people’s princess. Here was a highly attractive woman whose beauty was on the inside as well on the outside. There was reports that she was a down to earth person with great and genuine compassion, grace. One moment Diana was having a wonderful dinner at the Ritz Hotel in France, and the next moment she was fighting for her life in the back seat of a car in Paris tunnel. Diana died. She no longer exists- just like that! All that beauty and grace snuffed out in a blink of an eye. This delightful, lively mother with everything to live for, was deceased quite unexpectedly in a flash of time. Tragic indeed. At this present time, there are people all over the world who are fighting for their life. Perhaps due to COVID-19 or from some other malady. Coming face to face with the tragedy of death, brings it home to us that we all stand on the boundary of our mortality and the uncertainty of future events. The problem occurs when we fail to understand the nature of life and death and resurrection. We cannot perceive what the future might look like, so we tend to put our priorities in those things we count as sure. The things we concentrate on are usually of material value; those things that to which our five senses can connect. This sort of world view creates a long-term problem. In as much that we try to cling to this life as if it is our only hope and in doing so, we fail to see the bigger picture of Gods kingdom. 

Background of the Voyage

The Apostle Paul was arrested and spent two years in prison in Caesarea, which is on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Paul had been accused of crimes by the Jewish leaders and was put on trial before the Governor, Festus and visiting King Agrippa. During his trial, Paul demanded his right, as a Roman citizen, to be tried by Caesar. Festus agreed and sent him to Rome to stand trial. That brings us to Acts 27

The details of the voyage which took Paul and Luke to Rome begins in Acts 27. The group of soldiers and prisoners were under the command of a Roman centurion named Julius. They set sail from Caesarea and made a couple of stops before they landed at Myra in Lycia. Here they boarded a second ship, an Alexandrian ship, bound for Rome. Beginning in Acts 27:6, the text starts to lay out the details of the voyage and the sinking. They were sailing late in the sailing season and very soon the ship and the 276 people on board were all caught up in a great storm. They fought the storm, but soon gave up all hope of rescue and the ship was driven off course across the Mediterranean Sea.

Fourteen days later the ship would be forced aground and wrecked on a remote island in the Mediterranean. However, everyone on board was saved and managed to get safely onshore. After three months, Paul and Luke would continue the journey to Rome, where Paul was eventually tried before Caesar and ultimately put to death. But the main point I want to drive home today is found in verses 31 unless these men stay in the ship. You cannot be saved. 

Taking this as a metaphor, can anyone guess who the ship might be?……

When I was about 12 years old, I jumped off the jetty at Grange Beach, South Australia, and got caught in a rip…….

The water was warm as it always is in the summer and became very alarmed when the rip began to carry me out sea. I was swept way past the jetty, and I began to panic in fear of drowning. Then I heard a voice, and I do not know whether it was spoken inside of myself or outside of myself, all I know is that voice was not mine. The voice told me to relax and float with the current. That is all that was said. Because it was so sure, and at the same time comforting, and strengthening, I laid on my back and began to float. I was not the best swimmer in the world, but so I knew how to float and to tread water. When I was treading water; it just increased the panic. When I began to float, calm and reassurance overtook me. With my face towards the sky, I knew that I was moving rapidly and then it seemed a short while, when I began to feel the sand beneath my feet. I stood up and looked around and saw the jetty in the far distance. I realised that I landed on the next beach, which was quite a long way away, about a mile and a half. If I had not obeyed the instructions, I would have surely drowned. If I had questioned where that voice had come from, I would not have had no time to stop panicking, and I would not have been here to tell the story. This story serves as a metaphor for how we are to live our life. We will greatly benefit if we relax in the current of Gods love and in the wisdom and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. We can be assured that in Jesus Christ, we have our salvation and the victory over the power of death. We will be like Him. Like Jesus, our physical death will give away to resurrection and the promised new Jerusalem.  death is certain for all of us as it was for Diana.

The point is, no matter what happens to us, if we stay IN CHRIST, we will be saved. Another passage of scripture shows us this clearly.

Matthew 24:12 Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. 13 the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

I encourage you to persevere though the difficulties of Covid-19. Stay in Christ, and you will get through. If you do not know Jesus, please open your heart, and see that the Lord good. Ask Father God in Jesus Christ, to forgive your sins and pledge to follow him all the days of your life. If you sincerely do this, your joy will be made full!

May God bless you. If you have made a commitment to Christ or have any questions- please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you.  

Until next time, Live Life on Purpose in Hope, Faith & Love.

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