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ACTION IN ACTS  -  PHASE 4              “WHEN THE WIND BLOWS CONTRARY” SESSION 4

                   ACTS  27/1-26

INTRODUCTION:

“Smooth sailing” is a well-known saying, even among those who never venture out on the high seas. It is also a saying that describes the enjoyment of ocean travel. It is not a saying used by the Apostle Paul because his life was anything but smooth sailing!!

How can those who are sure they are doing God’s will explain the presence of opposition in their lives in the form of people, events and circumstances? (Acts 27/1-26)

[1] In asking that question, we are acknowledging that Christians are not exempt from opposition. (Some would argue that such opposition increases when we commit to follow Jesus). It certainly did not diminish with Paul’s conversion.

[2] As we come towards the close of our “Action In Acts” series, let’s remind ourselves that it was God’s intention that Paul preach the good news in Rome. Thus far no strategy (and there have been a few!!)  to block that goal has been successful. But the journey to Rome is far from over yet!!

[3] Ocean travel in Paul’s day was much less secure and safe as compared with today. Weather for-casting was a thing of the future – mostly.

[4] Just a passing thought – please note the detail with which Luke keeps their travel diary. This is one sure sign of the work of an eye witness. But almost every log entry speaks of the “opposition of nature”. The ship was supposed to stop several times on the coast of the province. (v.2).

[5 ] I think it is fascinating the way God can give us favour in the eyes of others so that they trust us and allow us freedom that would otherwise be withheld.  Julius is a case in point (vs.1-3). Having a Captain of the Imperial Guard as your captor further ensured that you would get to Rome. Question: Can you see an example/s of that in these last 2 chapters of Acts? Have you had that kind of experience yourself?

Read 27/7-20.  As we noted above, just because we are in the Will of God does not guarantee a life of smooth sailing. I would have been glad Paul’s name was on the passenger manifest!! These unusually extreme conditions provided Paul with an opportunity to witness to all the others.

[6] Note Paul’s pointed comment – compare vs.10,11 with v.21 - does that sound to you a little like “I told you so!” In those circumstances if I had to choose between the experience of a ship’s captain or a tent-maker, I’d go for the captain every time! However, the choice was also between a servant of Almighty God and a ship’s captain.

[7] Read vs.22-25. I guess Paul was very sure about that angelic visitation to speak it out like this.

Let’s be challenged by the words, “…for I believe God. It will be just as He said. (v.25) What has God assured you of in recent times? Can you affirm that today – even in the midst of the storm?

 

CONCLUSION: All the action took place on what was no small boat – 276 crewmen (v.37)

But our focus is on  “….when God says you must, you will”

Is the storm in your life at the moment designed to destroy you or deliver you?

Read Mark 4/35-41. Identify any principles that are common to both.

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