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Four Anchors That Will Hold
There will be a time in the life of most Christians that you will come upon a real storm. How you handle that storm will determine a great deal as to how you live the remainder of your Christian life. We are living in a day when Christianity is not growing like it should. Largely the reason is that too many of God's people are stalled out somewhere in the midst of a storm. You have allowed the storms of life to move in and take over your onward course to the happiness of the Christian life; therefore defeat has overtaken you, and you have no real plan or pattern to go on in living for Christ.
Paul was being taken captive to Rome where he would eventually die. But he went thru many storms along the way as he journeyed toward the end of his life.
In this very popular portion of Scripture there are four anchors that will keep your Christian life right on course until you land safely on the other shore.
I. ANCHOR ONE - Vs. 24 - GOD.
Acts 27:24 "Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee."
A. The Person Of God.
The Omnipotent One. Everything hinges and depends on God.
The self-existing One.
The God of the universe.
The Holy God.
The Omniscient One.
B. Position In God. Vs. 23, "Whose I am and whom I serve." Paul is stating that God owns him. You won’t serve Him until He owns you.
1 John 3:2 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God...”
John 1:12 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
The Levitical servant. Exo 21:6 "Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever."
Perhaps there is one here who would say, “I love God and I want to serve Him the rest of my life.” If that be, then you must surrender that ear to be laid upon the door post and the awl making that binding agreement for serving your Master.
It may be that one reason that Christianity has stalled out somewhat is that too many Christians have laid down the position of servants. They want rather to be served. The people of God must be servants of God. I get concerned that more of our people are not service oriented. Too many have the “Me First” spirit about them, or with some, “Me Only.”
C. Proclamation Of God. Vs. 24, "Fear not." Fear does not come from God. The context is speaking about Paul not having fear in doing God’s purpose.
God is assuring Paul of safety - security - supply. What he is saying is all safety, security, and supply comes from God; not only for Paul, but all who were with him. We need not worry about any of these. God supplies all.
That verse causes me to want to be associated with people that I know have God’s approval and blessing upon them. There is safety in that. As long as Paul was bent on doing the will of God, he would be safe. He knew that he would be cared for and protected.
D. Plan Of God. Vs. 24, "must be brought before Caesar." God has a plan for you.
Outside of that plan, or being involved in anything except that plan, will bring unhappiness. It will bring defeat and discouragement.
God’s plan may not always be enjoyable. When we examine Paul’s life, we can see persecutions, severe hardships.
2 Cor 11:23-27 tell about all his beatings, stonings, imprisonments, hunger, cold, nakedness, fear, etc.
Let me remind you that none of this was done in chastisement, but rather because Paul was fulfilling the plan of God.
All that he has described in 2 Cor. 11 has been brought on because he is a servant of God.
He speaks of his bearing the marks in his body.
Gal 6:17 "From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."
I would venture to say that Paul was not rejoicing with laughter while he was telling these incidents. He is telling us that there will be hard times while doing the plan of God.
It’s not always smooth sailing, and God didn’t promise us a storm free journey, but He did promise we would make it to the other side. God is an anchor that will hold!
II. ANCHOR TWO - Vs. 25 - FAITH. "I believe God."
The Word of God will be of little benefit to you unless you exercise faith in it. The whole key to your success day by day is whether you believe God or not.
Paul’s whole Christian life had been that which must believe God.
I think of the time he and Silas were thrown into the Philippian jail. They had been beaten and threatened, but he still hung onto that anchor of faith.
When he was stoned at Lystra and left for dead, he was hanging on to that anchor of faith.
Who is it that I am talking to today that has been struggling with this matter of faith? You are holding on to the anchor of God, but that anchor of faith has been slipping and it seems you are about to lose your grip on it.
Remember, God has instructed each of us to live our lives, and to raise our children according to His Word. That will require faith.
We are instructed by His Word to give our all to Him. That will require faith.
Paul said, “I believe God...” He knew that the same God that had delivered him from the Philippian jail and the firing squad in Lystra would deliver him in this situation.
This same God will see you through also. Keep hold of that anchor of faith.
III. ANCHOR THREE - Vs. 31 - SHIP. “Except ye abide in the ship...”
This is a type of the Local Church…the local fellowship. What’s fellowship? That’s “2 or more fellows in the same ship.” That’s us at GBC! Don’t you love our fellowship? So why do so many jump overboard?
A. The Purpose of the Ship.
Jesus organized His church during the days of His ministry on the earth. Mat 16:18 "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Mat 16:19 "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Notice the phrase “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” He is not speaking to Peter, but to the N.T. Church. “...the keys to the kingdom of heaven.” The N.T. Church is the vessel by which we preach the gospel. The N.T. Church is the vehicle by which we take the message to the world. That’s the purpose of the ship.
Hear me now: salvation is not in trusting in the church, but in Christ. The church is the messenger. The reason there are so many fragmented ministries and so much confusion in the Gospel of salvation is that individuals have broken off from the N.T. Church and have begun a private presentation of the message of salvation. That is not God’s intent. The command to evangelize the world was given to the N.T. Church and. I’m thankful for other Christian organizations, but none of them could do what they do if not for the church.
B. The Importance of the Ship.
Some place very little importance on church. Some have too much of this world’s goods to be of much benefit to God. The very blessings that they have received from God keep them from faithfully going to His house.
They use the automobile He gave them to travel on the weekend, which takes them out of church.
They use the money He gives them to purchase unneeded things that takes money away from the offering plate at church. The average Christian keeps himself in debt so much for things that are not necessary that they cannot do anything special for the church.
They use the nice home He gave them to sleep in on Sunday and skip church.
What does it take to keep you out of church? Sickness? Sickness doesn't keep you from going to Wal-Mart. Sickness doesn't keep you from going to work on Monday. “Headache Sun. morning, and backache Sun. night…but by worktime Mon. morning you’re feeling quite alright!”
Why is it that we condemn a person for coming to church when they are sick? I say, "Praise God." I wish more would. You say, "I don't want to catch a bug." That reasoning doesn't keep you from going to the Mall. There are more bugs floating in the air at Wal-Mart and the mall than there is at church. You eat at a restaurant without going and inspecting the kitchen. How do you know they are sanitary? You trust them, so why not trust God with this matter of sickness at church?
Maybe not sickness, but it may be company comes in at the last minute.
Or perhaps it’s just plain oversleeping. How many times do you oversleep on Monday through Friday and go into work late? Probably none. Why is it that oversleeping is an acceptable excuse on Sunday but not Monday through Friday?
I’ll tell you why! It is because going to work means more to those than does coming to church.
IV. ANCHOR FOUR - Vs. 33 - MEAT “Take meat...”
Paul told them that they would not be able to withstand the journey unless they ate meat for strength. They had fasted for 14 days.
Too many of our members are fasting in the matter of reading the Word of God.
A. It Will Bring Good Health. Vs. 34a.
Acts 27:34 "Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health..."
A steady diet of the Word of God will make you healthy spiritually.
B. It Will Bring Safety. Vs. 34b.
Acts 27:34 "…for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you." You need it everyday. If not, you will fall by the wayside and be defeated.
C. It Will Bring Good Cheer. Vs. 36.
Acts 27:36 "Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat."
Those that are engaging in the growth program of the Bible will be in good health spiritually. They will weather the storm. They will be happy.
D. It Will Bring You to Shore. Vs. 44.
Acts 27:44 "And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land."
When you see a family, an individual, a preacher, or any child of God sinking in the sea of turmoil of life it will be because he/she did not follow the advice given in this passage of scripture.
When you partake of the meat of God, His Word, and follow its guidance you will come out successful no matter what kind of waters you are going through. It is impossible to fail or be defeated when allowing the Word of God to be your guide.
There is one group of people that has been excluded in this sermon today and they are those who are not saved. Your solution is to repent of your sin toward God, and turn your faith to the acceptance of what His Son Jesus Christ did on the Cross for you. That will make you a Christian, and you will become a future resident of heaven.
For the saved: are your anchors holding? Are they solid? Will they keep you from drifting out to sea?
All Sermons and PowerPoint Slideshow Presentations ©Copyright Jerry Shirley and Grace Notes Ministries® unless otherwise credited. These resources are yours to use freely, but only in public worship services or private study groups and devotions. They may not be sold, republished or retransmitted in any form without written permission.