Abraham Lincoln had a favorite riddle he used to put to his colleagues. It went like this: “If a man were to call the tail of a dog a leg, how many legs would the dog have?”
“Five,” was the usual reply.
“Wrong,” Lincoln would say with a homely smile. “The dog still has four legs. Calling the tail a leg doesn’t make it one.”
—C. R. Anthony
We are not changing
Our constitution is not changing
Our beliefs are not changing
We are changing
We will be stable
Christ is the head of the Church
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“ ‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
God does not change
They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
We will continually change
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM (27:1-13)
Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.”
THE CALAMITY OF THE STORM (27:14)
But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land.
THE CHOICES THAT WERE MADE (27:15-20, 27-30)
1. DO NOTHING: Let it drift (v.15)
2. DEMAND CONTROL: Tighten things up (vv.16-17a)
3. DRAG YOUR FEET: Resist change (v.17b)
After hoisting it up, they used supports to undergird the ship. Then, fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and thus they were driven along.
Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
4. DUMP THINGS OVERBOARD: Recklessly jettison (vv. 18-19)
5. DISCOURAGEMENT: Give up hope (v. 20)
6. DELAY THE INEVITABLE: Just hope something good will happen (vv. 27-29)
7. DESPAIR: Abandon ship (v. 30)
RESPONSIBILITIES IN TIMES OF CHANGE (27:21-25, 31-36)
1. Lead from where you are (v. 21).
Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss.
2. Define Reality (v. 22b)
Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
3. Be optimistic (v. 22, 24, 25)
4. Trust God (vv. 23-25)
For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.