Title: Surviving on Broken pieces: broken but useable
Text: Acts 27:27-44
Introduction: Storms can hit every area of your life. When a storm comes not only do things in your fall apart, you can fall apart. And the right storm can make feel so broken that you don’t think you are able to survive. So how do I survive a storm that broke my family apart? How do I survive a storm that made my finances go to pieces? How do I survive a storm that left my so heart broken I can’t function?
In our text, we find Paul a prisoner in route to Rome on a ship and is about to encounter a storm. He was going to Rome to stand trial before Caesar. Paul was falsely accused of being a trouble maker and stirring up riots among the Jews. It was on the 14th night of the journey while still being tossed in the Adriatic Sea, the sailors sensed they were approaching land. They feared they were going to hit some rocks so they dropped 4 four anchors and prayed for daylight. Not only were they in a storm but it was midnight and they could not see. Paul not only had to contend with opposition but he had to deal with a storm and darkness. When you are about God’s business you will not only get not opposition but you will face some storms and dark times. Some of it is ordained by God and some of it is self inflicted. In this case Paul was in a storm that was not caused by him self but caused by people who made a bad decision. Now because of a bad decision other people will be jeopardized. My brothers and sisters, your decision will not only effect you but others people will be impacted. Paul warned them about the storm. Now they were about to suffer the consequences for not listening. Just like us. We are oftentimes forewarned before we make a bad decision. Yet Paul did not only give them a warning he also had a promise. In vv. 22-25, God sent a message thru angel that he will make it thru the storm and reach his destination. My beloved, the angel of the Lord still speaks with a promise while you are in a storm. God will never leave you or forsake you and you will make it thru your storm. How? It is because God is sovereign. He has the power to override any and everything that His children encounter. This should give you encouragement and strength to endure the storm. But if the truth be told storms don’t feel good. And many of us know the promises of God yet we are ready give up because the storm seems too rough and we don’t see God doing anything about it. But you can’t jump ship which is our first point.
I. Don’t jump ship vv.30-31
As soon as times get rough we are ready to bail out. This is what happening in our text. The sailors were trying to escape on life boats pretending they were letting down more anchors. But Paul saw what was up and told the commanding officer, the centurion that unless they stay on the ship they could not be saved. It is only natural to want to avoid hardship. Nobody wants to go thru. But sometimes the Lord wants us to stick it out. For the soldiers, it was safer to stay in the ship than on the life boat. We can relate this to the church. Many times we will be in a storm and we come to church faithfully but nothing seems to happen for our benefit. So we stop coming thinking it is a better way only to find out things are worse out there. The devil loves it when you get off “God’s ship, the church” because you don’t have any protection from him when we are out there. I know everything is not right in the church but I rather be here with Jesus that be out there with the devil. These sailors thought getting into a smaller boat would help them. No matter how bad things get I rather be where God is anyday! So don’t jump ship! You will survive!
II. You got to eat the Word vv. 33-36
Day was approaching and Paul urged the men of the ship to eat. We all know that when we are going thru we don’t feel like eating anything. So when people say to you look good, you lost weight. Just thank them and don’t tell them about the diet. Storms unfortunately, are one of the best weight loss programs out there. These men on the ship didn’t eat for 2 weeks because they were so worried about what was going to happen to them. Paul pleaded with them to eat and he also gave them a promise of assurance that not one of the hairs of their head will be lost! So Paul takes some bread and breaks it and gives thanks to God in the presence of all and ate it. Then everyone was encouraged and ate, all 276 men. Paul gives us an example how to survive a storm. He took some bread broke it and ate it. Jesus is our daily bread that was broken for us so we can survive our brokenness. He is our sustenance when we internalize who He is. We internalize Jesus by eating His word. My beloved while you are going thru, it is time to eat. Our problem is that we like the sailors are so distracted we don’t eat the Bread of life and we become weak. At times like that we need as much strength as possible so we have to change our diet and feed on the word of God. His Word will calm you in a storm! Obey it and you will be able to walk in it and not drown! It’s time to eat the word. The text says when Paul ate others got encouraged and began to eat. Your diet on the Word will have an effect on those around you,(on your job, in your family) and will be encouraged thru the tough times because you are eating the word! You are what you eat! So eat the Bread of life that will sustain you in the storm! The next thing you have to do to survive is to…
III. Stay focused on your destination vv. 38-40
After the sailors had eaten enough, they lighten the ship by throwing out excess cargo of grain. So when daylight came they saw land but didn’t recognize it but decide anyway to run the ship aground on the beach if they could. They were focused on their destination and were ready to do what it takes to get there. We as believers have to follow suit. The text says they lighten their load bycutting off (taken up) the anchor, they loosened the rudder so they could steer it and they lifted up the foresail (mainsail) so the wind can sail the ship to its destination. My beloved when you are trying to make it to your destination in a storm, you got do what the sailors did. You have to lighten your load by throwing out some stuff and cutting some stuff off because is weighing you down. You are going to have to get rid of it if you want to survive. Not only that you have to loosen some things so you can be guided in the right direction. There are some things that are binding you preventing you to go where God is telling you to go. But the problem is that you did it yourself. You have to let go and let God. Yield to His will and way trusting in Him and he will direct your path. Also, you have to lift up your foresail so the power of the wind can sail you to a safe place. Jesus is the foresail in your life when you lift Him up, the wind of the Holy Spirit will get you thru the storm. This happens thru worship and praise. I dare to lift him up and watch what the power of the Holy Spirit will do in the time of your storm.
IV. Don’t front about your situation v. 41
But as they were headed to the beach, they struck a reef. The bow of the ship was stuck in the reef but the rear, the stern was severely damaged by the force of the waves and ship was breaking apart. The front was stuck yet intact but what was behind was broken. My beloved this really speaks to us about how we deal with storms in life. This ship is a lot like us. We may be stuck in a storm but when you look at us at face value, we look good. But if you take look behind us, you will see something different. Behind that smile is a lot of pain. Behind that dress and the suit are emotional scares that never been dealt with. Behind that job and money are personal insecurities that have been crippling you for years. So don’t front like you got it together while you are going thru because behind the mask is damaged goods. You ain’t what you appear be. But with God’s help you will survive! You will survive because…
V. God will give you favor in your storm vv. 42-43
Afraid that the prisoners would escape, the soldiers wanted to kill them or they would be killed for allowing it. But the centurion who wanted to spare Paul kept them from carrying it out the plan and commanded those who could swim to jump and get to land. Paul had favor with the centurion because God’s promise had to be fulfilled. And because of Paul’s favor others were saved. It is because the favor on your life others will be blessed. Your favor is infectious. My beloved we have to know and believe that despite the storms in our lives, times trouble and bondage, if God gives you a promise He will show you favor in the midst of it all until that promise is fulfilled. So your job may be going thru changes but God will show you favor. People may be acting funny toward you in your time of need but God will show you favor with a stranger to help preserve you! You got favor and that makes you a survivor!
VI. Hold on to broken pieces v.44
There are some storms we can’t swim in because it is too much for us to handle. We are only surviving because we are holding on to the little we have left to keep from drowning. The text says that rest who could not swim got on planks, boards and broken pieces of the ship. I know many of you have severely hurt by a storm that left an aftermath of broken pieces. You have been damaged so bad you feel that what you have left has no value and it not enough for you to make in our situation. But God is telling us to hold on to those broken pieces and you will survive! If those on the ship didn’t have the broken pieces they would have drown to death.
Close: So hold on to that little bit of love you got left (joy, strength, faith). It might be broken but it has enough of what you need to make it! Thank God for the broken pieces. At least you got something! And something is better than nothing! It broken but useable! God has a way making the broken useable!
· God used a man by the name of Moses, whose speech was broken to deliver the children of Israel out of bondage. Broken but useable!
· God raised up a woman by the name of Esther who came from a broken home ….the bible says that he parents died …. but her cousin, Mordecai raised her as his daughter. Esther became queen and was used by God to save her people. She was broken but useable!
· Jesus used a broken woman from Samaria that had 5 husbands to spread the gospel.
Broken but useable!
· Jesus took 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish blessed it and broke it and feed 5,000+ and had 12 baskets left over. Broken but useable!
· Jesus broken skin spilled blood on the cross but useable to bring salvation to the World! Broken but useable!
So all I need is piece to survive! I going to that broken piece love I got to survive! Joy, hope etc… I got a little left and I am going to use it to survive!