“On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land” (Acts 27.27).

Your attitude and behavior in any and all circumstances ought to be governed by your relationship to God. Paul had been in a ferocious storm on the sea for nearly two weeks (Acts 27:27). His relationship to God, however, enabled him not only to endure the stress, but to comfort and encourage the others on board: “And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God, that it will be just as was told me” (Acts 27:22-25). Notice three aspects of Paul’s relationship to God:

Paul belonged to God (v. 23). He recognized the truthfulness of the words he had written earlier to Corinth: “You are not your own…You were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). One of Paul’s own descriptions of himself is ”a (bond)servant of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:1 ). A bondservant (slave) is owned by someone else. Paul’s owner was the Lord. Liberty-loving people that we are, we cringe at the thought of being owned by anyone! However; the sooner we acknowledge that God owns us, and that this is a good thing for us, the better off we will be.

Paul served God (Acts 27:23). As a slave, Paul’s purpose was to do the will of his master, Jesus. Again, we flinch at the idea of subjecting our own will to anyone else’s! We would do well, however, to swallow our pride and follow the example of the Son of God, Who “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). Contrary to popular belief, true religion is not about doing whatever makes me feel good. First and foremost, we are to serve God. If our hearts are right, such faithful service will result in abundant good feelings.

Paul believed God (Acts 27:25). For many days the storm had pounded them. They had no idea where they were; the storm was not easing; lightening the ship had done little good; and “all hope that we would be saved was finally given up” (v. 20). Nevertheless, when God’s messenger told Paul that he and all others aboard the ship would survive, Paul believed it. ”The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

Let us trust our Lord, believing what He tells us. Human wisdom may not agree with the Bible, but the Bible is right! You belong to God. Serve Him! Believe Him! Doing so, you can endure even the worst of times.

Joe Slater
via Bella Vista church of Christ
Bentonville, AR

 

Leave a Reply