What the Bible says about Jesus

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.
The Good Seed and the Weeds The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A Ship Named Relations - Part 2 - Life Application.

"When our boat shipwrecks"
A study on human relation-ships from Acts 27. 
Written and published by Jean-Louis Mondon
Paul’s shipwreck on Malta.
To read Part I click: Here

To understand the previous context, first read Acts chapter 27:1-7.

Picking up at v. 7, we read: "We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens near the town of Lacea."

The circumstances out of men’s control were such that time had been lost.
Without being overly insensitive to the unfairness of this life, this is the stuff reality and life are made of. At one time or another during the course of our lives every one of us will experience things that are out of our control.

Notice that everyone in the boat was there as a result of their past thoughts, intentions, actions, reactions, desires, habits, patterns and life styles resulting from choices they had made, whether good or bad. Basically, we are all in the same boat.

The question is: Who is going to be in charge of the boat?
There was nothing wrong with the boat. The timing of the voyage was wrong.
·       Note that after the first unheeded warning, Paul let things run their course. He didn’t have any other alternative solution to offer.

Not listening to, nor heeding wise godly counsel, advice and warning has its disastrous consequences.
When finally Paul heard the Angel, at the proper time he relayed the message, exhorting and encouraging all to be courageous, have faith in God’s mercy, grace and providence. This shows the compassionate heart of a true pastor full of grace, mercy and love, ready to intercede for the people under his spiritual leadership. His revelation was in answer to intercessory prayer.

The one who hears the message of warning has the responsibility to be obedient, advise, exhort and encourage the people believing in faith that God will accomplish what He said he would do.
However, as far as our receiving the blessings and promises of God, there are conditions.
In answer to Paul’s prayers, God could have calmed down the wind and the storm as He had done previously on the Sea of Galilee. Paul himself with the power of God could have calmed the storm. In either case, the boat could have reached safely its destination.
Instead, God chose to let the boat shipwreck.

As it is with us, when this happens, God through that experience wants us to abandon our old patterns of living, trying to patch up our old ways of relating to each other.

He wants to give us a new lease on life, just as all who were saved from the shipwreck got on board a new ship. “After 3 months, we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island”. Chapter 28:11. 

We can perhaps assume that their lives and relationship with each other had been tremendously impacted and affected by this experience. (I have personally experience several really bad storms at sea and I can testify of the profound effect it had on my life).

What is lost is lost. Give it up. Let it go. Start anew.
After we have made a wrong decision in whatever relationship (ignoring God´s warning, stubbornness, wrong choices, actions or wrong timing perhaps based on faulty logic, self-interest and/or accurate data), pleasant beginnings in our new journey can deceive us into believing that everything is fine until it’s too late and we realize that we are in the middle of a deadly storm. 

We must not presume and take God’s grace lightly and go contrary to God’s will.

“When a gentle wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted”. Verse 13.

Now, just because God later on gives us a revelation of His will doesn’t necessarily mean that it will automatically be done in our lives. Obedience following faith exercised in actions is necessary to be in God’s will and to do God’s will.
There is no such thing as real true faith without a corresponding response through action.
Sometimes, God has to destroy the false sense of security by removing from us the props on which we build our lives in order to start rebuilding on the right foundation.

On the ship there were free men and men in chains. There were sailors, soldiers and prisoners. Every one of them thought of doing what was right in their own eyes guided by their own desires and motives.
  • Some like the owner had something to gain but could lose everything.
  • Others like the sailors didn’t care about the owner’s cargo or profit when it came to choose between that and their survival. All they wanted to do was to save their lives. 
  • The prisoners had nothing to gain and everything to lose whatever the outcome of the voyage.

Paul was physically bound by chains but spiritually free in Christ.
It’s only when nothing else worked that all the others started listening and were receptive to Paul message. Paul was the one with the words of spiritual authority.
  • He was calm and contented with his station in life.
  • The only one with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
  • His life didn’t depend on anybody or anything.
  • He had placed himself in God’s hand.
  • He was called of God for a purpose, already knew and accepted that suffering was going to be involved in that purpose.
In conclusion, we can see that God’s grace was at work, demonstrating this time not His awesome power in wrath and judgment, but His love and mercy by sparing the lives of all the persons on board the ship, whether free or bound, criminals or innocent of crimes.

Let us pray in the same way as Habakkuk did in Chapter 3: 1-2 and ask God to make us instruments of His mercy and love to others:

Lord, I have heard of your name, I stand in awe of your deeds. O Lord, Renew them in our day, In our time, make them known;In wrath remember mercy.
“Let us speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, the perfect law of Christ, the law of love), because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful”. James 2:12.

For a poem I wrote describing a storm at sea click: Here

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