A storm can fix your eyesight.
OCTOBER 5, 2023
A storm can fix your eyesight. I’ll explain on this edition, of Key Life.
That was Steve Brown and this is Key Life. We’re dedicated to the teaching that the only people who get any better, are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. If you’re just joining us, we’re studying Acts, and we’re in the 27th chapter of Acts. And we’re looking at a storm through which Paul and those with him had gone, and some of the things we’re learning from that about dealing with storms. Now, we’ve gone to other places in Scripture and we’ve seen that the apostle Paul was an expert in storms, both the ones with wind and rain and destruction and the ones of the heart and the ones of one’s life. Paul knew about storms, and you can tell something about a man or a woman when they’re in the middle of a storm, and you can do that with Paul. Now, if you’ve been listening, we have seen that Paul first and foremost, and it’s clear throughout this entire chapter. And it’s especially clear in the, let me tell you, let me get my Bible, in verses 10 through 11.
Paul advised them saying, Sirs, I perceive the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only to the cargo and the ship, but also of lives. But the Centurion paid more attention to the captain and the owner of the ship than to Paul.
And that was a mistake because Paul was using plain old fashioned common sense. And that’s what we ought to be asking God for, giving us common sense. And then secondly, we saw, that he was committed to God and no matter what, how fierce the storm, that would not change. And that’s Acts 27: 22 through 24. During the First World War, a member of the American Commission in Belgium went to visit Cardinal Mercier. He found the Cardinal and he was standing on the ruins of his house, most of the roof had blown away. Mercier was standing at the head of the, what was left of the stairs, and he was smiling, and he opened his arms and extended a welcome to those who were visiting. How can you smile at a time like this, the American said to the Cardinal. Mr. Code, said the Cardinal, you forget I am under orders to a captain who has never been defeated. Paul would have understood that. It wasn’t that he knew he was going to live. It wasn’t that he knew everything was going to be hunky dory. It’s not, we live in a fallen world, but he knew that in the midst of the pressure that God would be there and that God would be faithful. Now, let me show you something else. It’s interesting as you look through this 27th chapter, what happens with the apostle Paul. Instead of being concerned about himself, he is, can you believe this, concerned about others. That can happen in a storm, a storm can make you more selfish, more ego centered, more afraid. Or a storm can cause you to look at others. Look at Acts 27:33, 34 and 36.
As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food. “Therefore I urge you to take some food”, he said. “It will give you strength, since not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” Then they were all encouraged.
What’s happening here? Paul is focused on the others. Do you know one of my favorite preachers, and he’s home now in heaven, is E.V. Hill. When I get to heaven, I am positive that Jesus is going to have E.V. preach because it wouldn’t be heaven if E.V. Hill isn’t allowed to preach. I one time missed an airplane because he was preaching a sermon. I was speaking for a conference in Washington of the Step Foundation, and I had an airplane to catch, and E.V. Hill was at the platform, and he was preaching a sermon on Moses. And I was so excited, I wanted to stand on the table where I was sitting and shout, You go, bro! I was given a lot of gasoline from the Holy Spirit during that sermon about some things I was going through that were really hard. And then I looked at my watch, and I thought to myself, The plane is, as I sit here, taking off, and I’ve missed it. E.V. Hill is one of my favorite preachers. He hugged me one time. As you know, if you know of E.V. Hill. E.V. Hill hugged me one time, and I was just held by him while I cried about something. I still think of him sometimes, and I think of his sermons that he preached. One of the things that E.V. Hill said, and it was so good. As you know, he was the pastor of a large church in a very difficult area in California, where there were a lot of poor people. And I heard him say one time, you white people don’t understand. You don’t have the compassion you ought to have. And you don’t have it because you haven’t been poor. And you don’t know. He said, in our community, when someone doesn’t have a parent, people step up and they adopt that child. In our community, when people are hungry, those who have little themselves share it with hungry people. When people are broken and in pain, in our community, people reach out and they care because they’ve been there, they’ve done that. And in the midst of their pain and darkness and poverty, they start to look out for others. That happens. When you’ve been there and when you’ve done that, you care about others. I told you yesterday that we’d gone through Hurricane Andrew and it was a scary time for us. We lost the roof of our house and the rest of the house was destruct and condemned. It was wild time, I really thought we were going to die and I was scared spitless but you know what happened? Every time there’s a hurricane in Florida and people lose their stuff, they’re houses and go through the fear that I went through. I stop and I pray and I say, Lord, I’ve been there, you be with them. And sometimes I get a chance to go and meet them and I’m a compassionate person and you know why? Because of the storm and Jesus that gave me the compassion. So, if you’re going through a difficult time right now, I’m so sorry and I wish you weren’t. I wish Jesus would get you out of it, and he got Paul out of the storm. And I wish he’d do that sooner rather than later. I get that. But don’t waste the pain, don’t waste the fear, don’t waste the difficulty of your storm, reach out to others who have the same fear, the same difficulty, the same storms. And then… And then there will be health and the presence of Jesus. Jesus meant a lot more when he said it but he certainly meant that.
When two or three are gathered together in his name, he said, I will be there.
And that’s certainly true in this context. Sam Jones, a famous preacher of a previous generation, said this.
Men stand by one another and help one another. When one falls down, let us catch him immediately and straighten him up. And then call to other brothers and say, one of you get under this arm and the other, the other arm. And let him hobble toward glory. And when he gets into heaven, his crutches will be there too. Blessed be God. It is about the only way you’ll ever get to heaven. It is to go there in a crutch, under some poor fellow’s arm. And the only way you’ll get there is for you to play the crutch for him. Thank God the crutches are from him.
They really are. So, if you’re going through a storm, don’t waste it. Paul knew, I’m not wasting this storm, this gives me an opportunity to reach out to others who are as scared as I am, who are as hungry as I am, who have gone through this storm with me. And together, we’re going to get on the other side and that’s because of Jesus. Hey, you think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. And with that, we wrap up this week’s teaching from the Book of Acts. Also be sure to join us tomorrow for Friday Q&A when Steve and Pete will tackle this question. How can I be in the world without becoming the world? That’s a great question. Tune in tomorrow for their answer. So, when I say the word agendas, what do you think of? Maybe it’s neutral, but if I say hidden agendas, eh, different vibe, right? Well, the hard truth is that we all have hidden agendas. We don’t have our act together and the pressure to act like we do is, overwhelming to be honest. The good news is that God invites us to drop our masks and discover how his love and grace propel us into the real relationships we thought we’d never have. Well, talks about this in a special booklet called Hidden Agendas based on his book of the same name. Get your free copy of that booklet right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that booklet. To mail your request go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the Hidden Agendas booklet. Finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.