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Acts 27-28

Acts 27-28

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Sermon: Divine Disruptions
Bible Passage: Acts 27–28

I. Primary destination, Italy (27:1; cf. verse 6)

II. Temporary destination, Phoenix a harbor in Crete (27:12)

III. Reliable ship with the team of reliable crew

1. In the course of their voyage, their direction changed, and ship was not in their control because of a wind called “northeaster” 27:18-20)
2. Instead of reaching Italy or Phoenix, they were in Malta (28:1)
3. Just as God took control of Jonah’s ship, this Alexandrian ship came under God’s control (27:14-20)
4. Sovereignly God steered the ship with natural forces to an unintended destination (27:15)
5. The “reliable” crew and their expertise soon proved to be useless (27:16-20)
6. The ship that was supposed to take them to Italy ran aground in Malta (at Salina Beach 27:41)
7. The cargo they were bringing from Alexandria to Italy had to be thrown overboard (verse 38 they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat into the sea)
8. Some of the people in the ship wanted to jump into the water prematurely and escape on their own (27:30)
9. The ship was broken into pieces which had to be abandoned (27:41, 44)
10. Except their life, they lost everything! They had to jump out of the ship to the shore (27:44 all of us were brought safely to land)

IV. All through these 14 day-ordeal, God was sovereignly in charge

V. (Is it necessary for people to suffer emotional and physical pain? Why are Christians hit with crisis?)

VI. There seems to have purpose in God ordained disruptions

1. The people onboard would know about Paul’s God (27:23-26; 35)
2. Paul was able to bear witness to a new community, Maltese (28:1-10)
3. Father of a Roman officer and scores of others got healed (28:1-10)
4. Instead of spending three months in the ship as a prisoner in Phoenix, God prepared Maltese to take care of Paul and his companions in Malta (28:2, 7, 10)
5. And they probably got a better onward voyage after the winter months (28:11)
6. God provided a new/better route to reach their destination—on the way they would be greeted and loved by fellow Christians (28:14-15)

VII. Observations

1. Through the storm and shipwreck, God demonstrated His care to Paul and his companions
2. When disruptions such as this happen, natural reaction is to become bitter with God
3. When disruptions happen, it is an indication that God is about to do something in which all will be winners
4. Divine disruptions are God’s way of calling His people to change their present status quo to a radical dependence on Him
5. When God decides to remove the platform on which we stand, it is an indication that He invites His children to make Him their platform
6. Though it looks cruel and unacceptable, it is God’s way of inviting His children to accept His plan

a. Isaiah 8 “For my plans are not your plans, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts
b. Jeremiah 29:1129:11 For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the LORD. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope
c. His plans are better—His plans have a better future which is completely different from the one we think is good
d. His plans are understood better in retrospect, after everything is over
e. Jesus models this: “Yet, it’s not my will, but yours” (Mark 14:36)

7. Augustine: “Don’t ask, ‘Why, Lord?’ Ask, ‘To what purpose?’ God interrupts our lives for a purpose.” “Rather than why, ask God what He wants you to learn and to show you so you can use your experience to glorify Him”

Take Away:

Comply with God’s plan

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at wjsubash@crossroadbangalore.org