Sunday, September 6, 2015

Todays Sermon Notes

2015.09.06                                                 Acts 27
                              Godly Leadership
Turn with me to Acts chapter 27….. I´ll glad that you are here this morning… I have good news…. His name is Jesus….We are going to read about Paul´s shipwreck… He is on his way to Rome…The Lord has told him that he will appear before Caesar and testify of Him… Paul has been through many trials…. He has already suffered very much for the Gospel…. He is going to suffer shipwreck….
But this story is really about Joy… Paul did not focus on his hard times…. He was determined to run his race with joy…
This chapter could be titled Leadership in Crisis…..   Because of Jesus…. Paul comes through in this tremendous time of stress…. He displays all of the abilities that a great leader has to have….. So it's not just an account of a shipwreck….. it's also a portrait of a leader in the midst of a crisis……
I believe God is calling out leaders today……. Even today…. God is raising up leaders who will stand up against the storms of a godless culture…. He is looking for those who are willing to proclaim the truth….. Willing to lovingly proclaim the Gospel to a lost and dying world…
We are coming to a time when it will be very hard to stand up for Jesus…. Where are the men and women of God today….. Who will stand up for the truth of the Word of God no matter what the cost….  It is not easy to swim against the tide of a wicked and rebellious generation…. Even as believers we are constantly being called upon by other Christians to not make waves….. Don´t make a scene… Don´t make trouble… Let´s just all get along….
As we study the scriptures…. Everywhere we look… We find that God used leaders to proclaim His Word and to exhort the people to genuine faith and obedience…. They saw God for who He is in all of his Glory….  they were moved to love and serve him…
Whether it was Abraham or Moses…. Or Great prophets like Elijah and Elisha….. God used leaders and prophets to change the tide of history and bring nations repentance…. The list is long…… Many of these Godly men and women laid down their lives for the truth of God´s Word… The Lord used Ezra and Nehemiah to bring about a great revival….. They taught the Scriptures and prayed and acted in faith…. Sometimes… They even laid down their lives…   And God used them mightily….
We see the same thing in the New Testament….  Think about John the Baptist and Peter and Paul….  When the storm of sin and rebellion was the strongest…. God raised someone up to lead…... He moved them to stand up and proclaim His Word…. I remember the call of Isaiah…. When God called Isaiah…  Israel was full of sin and pride and rebellion… In Isaiah chapter 6 he had a vision of The LORD GOD seated on His throne…. Isaiah fell on His face and cried out I am going to die…… When The Lord said who shall I send….. Isaiah answered…. Here am I send me…. That´s amazing and wonderful.… He knew that that he was unfit a sinful man and yet he trusted in the transforming power of God to use him…… Man that´s exactly how I feel… Totally unfit… but willing to be sent…
I think that as we study the Scriptures… the greatest   insight of leadership that we have….. is simply the examples we find in the Word of God…  That is truly the case here in the book of Acts….  
This chapter is also about Godly leadership…. Leadership by example…  The word leadership doesn't  appear in the text….. but what we see is a man who takes a leadership role in an impossible situation….  
The great leader is the one who will face the problems and bear the burdens…. With God´s help he will win the victories for the praise and Glory of God…. And that´s exactly what Paul does in this chapter…. His deep desire is to proclaim the Gospel…. Since Rome is the center of world power at this time…. Paul believes that he can impact that city with the Good News of the Gospel…
Paul is going to Rome as a prisoner….. He is going there to have his case heard before the court of Caesar…. He has left Caesarea where he's been a prisoner for two years for Rome…. That´s not the way he had in mind…. But at least it´s all expenses paid….Let´s read the first part of ch27…. v1…
Acts 27:1-20                                      NKJV   slt2000
1 And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment. 2 So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us. 3 And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care. 4 When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. 5 And when we had sailed over the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board.
7 When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone. 8 Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.
9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.”
By the way, Paul was speaking from experience here…. He has had tough times at sea before…. He was spiwrecked 3 times…. He spend a day and a night in the sea…. He said… hold on this is a bad idea….
11 Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.
13 When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. 14 But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon. 15 So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive. 16 And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty. 17 When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail and so were driven. 18 And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. 19 On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands. 20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
Acts 27: 1-20   slt 2000
1 Als es aber beschlossen worden war, daß wir nach Italien abfahren sollten, übergaben sie Paulus und einige andere Gefangene einem Hauptmann namens Julius von der Kaiserlichen Schar.
2 Nachdem wir aber ein Schiff aus Adramyttium bestiegen hatten, das die Häfen von Asia anlaufen sollte, reisten wir ab in Begleitung des Aristarchus, eines Mazedoniers aus Thessalonich.
3 Und am nächsten Tag liefen wir in Zidon ein; und Julius erzeigte sich freundlich gegen Paulus und erlaubte ihm, zu seinen Freunden zu gehen und ihre Pflege zu genießen.
4 Von dort fuhren wir ab und segelten unter Zypern hin, weil die Winde uns entgegen waren.
5 Und nachdem wir das Meer bei Cilicien und Pamphilien durchsegelt hatten, kamen wir nach Myra in Lycien.
6 Und dort fand der Hauptmann ein Schiff aus Alexandria, das nach Italien segelte, und brachte uns auf dasselbe.
7 Da wir aber während vieler Tage eine langsame Fahrt hatten und nur mit Mühe in die Nähe von Knidus kamen, weil der Wind uns nicht hinzuließ, so segelten wir unter Kreta hin gegen Salmone;
8 und indem wir mit Mühe der Küste entlang fuhren, kamen wir an einen Ort, »Die schönen Häfen« genannt, in dessen Nähe die Stadt Lasäa war.
9 Da aber schon geraume Zeit verflossen war und die Schiffahrt gefährlich wurde, weil auch das Fasten1 bereits vorüber war, warnte sie Paulus
10 und sprach zu ihnen: Ihr Männer, ich sehe, daß diese Schiffsreise mit Schädigung und großem Verlust nicht nur für die Ladung und das Schiff, sondern auch für unser Leben verbunden sein wird!
11 Aber der Hauptmann glaubte dem Steuermann und dem Schiffsherrn mehr als dem, was Paulus sagte.
12 Da aber der Hafen ungeeignet war zum Überwintern, gab die Mehrzahl den Rat, auch von dort abzufahren, um wenn irgend möglich nach Phönix zu gelangen, einem Hafen von Kreta, der gegen Südwest und Nordwest offen liegt, und dort zu überwintern.
13 Da nun ein schwacher Südwind wehte, meinten sie, sie hätten ihre Absicht erreicht, lichteten die Anker und segelten nahe bei der Küste von Kreta hin.
14 Aber nicht lange danach fegte ein Wirbelwind von der Insel daher, »Euroklydon« genannt.
15 Und da das Schiff mit fortgerissen wurde und dem Wind nicht widerstehen konnte, gaben wir es preis und ließen uns treiben.
16 Als wir aber an einer kleinen Insel, Klauda genannt, vorbeifuhren, konnten wir kaum das Beiboot meistern.
17 Als sie es heraufgezogen hatten, trafen sie Schutzmaßnahmen, indem sie das Schiff untergürteten2; und weil sie fürchteten, in die Syrte3 verschlagen zu werden, zogen sie die Segel ein und ließen sich so treiben.
18 Da wir aber von dem Sturm heftig umhergetrieben wurden, warfen sie am folgenden Tag einen Teil der Ladung über Bord,
19 und am dritten Tag warfen wir mit eigener Hand das Schiffsgerät hinaus.
20 Da aber während mehrerer Tage weder Sonne noch Sterne sichtbar waren und ein heftiger Sturm anhielt, schwand endlich alle Hoffnung, daß wir gerettet werden könnten.
By the time we get to verse 21…
We see what a desperate situation they are in…. What a storm….  They are lost….. There is no hope really…. Humanly speaking they are damned…. They were all panicked and fearful for their lives…  The struggle to stay alive has been so intense that nobody has eaten for two weeks….. They haven't the faintest idea where they are….. they don't even know what direction they're going….. and here they are in the midst of this situation without any hope of being saved….. Did you ever feel that way?...
Do you feel that way now?.... The Lord was with Paul and the others in the Hurricane…. Even though they did not know it….. The Lord is with you in your own personal hurricane too…. Even if you can´t see it….. As we continue the text… Paul steps in… Paul takes the leadership….. Acts 27….v21…
Acts 27: 21-44                                   NKJV
21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss.
22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve,
24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’
25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.
26 However, we must run aground on a certain island.”
27 Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors sensed that they were drawing near some land.
28 And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms.
29 Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come.
30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, when they had let down the skiff into the sea, under pretense of putting out anchors from the prow,
31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”
32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff and let it fall off.
33 And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing.
34 Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.”
35 And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat.
36 Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves. 37 And in all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship. 38 So when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw out the wheat into the sea.
39 When it was day, they did not recognize the land; but they observed a bay with a beach, onto which they planned to run the ship if possible. 40 And they let go the anchors and left them in the sea, meanwhile loosing the rudder ropes; and they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore. 41 But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves.
42 And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, 44 and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.
Acts 27: 21-44    slt 2000
21 Und da man lange ohne Nahrung geblieben war, stand Paulus in ihrer Mitte auf und sprach: Ihr Männer, man hätte zwar mir gehorchen und nicht von Kreta abfahren sollen und sich so diese Schädigung und den Verlust ersparen sollen.
22 Doch jetzt ermahne ich euch, guten Mutes zu sein, denn keiner von euch wird das Leben verlieren, nur das Schiff wird untergehen!
23 In dieser Nacht trat zu mir nämlich ein Engel des Gottes, dem ich angehöre und dem ich auch diene,
24 und sprach: Fürchte dich nicht, Paulus! Du mußt vor den Kaiser treten; und siehe, Gott hat dir alle geschenkt, die mit dir im Schiff sind!
25 Darum seid guten Mutes, ihr Männer! Denn ich vertraue Gott, daß es so gehen wird, wie es mir gesagt worden ist.
26 Wir müssen aber auf eine Insel verschlagen werden!
27 Als nun die vierzehnte Nacht kam, seitdem wir auf dem Adriatischen Meer umhergetrieben wurden, vermuteten die Schiffsleute um Mitternacht, daß sie sich einem Land näherten.
28 Und sie ließen das Senkblei hinunter und maßen 20 Faden. Und als sie ein wenig weitergefahren waren und es wieder hinunterließen, maßen sie 15 Faden.
29 Und da sie fürchteten, sie könnten auf Klippen verschlagen werden, warfen sie vom Heck des Schiffes vier Anker aus und wünschten, daß es Tag würde.
30 Als aber die Schiffsleute aus dem Schiff zu entfliehen suchten und das Boot ins Meer hinabließen unter dem Vorwand, sie wollten vom Bug Anker auswerfen,
31 sprach Paulus zu dem Hauptmann und zu den Soldaten: Wenn diese nicht im Schiff bleiben, könnt ihr nicht gerettet werden!
32 Da schnitten die Kriegsknechte die Taue des Bootes ab und ließen es hinunterfallen.
33 Als es aber Tag werden wollte, ermahnte Paulus alle, Speise zu sich zu nehmen, und sprach: Es ist heute der vierzehnte Tag, daß ihr vor ängstlicher Erwartung ohne Nahrung geblieben seid und nichts zu euch genommen habt.
34 Darum ermahne ich euch, Speise zu euch zu nehmen, denn das dient zu eurer Rettung; denn keinem von euch wird ein Haar vom Haupt fallen!
35 Und nachdem er das gesagt hatte, nahm er Brot, dankte Gott vor allen, brach es und fing an zu essen.
36 Da wurden alle guten Mutes und nahmen ebenfalls Speise zu sich.
37 Wir waren aber auf dem Schiff insgesamt 276 Seelen.
38 Und nachdem sie sich mit Speise gesättigt hatten, erleichterten sie das Schiff, indem sie das Getreide ins Meer warfen.
39 Als es aber Tag wurde, erkannten sie das Land nicht; sie bemerkten aber eine Bucht, die ein flaches Ufer hatte; an dieses beschlossen sie das Schiff nach Möglichkeit hintreiben zu lassen.
40 Und so schnitten sie die Anker ab und ließen sie ins Meer und lösten zugleich die Haltetaue der Steuerruder; dann hißten sie das Vordersegel vor den Wind und hielten auf das Ufer zu.
41 Da sie aber an eine Sandbank gerieten, liefen sie mit dem Schiff auf; und das Vorderteil blieb unbeweglich stecken, das Hinterteil aber zerbrach durch die Gewalt der Wellen.
42 Die Soldaten aber faßten den Plan, man solle die Gefangenen töten, damit keiner schwimmend entfliehe.
43 Doch der Hauptmann, der den Paulus retten wollte, verhinderte ihr Vorhaben und befahl, wer schwimmen könne, solle sich zuerst ins Meer werfen, um ans Land zu kommen,
44 und die übrigen teils auf Brettern, teils auf Schiffstrümmern. Und so geschah es, daß alle ans Land gerettet wurden.
Look again at that last verse….
44b... And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.
The Lord sent an angel to Paul to comfort and encourage him in the middle of a hurricane… The Lord said through the angel that despite the disaster and deadly danger…. everyone would be saved… And they were too…. God always keeps His Word…
If you are going through your own personal Hurricane today…. He is with you…. He said…. I will never leave you…. I will never forsake you….
Now as we look at chapter 27…. I would like for us to notice some things…..
We see here in the life of Paul the principles for great spiritual leadership….  Let´s take a look at them…
Godly Leadership
1 A true leader never gives up…
2 True Leadership uses Godly judgment… v9,10
3 A Godly leader speaks with the Authority of God´s Word….v22-26
4 Godly leadership strengthens and encourages others…. v22,v25
5 True leadership operates on trusting faith…. v25
6 A true leader never compromises God´s Word….. v31
7 A Godly leader leads by example…. He loves and serves others…. He puts others first…v 33-36
1 A true leader never gives up… A godly leader hangs on to Jesus…
I suppose that if you were to look at Paul from the human standpoint you'd have to wonder how he was able to go through all of those prisons and beatings….. Time and again people tried to kill him…  murder plots and sickness and shipwrecks… Think of all the pain and suffering…  Paul never…. ever quit. He didn't know the meaning of quit… next…
2 True Leadership uses Godly judgment… v9,10
verses 9 and 10…. Here they are in Fair Havens and much time has been spent and sailing is now the dangerous season and Paul says, "Folks, it is not wise to go from here…  Paul knew he was going to get to Rome somehow…. Paul was patient…. He waited for God's will to happen….. He didn't test it…. He waited on the LORD…. next..
3 A Godly leader speaks with the Authority of God´s Word….v22-26
Look at v 22…
Acts 27: 22                     NKJV slt 2000
22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
22 Doch jetzt ermahne ich euch, guten Mutes zu sein, denn keiner von euch wird das Leben verlieren, nur das Schiff wird untergehen!
Now notice Paul´s boldness…. Paul stands up and says take heart…. There will be no loss of life…. We are going to make it through this disaster….  I know because God says it…. That settles it… I believe that a Godly leader must speak with authority…. But his authority is not his own… it is the authority of the Word of God…. We don´t need to be fearful…. We can…. We must declare the truth of the Word of God with Godly patience and boldness….
I always think of John the Baptist’s description of Jesus in John 1…. Full of grace and truth… It must be both…. We need to be gracious and loving in our interactions with others… Gentle and patient…. But we must not shrink away from the truth…True Godly leadership knows this Book…. and stands on it… next…  
4 Godly leadership strengthens and encourages others…. v22,v25
You know when Paul stood up and said that they were going to survive…. They believed that…. He said Take heart…. And they did…. We know because later on in verse 34….. Paul encourages them to eat something…   they ate and they were cheered up….   When Godly leaders are strong…  They strengthen others….. They affect others…. This was Paul…. Paul radically affected other people…. In 1 Corinthians ch11 Paul said…. Follow me as I follow Christ…. Paul expected to be followed… The reason that he expected to be followed as because he was following the Lord Jesus Christ…
Think about all of the times that Paul has faced disasters and difficulties…. Riots… Prison…. Beatings…. Being left for dead… Paul never quit… He never gave up…. And he never blamed God… He just kept following the Lord Jesus…. No matter what happened…. And he strengthened and discipled and encouraged the believers everywhere he went…. The Joy of the Lord was his strength…. I think of the time that Paul called for the elders of Ephesus to come to him….. He knew that he was facing very hard times…    even death…. But he found his comfort and strength in the LORD God…. He trusted the Lord with His life…. He only wanted to run his race and please His redeemer…  Let´s read 1 verse from that exhortation…Turn to Acts 20… v24…
Acts 20: 24                            NKJV    slt 2000
24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
24 Aber auf das alles nehme ich keine Rücksicht; mein Leben ist mir auch selbst nicht teuer, wenn es gilt, meinen Lauf mit Freuden zu vollenden und den Dienst, den ich von dem Herrn Jesus empfangen habe, nämlich das Evangelium der Gnade Gottes zu bezeugen.
Paul did not give up…. He did not allow himself to become discouraged…. He was determined to continue to proclaim the Gospel…. This dedication and determination to love and serve the Lord…. is very basic to our Christian walk…. and to Godly leadership… The Lord was his strength…. He used the comfort and strength that he received from God…. To encourage and strengthen others….
There's another great illustration of God´s comfort and encouragement in I Samuel 30…. I won´t turn there… I think you know the story…. If you don´t…. there is a great place for your own personal quiet time … So… David returned to his home in Ziklag and it was burned and everyone had been carried away captive… David and the other leaders sat down in the ashes and wept until they had no more tears…. Then David encouraged himself in the Lord…. v6..
That´s a great pattern….. All of us can and will be discouraged….. We can find ourselves in the middle of a great disaster….. When the tears are gone…. We need to cry out to the Lord and let Him encourage us…. As leaders we need to go to the God of all Comfort… 1 Cor 1…. Look at the leadership here… First a leader is encouraged by God…. and then a Godly leader passes that encouragement on…   A leader strengthens and encourages others…Next…
5 True leadership operates on trusting faith…. v25
Verse 25, "I believe God." Paul believed the LORD… True leadership operates on unwavering faith….  
Romans 4 says that Abraham Did not Stagger at the promise of God… He was not shaken….  He was strong in faith giving glory to God…Tremendous truth…Next…
6 A true leader never compromises God´s Word….. v31
verse 31…. The sailors think that they can make it to shore…. So tried to get away… But Paul took the LORD at His word… The Angel said all would be saved… and All means all…. So Paul said… You either do it God's way or you pay the consequences… A true leader never compromises truth…. He understands that God´s Word is to be trusted and obeyed… Next…. A leader leads by example.
7 A Godly leader leads by example…. He loves and serves others…. He puts others first…v 33-36
Look at verses 34 to 36… Paul begged them to eat something… They needed the strength… He wanted them to eat so he ate first….. Here is leadership by example….. He encouraged and prayed and ate…  Do what I do… be like me…. follow me as I follow Christ….. Paul does that again and again in his ministry…. Paul was fearless and obedient…
A Godly leader knows the balance between God's absolute promise and his own responsibility….. He knows God is going to keep his promises…. He will fulfill His plan and purpose…. and yet Paul is practical and wise in helping and exhorting the people…. He is leading by example all the way…
And so we find in this marvelous passage… the providence of God protecting Paul and his mission… and we see the characteristics of Godly leadership in Paul´s life…. Even in the middle of this impossible trial….
Everything that Paul went through…. He did for Jesus…. He was determined to run his race… His mission in life….. was to testify of the good news of the Gospel of the grace of God… Most of you here today are believers…. Make the Good News of the Gospel your mission and you will discover the Joyful Christian life that you have always wanted…
If you are not a genuine believer this morning…. Stop waiting… Disaster may be  around the corner… Are you in the middle of a disaster today….? Have you repented of your sins and cried out to the Lord Jesus? The Bible says that tomorrow is promised to no man…
Let's pray…

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