53. Staying Power

Reading Plan

If you’re looking to dive deeper into what the Bible says about this topic, here’s a suggested Reading Plan, one passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:

  1. MONDAY: Acts 27
  2. TUESDAY: Matthew 7:7-29
  3. WEDNESDAY: Matthew 27:27-66
  4. THURSDAY: Nehemiah 4
  5. FRIDAY: John 15
  6. SATURDAY: Psalm 34
  7. SUNDAY: Psalm 51

eGroup Discussion Questions – Great for personal reflection/journaling, too!

Sermon Notes: “Staying Power” ⤵️

Preacher: Steven Furtick
Passage: Acts 27:20-32
Title: Staying Power
Date: May 24, 2020

Today’s sermon notes were taken during the 9:30 livestream from the Ballentyne campus.


20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. 21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”

27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28 They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away.
Acts 27:20-32, NIV


Introduction

  • “Revelance,” when something that has already been revealed to you finally becomes relevant.
  • Sometimes storms make the best stories.
  • Us Christians like our metaphors: mountains, chains, storms…
    • “I’m going through a storm right now.”
    • It doesn’t have to be physical for it to be practical in your life.
  • Sermon Title: Staying Power
    • Not as celebrated as “starting” or “leaving.”
      • “I’m starting a church/business.”
      • “I’m leaving/retiring.”
    • We don’t celebrate “staying” enough.
    • Staying gets sexier the longer you live.
    • God’s going to bless the plan you stay with.
    • The workout that will work is the one you stay with.
  • Paul knew how to start churches. By some calculations, he started 14 churches. His church plants started riots.
    • Paul didn’t just have the faith to start, but the faith to stay with.
    • Do you have faith to stay in the boat when God has called you to the other side?
  • God told Paul he’d be going to Rome, but he didn’t get to choose the transportation.
    • I believe God is taking you from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18, KJV), but he gets to choose how you get there.

A. I have an Appointment!

  • Paul had an appointment with Caesar. (Verse 24)
  • You have an appointment!
    • What happens is we get disappointed. Just because you’re disappointed, don’t jump the ship and drown in the sea. Don’t stop trusting that God is your provider.
  • How can God ask you to stay with something that is breaking? But staying with the breaking produces the blessing.
    • God promises to be with the broken and contrite heart. (Psalm 34:18; Psalm 51:17)
    • It may not be your boat that is broken. It may be your heart. Or your business. Or the number in your bank account: “You are broke.”
  • It’s not what you go through that determines where you’re going, or where you end up. It’s who you listen to. “You should have taken my advice.” (Verse 21)
    • When you get blown off course, you need to decide: (1) Who will I listen to? and (2) What will I be guided by?
  • You can ask God to protect you in the first storm, but don’t create a second storm by your decisions.
    • e.g., don’t solve your depression problem by starting a drinking problem. Don’t run to a place in the storm that is more dangerous than the storm itself.
    • Some of you leave a church you don’t like. But you can’t change a place where you don’t stay.
    • Don’t run to a relationship that’s a compromise of your character to solve loneliness.

B. Between Two Voices

  • You’re walking through a valley between two voices:
    • Wisdom and worry
    • Blame and faith
    • Doubt is not the opposite of faith. Doubt gives you something to have faith for, but blame with block faith every time.
    • Ask Jonah if you can avoid certain storms. (Jonah 1)
  • “I’ve got an angel.” (Verse 23)
    • Are you going to listen to your angel or your enemy?
    • The angel told Paul, “You’re not going to die in this trial because you’ve got a bigger trial ahead.”
    • “I’m in the season finale.”
  • Two men built a house… (Matthew 7:24-27)
    • The same storm affected the man who did the wrong thing and the right thing.
  • I wanted to preach on the storm being over. But the Lord told me, “You’ve got to teach people how to keep their faith in a storm. Preach on staying power.”
    • When you want to jump off the boat, STAY! If you stay you will be saved. (Verse 31)
    • The people said to Jesus: “Come down off that cross. do something amazing.” (Matthew 27:42) And [by staying on the cross] he said, “I am.”
    • Nehemiah kept leading the people to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem despite insults from Sanballat (Nehemiah 4).
  • Patience is the active ingredient in faith.
    • Jesus could have called legions of angels but he stayed up on that cross.
    • Before the day of Pentecost: “Stay in Jerusalem” It takes faith to stay in a place of peace while there are riots going on. (Acts 1:4)
    • The proof that you’re going to bear more fruit is that I am pruning you (John 15:1-8)
    • The only way they could receive the power of God was to stay in the place of peace.

Conclusion

  • Paul didn’t promise the ship was going to make it, but that no one would be lost. The same boat that broke apart (Verse 44) provided the planks that the people used to get to safety.
    • It was still the same ship, it just looked different.
    • We are still the same church, it just looks different.

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