Hope for those that are not…

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Website Copy:What to do when your ship is sinking?  Life may feel like it’s out of order and crazy chaotic, but that’s nothing new for Christianity.  Jump in today to learn how Christians have always had a unique way of dealing with challenges. Need prayer? visit my.oswegochristian.com/pray to post a request.Subscribe to our podcast on your phone to automatically have new messages downloaded weekly: in iTunes (http://my.oswegochristian.com/iTunes) or Android (http://my.oswegochristian.com/Google)


OPENING:Everything in our world has been dislodged and will probably be that way for a long time-it feels like walking around with a sprained ankle.  things aren’t quite normal
When we get out of our rythmns, we can start to go back to our old habits and old ways-it’s easy when you’re not around the body of Christ
ILLUSTRATION:I have experienced this before – when we church planted we didn’t have a body of Christ around us for about 9 months, we were just visiting churches-I’ve never felt so alone in my relationship with God-I’ve never fought so tooth and claw for it-that’s what this feels like again
ILLUSTRATION:It reminds me of going fishing last year in our Kayaks when Nic and I and a couple friends took our Kayaks out, one of the guys was wanting to get into this pit, but it had a pretty steep entry.  I told him to just get in and I’d lower him down into the pit, cause, you know, I’m strong enough to do that with a 200 lbs man…  Ha, I started lowering him and that was about it.  I couldn’t hold on and the Kayak slipped out of my hand.  It was like slow motion watching the nose of that boat go into the water…  I just stood there watching as the Kayak went under and he went with it…  
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I laughed…  🙂
But that’s neither here nor there…We’re here for a sermon…
Here’s the question I’ve been asking myselfWhat do you do if your ship is sinking?Because I know for more of you than want to admit it-your relationship with Jesus isn’t near where it should be-you’ve been struggling with apathy-with sin-with walking away from God slowly but surely
So, what do you do?Because feeling guilty isn’t the healthy or helpful answer…
Look, open up your scriptures to Acts 27:33-38I want to take you to someone who knows a thing or two about shipwrecks…The apostle Paul – he had actually been shipwrecked 3 times total-but we are just going to look at one of those incidents…Paul is a prisoner at this point because of being a Christian.  He is on his way to rome sailing, in a perilous time to be sailing[research this section]
The men have been caught in a storm that will not let up, it’s hurricane force winds-for fourteen days the men fight through it and are suffering – they are to the point of no return.  They are stressed to the point of not eating.  They’ve passed ropes under the boat to try and hold it together..This is the stuff of hollywood movies…They had been throwing cargo overboard-they realize they are about to hit land so some of the men try to escape by lifeboats, but Paul tells them if they remain on board, His God has told Him that they will be safe…
So, here they are, in the midst of a terrible storm, about to be dashed against the shore, and this is what Paul does in the midst of a Shipwreck..Acts 27:33-3833 Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. 34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board. 38 When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.
Somehow, in the midst of a sinking situation, Paul is able to put on the breaks and see a bigger picture-Paul is the same one who would say in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in all circumstances…
When everything in life started going crazy for Paul, he had learned the secret to push past his circumstances and get a bigger perspective..See, Paul had been shipwrecked, Paul had been beaten, Paul had been in a dark jail cell and sat in palaces.  Paul knows how to push back the moment…
Listen,You and I have talked about these concepts for years and studied itbut most of us haven’t had to live through these things, really – and this is a small thing honestly
Most of usThe lie we believe is the magnification of a moment and losing the eternal perspective.
ILLUSTRATION:I talk with my kids about how moments can be magnified – we hold our finger in front of our face and it can cover up the world, when we get perspective it fades into the background…Look – Paul, even in life threatening situation was able to push back the moment to gain an eternal perspective
What if you started doing  that too?What if you started putting in place some activity that would remind you of Go’s presence – that He doesn’t change?-go for a walk in the morning and listen to the birds-spend time praying at night-take your bible outside and seek Jesus…etc.
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:losing glasses in pit-jumping in to look for them and finding them-Psalm 40-Jesus came after you – you want some perspective???  why not turn to Him

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