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Beth Moore — Wrecked But Not Ruined


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If you’ve got your Bibles with you I want you to turn with me to the 27th chapter of the book of Acts. Acts 27. And if you’re able to grab a Bible, get it and sit down for a few minutes if you can. If not, while you are doing whatever you need to do at home, if you’re perhaps on a break at work and watching on the internet, whatever you may be doing, if you can grab some scriptures do it, but if not I’m going to read it to you anyway.

So we want you to completely plug in and when I ask a question and I ask them to answer it out loud I want you to do that too. The more you get into it the more fun you will have and the more personal this word will become to you.

I’ve got to tell you something. I’ve got a brand-new Bible this time around. I get a new one about every four to five years. By the time I’ve marked it up good where I start to anticipate what the word is going to be on that page I know it’s time for a new one. If I’ve written all over it and I’ve marked it up then it’s time to get a new one. But I never can find anything in the new one. You can understand. So you will be so blessed to know that in this series probably we will not be in Micah, Nahum, Jonah… We’re not going to say a word about Jonah if we can keep from it until the very end of this particular series.

But it’s so much fun because the word just leaps off the page at you again. You don’t anticipate that that’s going to be the one thing that’s going to mean something to you. The whole page is wide open. I just encourage you, if it’s been a while, get a brand-new one and start all over again.

We’re going to be in this series for about six or so Wednesdays, so it will be a two-part series out of the book of Acts and the 27th chapter.

Now let me give you a little bit of background before I start reading to you. I’m going to start reading at verse 13. Let me tell you what’s happened here. We’re going to catch up with the apostle Paul who is in trouble as he often was.

Now he’s been imprisoned in Caesarea for two solid years and he has been asking, really pleading and begging to go to Rome so that he can be tried there as a citizen. Now he’s got one thing on his mind. His concern is not being tried and not having a fair trial. He wants to get the gospel to Rome. Because to get word to Rome was to get word to the world. It was the big apple of his day. Whatever New York City is to us, that was Rome to them. You get something going there and it will spread all over that world and that’s exactly what happened.

So, they uncover a plot to take his life and decide they’d better send him on. By this time he’s made friends and they have favor for him and decide to send him on this ship to Rome, head him out with about 275 other passengers.

Now he is with Luke, at least. We don’t know who else may have been in the party with them but it was at least he and Luke because Luke is the one being inspired to pen the book and it’s going to be about the story that they encounter on this boat with that in mind. Acts 27 verse 13 through 20 to begin with.

13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.
14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the "northeaster," swept down from the island.
15 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.
16 As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure.
17 When the men had hoisted it aboard, they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Fearing that they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along.
18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard.
19 On the third day, they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands.
20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.


That would be Paul and Luke included. There are times even the most spiritual ones among us perhaps are giving up all hope of being saved. These are the verses that will take our attentions as we get started in this series.

Here’s what I want you to see: it says that “a wind of hurricane force called a ‘northeaster,’” that means that a wind was coming from the north and wind was coming from the east to pull together a storm of great force.

We’ll begin by making six points that we’re going to work through over our series together. The first one is this: I want you to build upon as we look at life and this kind of storm in this kind of shipwreck. Number one is this: sometimes we are standing in the exact spot where several storms collide. I know that’s a long sentence but it’s a true sentence if you’ll ever write one down. Sometimes, number one, we’re standing in the exact spot where several storms collide.

You take a moment to jot that down and I want you to think it through and I want you to just peruse your own personal life right now and I wonder if you could tell me, just on one little hand, how many storms you have going right now. I mean, just like can’t we just go through one thing at a time. Does anybody ever think that besides me? I mean, why does everything have to come crashing down at once. And it seems like, it would be like does everybody hate me today? Anybody know what I'm talking about? Like, what? What? Do I have something on me that asks you to pick on me today? I mean where it’ll be everything coming in at the same time. Sometimes frustrating things. Sometimes…

My daughter’s identity got stolen here recently with her bank account. $400 out of her account before she knew what happened. Turn around and then you have a plumbing repair that costs you $500 – even more than what you lost before.

Then you find out maybe – and this is not my daughter. I’m just talking now, relatively speaking, for anybody that might be tuning in. Then maybe your mother-in-law moves in and maybe she moves in with her cat and maybe you are allergic to her cat and maybe you find something dreadful on the laptop and maybe you get to work that particular day and somebody says, “You know, you look tired today.” Like what are you supposed to say to that? And then they go, “Well, I don’t mean you don’t look good. I mean you just look tired.” And it’s too late. It’s too late! Because you know that this storm your going through is showing all over your face and probably all over your hair. Would somebody say amen to that? Storms colliding all in one place.

You find out at a time like that just how little control we all have in life. Nothing like it to remind us that we are not in sovereign charge of our lives.

I had my grandson and granddaughter last night. Yesterday was my oldest daughter’s birthday. She is 31 years old and I had both of the babies. My grandson, Jackson, is four and a half. And my granddaughter is a delicious 21 months and I could just eat them both alive. I love them so much! But he says really, really funny things and he’s got a tremendous amount of energy and an extremely enthusiastic personality. Maybe you know one place he gets it.

But our personality stays in a lot of trouble, it just always has. And so he gets into it quite often and one of things that they will say to him – They are such good parents, they’ve been teaching him how to have self-control. What’s your engine on? How much is it revved up right now? They know how to get him to count between one and a ten. About where’s your engine right now, Jackson? They will talk to him and they talk to him about having control.

So last night when they were about to leave him and go out on their birthday date they said, “Now Jackson, I want you to be so good for Bibby…” That’s my grandmother name, Bibby.

He said, “I know, I know! I have a troll’”

I looked at him! I said, “You’ve got a what, baby?”

He goes, “I have a troll’”

Well, he doesn’t realize they’re saying “control.” He just hears “have a troll.” So some of you, you’re going through a hard time and you really do think you have a troll right now, but actually we find out how little control we’ve had all along. And it could be something devastating. This happens all the time.

I get letters that I can’t even fathom that I’m reading, where someone will be diagnosed with cancer and going through very drastic chemotherapy and the spouse can’t take it and leaves. And you’re just thinking, “You gotta be kidding!” I mean, you really honestly gotta be kidding.

Someone needs to put you in timeout! I mean someone… But it happens and it happens a lot. And those are storms colliding all at the same time and the only thing you can tell to be the common denominator is you! And you’re here and they’re all colliding right on you.

That’s exactly what was happening with Luke and with Paul and the crew aboard this ship, they were just surrounded by chaos. I wonder if anybody in this audience, anybody on the other side of that screen just feels like there is nothing but chaos in your personal world.

Somebody told me the other day an acrostic for chaos. I’ve never seen it before. You’ve probably seen it a thousand – you probably tweeted it this morning on twitter. But it says this: chaos -- can’t have anyone over syndrome. Isn’t that the best? When you can’t have anyone over syndrome. When there’s that kind of craziness in your household that you know right now is not the best time for your 16 year old to have company. There are a lot of people that really would not – this is not the week to have the pastor over. Anybody understand what I’m saying to them? Just chaos! Chaos! A northeaster, two storms coming together.

There was a movie that came out in 1991 that was called The Perfect Storm and it was based on a true story of a ship called the Andrea Gail, a 72 foot steel hulled sword fishing boat that left the coast of the very northeastern tip of our nation and went out at the end of October, which would have been toward the winter season for their big catch.

And while they were there, about a week in, there came a storm, a low pressure storm, a high pressure storm. Low pressure off of the Great Lakes, high pressure coming off of Canada, hit by a late season hurricane coming off North Carolina, plunged into it. And it became a 2000 foot Frisbee. Three storms coming together! And they called it the perfect storm.

Now the word “perfect” is a very interesting word in the scriptures. In the New Testament it doesn’t always mean in its context to be flawless or sinless although that’s what we know of when it means the perfection of Christ, in a perfection of his plan for us. We know those things mean completely sinless and flawless in every way but there is another meaning to the word “teleios” in the Greek language that means to bring something to its goal or to its fulfillment. And what I want to present to you as we start this series together is that sometimes God allows some storms to come together in such a way that they fulfill something ultimately that would never have happened otherwise; that there is a plan. As hard as it is to see in the wind, as hard as it is to see in the waves, there really is a plan going on and somehow in it that whatever we’re going through we really do get to be a part of whether or not it will be a destructive storm or a perfect storm.

I thought it was so interesting about the Andrea Gail and The Perfect Storm back in 1991. It says, a quote out of the national weather forecasting, David Valley said this and I’m quoting, “This was truly an awesome example of nature trying to take advantage of everything she’s got.” Nature taking advantage of everything she’s got!

Well, I want to tell you something, we have something a whole lot worse than mother nature to deal with. We really do have an unseen enemy and powerful foes in invisible place and this is a war. It’s a war! And somehow we think that surely the enemy would have scruples enough not to hit us when we’re down. But that’s exactly where he looks. Exactly the spot where he goes to kick as hard as he can. So why on earth would God allow something like that to happen?

I want you to look back because I think there’s – just as we get started – there’s this wonderful portion that just keeps speaking to me over and over again in verse 13. Look back at that verse. It says,

When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted;


I just want to present to you that sometimes we really do think we have obtained what we wanted and God still has something for us we have yet to discover. Yes, he will let some winds blow and collide right where we’re standing to bring us to a place where we are no longer satisfied with what we had in him. But we know that there is a whole world of relationship to be had in Christ Jesus, far beyond anything this human realm could give us. We’ll think we just obtained what we wanted.

And it occurred it to me that so much in our material society we’ll talk about having a desire for too much when spiritually and scripturally speaking sometimes we are satisfied with way too little! And a storm comes along to blow everything that can be blown. As the book of Hebrews says, to shake everything that can be shaken so that which cannot be shaken will stand. It will stand!
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