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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Kerry Shook » Kerry Shook - Buried Treasure

Kerry Shook - Buried Treasure

Kerry Shook - Buried Treasure

In the 1960s, a pioneer scuba diver named Melvin Fisher had mounting bills and no purpose in life and so he moved his family from California to Florida. He was in search of the source of gold coins that were washing up on Vero Beach, and Fisher started his company at that time of underwater treasure hunters and Fisher struggled through years of hard times diving for treasure in the Florida Keys. His motto was always, "Today is the day". Every day he would go out, "Today is the day," and he wouldn't find anything. He would strike out. The next day, "Today is the day," and he wouldn't find anything. He would strike out. But finally in 1980, he found the remains of the Santa Margarita and inside that shipwreck were $40 million worth of gold bars and silver ingots.

And then a few years later he found the main hall of the 1622 shipwreck, the Spanish ship the Atocha which contained a treasure estimated of over $450 million. You see, Melvin Fisher just didn't give up. He kept looking deeper. He kept getting closer. He just didn't give up because Melvin Fisher was convinced he would find unimaginable treasure in those shipwrecks, and I am convinced there is unimaginable treasure in your relationship wrecks. It's the great treasure of fellowship, and often the greatest treasures are found right in the middle of the wreck. We want to run from the wreck, but the greatest treasures are found in the middle of the wreck. Sometimes the greatest treasures are buried the deepest.

And so today I want us to look in scripture at a shipwreck, where Paul was on a ship going to Rome. He was placed on that ship against his will because he had been falsely accused and he was going to stand trial in Rome, and he heard from God before the ship left. And so he told the ship's captain, he told the Roman centurion guard that was guarding him, "Hey, God's told me that we're going to hit danger. This is going to be dangerous if we set sail now. We need to wait just a little bit". But the centurion that was guarding Paul listened to the experts. He listened to the ship captain and the sailors, and they set sail and right away they hit a terrible storm. Hurricane force winds and the ship was battered and was going through the storm for days. It was taking on water.

And finally they gave up all hope; but then Paul stands up in the middle of the ship right in the middle of the storm and he says this, and just follow along with me in Acts 27, verse 23. "Last night God's angel stood at my side, an angel of this God I serve, saying to me, 'Don't give up, Paul. You're going to stand before Caesar yet, and everyone sailing with you is also going to make it.' So, dear friends, take heart. I believe God will do exactly what he told me. But we're going to shipwreck on some island or another".

So Paul says right in the middle of this storm where the boat is taking on water, it's about to fall apart, and he stands up and starts speaking. Everyone listens to Paul now after he told them not to sail and they sailed, and he basically says, "Hey, I told you not to do this. You did it. But I've got great news for you. We're going to be in a shipwreck. But the good news is you're going to be in a shipwreck, but God's going to save you. You're going to be in a shipwreck, but you're going to make it with God's power".

And I believe with all my heart that in this passage we see some amazing truths about how to make it through a relationship wreck. And not just make it through, but God so many times will allow a relationship to start to sink and sometimes even wreck so it can be raised up, so you can find the treasure in it because God doesn't want you to stay at a shallow level. God doesn't want you to be on that surface level never really discovering the joy and fulfillment of why you were made; and he will allow things to come into it that start to sink it, sometimes wreck it so he can raise it up. And if you're going to find the treasure of fellowship, loved and being loved at the deepest level in your relationships, then you have to take a hard look at what is sinking that relationship.

I know every one of you right now have at least one or two of your closest relationships that are going the wrong direction. They're sinking. Maybe you're right in the middle of a relationship wreck. And if you want God to take that wreck and turn it into treasure, then the first thing you have to do is inspect the wreck. You see these shows, you know, on Discovery Channel and other channels where they have these scientists and these underwater researchers. They take these robotic submersibles and they go down and they find shipwrecks, and they find these old shipwrecks and then they start doing forensics on the shipwreck to see why it sank. And maybe they find an old U-boat from World War II and there's controversy in the historical record about how it sank.

And so they want to get down there and shine a light on it and see, you know, what tore the hull apart. Was it a depth charge? What was it? And they find out. They inspect the wreck, and that's the first thing we need to do when we're experiencing a relationship wreck. When we're sinking in a relationship, we need to inspect the wreck. A lot of people run from the wreck. They don't inspect the wreck and they miss the greatest treasure. And I've listed three things that cause these relationship wrecks. First is the iceberg of indifference. See, all relationships just naturally drift apart over time. Relationships never stand still. You're either moving closer and deeper or you're drifting apart.

And if you don't do anything intentionally, if you don't do anything actively and intentionally to grow closer, I know what you're doing right now. You're growing apart. You're drifting apart, and you drift apart over time and eventually you hit the iceberg of indifference and the relationship sinks. That iceberg of indifference causes so many of the relationship wrecks today because people think, especially in marriage, you get married and if you marry the right person everything's going to be great. You're always going to have these great feelings. Everything's going to be great, and that's not the case at all. If you're in friendship with someone who really gets you, then, you know, they always get you and it's going to be great. They're going to understand you, and that's not the case at all. You're in a business partnership and it's like, "Hey, we share the same philosophies so... hey, we got no worries".

And so they don't do anything intentionally and actively to grow closer together and what happens is you drift apart over time and eventually you'll hit the iceberg of indifference and sink, and that's why you're here today because you're going to do some intentional things. We're going to learn some intentional things that you got to do over the next several weeks to get closer and to grow deeper and not drift apart. In Acts 27:14, it says, "Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island. The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along".

When they went out, everything was smooth sailing and then, boom, the storm hit and they couldn't fight it. They tried to fight it at first to go against it, but then they just gave up and they gave way to it and they were driven along, and that's exactly what the winds of this culture do. You see, everything in our me first self-centered culture is designed to rip apart close relationships. And a lot of people fight it and they fight it and then they just give up and they just drift along and eventually they hit the iceberg of indifference. This culture today is just a graveyard for relationships and if you don't understand that, you don't realize it, then you're headed for an iceberg. You're headed for a wreck.

But then I want you to see there's the reef of resentment. A lot of ships wreck on coral reefs and that's because, you know, the ship might come through and everything be okay, but then over the years the reef builds up and builds up and the ship goes through the same place and the hull is ripped apart by the reef. Those little creatures, you know, they just, they grow a little bit at a time and they build and build and build until they build something that can destroy a ship, and that's the way bitterness works, the reef of resentment. If you don't know how to handle your anger and express it in the right way, if you don't know how to get out those feelings that you have, if you don't know how to fight in a relationship, and a lot of you are really good fighters against each other, but you don't know how to fight for connection through the arguments in your relationship.

You got to learn how to deal with conflict and handle conflict because that's the key to going deeper. How to handle conflict is everything. And so we're going to be talking about some of that in this series because if you don't handle it right, resentment starts to build up, and it's like a coral reef. It just keeps building, keeps building until eventually it sinks the relationship. But then there's the torpedo of broken trust. It's when trust gets torpedoed in a relationship and it sinks fast. Everything can seem great and, boom, trust gets betrayed. It gets torpedoed and that relationship will go right to the bottom. And it takes time to build trust back, but I want you to know it can be done with God's power.

But if you don't inspect the wreck and realize that, "Hey, this wreck needs to be repaired and it's going to take time. It's going to take building trust back". And by the way, you forgive instantly. God commands us to forgive. And so when someone hurts you, you forgive instantly. Paul told them, "Hey, don't go on this journey. We need to wait because if you go now, it's going to be dangerous". Well, they said, "We're not gonna listen to your God, Paul. We're going to go right now". And they did. They made the mistake, they screwed up, but Paul experienced the consequences of it. He was in the right, he was in God's will, but he still had to go through the storm. He still had to go through the shipwreck. And some of you your trust has been torpedoed and it wasn't your fault and now you're having to go through the pain of the shipwreck and it's not fair, but God commands you to forgive for your sake to experience that healing.

So you choose to forgive. Whether you feel like it or not you choose to forgive, and some of you are holding on to resentment from someone who hurt you years ago and it's hurting all your relationships right now in the present. You're still letting someone from the past hurt you today, and that's not smart. And God wants you to choose to forgive, but it takes time to build trust back. I have people tell me all the time, "Well, I don't know that I can forgive them because that means they'll just hurt me again". No, you forgive for your sake and you choose to forgive, whether you feel it or not, for your healing and then it takes time to don't have to get right back into that relationship in that way where they can hurt you again. It takes time to build trust back, and they have to be willing to take the time that it takes to build that trust back.

Now, almost all close relationships will experience some kind of a wreck when everything is sinking, and it's what do you do... when you see the relationship sinking, it's what you do in the middle of the wreck that determines if the relationship will be torn apart or will go to that deepest level and you'll find the treasure. It'll be torn apart or treasured, one or the other, and it's what you do in the middle of the wreck that usually determines that. And so what we need is to see the four treasures that God is trying to help us find in the middle of the wrecks, and sometimes it takes a long search. It's a hard search. It's a difficult search. It takes a lot of light, but God wants to give you that treasure.

First, I want you to see the treasure of a new priority. Sometimes God will allow a relationship wreck so that we can see what's really important. In Acts 27:18 it says, "We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard". So they lightened the load and they throw the cargo overboard so the ship won't sink. Now, think about this for a moment. Just a few days before, they're loading in the cargo, being so careful with their valuable cargo. This is why they're taking the trip. They're taking that cargo over. Paul sure was being transported to Rome, but they just got him on board, you know, at the last minute because that ship was going that direction.

And so the reason that ship was going there was take the valuable cargo. And so they're loading it on, being so careful. I'm sure some of the crates had "Fragile. Handle with care". They're being so careful with this valuable cargo, and two days later it's not valuable at all. It's meaningless to them. They're chucking it overboard. They could care less about it. Why? There's something about the storms of life that make you see what's really valuable. There's something about shipwrecks that make you open your eyes to what really matters, and they start seeing it.

In 1 Corinthians 13:13 it tells us what really matters. "Three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love". Saying three values are eternal: faith, hope, and love; and love is the greatest. So at the end of your life when it's all been said and done, when the last deal has been closed, when there's no more people to impress, when there's no more trivial things to worry about; there's only one thing that's going to matter, the most important thing, the greatest thing, love.

How well did you love? Did you love God with all your heart, and did you love the people in your life? You can be the most successful person in the world, the wealthiest, most powerful, most successful person in the world, but if your relationships are all shipwrecked, it's meaningless, it's worthless. You're a failure. All that's going to matter when it's all said and done is how well did you love, and that's why we're going to spend some time on this over the next several weeks because it's all that's going to matter to you at the end of your life. Everything will come clear. You will throw, some of the things that you thought were dearest and most important, you'll throw them overboard in an instant when you realize that. How well did you love?

So there's the treasure of a new priority and sometimes it takes a shipwreck for us to see what's most important. And the second thing I want you to see is the treasure of a true commitment. In Acts 27, verse 30 it says, "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. Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, 'Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.' So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away".

You see, what's happening here, there are some crew members that are going, "This ship is about to sink. It's barely holding together. And so if we get in this lifeboat and sneak out, abandon ship with no one knowing, then we can save ourselves". But God told Paul, "Hey, if these guys leave and they abandon ship on this lifeboat, if they take the lifeboat and get out of here, then they're going to die and everyone else is too. If you depend on the lifeboat to save you, then I'm not going to save you". And so Paul tells the centurion this. "Hey, these guys are trying to escape, and if they go, no one here is going to be saved". The centurion believes Paul now. He believes Paul's God.

And so what does he do? He makes those guys get back in the boat and then he cuts the ropes to the lifeboat and lets it drift away so there's no option. They can't abandon ship anymore. And in a marriage relationship you got to cut the ropes to divorce, to abandoning the ship. You got to say, "We're committed to each other. We're two broken people, but we're stuck with each other so we better figure out how to work it out. We better figure this out". That's the key. Because if you have a lifeboat always there waiting, you're going to take it when times get tough and you're going to miss out on the greatest treasure because you can't find the treasure unless you look beneath the tough times. You'll find it right in the middle many times of the wreck.

And so you're not going to abandon ship, you're going to stay with the ship with God's power and God's grace. Commitment. But we live in an anti-commitment kind of world where so many people are halfheartedly committed to 100 different things but never totally committed to a few things that matter. In Acts 27:24, "And he," God, "said, 'Don't be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar. What's more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you,'" isn't that amazing? God says, "Hey, I told you a long time ago you're going to stand trial before Caesar and preach the gospel to Caesar and his household and you're going to preach the gospel in Rome. I mean, I'm going to use you to change the world, and this is my plan".

And even though everyone around him made a terrible mistake and screwed it all up and he's on the boat that's about to be shipwrecked, God says, "This shipwreck is not going to change my purpose for your life". And there's no problem that can change God's purpose for your life. There's no sins and mistakes that other people make that's going to change God's purpose for your life.

And even when I screw up and make mistakes, God says, "If you'll get back in my plan, I can even take your failures and use them for my purpose". God can take your greatest pain and turn it into purpose. There's nothing that could stop God's purpose for your life. And so Paul realizes this, and then God says, "And by the way, I'm going to take care of everyone sailing with you. Anyone who stays on the boat with you, they're going to be saved as well". And that shows me the safest place to be in the middle of the storm is with godly people.

Then the third thing, the treasure of a real peace. The only place you can find a peace that God's talking about is in the middle of confusion, in the middle of a storm. Says in Acts 27:23, "For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me". Paul was at perfect peace in the middle of the storm. He knew they were going to be shipwrecked and yet he had a peace that no one could explain, and everyone looked at Paul and he wasn't worried at all, why? He knew God was right there with him and God would never leave him, that God was going to see him through. And if you're a Christ follower, your God will never leave you. No matter what you go through in life, you'll never have to go through it alone. He will go through it with you.

In fact, if you're a Christ follower he'll go through it in you with his Holy Spirit, and that's why Jesus said in John 14:27, "I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid". He's saying, "I'm going to heaven, but I'm going to leave my Holy Spirit with you and he's going to give you peace". The comforter will give you peace in the middle of confusing times, in the middle of chaos; and our world is a chaotic place and there's so much confusion, there's so much hurt, there's so much pain, there's so much injustice in our world today and yet God says, "If you're a Christ follower, I don't care what's going on in your circumstance. I don't care what's going on in the world. If you let me be the prince of peace in your heart, you will be at peace; a peace the world cannot explain, a peace where you know that I'm with you and I will see you through".

That's what Paul had, and that's what attracted everyone on the boat to him eventually. They saw the peace that they didn't have, and they wanted that. God wants to give you his peace, but his peace is a gift and it's a treasure that's buried beneath my circumstances. You see, we say, "God, change my circumstances so I'll have peace". But God many times doesn't change our circumstances; he changes our character and he gives us peace in the middle of the circumstances. And it's not your circumstances that are stealing your peace, it's not turning to the Lord in the middle of the circumstances. He wants to give you peace the world cannot explain, and it's buried beneath my questions.

When we go through pain, when we go through shipwrecks, we start asking God questions and God's okay with that. He wants us to bring our questions, all our doubts and fears, even anger to him; and God wants you to pour out your anger on him. It's what the Bible tells us. And after you've poured out all your anger and you've asked your last question, he'll still be there to hold you when you finally surrender. He'll still be there. And so it's found beneath my questions. It's kind of like a child who doesn't want to take that nap, and they fight it and they fight it and they fight it until finally they fall asleep in their father's arms and they surrender and they find that peace.

Some of you today, you're fighting it and fighting it and fighting. It's time for you to surrender. You will find it beneath your questions. God wants you to ask the questions. It's okay to have doubts. You can't have faith without some doubt, and so God says, "Bring it all to me". But after you've asked the last question, after you're worn out and you can't fight anymore, he'll still be there because he loves you perfectly and completely. And he knows everything about you, and you can rest in his arms and lay your head on his chest. But then I want you to see it's buried beneath my pain. Some of the greatest treasures are buried the deepest and some of the greatest treasures are buried beneath an avalanche of pain. And we want to run from pain because we don't like pain, but God says, "If you'll stay in the pain for just a little bit, you'll find the greatest treasure of your life".

And some of you are just about to give up. You're about to give up in some area of your life. What if Melvin Fisher would have given up the day before he found the Santa Margarita? What if he would have given up? He would have never experienced the treasure. And some of you have been in a shipwreck and you're about to give up. Some of you are about to give up on your marriage. Some of you are about to give up on a friendship. Some of you are about to give up on a dream that God's placed on your heart and you're just on the verge of the greatest treasure of your life. You just don't know it because of the pain, but you will find that treasure in the middle of the pain; not running from the pain but looking into the pain and finding God's greatest treasures beneath the pain. It's amazing that the greatest treasures are found in shipwrecks. The greatest treasures in your relationship will be found in the wrecks of your relationship.

And then we see the fourth thing, the treasure of a supernatural love, the treasure of a supernatural love. I love this prayer Paul prays in Ephesians chapter 3. It says, "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God". That's my prayer for you in this series, that you will just get a little glimpse of how much God loves you; that you would just grasp a little bit of how deep and how wide God's love is for you, how he knows everything about you and loves you completely.
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