The text for this lesson is Acts 27.
- As Christ was with Paul and his companions in a perilous sea voyage, so He is with us, holding us up, keeping us with Him in the ship of the Church, and casting all our sins into the depths of the sea.
- Law:In sinful despair, I let the pains of the present overtake me; I doubt God and do not trust His redeeming love.
- Gospel: Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever, rides out the storms of life with me, granting me hope through my redemption in Christ.
- Revisit Acts 27:1–8. Paul is on his way to Rome to be tried. Yet, there is no sign of fear. In fact, Paul befriends his captors. What kind of trust must Julius have in Paul to allow him to go see his friends before he leaves? What can we learn from Paul in this?
- In ancient times, sea travel was dangerous, especially in the winter. Paul warns the crew of this (v. 10), but they choose to set sail anyway. Soon a strong storm is upon them, and after a number of days, they lose hope of being saved. But then, in verse 24, an angel of God delivers a marvelous promise to Paul. What does the angel mean when he tells Paul that God has granted him all those sailing on his boat?
- Read verses 31–32. At the beginning of the journey, Paul warned the guards, but they did not listen. Now do the soldiers listen to Paul? Is this act of obedience a sign of faith?
- In verse 34, Paul promises that God will not allow a single hair to perish from their heads. Yet God has not acted directly in any miraculous way to save the crew of the ship. Reflect for a minute upon the simple, normal ways in which God directs the ship. How might this challenge us in our own lives to reflect upon the way that God works?
- Food is very important. It nourishes us, gives us strength, and helps us to do our daily work. Paul offers bread to everyone on the ship. They hadn’t eaten in two weeks. How does God feed us? In what ways can we find a comparison between Paul’s feeding of the 276 on the ship and Jesus’ feeding us through the Lord’s Supper? In what ways do they differ?
- Read verses 39–44. During this time, the soldiers despair. What is their plan? Why does the centurion seek to save Paul instead? How does the centurion become an unwitting partner in God’s plan to save everyone on board the ship (v. 34)?
- God was with Paul and his companions during the storm, a frightening situation. God is with us, too, in our frightening situations and in all our troubles. Share some of the storms in your life and how God was with you. What promises from God’s Word are especially meaningful to you?