Monday, January 2, 2017
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The Seattle Mariners were in the middle of a baseball game when it hit. It was an earthquake! And the sportscaster in the Seattle King Dome said, "Man, everything is shaking here." Well, the newscast showed the reaction of the Seattle star Ken Griffey, Jr. Even though he is one of baseball's premier players, he ran over to a spot on the field where he could see his family in the stands, and it wasn't baseball he was thinking of all of a sudden. He was motioning to his family to get out of that stadium, now and to start driving home! It reminded me of the night when an earthquake hit that third game of the 1989 World Series in San Francisco, and the remark the San Francisco catcher made that night. Even in the midst of living his World Series dream, speaking of that quake he simply said to a reporter, "Sure does change your priorities, doesn't it?"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "What Your Storm Helps You See."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Acts 27. There's a storm in there. Those baseball players had it right. When things are shaking it's time to remember what really matters. It happened to that great spiritual ambassador, Paul, in our word for today from the Word of God in Acts 27:18-20. Paul is a prisoner on his way to Rome for trial and there is a storm that literally shakes up everything, including everyone's priorities.
Verse 18: "We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. On the third day, they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved." Do you see how this is changing their priorities? I mean, things they would have never considered getting rid of before, they're throwing overboard.
It's amazing how life's storms and quakes make things that once looked so important, suddenly seem pretty inconsequential. And now, things that we haven't been paying much attention to suddenly seem very important. Verse 22, Paul is talking to the people onboard and he says, "I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am, and whom I serve, stood beside me 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." Well, with everything shaking, God showed up and reminded Paul of what really mattered. Not the ship, but the people around him and the mission God had given him.
Maybe right now is one of those earthquake times or storm times for you. God wants to use this time, not to ruin you but to re-focus you on the things that really matter, like your family who you may have been unintentionally neglecting because of all the demands on you. The quake is meant to bring you back into their lives. Or, it could be that God is trying to re-focus you on a life's mission, or a life's work that He's been wanting you to do for Him.
Maybe your life's been filling up with less important things. The shaking could be to drive you back to Jesus. You've gotten away, and the storm is designed to drive you back to Him. He's urging you to come back to the safety and the love of His arms. Or maybe you've just been neglecting your relationship with Him. Not doing anything against Him, but not spending much time with Him either. The quake is His way of driving you back to depending on Him, the place where you can really experience His love and His total power.
And it could be that you've never begun your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You probably know that when He was dying on the cross it was to pay the death penalty for everything you've done wrong in your life, and that He walked out of His grave under His own power. Do you know why? One reason, so He could walk into your life, and the storm has brought you to the end of you so you could finally experience His love for yourself. Would you say, "Jesus, I'm yours" today?
And I'd love to give you some information that would help you get started with Him if you'd just go to our website ANewStory.com.
Like the baseball player said, when everything's shaking, "Sure does change your priorities." Well, don't miss the message in the shake-up. It's time to stop playing the game for a little while and start taking care again of the things that really matter.