14 Days of Waiting

Virtual Sermon Discussion Questions

#1. What is your biggest struggle with waiting?
#2. Are you getting enough spiritual nourishment during this time? What things are comforting you?
#3. What are you doing (specific acts) to spend your time wisely during this time?
#4. Given that God is our comfort, who are you reaching out to comfort who may not know God?

14 Days of Waiting   (Acts 27:27-38)            *Verses in NKJV*

1. 14 days of waiting…

– The scripture today reminds of our current season, and the “15 days to slow the spread”. The first few days felt like “snow days”. But the last 2 weeks have turned into a time of anxiously waiting.

– Anxious, hypervigilant, trouble sleeping, watching for updates daily wondering when life will be predictable and normal again. Just riding out the “storm”, waiting for it to pass.

– Anxiety and Hypervigilance are basically what happens when there is a constant triggering of the body’s fight or flight mechanism. (When it lasts weeks or months, instead of just minutes.)

Example: I remember when Thad was in the hospital with pneumonia last year. I just stood there in his room for 24 hours staring at his sleeping body, watching his vital signs on the monitor, waiting for them to return to normal. Not sleeping, not eating, not playing with my phone… just waiting.

– Maybe you have become familiar with this hypervigilant feeling over the last 14 days.

– It’s actually a biological defense mechanism. When threatened, and animal doesn’t sleep or eat or drink. It’s focused on the threat until it passes. (Should only last seconds or minutes…)

– Drinking water and taking slow breaths actually causes the brain to feel safe. Your body tells your brain that the threat must be gone, or you wouldn’t stop to drink water or eat food.

– God has designed you in such a way, that if you will eat of the “bread of life” and drink of the “living water”  you will have peace in the midst of the storm.

Acts 27:33-34a, And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival…

– Right now, we need spiritual nourishment for OUR survival.

2. Continuing in the Book of Acts…

– The Apostle Paul is still a prisoner, now on a ship headed to Rome so he can plead his case before Caesar. The ship is now caught in a fierce storm that has lasted 2 weeks. People are afraid!

Acts 27:20, Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.

– Today’s verses are a continuation of the story.

– Read Acts 27:27-38

– Ethan preached last week, and you should go back and listen to it. 2 things spoke to me:

– “Paul believed God!” and, “Are you living like you believe God and the promise of His word?

– Paul believed God!

– God has given us His word and promise, and that is our foundation and hope during the storm.

– God didn’t calm their storm, he calmed their hearts. The words of God will bring us peace.

– Our storm right now is COVID-19:

          – 2 weeks ago: The U.S. totals were 3,100 positive cases and 60 deaths.

– Right now: 175,000 positive cases, and 3,400 deaths.

– Best case scenario prediction: over 1,000,000 cases, and over 100,000 deaths!

– With this going on in our country, the only place we will find peace and rest is in the arms of Jesus, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

– Are you living like you believe God and the promise of His word?

– During times of trouble and crisis, does your faith show through? Are you being a living example of how Jesus has changed your life?

Example: Oct. 2019, a Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, entered the wrong apartment, and killed an unarmed man named Botham Jean, in his own home. She was sentenced to 10 years in proson.

– The sentence was met with boos and jeers by a crowd gathered outside the courtroom. But Jean’s younger brother, Brandt Jean, in a victim impact statement after the sentence, told Guyger he forgave her and loved her as he would any other person. He asked the judge if he could hug Guyger, and the two embraced as Guyger sobbed.

He said, “I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die, just like my brother — I personally want the best for you,” Brandt Jean, 18, said. “I wasn’t going to say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want.” Brandt Jean said Guyger should give her life to Christ, because that’s what his brother would have wanted.

The Dallas County District Attorney said Brandt Jean’s gesture was “an amazing act of healing and forgiveness that’s rare in today’s society. In 37 years, I’m trying to go back in my memory bank to see if I’ve ever seen anything like that and I don’t think I have.”

Acts 27:35, And when he (Paul) had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it, he began to eat.

– Paul lived out his belief, and even the soldiers on the ship listened and trusted him because of it.

– The people around you are watching you! Will your faith withstand the wind and crashing waves?

2 Cor. 1:3-4, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

3. Stop waiting for the storm to end. Take nourishment!

“Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing. Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival…”

– Take in spiritual food to sustain you in this trying season. Verses like these:

Phil 4:6-7, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

2 Tim. 1:7, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Phil 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Matt. 6:34, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

– Guard your heart and minds, focus on things above, and set this example for others.

– You get to choose what you will focus on and how you will spend this time.

– Believers and nonbelievers will both be encouraged by your faith and trust in Jesus.

Acts 27:36, Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves.

Jesus is the bread of life. True spiritual nourishment will only come from him!

Alter call: and if you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, right now, wherever you are, give your life to jesus today. Place your hope in jesus. Repent and live a new life.

– prayer –

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