The perfect storm is that moment when many different circumstances come together at once to make something big happen. When I lose my job, and I’m having problems with my kids, and my wife is having health problems, and I’m emotionally down, we say, “It was the perfect storm.” The funny thing is, the perfect storm is not that unusual of a thing. They happen a lot. Storms are a part of life. And if you’re out on the sea of life and a storm happens, your ship had better be in shape. Today, we call our relationships SHIPS, and SHIPS come in all kinds of shapes. Getting our ships in shape starts with laying a solid foundation.
Jesus told a story about building your life on the right foundation in Luke 6:46: “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” Luke 6:46-49
Jesus is saying the only way you can stand against the storms of life is by making Him the Lord of your Ship.
A 2016 Harvard Study shows the difference worship attendance makes in divorce rates. According to this study, married couples who regularly attend worship services together are 47% more likely to not get divorced than couples who don’t go to church. Harvard’s Tyler J. VanderWeele said, “It turns out that the pursuit of the goal of connecting with God has profound implications for numerous other aspects of life, including health and marriage.”
The Foundation for Strong Relationships is simply this: Put God First.
In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Proverbs 3:6 (TLB)
I want us to look at 4 areas to get your SHIP in SHAPE:
It’s wise to recognize that time is short.
Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12
God wants to have control of your schedule, so that He can interrupt it if He needs to. Not, here’s my schedule, God, you bless my plans, but, God I want to do what you have planned for me.
Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:16‑17
Planning your schedule around God’s plans starts by realizing that every day of our lives is a gift from God.
15 minutes is just over 1% of the 1,440 minutes in each day. You can invest those first minutes with God by cracking open your Bible, or your Bible app, and praying and reading.
Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do today that I’m going to need to spend three hours in prayer so I can get it all done.”
If you had a meeting with Jesus at Dan’s Hamburgers tomorrow morning, would you blow that off? Would you be late? No, you’d be there. Schedule it in your day.
Tune into God’s Word, the Good News, and hear from Him before anything or anyone else.
Be careful that you don’t give first-place allegiance to a second-class cause.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25
Families are God’s idea.
For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God. Hebrews 3:4
About 75% of your child’s character is picked up from you modeling it, not what you teach. Putting God first is caught, not taught.
“The family that prays together stays together,” was first said by a Roman Catholic priest named Patrick Peyton, who used it as a slogan for his Family Theater of the radio program that aired for 22 years and at one point reached 5 million weekly listeners.
Challenge: Hold hands and pray with your family before meals together.
Put God first in everything you do, not just the spiritual activities.
Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Are you comfortable talking about spiritual things?
Talk with each other much about the Lord. Ephesians 5:19 (TLB)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
When you make God’s purpose and plan your top priority, He has this incredible promise for you that He will take care of the rest.
You’ve either just gone through a storm, or you’re going through one right now, or you’d better brace yourself because a storm is probably blowing in and on the way. Jesus said, if you don’t have a foundation, your house, your family, your relationships, whatever you’ve been building, no matter how great it looks on the outside, will not stand.
In the Old Testament, Joshua made this important commitment in the middle of a culture that was saying, we have all these other priorities besides God. In Joshua 24:15, He made a stand and made this bold commitment:
But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
Who is the Lord of your Life and the Captain of your SHIP?
Questions for Discussion
- What insight, principle, or observation from this week’s message did you find most helpful, eye-opening, thought-provoking, or troubling? Why?
- Have you ever experienced a “perfect storm” where many different problems happened all at once? What happened, and what was the outcome?
- Read Luke 6:46-49. How have you listened and followed Jesus’ teachings? What are some obstacles or distractions that you have overcome or are working to overcome?
- When it comes to a schedule, I…
• Plan every minute I can including the smallest details
• Generally plan but have some flexibility
• Don’t make many plans, and allow for lots of flexibility
• Schedule? What’s that?
- Read Hebrews 3:4. How do you make God a priority in your home?
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:31. How do you make God a priority in your interests and hobbies?
- Read Matthew 6:33. In what ways is God the top priority in your life?