They Lightened the Ship

They Lightened the Ship

And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they li

ghtened the ship; Acts 27:18

Paul is ohis way to Rome over rough waters. The ship he is sailing on is in jeopardy of being grounded and destroyed. The captain of the ship gives orders to lighten the ship so they throw out the tackling. The tackling was all of the spare supplies such as ropes, chains, and sails. These things were useful, but since the occasion caused a lightening of the ship, they would be the first to go overboard. Excess weight had to be removed to give the ship more buoyancy and avoid the quicksand, which was a terror to all Mediterranean sailors of the day. Many a ship and crew had been lost in this quicksand. Once the ship was grounded in the shallows, the waves would tear it apart.

The ship had to be lightened. So it is, in our lives at times, especially when we are going through a storm.

  1. There may be material baggage that must be removed. We have a lot of stuff, and much of our stuff requires maintenance. Time is important when you are going through a storm. Maintaining stuff is just not as important, and to have it begging for your attention when you have more important things to tend to makes life even more difficult. It may be that if you reduce some of your stuff you will find yourself more buoyant in the storm you’re going through.


  1. There may be emotional baggage that needs to be unloaded. Heavy baggage such as worry. Didn’t Jesus say to cast your care upon Him for He careth for you? Martha was cumbered about many things, but one thing was needful for her and all of us. Stopping and listening to Jesus.

It may be baggage of fear. You have found yourself paranoid beyond reason, but this is simply a testimony that you don’t believe God can take care of you. Call it sin and cast it overboard. It cost the ten spies of Canaan land their lives.


It may be baggage of envy. Envy some heavy cargo that is truly unnecessary, yet it abides in all of us. King Saul would be shipwrecked by it. Remember, if you envy someone you are telling God He does not know what He is doing! Ouch! Cast it overboard!

Bitterness is heavy cargo that is poison on the ship. Get it out and prove it is out by showing love and mercy. Remember what Jesus has done for you and allow His mercy to lighten your load.

Worldliness is heavy and will certainly sink the ship of a Christian who allows it on board. Ask Lot. The reason it was so difficult for him to leave Sodom was that he wouldn’t throw it overboard.

  1. There may be social baggage that needs to be removed. When you associate with people who influence you more for evil than you do good for them, then you need to separate yourself.

You may have over-obligated yourself because of guilt, and you know you cannot do it all because of the storm. Don’t feel bad about unloading it.

In conclusion, you know you need to lighten your ship when:

  1. You have no time for God’s Word and prayer
  2. You have no time for church or service for the Lord
  3. Your joy of serving is gone
  4. Your love for the Lord is cold
  5. You yield more to the flesh than you do the Spirit
  6. You can’t handle confrontation without losing your testimony
  7. Little disturbances now have become big problems

Lighten your ship!


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