Sea Diamond Disaster



Pastor George W. Black

Opening Scripture:

Is 30:15 NLT “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.”

INTRODUCTION: Anyone that has ever spent time on the water in a boat has experienced a unique action known as drift. Whether paddle boat, ski-boat, sail-boat, or cruise ship, everything on the water experiences drift.

Unlike being on land, a boat floats on a constantly changing and moving fluid. Being on land is static. Being on water is dynamic. No matter where the boat is, it will drift from that location because of the effect of current, wind, and sometimes operator error.

Personal Experience: As a boy I once went fishing on Black Lake in Louisiana. It was a lake with lots of Cypress trees and some of the best Bream fishing I have ever experienced. I found a bed of Bream and was having a good time when the wind started blowing on that lake. Normally I would just use a paddle to hold my position, but on this day the wind was too strong. To remain in that good fishing spot I had to tie up to a Cypress Tree. When I was through fishing and ready to head home, I untied from the tree and cranked my little 3 HP outboard motor. Unfortunately my direction home was straight into the wind, and it was now blowing so hard that even with that little motor wide-open, I could make no headway…I was standing still in the water. I finally had to tie up to a tree again until the wind subsided, or I would have drifted further and further away from home.

Bass boats are equipped with electric trolling motors that are used for compensating for drift so a fisherman can remain in one spot.

As Christ-followers we can experience drift in our personal and devotional lives us to the effect of life’s currents, the wind of circumstances, and sometimes operator error. We need an “electric trolling motor” to help hold our position.

Drift is inevitable. How we compensate for it, and whether we compensate for it, is everything.


  1. God loves us and has a Great Big Plan for our lives, but His plan, and the plans that we “drift” into,  can be different plans.

Jer 29:11 NLT  “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jer 1:5 NLT “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

Heb 2:1-4 NLT “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. {2} The message God delivered through angels has always proved true, and the people were punished for every violation of the law and every act of disobedience. {3} What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself? It was passed on to us by those who heard him speak, {4} and God verified the message by signs and wonders and various miracles and by giving gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose to do so.”


2. We know we are drifting away from God’s plan for our lives:

A. When sin does not bother us anymore.

So how can we know when we’re drifting? There are some signs, and the first one is when sin does not bother us as much as it used to because we begin excusing it.

  • You begin to ignore your conscience.
  • You excuse yourself when you engage in activities that dishonor God and are contrary to His will.
  • You drift out of the will of God into a life of sin.
  • You begin to live in denial—you disagree that what you’re doing is wrong.

God’s Word is very clear about what sin is…it is falling short of God’s mark. All of us are sinners, and not a one of us should ever judge others for their failings. But God does ask us to judge ourselves. Are we growing more like Christ every day? If not, we are drifting.

B. When we lose interest in God’s Word.

The second indication that we are drifting is that our interest in God’s Word decreases. The Bible is our instruction book—so if we want to know how to live, we must look to God’s Word (see Psalm 119:9-11).We must meditate upon it or every area of our life will be affected.

C. When we neglect to pray.

The third indication that we’re drifting is that we lose our passion for prayer and stop crying out to God. The problem comes when things are going so well that we don’t feel the need to pray. However, that’s the time that we probably need to pray the most because we drop our guard and Satan attacks. Prayer is the only way we communicate with God—the navigator of our life. Without Him, we can’t fight the current or steer our way through the narrow moral, financial, relational, and spiritual channels of our life—and calamity is the result.

 D. When we lose interest in church.

The fourth indication that we’re drifting is that we stop meeting together with other Christians at church and other fellowship and ministry opportunities.

  • You avoid things that are spiritual so you don’t feel the shame of your sinful life.
  • You avoid contact with God so much that you lose your ability to hear God’s voice.
  • Your heart becomes hardened by sin and Satan’s lies.

We are called to worship, sing, preach the gospel, fellowship, pray together, and encourage one another—and there’s no excuse for missing out on that (see Hebrews 10:24-25). If you don’t belong to a church, ask God where you should go. Anytime we’re under the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, God is directing us—He stops us from drifting.

E. When we don’t give our time or money to support the values we say we have.

People are often critical of churches/organizations for asking people to tithe or support them with our money. But everyone else asks for our money, and we are not offended, because it is for a “good cause.” We need to see the Great Commission as the greatest “good cause” we could ever invest in.

Besides, we need to stop complaining when we are asked to obey God’s Word. God gives us richly all things to enjoy. It is selfish of us not to give back. Obeying God’s Word is the key to blessing. However we should never give money out of manipulation. It must be done by faith in God’s Word. We must also budget accordingly.

A budget is simply telling your money where to go. You cannot miraculously give a tithe or 10% of your money to the work of Christ if you have not created a budget for this to happen. To add increased giving, you must subtract spending in some other area. Learning to live within our means includes budgeting for the tithe.

Now, some people will say, “I can’t afford to give my tithe or spend time serving God.” However, you really can’t afford not to do it. You see, when we are faithful to do as God says, He makes the remainder much more valuable to us—He multiplies what we give to Him (see Luke 6:38). However, when we drift in the stewardship of our time and money, it affects everything in our life negatively.

F. When we don’t share Jesus with anyone.

We say we’re uncomfortable speaking out about or faith….why is that? We aren’t uncomfortable telling others about our favorite restaurant, song, movie, etc. Or we may say we are so busy that we just don’t have time to talk to others about the Lord. However, what we’re really saying is they can go to Hell. We don’t want to paddle against the current of the culture, which we know is anti-Christian. It’s just not politically correct to talk to people about Jesus. Yet, understand, we have no obligation before God to be politically correct. Rather, we have a divine obligation to be Biblically correct—because if we’re Biblically correct, we’ll change people’s lives and impact the society.

G. When we no longer feel close to God.

Of course, it’s because we’re not reading His Word, praying, going to church, giving, or witnessing anymore.

We may even begin to suffer in many areas of our lives and not realize it is the result of turning away from the Lord—even though it affects your mind, emotions, health, and spirit.

What we’re losing is the most intimate relationship that we could ever have. Our relationship with God is deeper than anything else, and only God knows how to satisfy us. Why do we forsake this relationship? We do so because of the influence of other people and the lure of the world’s ways. However, when we do that, we miss God’s best for our life. And if we want His best, we must be willing to fight against the current

H. The net result of drifting away from God and His plan is:

  • We grieve God’s heart because He loves you and knows the heartache and destruction you’ll face when you sin against Him.
  • We miss God’s best for our life.
  • We influence other people’s lives negatively especially those of your children and grandchildren.

Heb 12:1-2 NLT  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. {2} We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven.”


  1. We must guard our lives from drifting from the finished work of Christ, or we could lose everything in a shipwreck. 

It’s very easy to drift because it doesn’t take any effort; but it takes a great deal of effort to stay on track. That is why any one of us can drift. When we get tired we’re all in danger of neglecting our devotion to Christ.

AP News Report shows that drifting is dangerous because it leads to danger and disaster.

2007-04-07 10:35:07

Captain, Officers Charged in Sunken Cruise Ship – The Sea Diamond


“The captain and five officers of a cruise ship that sank off an Aegean Sea island were charged Saturday with negligence, state television reported.

The six officers were charged with causing a shipwreck through negligence, breaching international shipping safety regulations and polluting the environment, state NET said. All were released pending further investigations.

If convicted, the officers face a maximum five-year sentence.

Nearly 1,600 people were retrieved from the sinking ship Thursday in a three-hour rescue operation after the vessel foundered on a volcanic reef, but some passengers complained of an insufficient supply of life vests, little guidance from crew members and being forced into a steep climb down rope-ladders to safety.

Divers continued to search for a Frenchman and his daughter who disappeared after their cabin flooded with water when the ship struck rocks.

The 469-foot Sea Diamond struck rocks Thursday in the sea-filled crater formed by a volcano eruption 3,500 years ago off the island of Santorini, sinking about a quarter-mile off the coast, in waters of uneven depth, a few minutes before it was to dock.”

This ship drifted off-course a few minutes before it was to dock, and ended up on the rocks. We can’t be distracted in our relationship to God; He must always be our priority. Our salvation involves much more than just a moment in time when we made a decision. Rather, the Holy Spirit sealed us as children of God forever and we must understand what that really means and live it out.

We must make an effort to live in a way that honors God.


  1. If we have drifted, we must begin to make efforts to recover from the disaster of drifting and course-correct today.
  • We course-correct by anchoring to the Word of God.

2 Tim 2:15 MEV “Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

In his book “Good or God”, John Bevere says, “When we drift, we don’t realize it. We need to constantly come back to the Word of God to anchor our hearts to truth.

Dr. CI Schofield – right way and wrong way to divide or interpret the Bible

King David said “Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against YOU!”

The noble Berean’s of the New Testament searched the Scriptures daily to see if the things they were being taught were true.

Only truth has the power to change us. Good ideas and Facebook sayings never will.

Builds faith

Gives knowledge

Provides wisdom

Jesus is the Word. We can’t have a personal relationship apart from Him and His word.

Everything we need to know—everything that will keep us safely on course—is in the Bible, and God wants to teach us through it. He lifts verses off its pages and applies them to our minds and hearts, giving us clear direction. Whenever we need counsel about what to do, we can always look to God’s Word.

  • We course-correct by obeying the Word of God.

Psa 119:15-16 NLT  “I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your principles and not forget your word.”

 This means that we shouldn’t only read the Bible, rather, we should think about it, absorb it, and do as it tells us to do. In order to stop ourselves from drifting, we must obey God’s Word and make it an integral part of our life. We’ve got to be willing to submit to whatever God commands us to do.

  • We course-correct by surrendering our lives to God.

One of the wisest things we can do to keep from drifting is to submit ourselves to God before we get out of bed each morning. Begin the day with this simple prayer:“Lord Jesus, I surrender my entire life to You today. I am completely Yours.” Then, when some conflict, challenge, or temptation comes along, the Spirit of God reminds us that we have committed ourselves to obedience. It’s amazing the impact that simple prayer can make because God gives us the ability to see trouble coming from far away, and He gently reminds us that we’ve already surrendered everything to Him today. Once He shows us what we need to avoid or correct, we have the ability to yield that area to His authority.

  • We course correct by staying on guard.

 Understand that Satan is an enemy who will do whatever it takes to get you to drift away from God. Our final defense against drifting is to stay on guard against the schemes of the enemy.

2 Pet 3:17-18 NLT  “I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends, so that you can watch out and not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people. I don’t want you to lose your own secure footing. {18} But grow in the special favor and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be all glory and honor, both now and forevermore. Amen.”



First, acknowledge that you’ve been drifting away from God by confessing your sin.

Second, repent by admitting what you should be doing, which is being wholeheartedly devoted to your Lord and Savior.

Repentance is an about face—it’s a change in your lifestyle. You have not repented if you have not made a course correction. You get back on the course of godliness—the path that honors God. You surrender yourself to Him and allow Him to guide your life.

Have you been drifting? Do you lack the power and joy of the Christian life? Acknowledge to God that you’ve been drifting, ask Him to forgive your sin, and obey Him with all of your heart. If you don’t change your course, you’re ultimately going to destroy your life and end up on the rocks like the cruise ship, the Sea Diamond. If you get right with God, you’ll be back on track to experience His very best for your life, and can begin regaining everything you have lost.

Is 30:15 NLT “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.”



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