Archive for September, 2011
The Christian Navy
We continue our thoughts this week about the ship’s that are in our navy as Christians. I am reminded of the song, It Is Well With My Soul, written after a tragic event at sea. The writer expresses his confidence that all is well because God is in control. Throughout our lives, the waves of the sea toss us about. I’m thankful we serve a God who offers us ways to escape the tempest of those violent seas.
The United States Navy has several types of ships in its fleet. Each ship has a specifically designed purpose. For example, the aircraft carrier is used as a mobile airport, the submarine is used for under water secrecy and the battleship is a mobile battlefield. There are several other ships in the fleet that we could look at and see the purpose for their existence. In our life as a Christian there are many ships at our disposal. Last week we observed four Christians ships, today I wish to share four more.
First, there is stewardship. A steward is simply one who has been entrusted to use someone else’s possessions. As Christians we have been entrusted with God’s possessions. Therefore we are to be good stewards of them. The greatest of God’s possessions is the gift of Jesus Christ’s blood. As a good steward we must not make salvation through Christ’s blood cheap or frivolous. As a steward we must share the message of Christ’s sacrifice. Acts 8:26-39 gives an example of a good steward. as it relates to spreading the gospel.1 Corinthians 4:2 speaks to the most important fact about a steward; he must be faithful.
Secondly, there is friendship. A very important ship to have in our fleet. The Bible says a great deal about our friendship. James 4:4 states that we are not to be friends with the world, If we become friends with the world, then we become the enemy of God. Jesus tells us if we follow His commandments then we are his friends. Abraham was called the friend of God in James 2:23. We must be friends with fellow Christians. It is important that we surround ourselves with those who share a common faith and are striving to reach the same goal.
Thirdly, there is hardship. Not a single person will go through life without some type of hardship. We must understand that hardship is beneficial. As we suffer in life, one of two things is going to happen, either we become a better person or a bitter person. On at least four occasions in 1st and 2nd Timothy, Paul speaks of partaking of and enduring afflictions. James 1:2-4 speaks of counting hardships as a blessing that leads to patience.
Lastly, there is leadership. Leadership is vital in all aspects of life. In the Church, leadership is critical. Perhaps the greatest need in the Church today is sound leadership. I’m not just speaking of elders and deacons. I’m including all members of the Church; think about leadership in the family. We can all be leaders if we have the desire to do so. Three things about leadership that are critical,
1) Recognize it, 2) Prepare yourself to be a leader, 3) Be an example. Without leadership, we are like the ship without a compass.
There may be other ships that you can think of that should be in the Christian fleet. The real questions is how strong is your commitment to the ships in your fleet? Let’s not take life too lightly and think that we will sail smooth seas. When life’s seas begin to be rough, you can always be assured that God and His navy will be there to make sure you have a safe passage.
Come join us a the South Jackson church of Christ as we begin a journey through Genesis.
We are located 2 miles off of Highway 45 on Highway 18 South. Our building is on the right.
The Christian Navy
Human life appears as a sea, an ocean, on which each life is a boat. You often experience this analogy in dreams. The picture presents various aspects of life: the sea can be stormy, the sky grey, and then again the sun will shine and the waters be calm until the next storm comes along. And so it alternates until the journey reaches its destination. This sentiment is expressed in several of the songs we sing. Master the Tempest is Raging and Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me are two that come quickly to mind.
The United States Navy has several types of ships in its fleet. Each ship has a specifically designed purpose. For example, the aircraft carrier is used as a mobile airport, the submarine is used for under water secrecy and the battleship is a mobile battlefield. There are sever other ships in the fleet that we could look at and see the purpose for their existence. In our life as a Christian there are many ships at our disposal.
First, there is discipleship. Remember that a disciple is simply a follower. As a true disciple of Christ we must exhibit several traits. John 15:8 tells us that a true disciple bears fruit. John 13:35 tells us that true disciple is known by the love they exhibit towards one another. Finally, John 8:31-32 speaks of one who abides in Christ’s word as a true disciple. Our challenge today is to be the true disciple in the midst of a world that easily distracts us and pulls us in many directions.
Secondly, there is citizenship. As a Christian we carry a dual citizenship, earthly and heavenly. The question some have is, ‘How do I obtain and maintain this heavenly citizenship?” It cannot be bought according to Acts 22:28. It is only attainable by the new birth, as Jesus instructed Nicodemus in John 3:5. Romans 6:3-4 tells of when the new birth takes place. The new birth occurs t the point of immersion into Christ. Heavenly citizenship is maintained by living a life of loyalty according to Revelation 2:10. Life is going to have mountaintops and valleys. Our response to the valleys will be the greatest test of maintaining.
Thirdly, there is fellowship. Fellowship is granted to those who have obtained and are maintaining heavenly citizenship. Ephesians 5:11 and Revelation 18:4 explains that fellowship works apart from sin and the ways of the world. 1 Corinthians 1:9 and Philippians 3:10 explain that true fellowship comes through Jesus Christ. Some folks miss what 1 John 1:3-7 says. We must have fellowship one with another. How can we expect to have fellowship with one another in heaven when we refuse to speak with each other as we live on earth?
Fourthly, there is workmanship. We have been created in God’s workmanship in order that we follow Christ’s example in going good to our fellowman. As we go about being the workman God’s desires for us to be we need to examine some aspects that need to be noted. Our workmanship needs to bring no shame according to 2 Timothy 2:15. The work we do needs to be profitable as revealed by 1 Timothy 4:8 and Titus 3:8. Our work needs to be done faithfully to brethren and to strangers according to Galatians 6:10 and 3 John 5.
Next week in part two of this article we will look at four more ships that we, as Christians need in our fleet. All will not be smooth sailing, but if we have a complete arsenal of ships we will be ready to face the storms of life.