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.