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A ships crew can be suddenly obligated to ABANDON SHIP and take to the life boats. Such was the case of an American whaling ship in the South Seas. A huge leviathan of the deep, wounded by his pursuits, ran out the mile long line then returned again and struck the ship with incredible velocity. The blow was such that the vessel instantly began to receive water and gradually began to flood. The ship was far from land and out of the normal sea traffic patterns. There was little chance for rescue till they could return to lower latitudes.

The word to abandon ship was sounded and all hands went to work and soon all sea-worthy rafts were loaded to the gun-rail with the necessities of life. When the deck was nearly level with the sea the boats shoved off for safety. After the boats had pulled a hundred yards away, two men leaped into the water and swam for the nearly sunk ship with determination. They reached it just before it completely submerged and disappeared down a hatchway. In a minute or so they emerged again with something in their hands.

As they leap into the water the ship went under. The men were separated from each other and their object of rescue because of the whirlpool that commenced from the sinking hull. They seemed not to be concerned for their own safety as they remained in the turbulence searching for the object which they had carried over the ship’s side. Finding it again they bore it away to their comrades in the boat.

What did these strong swimmers carry that they seemed to value more than life? It was the compass! It had been left behind and was remembered almost too late. Now that they have it they will not let it go. Whatever they lose, they will keep it at all costs, for "It is their life."

Oh that souls shipwrecked and sinking in the sea of time would but take hold of the truth as it is found in Jesus because they realize it is their hold on life!

(From a sermon by Dennis Davidson, Watch Your Step, 8/25/2011)

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