Summary: Life is compared to sailing on a sea of time as we journey toward our ultimate destination. Let’s make sure we are on the right ship.
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Pastor James May
Life is but a journey on which we are all travelers to an eternal destination. There are none here who will remain here forever in this present world for one day this world and all that is in it shall pass away and God shall make all things new. We must never forget that this world is not our final destination so that when we sail out upon the waters of life, we must make sure that we are on the right ship. Not every ship arrives at the same destination. There are several stories from the secular world and a number of instances in Scripture where ships are mentioned and I want to examine a few of these to determine which ship each of us is on today.
In this journey of life we may discover that we will begin our journey on one ship and then transfer to another in order to switch course and change our destiny. One occasion that quickly comes to mind is that of the Titanic. The people who began that voyage so many years ago had no thought of their impending doom. They were convinced that their ship was the perfect ship and that it would never sink. How sad it is to read the accounts of their last hours upon the earth and to think of how many of those passengers never reached their intended destination but instead wound up facing their eternal destination.
I wonder how many of those people, who were out for a luxurious and self-gratifying life are now in the presence of the Lord in Heaven and how many are facing the eternal flames of Hell? Not one of them dreamed that they would never reach their port in America. Life seemed so promising.
The Apostle Paul wrote these words in his letter to Timothy found in 1 Timothy 1:19, “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:”
This is the description of so many people who have sailed their ship of faith into the rocks as they ignored every warning sign that God could bring in front of them.
Paul instructed Timothy, who also became a great preacher of the Gospel, that even those who love God and are attempting to serve God and preach to others the truth of God’s word and the message of Salvation are not immune to crashing upon the rocks of failure.
It is so easy for our human spirit to become enamored with the praise and recognition of the position that God has elevated us into. Rather than keeping our eyes upon Jesus and remembering that He is the only real source of our ministry, we get our eyes on self, thinking that we can do it without Him at times. It doesn’t take long until we realize that the Scripture is in, John 15:5, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
The number of those who have once lived for God and ministered to the people of God that have since fallen by the wayside and have made shipwreck of their faith is almost without number. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus and have integrity in all that we do so that we can maintain a clear conscience or our ship of ministry will surely be destroyed.
Paul talked of this very thing in Acts 24:16, "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men." He again spoke of keeping his conscience clear before all in 2 Corinthians 1:12, "For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward."