I Saw 7 Ships Devotional

Pick up some discussion questions for this devotional toward the bottom of the page.

I Saw 7 Ships Come Sailing By

Julia Bettencourt

Posted April 21, 2011


When I was growing up I used to love all those old movies that revolved around ships on the high seas.  You know, like Mutiny on the Bounty and some of those that had a little swashbuckling thrown in.


Did you know we have our own ships that we are responsible for sailing through life? 



Citizenship

You've gotta have your papers to get on board!

Do you know Christ personally?  Is your name written in the Book of Life? If you have accepted Christ, your citizenship is in heaven.


For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Philippians 3:20


Ambassadorship

We have our orders!

When we are a child of God, we become an ambassador to Christ.  How well is this ship sailing for you?  The mission of this ship is to represent Christ in how we live and in the spreading of His love and the message of the Gospel. 


Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  
2 Corinthians 5:20,21 


Friendship

Heave! Ho!

Friendships takes a little work but boy are they worth the effort.  It's not always calm waters but having friends on the journey sure makes it more enjoyable. 


Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
  Ecclesiastes 4:9,10

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6

Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.  Proverbs 27:9

Fellowship

All hands on deck! 

Working together in unity helps this ship sail along.  This ship is essential for our Christian life.  We need our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We depend on each other for prayer, encouragement, and to move forward to build up the kingdom of God. 


And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  Acts 2:42

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.   
Philippians 2:1-4

Relationship

Steady at the helm!

Our relationships with others is something we all have to work on.  I've already mentioned friendship and Christian fellowship, but those other relationships such as with our spouse, children, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers all need attention.

Each of these relationships have some intricate blueprints.  All the mechanisms are different and sensitive for each.  They operate in unique ways, so watch out how you steer and treat these ships.  Pay attention to them and keep them fine tuned or a gasket may blow!


...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  Matthew 22:39

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men...  1 Thessalonians 3:12

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.  Matthew 7:12

There are several passages throughout the Scripture that refer to our relationships with our parents, children, and spouses and I'm not going to list them out here, but working on each relationship is important.

Taking time to really evaluate where you are in your relationship with each might help you to take some steps to improve them and sail along a little more smoothly.

Discipleship

Make way for the Captain!

At times when Christ was teaching His disciples lessons they were on a ship.  Remember Peter's lesson about faith?  It's scary to get out of the boat and test the waters.  Isn't it?

How about when they had fished all night and caught nothing?  Then Jesus had them go out into the deep and lower the nets.  Look at the amazing thing that happened when they did as Jesus asked.  They caught so many fish the net broke.

Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
  Luke 5:4-6

There's also the time Christ was out on a ship with the disciples and was asleep when the storm came up.  They learned another lesson about faith that day.


And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
   Mark 4:37-41


Being a disciple doesn't mean there's always going to be smooth sailing but we know the Maker of those waves.  We've just got to follow Him and listen to Him and do as He commands us to do.

It requires getting into the Word and getting to know the Lord and what He expects of us in order to follow Him.  We are to live to reflect Him.


Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.  John 8:31

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  John 13:35

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.  John 15:8

Worship

Pipe down!

That's a nautical term that means the pipe has blown and it's time for lights out and to be quiet on the ship.  My dad used to say that to us when I was growing up but I never knew where the saying came from until recently. 


There are some times we have just got to pipe down and do what Psalm 46:10 says,  


...Be still, and know that I am God.


It's essential that our worship sails correctly or we'll find we are sinking fast in our Christian life.  Without worship we get punctures and leaks in our very lining.  When we get our eyes off of the Lord, worldly and ungodly influences will come rushing into our lives with a force that you won't believe.

It's not just that Sunday Morning Worship either, although that's important, but to daily communicate with the Lord, read His Word, pray, and really reflect on Who God is.

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.  Psalm 29:2


Conclusion:

Here we are out on the high seas of the waters of life and we need to have our ships going in the right direction.  Once we've got that Citizenship in order, the rest of those ships need to be watched and maintained.

We've got to batten down the hatches because there are so many dangers out there.  The waters can be deep, the wind might not always be on our side, and what about those pesky pirates?

Pirates come in several forms sneaking over the side our of our ships with their grimy faces, steely eyes, and menacing smiles.  Sometimes we see their black flags raised and know they're coming and sometimes they catch us off guard.

They may creep up in the form of challenges that come up in our lives, the weight of heavy schedules, and even just the everyday journey of life that makes us feel like they've got us cornered to walk the plank.

When we feel like that, maybe we need to step back and reflect.  Get out on deck and feel the salty air and take a deep breath.  Look around and out upon the horizon.

God made that wonderful sea of life and with the Lord as your Captain, you can have such a fulfilling journey.  Talk about a Master and Commander!

...even the winds and the sea obey him!   Matthew 8:27

Let the Lord be your guide.  Use His Word as your compass to align your ships in the right direction and really work on the fleet you've been entrusted with.

So, how are your ships sailing?

Copyright ©2011 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.
www.juliabettencourt.com


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