Avoiding A Shipwreck 

Deuteronomy 18:9
“When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.”

In the closing chapters of the book of Acts, we read of a ship that set sail late in the season, en route to Rome. The voyage proved extremely difficult and costly. Because of a severe storm that brought strong headwinds, driving rain, navigation was almost impossible; the sun, moon and stars were hidden by the clouds. It was not long before that ship was slammed into a shallow reef.

Following Christ is sometimes like that. Jesus explained, while we are not of the world, He has sent us into the world to carry on His mission of seeking and saving the lost. It seems we are constantly battling between how to reach others with the Good News, while not compromising in our relationship with Christ. This passage gives us a valuable principle on how to live for Jesus in a world that doesn’t.

“When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.”

While there are many things we can learn by observing the world around us, it is important to keep in mind that both the goal of the unbelieving world, and the means of meeting those goals, are quite different than the goals and methods of the follower of Christ. When we lose sight of who Christ is, and who we are in Christ, it is easy to  look around and try to behave like the world we observe. This can happen to a young person who finds himself outside of the shelter of his Christian home, and surrounded by peers who are not following the Lord. It can happen to parents, who, after spending so much of their lives raising little ones, lose sight of the value of that calling, and want to find their identity in something else. It can happen to pastors who look around after years of faithful service and find their ministries are still quite small.

We must be careful that we do not look to the world to define the value of who we are or what we do, or we will become like that ship being tossed about by a vehement tempest and get completely off course.

Pastor Jim

 

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