A friend of mine has a beautiful picture of an old sailing ship on the wall of his office. The caption says, “A ship is safe in the harbor but that is not what it was intended to do”. There are many Christians who are comfortable in their knit little social of friends and bask in the small measure of truth that they have. At the same time they observe many who are hurting. They say, “They shouldn’t have gotten themselves into that mess.” And they go on with selfish pursuits.

As we read Scripture we have a terrible habit of only applying what we read to others who are less enlightened. But, what should happen is we should consciously consider how it applies to us at the moment. Consider, for example, The book of Isaiah which was written 750 years before Christ. The prophet is given a message to speak to the people of his day but it is a message that could be spoken today, word for word.

“Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Tell my people Israel of their sins! Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to hear my laws. You would almost think this was a righteous nation that would never abandon its God. They love to make a show of coming to me and asking to take action on their behalf….no one cares about being fair and honest. Their lawsuits are based on lies. They spend their time plotting evil deeds and then doing them. They spend their time and energy spinning evil plans that end up in deadly actions. They cheat and shortchange everyone. Nothing they do is productive. All their activity is filled with sin.” Is. 58;1-2, 59;4-6 (New Living Translation)

In Luke chapter 5, the Lord told Simon to “put out into deep water”. The fish were found in the deep water not in the shallow. Likewise that beautiful sailing ship was to launch out into the deep for that is what it was designed to do; carry cargo. Yes, it can be very dangerous, but that is what we Christians were designed to do. We have a choice; we can build a bigger church monument complete with gymnasium, weight room and modern rock music to attract unbelievers to the church and by that water down the faith of those that are faithful members or we can reach out to the lost, where they are, and when they see something worth having, invite them to the church. To give without expectation of return is the substance of our faith.

To those who genuinely have a burden for the hurting and lost, launch out into the deep but, beware, it was not popular with Jesus and it will not be popular for you!

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them from pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’re the erring one, Lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying;
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save. (Rescue the Perishing) Fanny J. Crosby

Posted on December 20th, 2013