WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 9, 2021
TOPIC: SAILING WITH JESUS
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out” (Luke 8:22 New King James Version).
Going through life is like sailing on the sea. Every sailor or anyone on a sea voyage desires to reach his destination safely. But travelling by sea sometimes faces dangers. Lives are, sometimes, lost. In some cases, lives are saved but the cargo is lost.
In the book of Jonah, while Jonah was escaping from the presence of the LORD, travelling to Tarshish instead of Nineveh where God had sent him, the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea so that the ship was about to be broken up (Jonah 1:4). When the culprit, Jonah, was found out by the rest where he was sleeping, through the casting of lots, he was thrown into the sea at his request; and the sea became calm (verse 15). Jonah and the rest could have perished in the sea.
In the book of Acts, Paul and the other 275 passengers and crew on board the ship taking him to Rome nearly died from a tempestuous headwind called Euroclydon. But they were shipwrecked on an island (Acts 27:13-37). Whereas the mariners in Jonah’s boat nearly died because they sailed with Jonah, God spared the lives of those who sailed with Paul because of him.
Acts 27:20-26 says, “Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up. But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. However, we must run aground on a certain island’” (New King James Version).
Just as Paul had said, no life was lost except the ship. Sometimes the person you associate with in life determines greatly what happens to you. Your safety in life may be influenced by the person you sail with. “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you” (Acts 27:24 New King James Version)” Sailing with Jesus is the most sensible thing, the wisest decision, and the safest thing to do in life.
Luke 8:22-25, Matthew 8:23-27, and Mark 4:35-41 record an instance when Jesus when the disciples of Jesus sailed with Him on the sea and the voyage was endangered but because He was there with them, their lives were saved.
Luke’s account says, “Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out” (Luke 8:22 New King James Version). This was the way Paul’s voyage to Rome started without any sign that there was danger ahead except that Paul later warned that he perceived that the voyage would end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also their lives (Acts 27:10).
However, the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by what Paul said. “And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there” (verse 12 New King James Version). Paul was later proved right. If not because of him, they all could have perished.
However, in the case of the disciples, the voyage was not against any divine instruction. Jesus was there in the boat with them and they sailed smoothly until things he wind began to blow against them while Jesus was sleeping. Luke 8:23-24 says, “But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm” (New King James Version).
Having a living relationship with Jesus Christ does not mean that your voyage on the sea of life will not face the tempest. It doesn’t mean that you will not experience storms. You will experience storms like other human beings but the difference is that Jesus Christ is with you. He is in your boat. You are not alone. You are sailing with Him and He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b). He is with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20b).
Because of this, your boat will not capsize; you will not suffer a shipwreck. Jesus will always intervene and calm the storm as He did for the disciples. It is unthinkable that the boat of the disciples would capsize while Jesus is in it. When you sail with Jesus, you will enjoy divine presence, security, safety, and peace. All will be well and you will arrive at your destination safely. Therefore, don’t fear if you experience storms as a child of God. You’re not alone. Don’t think of death. You will make it. Have faith in God. “But He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” (Luke 8:25 New King James Version).
If you’re not born again, you don’t have a living relationship with Jesus. You’re not yet sailing with Him. You need to accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. You must surrender your life to Him. Don’t sail in life without Jesus. If you’ve given your heart to Jesus, live in the consciousness of His presence. Never forget that He is with you. His eyes are watching over you even if you have no physical sign of His presence as was the case with His disciples in Mark 6:45-51, Matthew 14:22-33, and John 6:15-21.
The disciples were on the sea without Jesus and their boat came under the attack of the storm in the middle of the sea. Meanwhile, Jesus was alone praying and He saw that the disciples were in serious trouble. When you sail with Jesus, you could experience troubles in your marriage, business, project, finances, or any other thing, understand that you’re not alone. Jesus is not unaware of your situation and He will not abandon you or leave you o face the situation alone. He sees you and He will come to your help.
Mark 6:47-52 says, “Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’ Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened” (New King James Version).
Unlike the previous case when Jesus was woken up from his sleep inside the boat, Jesus was not in the boat. But that didn’t mean He was less with them. Whether He was with them physically in the boat or not made no difference. Their relationship with Jesus meant that He was with them always. They sailed with Him whether He was in their boat or not. At about three o’clock in the morning, He walked on the sea to them to help them out of their trouble. The outcome was the same. He climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped.
Sail with Jesus. When the storms of life blow, He will not allow your boat to capsize. You will not suffer a shipwreck. Jesus will stop the storm. John 6:21 says about the disciples of Jesus, “Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going” (New King James Version). Willingly receive Jesus into the boat of your life, marriage, business, etc. and you will arrive at your destination in time. He will guide and lead you as you sail with Him.
Stanza 4 of the hymn “Jesus! What A Friend For Sinner” with lyrics by Wilbur Chapman and music by Rowland H. Prichard says,
Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.
Jesus will guide you and keep you while the tempest is high. “The LORD on high is mightier the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea” (Psalm 93:4 New King James Version). Ethan the Ezrahite says God rules the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, He stills them (Psalm 89:9). God will calm any storm against you. Psalm 107:29 says God calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Similarly, David says that God stills the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves (Psalm 65:7a).
Matthew 8:26 says, “But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm” ( New King James Version). Are you sailing with Jesus? It is not only physical storms that Jesus calms. He also calms the storms of life. Don’t be afraid of the storms of life. Sail with Jesus. He is with you. Therefore, you are safe.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Jesus, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour today and invite You into my life. I will sail with You forever. Jesus, I will not fear because You are with me in the storms of life. I command the tempest beating on my life to cease. I am delivered from all storms and tempests in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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