WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 02, 2022
TOPIC: WHO ARE IN YOUR COMPANY?
BY T. O. BANSO
“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” (Acts 27:23-24 New King James Version).
All the 276 people on board the ship taking Paul to Rome were saved because of him. The crew, the soldiers, the prisoners, and others on the ship had experienced a tempestuous headwind for 14 days, during which they ate nothing. In their dangerous condition, it was evident that they were imagining the worst.
However, Paul stood up to give them a word of hope and assurance, even though they had failed to listen to him before. He had earlier warned them that he perceived the voyage would end with a disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship but also their lives (Acts 20:10).
Paul 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” (Acts 27:21-22 New King James Version).
That was a good piece of news. But Paul had more cheering news for them. He said, “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” (verses 23-24 New King James Version).
Based on this assurance from heaven, Paul encouraged them to take heart, declaring to them that he believed God that it would be just as he had been told (verse 25).
When they got to Malta, they had a shipwreck. “And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land” (verses 42-44 New King James Version).
What Paul said happened. No soul on the ship was lost. God honoured His Word to Paul through His angel. The Lord saved the lives of all the people on the ship with Paul because of him.
The ship ran aground. It was destroyed and the soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners to make sure they didn’t swim ashore and escape. However, because the commanding officer wanted to spare Paul, he didn’t allow the soldiers to kill the prisoners, as they had planned.
Your companion in life determines, to a great extent, what happens to you. What saved all the 276 people on the ship, including Paul, from the tempest, was his presence. If Paul had not been there, they all, probably, would have perished.
Look at this: because of Paul, the lives of all on the ship with him were saved, but because of Jonah, a disobedient prophet, all those in the ship Jonah boarded to run from the presence of the LORD to Tarshish nearly perished. “But the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up” (Jonah 1:4 New King James Version).
The great wind did not stop until the mariners identified him as the cause of their problem and threw him into the sea at his request. “And he said to them, ‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me’” (verse 12 New King James Version).
When you have the right people in your company, you are more likely to experience good things. The converse is also true. Talking about the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram against Moses and Aaron, the Bible refers to Korah and his company (Numbers 16:5, 6, 11, 16). That was a company of rebels. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, the leaders of the rebellion, and the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense didn’t escape the judgment of God. This led to a complaint by the Israelites against Moses and Aaron and, consequently, fourteen thousand seven hundred people died of a plague.
Who are in your company in life? In your marriage, business, ministry, profession, etc, who are in your company? Some people are carriers of blessing; some are carriers of curses! When the right people are in your company, things tend to go smoothly; you record much success. On the other hand, when the wrong people are in your company, you tend to experience negative things.1 Corinthians15:33b says evil company corrupts good habits.
Who are those with you on your ship? Who are your business partners? Who is your marriage partner? Do those in your company bring you joy or cause you pain? Who are your friends? Who are in your company?
2 Corinthians 6:14-16 says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God” (New King James Version).
According to Proverbs 13:20, whoever walks with the wise will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed. Proverbs 12:26 says the righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.
You won’t have a Jonah in your company in life in Jesus’ name; you will have a Paul. You will have in your company a blessing carrier, not a curse carrier. The Bible says concerning Joseph, as a slave in Potiphar’s house, “So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field” (Genesis 39:5 New King James Version). Did you see that? Joseph was a blessing carrier.
In Genesis 30:27, Laban said to Jacob “Please stay, if I have found favour in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for your sake” (New King James Version). You need people like that in your company. You should also be someone like that.
The LORD said in Genesis 3:17, “Cursed is the ground for your sake” (New King James Version). The ground was cursed because of Adam. Your life, home, business, and all endeavours won’t be cursed because of anybody in your company. Instead, you will have in your company people who will attract blessing.
In Mark 4, what saved the boat of the disciples of Jesus from capsizing was because He was in the boat. “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’” (Mark 4:37-38 New King James Version).
It is not strange for boats to capsize on the sea. Many lives have been lost because of this. If those in the boat in Mark 4 were not the disciples of Jesus, they could have drowned. But because they had a relationship with Jesus, they could wake Him up to save them.
Mark 4:39-41 says, “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!’” (New King James Version).
Who can this be? He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, the Creator of heaven and the earth. Do you have a living relationship with Him? Is Jesus in your company? Is He in your company (business or organization)?
There was a time Jesus was not even in the boat with the disciples, and when He saw that they were in trouble on the sea, He walked on the sea to go and save them. That was possible because they had a relationship with Him. They were in the same company. The story is recorded in Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, and John 6:16-21.
After meeting the disciples, “Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled” (Mark 6:51 New King James Version).
If you’ve not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you don’t have a relationship with Him. He is not in your company, and your boat is at risk. You need Jesus in your company. He will save you from eternal damnation and in the storms of life.
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 God raised Him on 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 a palm tree and grow like a 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: Father, I pronounce dead any company I am in now that is detrimental to my life and destiny. Separate me from anyone who is not supposed to be in my company. Bring the right people into my company and bring me into the right company. Father, cause all those in bad companies to repent and begin to associate with the right people. Help such people who have not given their lives to Jesus to surrender their lives to Him today.
(For over 800 in-depth and insightful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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