These are very critical, uncertain times. It’s the time before Jesus will come back. We need to take care of our faith. We all have THE measure of faith. God gave it to every person. The gift is in you. Take care of it. Grow in it. It’s the only link to Jesus Christ that we have. Don’t quit trusting him.
I Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Your faith is the most precious thing you have from the Lord. Without faith would you have gotten saved? No. But you are because you put your faith in Jesus Christ. Before salvation, I believed in God, in the Bible. But never did I believe on him until March 5, 1972 when Jesus saved me. I moved in the direction of Jesus to believe on him. This faith is of utmost importance; its existence is important to continue in the faith, grounded and settled. Don’t move from it. At times we’re weaker than others. We have troubled times of doubt and fear. Our human nature is a challenge to our faith. Those challenges don’t mean we’ve made a shipwreck of our faith. If we trust the Lord, we will grow. When we fail, we can get back up, put faith back in Jesus where it should be, and determine to keep it there. Jesus prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail. He is interceding for us that we’ll do the right thing. We’ll go to heaven because of your faith in Jesus Christ. I won’t go because I’m a member of Adwolfe Free Will Baptist Church or because I have ordination papers. I’m trusting Jesus and I’ll get there trusting him.
You have to take care of a boat. It’s like a car. You check the oil and the tires, the antifreeze and other things. If you don’t, it will fail. The devil will use your faith as a target. He knows if you quit trusting Jesus. You’ll get diligent in attending church, reading your Bible and praying. He knows when you do this. Take care of your precious faith. It guards you from the fiery darts of the devil. It is the shield between us and the enemy. The shield gets battered and dented. Keep faith in God. The object of our faith is important. Don’t split your faith between God and something or someone else. You’ll lay it down. Keep Jesus as the object of our faith. Then you’ll know how to live for Jesus. You’ll know things are in line and you’re ready to go to heaven.
Faith can be shipwrecked. Paul knew what that was. He was in a lot of storms and shipwrecked more than once. It’s not always smooth sailing. First the vessel has to be strong enough to make the voyage. At salvation we began our destination to glory. The seas can be rough. They can be calm one minute, then all of a sudden storm that wreaks havoc on the vessel comes. They have to be looked at on land, not in the water. Put your faith in Jesus, and it’s like a ship that gets you from Point A–here– to Point B–heaven. Be in shape to get there without the loss of any. Being a Christian is possible. I’ve not always maintained my ship as I should, but whenever I humble myself to Captain Jesus, I have weathered the storm. But it is possible to ruin that faith and fail. I’ve seen people fail and drift away. I’ve seen some sink. Did God fail? No. We fail. Keep faith strong in Jesus.
A few weeks ago my brothers and I went to Charleston SC to visit my sister. Out on the Battery there is a place underneath the water that is strewn with sunken vessels. They were that close to shore but never made it. Something sunk them and all went down. There were many casualties. Don’t become a casualty because of this world. The devil or others try to pull you down. We can all maintain our relationship with the Lord. It’s not one sided. The Lord can’t do our part for us. That is up to us. It is our faith in Jesus that works. Take care of it. If you don’t, as a ship, you’ll spring a leak. If you don’t replace wooden boards they’ll rot. If you don’t replace steel, it will rust. Have you got rusty? Has your wood got wet enough to spring a leak? The water of sin and the world will make a hole in our faith. Plug those leaks. Stay in deep with the Lord, not in the shallow water.
How are you growing in the Lord? Are you as deep as you used to be? Has something lured you into the shallow waters? You’ll sink. The rocks will sink your vessel. The world lures us to take those shallow waters and neglect the safety of the vessel. If you do, you’ll sink quickly. Bad storms will sink us if we don’t know how to navigate them. Jesus said storms will come. Expect them. They will challenge us and our faith. Brother Bob told me that when he was in the service and they came upon a storm, the captain took the ship straight into it so it could ride the waves. If we don’t grasp how to navigate in storms, we’ll be hurting. Be prepared for a storm to pop up anytime. Turn your ship into the waves and let Captain Jesus take you through it. Have you ridden out storms in the past? You can again. Trust Jesus even in the storms and do what he wants.
When a ship is allowed to become so damaged that it cannot go on, there is no choice but to give up on it. It’s called scuttling the ship. It is blown up remotely when no one is on board. Have you scuttled your faith in Jesus? It’s done by giving up on the Lord. Did he give up? No. He’ll go all the way with us. Examine your faith. Inspect it. If you see leaks that have allowed you to slide to shallow water, it’s not too late. As long as the vessel is afloat, you can do something. Turn back to the Captain. He’ll repair it and get you to the port. Keep the faith!