Early in the 18th century, a British admiral with the imposing name of Sir Clowdisley Shovell found himself enveloped in a blanket of dense fog that lasted f0r 12 days. He was leading home to England a fleet of 5 warships that had engaged the French near Gilbraltar where they had won a series of baltles.
But now they were in grave danger as the Scilly Isles were ahead of them and they needed to head east at the proper time to avoid the rocky shores. How would they navigate? They could calculate latitude but not longitude yet. There were no compasses at the time and visually they were blind with the dense fog.
Sir Clowdisley’s navigators conferred and announced their conclusion; they were safely west of any major trouble. The news was a great relief to all the sailors onboard except for one. He had been keeping his own journal and was convinced the officers were wrong and the ships were in great peril.
This sailor’s act was one of considerable courage. In the rigid British class system of the Royal Navy such private navigation was considered subversive. Officers, not humble crewmen, did such work. Yet if he was right danger was imminent.
Sir Clowdisley was not amused or convinced. He declared the sailor a mutineer and had him hung for his mutiny.
Within hours after the hanging, four of the five shipped were wrecked on the Scilly Isles and 2000 men to a watery grave.
A vessel’s ignorance of their longitude, their position and direction in the foggy ocean led swiftly to her destruction.
Our modern world resembles a vast, unchartered stormy foggy ocean. Each of us is sailing our life’s ship through these waves. The ocean is new to us, new waters, unchartered waters, we’ve never been this way before. We are no longer in familiar territory. It’s unfamiliar, its foggy, life is foggy because huge changes are sweeping across our world and these changes have made our maps and charts obsolete. We have never seen this before.
WE NEED A GPS, a navigational guide, sure true and accurate, to sail our own life’s ocean.
Sailors in the past utilized the stars, they used a block of wood tied to the mast to find latitude, they also used a T-device, then the sextant and then the sea clock.
In 1714 the British parliament played ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ by offering an award equal to a million dollars today to anyone who could solve the longitude issue. It was an English watchmaker, John Harrison, who solved the problem of longitude and claimed the award. He utilized a special sea clock and a fixed-point Greenwich.
Living life in the modern world is like trying to navigate an unchartered, rapidly changing, unpredictable foggy ocean. In fact, we’ve sailed off the edge of our maps. We need a fixed-point, an unchanging reference point, a true North Star in the night skies. That fixed point is God as revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Emmanuel -God with us.
But we also need a navigational tool to utilize that fixed point and give direction. The God-given navigational tool that I’m referring to is the Bible. If the Christian’s goal in life is to be more like Jesus in this life, then the Bible is our guide book, our map, our operators manual to guide us.
The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of mankind, the fate of sinners and the blessedness of believers. READ IT TO BE WISE
The Bible contains light to direct us, food to support us and comfort to cheer us
BELIEVE IT TO BE SAFE
The Bible’s doctrines are holy, it’s precepts are binding, it’s histories are true and it’s decisions immutable.
PRACTICE IT TO BE HOLY
The Bible declares itself to be inspired of God, holy men of God being moved by God’s guiding to record what God directed. God did a lot of inspirational writing.
Do you think God was intentional about having His mind and His direction to us recorded, written down and preserved through time for us??? Yes, yes, yes..
The Bible is:
Let me change that last statement
It is your chart, your map, your course to follow in the stormy, foggy ocean of your life.
The Bible, don’t leave home without it!
6 things to do about the Bible
In this series, Discovering God’s Way in a Changing World, we have looked at our desperate need of direction in this vast chartered, changing ocean we find ourselves in. In week #2 we discovered we have a grand star to guide us, the true north star for us à it’s Jesus Christ. His life, actions and words are all there for us to follow, to be guided by.
Today in part #3 of this series is the indisputable map for us, the Bible. However, knowing the Bible (which is the first step for this guidance), knowing is not enough. Having a bunch of data, a litany of facts and information won’t guide you unless you utilize what you know. We need to apply what we know, employ, use, exploit it. This is what Jesus did knew the scriptures and utilized it, He knew God’s word and applied it in Hid life, in every situation.
This is our true north star, telling us and showing us to know the Word and apply it in all of your life
Let’s read the Jesus way:
Luke 4:1-13 (NIV)
4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
WWJD what would Jesus do?
He would know the Bible, apply the Bible and be guided by it.
Have you ever noticed that what John wrote about being tempted is what Jesus went through and is what we all go through.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Lust of the flesh, are you hungry Jesus? (Includes all of physical cravings). Lust of the eyes. Hey, Jesus, do You want everything, Kingdoms, riches, power etc. and finally the pride of life when Satan dares Jesus, Come on, throw yourself off -you’re invincible, you’re the most important.
What did Jesus do? I think Jesus asked Himself what Bible verse are there that apply in this situation or what Bible precept will help or what law will guide or what guidance is in the Bible for me.
One of the constant themes of the Gospels is the centrality of Scripture in the life of our Lord, Jesus. The Bible filled His teaching and guided His choices. Jesus steered His life by scripture and that is so evident in the Bible verses I have just read to you about the temptation of Christ.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? What place does the Bible take in your life?
REMEMBER, the Christians goal is to be like Jesus
Remember what 6 things I encouraged each of you to do?
6 things to do about the Bible
Read David’s words:
Psalm 119:9-11 (NIV)
9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
(How can a person be guided in their life’s path)
By living according to your word. (application)
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
THE INDESPENSIBLE NAVIGATIONAL TOOL FOR LIFE IS GOD’S WORD
January 24, 2020