Ship in a harbor
It can take several years for a host of skilled workmen to build a ship. After the ship is finished, it is natural for its builders to feel protective of it. The easiest way to protect a ship is to keep it in the harbor. Just think . . .
- If the ship stays in its harbor, it will never have to face a raging storm at sea.
- If the ship stays in the harbor, it is not likely that it will ever face pirates.
- If the ship stays in the harbor, it will not be run aground by an incompetent crew.
- If the ship stays in the harbor, it's not as likely that it would be sunk due to action of a foreign navy.
- If the ship stays in the harbor, its crew will never get lost.
Why do people build ships? Not for staying in harbors, but rather to go to sea and take on the challenges that are in it. Ships are built for carrying people and cargo to other places. So we insist that ships leave the harbor and take some risks. We don't build ships for the purpose of leaving them in a harbor.
When things are going really well in a congregation of the Lord's church--as things are going for us at Dover right now--there is a natural tendency to want to keep our ship in the harbor. It is tempting to "draw in our horns" and concentrate on keeping everyone happy at home, making the facilities very comfortable, preaching the sermons just right, or having a "Branson production" quality song service instead of taking on the hazards of fulfilling The Great Commission. If we give in to that temptation, we will be keeping the Lord's ship in a harbor. Look at the record of this practice around the Brotherhood and you will see that the Lord's blessings generally do not remain with ships who stay in harbors. The richest blessings fall to congregations who reach out to the lost, venturing out of the harbor. The worst splits happen to congregations that try to keep everything at home. That's because it was never the Lord's design of the church that His ships stay in a harbors.
We live in a world of lost people. We live in a world that needs to hear about Jesus Christ, what He has done for us, and what our small part is in showing that we have accepted his grace. We live in a world of people who have a realistic fear of the second coming of our Lord because they are not prepared.
Joh 4:35 Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.
Mat 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few.
Mat 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
Thanks for reading,
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