Boats Can Teach Us a Lesson

December 7, 2021

Pastor David here, and I am standing in front of a multitude of boats. I mean, look at all those boats behind me! There are so many, and I particularly chose this boat right here to shoot this devotional video. The “Spirit of Adventure!”

Now, one of the things I love to think about when I look at boats such as this right here is, if it could speak to us, oh the things that it could tell us about the people who have been on this boat, the conversations that took place on this boat, the adventures that this boat has actually experienced. I mean, maybe this boat has been caught in a major storm out at sea…I don't know…maybe it's been damaged…maybe it was flipped over! Oh, if we could only hear the stories that it could tell. The “Spirit of Adventure!”

What adventures has this particular boat been on? That I do not know, but here's one thing I do know. Back in the day, when someone was building this boat, the intent of the building of that boat was not so that it would stay in a slip or stay dockside. I mean, why is a boat built? A boat is built to actually go out into the water. That’s the purpose of the boat. You don’t build a boat and put it into a slip and say, “Oh, look at my boat! Isn't it beautiful? And, then, just go down there every day and just look at it and say, “Oh, there it is again! That beautiful boat!” No, a boat is built so that it can go out into the water. And there could be for a variety of reasons: just to sightsee, maybe to go out deep and swim, to fish would be one, to travel, maybe even around the world. But a boat is built to be used out on the water.

Now I want to make a point here. I want us to think for a moment: how may days has this boat actually been out in the last year? 365 days. The “Spirit of Adventure!” I mean, maybe it's been out every day. I don't know. This could be a sports fisherman’s boat. I am not certain. But I know that a lot of these boats that are sitting out in this wharf, this dock area, on these slips…I imagine many of them spend most of their time parked right here. That's not their purpose.

But here's the spiritual point I want to make. Let’s think about a simple verse like Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” It doesn't stop there. “For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus…” For what?—[I can hear you!]—“…for good works.” You see, when Jesus recreated us, when he “built” us in Christ, so to speak, we were not built to be stagnant. We were not built for complacency. We were not built just to settle down and rest and become part of a country club. No, God actually built us in Christ for good works.

Now, recently, in the last year, I read and Adoniram Judson's biography. He (God) did not necessarily “build” us to go to Burma and share the gospel with people who have never been reached. But, maybe, he has. Some of you ought to consider that. But Jesus keeps its simple. The way he put it is, we offer a cup of cool water to those who need it. We actually visit those who are in prison. We do good works! Sometimes that simply means staying in a really difficult marriage or a family persevering to work through the difficulties or remaining in a church even though you might have difficulties with someone and working hard to be able to reconcile in those relationships. We've been created for that kind of ministry to one another in the body of Christ.

But, also, “created for good works” means that we are part of the Great Commission. We are taking the gospel to those people who need to hear. We are actively engaged in the mission of what God is doing in this world.

So, are we like this boat that probably spends many days docked right here rather than on the “Spirit of Adventure?” Or are we like a boat that is out there, doing what a boat is built to do?

Can I call us to that? Can we be the kind of believers who actually are functioning in the way that we have been “built” in Christ to function?

So, here's my charge for the day: get out of the dock! Leave your slip! And live in the way that God has called you to live!

May the Lord bless your day!

About The Author

David Talley

David is Pastor of Theology and Teaching at Cornerstone where he has been serving since 2020. He has a PhD in Theological Studies from Trinity International University. In addition Pastor David is also currently a Professor of Old Testament at Biola University. David’s life goal and what he describes as “God’s inescapable call on my life” is discipleship. Towards that end, in his career, Dr. Talley has served as a Professor, Pastor, and Board Member of several different missionary and pastoral training outreaches around the world.