You will love this little devotional by our good friend Michelle Stewart.



HOWDY From Texas, dear brother Flip!

I have done some more writing, and you can pass on if you like, or just read and enjoy/critique as you see fit.  Now that I know that you send a lot of my emails along, I have learned to properly edit and make sure it is fit for the world to read.

Here you have it:

1 Timothy 1:18-19 “Timothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by them you may strongly engage in battle, having faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have suffered the shipwreck of their faith.”

The image of this passage of scripture in my Bible is forever burned into my memory. I can go right to it on the page and know where it is.  Paul’s letters to Timothy are some of my favorite passages in scripture.  Additionally, I have an affinity for ships, sailing, the sea, etc…

When I was in high school, I graduated valedictorian and had to give a speech at commencement. In the speech I quoted a paragraph of a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox entitled “The Winds of Fate.”

   One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
‘Tis the set of the sails,
And Not the gales,
That tell us the way to go.

Perhaps it was because my grandfather was a sailor in the US Navy, or perhaps it is simply that ships and sails themselves are an incredible feat of engineering.  They are also living proof that with proper skills, teamwork, leadership, and equipment, an enormous vessel can be navigated effectively and with a purpose.  

When I was a younger Christian, I focused strongly on the call to engage in battle by Paul to Timothy from this passage, but lately I have focused on the latter part of the passage: “Some have rejected these and have suffered the shipwreck of their faith.”

What a powerful imagery for us to envision as Paul tried to disciple his brother in Christ. Even in the days shortly after Jesus ascended into Heaven, people could associate both the majesty and the devastation associated with a ship and it’s sails’ potential.

Today, I choose to let Christ and the Holy Spirit guide my sails so that I may be a powerful vessel used to magnify His name, and engage in the battle for the lost, for the perishing, and for the heart of nations and kings.

Lord, help me not to become complacent with the sails you have given me, and help me to pay close heed to the ranking order of the ship on which You have placed me. Give the Captain and my shipmates an equally strong desire to serve You, having faith and a good conscience, and engage in this battle to WIN IT!

Love, and as always give Ms. Faye a hug for me 🙂