My wife I had won a free trip to Florida! We had an amazing time there. It was wonderful. I love the ocean and snorkeling. So we rented a small boat and motored out off Key Largo to snorkel at a famous coral reef. Everything went well and we had a blast. Then, coming back, the seas picked up, a storm advisory went out and we were in a hurry to get back. I pushed our little boat as hard as I could. Then I heard the prop hit something. Boom! Had I torn our hull? Would we sink? I powered down and discovered that we were in about two feet of water over a huge coral reef. Fear!

We’d been reading stories about the hundreds of shipwrecks off the Florida Keys. Now, we realized we might become one of them. We did all we could to get off the reef. Eventually the tide pulled us off. We felt a huge relief when we made it back to port. Our lives had  flashed before our eyes because we were lost and alone on the Atlantic. Thankfully we got back to shore safely. But thousands of boats have run onto the reefs in Florida, sunk and lost their lives. And in times past the residents of Key Largo got rich helping to save ships hung up on the reefs. Boats and people taking on water need to be rescued or they will perish. This is reality.

       Rabbi Paul (who knew a lot about being shipwrecked) says that our souls can suffer shipwreck (I Timothy 1:19; 2 Corinthians 11:25). He explicitly says that after we sink, only God can rescue us from the domain of darkness and bring us into the kingdom of Jesus (I Thessalonians 1:10). I want to be rescued and saved from death. I don’t want my soul to suffer shipwreck and sink in the shallow reefs of this world. Sadly, some of my friends’ lives have hit the coral, are taking on water and will sink to the bottom. Yet they deny that there is a problem and they refuse to allow Jesus to rescue them. They figure they won’t sink and deny there’s a hole in the ship of their life. They think they’re fine and don’t need to be saved. They turn back the rescue boat of Jesus. Taking this course is as odd as me not being fazed in high seas and hung up on the reef. Reason and scripture are clear: I will perish if I am not rescued. While I am afloat in life, I am “taking on water” (sinking) in that I’m separated from God by the bad things I want, think and do (Isaiah 59:2). Only Jesus can pull me off the reef of my own ruin and bring me safely to shore with Him. Enjoy the sea. Sail on! And understand this, the sea is mighty. When one day you realize that your soul is taking on water faster than you can bail, reach out to Jesus, the Anchor and Captain of Souls. — “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: ‘Messiah Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ – and I am the worst of them!” (I Timothy 1:15)

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