Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Come To The Saviour"1 (Lyrics)
Philippians 4:9 – As for the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (NASB)
I have been surrounded by sailors my whole life, but I had little opportunity to join them until 1986, when I moved to Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada. I sometimes joined my Uncle Trap's crew, mostly as "rail meat", which means that my most important job was to lean out over the rail to help balance the boat! One day, he walked over and told me that there was a small boat for sale and that I was going to buy it. (He was the boat dealer.) This was my first experience of controlling the tiller — I was captain!
My first experiences on the water were less than spectacular. The best that I can say is that I did not sink my craft. After each experience, I made my way to my uncle and poured out my woe. Trap taught me to sail. He never once set foot on my boat — can you imagine why? Instead, he gave me the best of his advice and experience, cultivated by sailing for over fifty years. He had a perfect view of the harbour from his picture window, and I made certain that he could see what I was trying to do, and that, later, I could get his advice and learn from his experience. It was in this way that he excelled as a teacher.
Jesus was called "Teacher" by His followers, and He taught them both by words and by the example that He set. Jesus spent His ministry going throughout the cities and villages around Him, teaching in the synagogues and proclaiming the good news. His fame spread as people saw Him as One Who taught with authority.
The day came when Jesus sent out His twelve disciples, and then He sent out seventy-two others, to do what He had been doing … helping, healing, preaching, and casting out spirits. They had learned from Him and now were given the task to "go and do likewise". According to the reports that came in, they did well, though at times, they had their troubles.
If the whole truth were to be told, I have to admit that I have come nowhere near the expertise that Trap demonstrated — though his son and a first cousin could give him a run for his money — but I did learn, and to this day, I love the experience of being on the water!
I've practised the things that he has taught me. Even more, I practise the things that Jesus has taught me — I have seen His way, and I walk in it. As this day begins, I invite and encourage us all to remember what we have learned from Jesus, and to practise what we have learned and received and heard and seen in Him. And may the God of peace guide us today. Pray with me and Saint Patrick:
Prayer: Teach me today, gracious God, what I need to live this life in faith, hope, and love. Help me throughout the day to practise the ways of Christ in every encounter.
- Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.