BETWEEN THE LINES a frontline devotional

The Salvation Ship

Day 25

“When we went under the water [in baptism], we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into a new country of grace—a life in a new land!”

– Romans 6:1-2

Salvation in Jesus Christ is like a ship that came to redeem men and women stuck in a land full of slavery, bringing them to a free land. As soon as the slaves boarded the ship they were no longer recognized as slaves, but as free people. With their newfound hope of a brand new life, they couldn’t contain their excitement! They stuffed themselves into the front of the ship as far as they could manage to get a better view of their destination. The ship was traveling fast, and the passengers could hardly grasp that their life was changing so quickly.

Now it was expected of these ex-slaves to prepare themselves for the new life ahead of them as they traveled, and every morning the captain came out to meet them at the bow of the ship to give them direction and guidance for when they finally arrived. The trip, however, was a long one. Over time one of the travelers started losing his newfound hope—the hope that was ignited upon the ship’s arrival—and he started drifting toward the back of the crowd at the bow.

Eventually, the man found himself at the very back of the ship, where he stared out past the much-traveled waters and remembered his life back in that old slave-land: the crumbling cities, the constant emotional distress, the pain and agony of the hard labor, and the endless sense of hopelessness. This declared-free man began reliving his pain and suffering and he was tormented in his mind. He cried out loud, saying, “This new life was not meant for me! I come from a land of slaves and I only know slavery! There is no distance great enough that could separate me from it!”

Hearing the unusual sounds, the captain made his way to the stern of the ship and found the man on his knees with his face in his hands. The captain quietly knelt down beside him as he wept. Patiently, the captain waited until the man could weep no more.

When the man had finally quieted down, the captain spoke up and began to remind him of his lost hope, saying, “Where we’re going is so far from where you used to live that you won’t even be able measure the distance we’ve traveled. Our destination is eternity.” The captain’s words strengthened the man so that, with a hand to aid him, the man stood to his feet. The captain led him back to the bow of the ship—the very front!—so he could see out into the vast waters. Once again, this weeping man began to remember the promise of the new life he was headed toward. His hope began to renew as he meditated on the words of the captain and forgot about his old life.

Romans 6:12-14 (MSG) says, “Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God…”

“Therefore if any person is [engrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, AMPC).

As you examine your heart today, ask yourself, “Have I been spending too much time looking at my past instead of toward the future God has promised me?”

Confession for today: “Lord, You choose not to remember the things of my past. Help me to do the same and to remember and remain conscious of all that You’ve done, all that You are, and the promises You’ve given to me for this life.”

Pursue your purpose in Him,

Anthony B.