Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
(Psalm 119:105, KJV)
Friend to Friend
In 1804, British ship HMS Apollo was leading a convoy of 69 merchant vessels to the West Indies on a route that put them parallel to the coasts of Spain and Portugal, about a hundred miles from land. A storm arose on Sunday, April 1, April Fool’s Day, but the captain was unconcerned because his compass assured him that he was well into open sea. But in the middle of the night, the ship-wrecked against the jagged rocks of the coastline. Jolted from their hammocks, the crew desperately tried to save the ship from the cold sea. The waves crashed over the hull, flooding the ship from above amid the screams of the other men still below.
As night gave way to dawn, the surviving crew were amazed to find themselves not a hundred miles from land, but wrecked against the Portuguese coast, which was littered with the debris of the other ships in their convoy. Of the 69 vessels traveling with HMS Apollo, 40 ships were wrecked, some with total loss of life. It was one of the greatest disasters in the history of British maritime shipping.
The captain of HMS Apollo faced court-martial, but he was acquitted when it was learned that the wreck was not his fault. It was because of the ship’s faulty compass. Because the Apollo had taken on a large iron tank, the compass was thrown off by just four degrees. The error accumulated day after day. As leader of the convoy, the captain had unwittingly led the others to shipwreck because his compass was defective.
Because God wanted to communicate with us in a permanent form we could read and study, He inspired His message to be written by others in a book. Our word “Bible” comes from a Latin term for “papyrus” and means “book.”
As Christians, we have a Book that gives accurate readings and precise directions, that allows us to navigate life with confidence, a Book that always points us in the right way. That Book is the Bible. The Bible is our compass, and it is important that we know how to read the Bible correctly and apply its principles accurately.
How important is the Word of God to you? I mean, really. Do you read and study God’s Word or is it just a religious accessory when attending church? Is God’s Word your life compass?
Father, please forgive me for not loving Your Word as I should. I know it holds the plan for my life … every storm and every victory. But I have let so many other things get in the way of my reading, studying and applying the truths in Scripture. Today, I make a new commitment to read the Bible every day. Please fill my heart with a hunger and thirst for Your Word, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Set aside 30 minutes this week to re-evaluate your plan for reading and studying the Bible. Set new goals for daily Bible study. Make the goals realistic for your current lifestyle. Next week, add 15 minutes to your study time each day. Pray and ask the Father to empower this new commitment. Set a specific time and place for your Bible study. Remember to record new truths and insights in a journal.
At the end of the week, go back over your entries you have made to see what changes God has made in your life. Praise Him for the power of His Word. Do not allow the enemy to discourage you or persuade you to give up.
More from the Girlfriends
Mary’s book, How to Study the Bible, will help you learn how to read, understand, and apply the truths of God. It is a step-by-step process to get God’s Word into your life. Check it out.
Be sure to drop by the page on Mary’s website with FREE MP3s. And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email. And if you would like to receive more devotions like this one, sign up for Mary’s Blog.