In 1936 the Queen Mary was the largest, fastest, and most luxurious ocean liner ever built. She was unsurpassed, with the furnishing of the finest hotels, beauty salons, air conditioning, two indoor swimming pools, and telephone connectivity to anywhere in the world.
But in World War Two, because of her record-breaking size and speed, she was retrofitted as an Allied troop carrier. Furniture, paintings, pianos and everything else not needed for war was removed. Every available space was stuffed with hammocks and cots to accommodate soldiers. Ten bunks were put in the space of one luxury cabin. Where fine china and linen tablecloths were, there were now tin plates and cups, all for the cause of winning the war.
Renamed the Grey Ghost, in July 1943, she carried 15,740 soldiers and 943 crew (total 16,683), a standing record for the most passengers ever transported on one vessel. Adolf Hitler was so infuriated by her that he offered $250,000 and the Iron Cross medal to any U-boat captain who could sink her. By 1946, the Grey Ghost had carried a total of 765,429 military personnel toward the war.
Unfortunately, many people today have been told or have come to believe that following Jesus is a luxury cruise. Who wouldn’t be interested in a trip of comfort, prosperity, and ease to a pleasant destination? How many problems arise when these expectations aren’t met? John Piper put it this way:
“Prayer is the war-time walkie-talkie for the mission of the church as it advances against the powers of darkness and unbelief. It is not surprising that prayer malfunctions when we try to make it a domestic intercom to call upstairs for more comforts in the den.”
In this incomplete view, God becomes a cosmic butler whose job it is to make us feel good. Requirements of sacrifice, destinations of danger, or orders that involve deprivations seem inconvenient and unnecessary. Who does Jesus think he is to ask us to do these things?
In Matthew 8:18 to 22 Jesus TEACHES and TESTS his disciples on the seashore. They are about to get into a boat to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. He lets them know this will be no luxury cruise. Jesus reinforces his authority, not just over sickness as he did earlier, but over those who follow him – his disciples! He wanted them and he wants us to know what it will cost us to follow him.
Join us on the journey this Sunday! Click here to watch online or click here to sign up for our LIVE services outdoors on campus at 9 am, 10:45 am, or 5 pm. In all of these services we’ll be studying Matt. 8:18-22.
Remember that the Men’s Breakfast is coming up September 19th from 8-10am. Cost is $10. Send Thomas an email (Thomas@valleychurch.org) if you aren’t on his mailing list – limited to the first 60 men onboard. All Covid19 protocols will be observed.
Have a blessed day and I hope to see you this Sunday either LIVE or online!