3 Castaways for Christians

Years ago Tom Hanks made a movie called, Castaway.  In this movie he had been cast or thrown off course and landed on a deserted island.  His best friend became a volleyball on which he painted a face.  While nobody wants to be thrown off course or cast away, there are some things that we need to cast away from ourselves.  Toss these things somewhere else.  While reading in Ezekiel recently, I came across a text which tells us to cast something away.  As I chewed on this idea, I remembered a couple of other places the Bible tells us to cast something.  The result of these 3 reminded me of what it takes to live a maturing Christian life.

Normally we are thinking about what we can gather to ourselves.  Think with me about what we should toss away from ourselves.

1.  Cast Away our Transgressions.

Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!

— Ezekiel 18:31

Transgressions are those times we have crossed over the line that God has established.  We are often like little children who just can’t seem to resist stepping beyond the area in which they are to safely play.  When we do so it wounds (kills) our heart and spirit.

This casting away is what we often call repentance.  Why not?  We throw away the junk and get a new heart and a new spirit.

Of the three castaways I am mentioning, this is the only one that a definite direction for our cast is not mentioned.  Just get rid of it.  From the New Testament we learn that Jesus bore the penalty for our sin, so the cross should be the direction in which we rid ourselves of our transgressions.

2.  Cast Away our Anxieties

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

— 1 Peter 5:7

Toss away those things that cause you to be anxious.  We are taught elsewhere to be anxious for nothing.  Instead we are to pray.  What are those things that cause you unrest in the depths of your soul?  What worries you?

We are told by Peter where to cast these anxieties.  We cast them onto Jesus.  Why?  Because he cares for us.  When we do this our focus turns from our own issues to Jesus himself.  Peter had lived this out in his life.  He was on that boat in the Sea of Galilee that was being tossed in the midst of the storm.  He feared for his life.  In the midst of the storm, Jesus slept.  That is until Peter and the guys woke him with this question, “Master, do you not care that we perish?”

When we focus on our storms – the things that cause us to toss and turn, we may well wonder if Jesus cares.  How did Jesus respond?  He merely spoke and calmed the storm.  Frank Graeff, the hymn writer penned these words:

Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,

His heart is touched with my grief;

When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,

I know my Savior cares.

3.  Cast Away our Crowns

The twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever.  They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things,and by your will they existed and were created.”

— Revelation 4:10-11

The Bible does teach us about receiving rewards or crowns in heaven.  However, like these 24 elders, we will cast them before the throne of God.  Why?  Because he deserves them.  We could do nothing of value without God’s grace and power.  We have nothing of which to be proud.  We serve an amazing God.

Notice that with all three of these castaways (transgressions, anxieties and crowns), it is Jesus who is at the center.  We transgress God’s law, but Jesus paid our price.  We worry, but Jesus cares for us.  We labor, but Jesus works in and through us.  He is the one who is worthy.  Casting these things away will should lead us to worship the worthy God.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  While you are hear, why not enter your email address in the box to the right of the page to subscribe to email updates from Pulpit2Pew?