A growing church that I attended in Indianapolis.
“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26)
Can you imagine how fierce the storm on the Sea Of Galilee must have been to create such fear in the hearts of experienced fishermen? Jesus, having finished an emotionally and physically tiring day, told the disciples to take the boat and go to the other side of the lake. No doubt the disciples who were fishermen probably felt that the lake was safe at night since that was the time when most fishing was done. The rapid and unexpected galls usually moved over the sea in the afternoons as the winds swept down from the mountains. All appeared safe – no fear. As Jesus led his disciples into the boat, he took a position in the boat that allowed him to go to sleep quickly. He was safe and resting in the hands of His Loving Father.
As the boat crossed the lake, a ferocious storm hit the lake and the boat was being tossed about and water was entering the boat. This struck fear in the hearts of the disciples to the point that they deviated from the command of Christ to go to the other shore. When they experienced the overwhelming fear while knowing that Christ was with them showed the lack of faith in Jesus to keep them secure. The storms in our life may be just small ones or they may seem insurmountable. The exercise of faith in Christ is reflected our respond to the storms in our life while serving Christ. We can recognize the fear which is human or we can let fear overwhelm us which reflects our status of one of little faith. When Jesus awoke, he rebuked the disciples for their great fear even while the tempest was still raging.
Then Jesus rebuke the waves. The ferocious storm in their lives became a great calm. Does the calmness (sense of peace) in our life after the storm relate to the fierce of the storm we experience? In Psalms 107: David talked about the refuge that we have in God when our storms of life become boisterous. We will always have storms in our life whether they be physical, emotional or spiritual. As we experience each storm in our pathway of service to following and maturing in Christ, Jesus will make sure we get to the other shore. We should not be afraid to launch out into the area in our life that God is leading. They storms will come but our faith will grow. In Palms 107:30, we read, “They rejoiced when the waves grew quiet. Then He guided them to the harbor they longed for”
I looked into the deep penetrating eyes of God
And felt all the tenderness of His great love.
Yet those friends that I knew I would not forget
Were not around the righteous throne above.
And I cried out to Jesus so that heard my call
And though I knew he will wipe my every tear
The time of choice for my friend had come and gone
They were not around God’s righteous throne
As I slowly raised my gaze across the chasm
I saw a crowd of people. Some I had known
Marching in front 1, 2 and on — heading into hell
God said, “They are led by one I sent you to tell..”
My mind quickly flashed back to my earthly home –
A neighbor next door I gained as a loving friend
But as our friendship began to grow and zoom
I feared to share with him love of my Saviour kind.
Falling on my knees with humility to God, I did call
“I heard you ask me to go but my strength was weak.”
“My Child” He said “When my Spirit works with all,
You have the gift and strength to meet those I seek.”
My sorrowful heart sank with tears of sadness
God took me in his arms to His great Throne
He wiped my every tear and gave me gladness
Yet, their time for choosing God was gone.
Randal C Smith
The light on the pathways of life are very different and leads to different goals. When we follow Jesus (accepting and following him as Saviour and Lord) we are walking in His light. When we do not follow him as we take the paths of the world, we are walking blindly out of His light and destined to reach a different goal or destination because we are unaware of our sin. The light guiding those paths are the light of darkness in the world and lead to destruction.
When we follow the true pathway we are walking in the light that the love of Jesus provides. The light of Jesus on our pathway shows us our sin (although, blindly, we no longer walk in sin.) we see the need for forgiveness as he guides us along life’s pathway that leads to eternal life. The pathway following Christ is smooth in the righteousness of His love (Isaiah 26:7.) His light becomes our light. King David of the Israel nation as he grew older in age said Psa 119:105″Your words are a flashlight to light the path ahead of me and keep me from stumbling. 106I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again and again: I will obey these wonderful laws of yours. (NKJV)
The rich young ruler who talked with Christ did not have what was needed to walk the true pathway – Faith in Jesus Christ our living Saviour. Have you considered or thought about this?
The winds blew fast and furious. Soon the rain began to slam against the car in heavy sheets. The road and road signs soon became clouded by the mist and rain. We drove into a service station to give us protection and safety until we could continue our journey. This was just a brief hiding place until we could continue our pathway home.
In Job 32:7-8, God was described as the personal hiding place from every storm on our life that we can encounter. Some people are afraid to go to God for their hiding place. Yet, their lives are troubled and unsure of the pathway they have chosen. The promise of God is that he will even keep us from getting in trouble but it is our decision to accept His guidance. Soon your life will be filled with the victories that are found in walking the pathway with Christ. As we listen to Him he will guide us on the best (true) pathway in our life. As we seek Him, he will teach us to follow him. He will advise us though His Holy Spirit on a daily basis and will watch where we are going . He will walk with us daily to prod us in the greater progress in our walk with him.
Today, just as in the days of Job, Christ is ready to take us to the hiding place of protection and security. He will forgive all the wrongdoing and will guide us on His pathway to eternal life. Have you accepted his love and desire to walk with Him?
Reference: Job 32:7-8 You are my hiding place from every storm of life; you even keep me from getting into trouble! You surround me with songs of victory. I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress.
Galatians 4:6-7 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. KJV
Many conflicts, dissensions, and disturbances were occurring in the early churches including the Corinthian church. Paul exhorted Timothy, in 1 Timothy 2:8, to have people lift up holy hands in prayer from a heart that was not burdened with the anger and dissensions. As the people of God allow anger to continue to build in their hearts, less effective is their desire and prayer to seek the good of the church and community. Even minor instances of discouragement can cause the people to take their eyes away from God’s purpose in their lives and to turn their eyes toward the source or circumstances of the problem. Paul encourages us to be effective in our prayers and lift our hands to the holy God with a clean heart.
In the prayer of Jesus in theGardenofGethsemane, he offered prayer for his current situation and for the disciple who were following him. Additionally, he offered prayer for those who would follow him in the future. In His praying heart, Jesus called God “Abba, Father” which was a closeness with God that the Jewish law viewed with displeasure. However, Paul, in other writings, encouraged people to enter into God’s presence with a praying heart as the favored and adopted children that God has made us in Christ. The adoption in Jesus Christ give us the closeness that we desire in approaching God as our father. The “Abba Father” relationship was defined by Christ when he encouraged us to ask and what we ask for will be given, to knock and the doors of our life will be opened and to seek and we will find what God has in store for our lives. It is with the loving, submissive, and clean heart that indicates to God that we are following His will in our lives. Our praying heart is submitted to God for His use. Have your developed the closeness with God that allows you to have faith in God that you can ask, knock and seek His will in your prayers? Do you believe that your praying heart will find a prayer answering God? Place your faith in him.
Two older children were playing near where I was sitting. As they rapidly talked to each other, I realize they were talking in a special English language of their own. They would speak, laugh and enjoy themselves in a code that I could not follow. When I asked how they learned the different language, they said they used it together. Although a part of the group, I struggled to keep up the conversation.
Later, as I thought about the situation, I realized that within the Christian circles we have developed our own language standards — Words that are familiar to us but cause the non Christian to stumble and struggle with the language. I often wonder if they see this language and codes as one they must adopt if they become a Christian. Has the intellectual pursuit of philosophy and theology caused us to become non communicators with those who do not know Christ?
As Jesus spoke to the multitudes even the children could understand Him. Displayed thoughout the book of John are various instances where Jesus spoke with simplicity and used common occurrences in nature to show he was the Son of Man. He invited all who would hear and spoke with clarity. He spoke to the temple experts in their own language which usually confounded or caused them to become irritated. We can take a lesson from Jesus as we explain the good news to our friends and family and those who do not know him. We need to meet people at their location in a language that is simple and comfortable with them.
Jesus however said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for it is to those who are childlike that the Kingdom of the Heavens belongs.” Matt 19:14 (NT in Modern Speech)