PEACE IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM
Mark 4:37-38, “And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master carest thou not that we perish?”
Considering the fact that the boat was filled with water, it is amazing that the disciples had to awaken Jesus. This was not a large ship with cabins below deck but rather a small, open boat and Jesus was, no doubt, “soaked to the bone.” This reflects Jesus’ humanity and how tired He must have been. It also shows that Jesus must have been in a very deep sleep.
Medical science has discovered that the deeper we sleep, the more rest our bodies get. This is a clue as to how Jesus could maintain the grueling pace He kept, along only with an occasional all-night prayer time. He was receiving the maximum benefit from His sleep.
Jesus did not say “Let us go out into the midst of the sea and drown in a storm.” He was going to the other side. This shows that the disciples still didn’t understand Jesus’ authority. They were committed to Him as their Messiah, but they hadn’t yet realized that Jesus was Lord even over the physical elements. Many Christians still do this today. They receive the spiritual benefits of salvation but have not reaped the physical benefits of health and prosperity, which are also part of our salvation.
Whichever we focus upon – the storm, or the Lord in the midst of our storm – will determine how we manage the storms we face in life. He is not asleep concerning the things you face in this life, He’s right there in your “ship,” resting, because He knows you’ll both get to the “other side.” His peace is yours. Believe His Word. Rest in His love.
CALL IT FORTH!
Romans 4:17 – …God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
“Pastor, I feel the pain in my body. How can I go around saying that Christ has redeemed me from this sickness? How can I say that by His stripes I am healed?”
Well, God’s way is to call those things that are not as though they are. And because you are made in God’s image, you can also call those things that are not as though they are!
When God wanted to make Abraham a father of many nations, what did He do? He changed the way Abraham talked. At that time, Abraham did not even have a single child from Sarah because she was barren. So how could he become a father of many nations?
God changed the way he talked. How? By changing his name from Abram to Abraham, which means “father of many nations”. (Genesis 17:5)
Just imagine: From then on, every time he met someone, he would say, “Hi, my name is Father Of Many Nations.” Every time dinner was ready, Sarah would call out to Abraham, “Darling…Father Of Many Nations…dinner is ready! Father Of Many Nations…” You can just hear their neighbors saying, “They want a child so much they have gone mad!” But God changed the way Abraham talked so that he called forth what God saw him already blessed with.
You know, when Jesus saw the man with a withered hand, He didn’t say, “My goodness! It is so withered!” He said, “Stretch out your hand!” (Matthew 12:13) He called forth what He wanted. He looked at the paralytic and said, “Rise, take up your bed and go home!” (Matthew 9:6) He didn’t see the way it was in the natural. He saw the way God meant it to be and He called it forth.
Genesis 1 tells us that in the beginning, there was darkness over the face of the whole earth. God saw the darkness and He said, “Light be!” And light was. God called forth what He wanted and it became so! If it had been me or you, we would probably have said, “Whoa! It is so dark!”
My friend, despite the pain, call forth your healing. It is pointless to state the obvious. So change the way you talk. See the way God meant it to be, and start calling forth your healing and wholeness!
WE’RE A COMMUNITY
[The Lord] gave some . . . for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. —Ephesians 4:11-12
A pastor’s wife was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. That put the family in a difficult, stressful situation. The pastor wondered how he was going to be able to take good care of her while he still had responsibilities for his church family. But he needn’t have worried because church members stepped up and volunteered to assist him with meals and some of her care.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church about the purpose for which the Lord gave them their spiritual gifts. Before he listed the diversity of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, he reminded them that “a spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” (v.7 nlt). God does not give His spiritual gifts for our own selfish use but to serve others, and in so doing, we serve Him.
We are all given different gifts to be used at different times and in different ways. But they are all to be used in love for the “edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12). Wherever God has placed us, we can use what He has gifted us to do as we see the need, remembering that we are all part of the church—the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13-14).
Thank You, Father, for the wonderful gifts You have given Your church. Help me to understand how You have gifted me to encourage other believers, and to spread the message of Your love to the world.
Use your gifts to exercise care for others.
SWEET SLEEP …
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. – Psalm 4:8, ESV
God promises to give blessings to His beloved in sleep! He wants you to rest securely in Him and be rejuvenated nightly in your mind and body.
Sleep is so important not only to our physical health, but also our spiritual well being. When we are well rested, we are better able to handle the things that come our way. It’s easier to keep our hearts and minds in the right place so we can stand stronger and make better decisions.
If you haven’t been sleeping well lately, ask God to show you what you need to do to get back on track. Do you have cares you need to cast on Him? Are you worrying instead of worshiping? Has a spirit of fear crept in? Do you need to make better decisions about what time to go to bed? Remember, God wants you to be rested. He wants you to be rejuvenated and revived so that you can be your best for Him!
NOT JUST FORGIVEN, BUT MADE RIGHTEOUS TOO
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him 2 CORINTHIANS 5:21
At the cross, Jesus did not just take away your sins, but He also gave you His righteousness! A divine exchange took place—your sins for His righteousness. This means that, today, you are as righteous as Christ Himself, not because of your good works, but because of His finished work!
So place your hand over your heart right now and boldly declare:
I, (state your name), AM the righteousness of God in Christ!
Come on, say it out loud at least three times and believe it in your heart. Learn to speak this powerful truth to and over yourself every day. If the enemy tells you, “You’re a bad Christian and that’s why you’re sick,” just declare, “I AM RIGHTEOUS IN CHRIST! By His stripes I am healed!”
Beloved, when you meditate on and honor the work of the Son that has made you righteous, you’ll see His healing for every weakness, distress and pain! You’ll see Him usher you into every blessing that belongs to the righteous!
GOD LIKES US …
Mark 5:19, “Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”
One of the ways God’s goodness is revealed is through His mercy. We may describe mercy as “the readiness of God to relieve the misery of fallen creatures.” Many times, mercy is called compassion or lovingkindness. It is expressed toward the sinner because of the misery that sin has brought upon him.
God’s mercy to the believer is revealed by His taking away the misery of sin’s consequences through the New Covenant of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Mercy is not something merited or earned, but as the Apostle Paul states, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to HIS MERCY He saved us.”
Our Heavenly Father is the author, originator, and source of all mercy. “Mercy is condescending love, reaching out to meet a need without considering the merit of the person who receives the aid” (Expository Dictionary of Bible Words [EDBW]).
“Even when we were spiritually dead because of our sins, God’s forbearance was working on our behalf. He was tolerant, patient and kind towards us. God abounded in excessive proportion with good will, compassion, and desire to help us. His disposition was kind, compassionate, and forgiving in His treatment of us. He wanted in abundant supply to alleviate our distress and bring relief from our sins. He did this by giving us life in place of death. It was with Christ that this salvation was secured. By grace, kindness, and favor we are saved. All of this was the result of God’s extremely large degree of love wherewith He loved us, always seeking the welfare and betterment of us. God likes us” (Don Krow).
A Blessing for Protection
“I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit. I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love.” Ephesians 3:16-17
May the God of peace and grace and truth be your guide as you begin your day. May he go ahead of you and prepare the way. May he come behind you and protect you. May he surround you and make you aware of his presence. “It is absolutely amazing, how much Love / God, Loves You … Don’t be surprised if something spectacular happens to You today … Maybe something You’ve be praying for Moreover, expect it.
Wishing You a Beautiful & Delightful Friday
with a Bountiful Harvest of Love, Joy, Laughter & Peace
G – Glorify Your Name
R – Renew my passion
A – Accept my repentance
C – Care for the broken
E – Empower Your Word
Lord…let Your G R A C E be sufficient enough for me
Rejoice in God’s Goodness & Blessings. . .
& Relax in His Presence
God Bless you & your loved ones.
Love, Peace & Blessings in JESUS