Saturday, May 21, 2011

When Raging Waters Cease

I posted this on my church's website and thought I'd share it here :)

In our lives, we often face storms, times that test our faith in God. There are four notable instances in the Bible when a storm was calmed miraculously by God. In each distance, the Lord calmed the storm for a different reason.

1. Jonah was thrown overboard

The first is found in the book of Jonah. Jonah was running from the will of God and was on a ship bound for Tarshish. Because of Jonah’s disobedience, the Lord sent a strong storm. The men on the boat began to panic, and Jonah admitted that he was causing the storm. They cast lots and the lot fell upon Jonah, so Jonah told them to throw him overboard. The Bible says when they tossed Jonah out of the ship, the sea ceased from her raging. Jonah represents everything that is anti-God. Like in the story of Jonah, many of us have people, mindsets, attitudes, or other things in our lives that are anti-God. God wants to miraculously calm the storm in our lives, but we each must first get rid of “Jonah”.

2. Jesus was awaken

In the fourth chapter of the book of Mark, we read a story in which Jesus is asleep in a boat that is being tossed and turned by a great storm. The disciples of Jesus are on the boat with Jesus and they begin to panic as the storm worsens. When the disciples wake Jesus up, He rebukes the wind and causes the storm to cease. Sometimes the storm in your life is there because the things of God are sleep. Is your prayer life asleep? Is your joy asleep? Is your worship asleep? God is an ever present help in the time of trouble, and He never sleeps or slumbers. However, we sometimes allow Jesus and the things of God to “sleep” on our ship.

3. Jesus was received into the ship

There’s another story about Jesus, the disciples, and a storm at sea found in John 6. The disciples were on a boat that was again tossed by a great wind. They saw a figure walking on the water and it frightened them. However, we Jesus identified Himself, they willingly received Him into the ship and the storm was calmed. Sometimes, all you have to do is open the door, received Jesus into your ship, and He will calm the storm of your life.

4. Peter stepped out of his comfort zone

The final notable calming of a storm in the Bible is found in Matthew 14. Again, the disciples are on a ship that is being battered by a storm. Jesus comes to them walking on the water and Peter asks the Lord if he could go to Him. Peter then walks on the water to Jesus but begins to sink when he notices the storm around him. However, Jesus reached out and grabbed Peter’s hand and they both walked back to the ship together. When they reached the ship, the wind and storm immediately calmed. Sometimes in order for your storm to be calmed, the Lord wants you to step out of your comfort zone and take a leap of faith toward Him. Don’t worry or fret if you do this, because even if you begin to sink, the Lord will be right there to catch you if you fall.

If you’ll toss Jonah overboard, wake the sleeping things in your life, allow Jesus to come in your ship, and sometimes step out of your comfort zone, your raging waters will cease because the Master of the wind will speak into your life and always make a way for you!

Luke 8:25 - The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”


Monday, January 17, 2011

Some Scriptures to Ponder

Ponder these:

Psalm 9:8
And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

Psalm 9:16
The LORD is known by the judgment which he executes.

Psalm 33:5
He loves righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Psalm 37:28
For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.

Our loving and merciful God loves justice. The wages of sin is death, but His gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Until we acknowledge God's judgment on the unrighteous, we can never fully appreciate his mercy and grace. God is love. God is justice. God is holy.

James 1:27
Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

About Tomorrow.

I love quotes. Here's one of my favorites: “Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.”

I choose the handle of faith. Here's another nifty quote I came up with...yep, a Matt original! :)

"God is a songwriter. My life is the song. He has written me a beautiful melody and that's what I'll be listening to while He finishes the lyrics."

Every day we are faced with decisions. We decide what to wear, what to eat, where to go, who to text, what our next status update will be, to wear the red shirt or the blue one, to start that diet or wait until tomorrow, and so on.

Obviously, some are more important than others. Choosing what shirt to wear is nothing compared to choosing what to do with your life or who to marry or what your next tweet will be! (kidding on that last one).

What makes more sense? Relying on yourself to figure things out or trusting in God to write your lyrics. I choose the latter. Lately, I've learned that worrying about something only preoccupies you from enjoying the journey.

God has already given me a wonderful melody to listen to. Not a finished work, no details, no specifics, but a reminder that He's writing my song.

The Lord says, "
I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Only His song will be a song worth singing. You're in good Hands.