Another week of working our way through the gospels…a lot of page fanning to move from one account to another. There is so much to share…I could write about Jesus’ command to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us( that must mean that even on the Cross He was praying for Judas)…or that we should be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.
I could write how it is better to do things in private…in secret such as praying, giving, fasting and in doing these things without the world’s eye on us that God will reward us in secret as well. I read about not storing up treasures on earth but in heaven…how very true in these days.
It is impossible to serve two masters…God or money…not both.
I was reminded that I don’t need to worry about my life or my body or my clothes or about eating and drinking…if I seek His Kingdom first…everything else will be given.
I want to be like that wise person who built their house on the Rock and not on the ever sinking sand. I also want to be like that Roman officer in Luke 7, that had a faith to ask Jesus to say the word and it would bring about healing…and it did…that very hour. In fact, in Matthew where the story is also told, Jesus said…”Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” (Matt.8:13)…to have a faith that believes in the outcome I desire…
I loved how Jesus paid such honor to John the Baptist in Matthew 11…and it was extremely touching to read about the sinful woman that anointed Jesus with perfume from an alabaster jar and her tears in Luke 7.
Matthew 12 spoke to the heart…from the outflow of the heart…the mouth speak…don’t store up evil but store up good…a good case for being conscious to continually confess sin…there is no need to save it…you don’t want that kind of interest and no one else will either.
Jesus said the Kingdom of heaven is like:
- a man that sowed good seed in his field.
- a mustard seed that is the smallest seed but grows to become such a large tree that birds find shelter among its branches.
- yeast that is worked through a large amount of flour until it is all worked through and doubled.
God can use such small seemingly insignificant things to accomplish great and amazing things. Do I really understand that small steps of belief/faith/action when combined with the faithful spirit of God is infusing the miraculous into existence?
The parable of the sower is always such a vivid picture of that little seed…what type of seed am I…in which soil do I reside?
Two familiar stories gave me a lasting pause this week:
The story of Jesus healing the man possessed by so many demons that he was called Legion. In Luke’s account, he says that Legion had not worn clothes for a long time or lived in a house…in fact, he had to live in tombs…a place for the dead…still other times when he had broken free of his chains and escaped his guards…the demons would take him to solitary places. Jesus knew solitary places as well yet He was not one that was bound in anyway.
Although, many of us may be blind to the presence of Jesus, demons recognize Him immediately. Those who inhabited Legion knew that when Jesus approached Legion that He was the Son of God. They also knew that they would have to obey him. They feared that he would send them to the Abyss so they asked Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs. Jesus obliged them and sent them into a herd of 2000 pigs causing them to tumble down an embankment into a lake. Imagine the scene…2000 dead pigs in a tomb of water and a former tomb dweller now dressed and in his right mind…the accustomed life picture had changed…
The people looked at what was before them and pleaded with Jesus to leave.
The man saw his transformed condition and looked to Jesus and begged to go with Him…His Savior.
Do I get so comfortable in an uncomfortable situation that I am terrified when the landscape changes?
Do I see the transformation in my life and point to Jesus…and drop to my knees to remain with Him?
Everyone saw a Savior…a Deliverer…only one wanted Him.
The second story takes place on another lake…3 of the gospels share the story of Jesus calming the storm while He and the disciples are in a boat.
“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”
Jesus’ word is true…when He told His disciple that they were going to the other side…that is exactly what He meant. He didn’t say…let’s get in the boat and capsize. He said that they would reach the other side.
“Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.”
Jesus had been teaching all day from the boat and He invites His close circle of friends to come into His boat and some other boats also made the trek. It also occurred to me that they took Jesus just as He was…Jesus is enough…no need for any special supplies or life preservers…Just you and Jesus…
“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.”
Even when Jesus is right there with us, the storms of life can break over our lives…leaving us nearly swamped…what will be our response? Will we remember that Jesus has invited us on this journey…
Will we remember that He said we would get to the other side?
“Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.”
In the midst of a storm, Jesus’ is the picture of peace…rest…a posture of ease. My eyes need to be on Him more than than the storm…perhaps He truly is the eye of the storm…the calm place of security.
” The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
I must admit…I have been there…I have attempted to wake Jesus up from what I perceived as His slumber when I felt like my life boat was about to be flung into the depths of the sea. I have wondered how He could allow it? Didn’t He realize that I was about to drown in my circumstances?
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”
Jesus stood up from the back of that sailing vessel and rebuked the wind and said a few choice words to the waves and the storm was gone.
“He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
He says to me…Helen, why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? Didn’t I say that we were going to go to the other side? Yes, Lord, but I didn’t anticipate the storm…
I know Helen…I did!
“They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Who is this indeed?! Now if I could just obey like the wind and the wave…in an instant…with only a few words necessary from Him…
Join me and others every week as we work through the New Testament in chronological order…click here for Bev’s new blog devoted to Cover to Cover New Testament.
Let’s be the ones that beg to be with Jesus or the ones that He asks to come into the boat!