Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WHEN YOU ARE IN A STORM ANDJESUS IS ASLEEP.

MT 8:24 SUDDENLY A FURIOUS STORM CAME UP ON THE LAKE, SO THAT THE WAVES SWEPT OVER THE BOAT. BUT JESUS WAS SLEEPING.

THIS IS A RARE GLIMPSE OF DIVINITY.

MOST TIMES JESUS IS MOVING ABOUT IN HIS WORK CLOTHES, BUT IN THIS EPISODE HE IS SNOOZING, IN “LA LA LAND,” OBLIVIOUS TO WHAT WAS HAPPENING ALL AROUND HIM.

THE STORM CAUGHT HIM NAPPING AND THE DISCIPLES FIGHTING THE WIND AND WAVES FOR THEIR LIVES.

THIS WAS “MAY DAY” AND SOS ALL WRAPPED UP AS ONE, BUT JESUS NEVER OPENED AN EYE OR MOVED A MUSCLE.

HE DID NOTHING AND SAID NOTHING.

HE WAS DORMANT OR HORIZONTALLY CHALLENGED.

AT BETHLEHEM, HE WAS DIVINITY IN A DIAPER.

BUT NOW, SNUGGLED UP IN THIS SHIP, HE IS SOVEREIGNTY TAKING A SIESTA WHILE THE DISCIPLES TREMBLED IN DESPAIR.

MYSTERY OF MYSTERIES.

W WHY DIDN’T HE WAKE UP SOONER? HE DO SOMETHING QUICKER?

I MUST CONCLUDE THAT SOMEHOW IT WAS FOR THEIR BENEFIT.

GOD WAS ABOUT TO TEACH THEM A LESSON THAT THEY MIGHT NOT LEARN OTHERWISE.

STORMS BRING OUT THE BEST AND THE WORST IN US.

WE CAN BECOME BOLD IN FAITH OR FOLD.

LORD KELVIN TAUGHT HIS STUDENTS THAT WHEN THINGS DON’T GO THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO GO SOMETHING WONDERFUL CAN HAPPEN. “GENTLEMEN,” HE SAID, “WHEN YOU ARE FACE TO FACE WITH A DIFFICULTY YOU ARE UP AGAINST A DISCOVERY.”

THIS TERRIBLE STORM BECAME AN ACTUAL FIELD TRIP OF DISCOVERY.

THEY LEARNED:

1. 1. FOLLOWING JESUS DOES NOT KEEP US FROM STORMS BUT THRU THEM.

MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT. THESE MEN WERE NOT ON SOME WILD GOOSE CHASE AND RECKLESS FASCINATION WITH TEMPTATION. THEY WERE FOLLOWING JESUS.

MATTHEW 8:23 DECLARES, “AND WHEN JESUS WAS ENTERED INTO A SHIP, HIS DISCIPLES FOLLOWED HIM.”

THEY WERE NOT RENEGADES OR REBELS RUNNING FROM GOD OR FIGHTING AGAINST GOD.

THEY DIDN’T BOARD THAT SHIP TO HIJACK IT AT SEA AND RUN OFF WITH THE LOOT NOR WERE THEY PIRATES BUT PATRIOTS OF THE KING AND HIS KINGDOM.

THEY WERE FOLLOWING JESUS WHEN THEY RAN HEAD ON WITH A STORM, BUT THEY QUICKLY DISCOVERED THAT STORMS CAN NOT BLOW US AWAY FROM GOD.

THEY MAKE US MORE CONSCIOUS OF HIS NEARNESS AND NEED FOR HIM.

HE STUCK WITH THEM UNTIL THE STORM WAS OVER.

HE DIDN’T KEEP THEM FROM THE STORM BUT THRU IT, AND HE CAN KEEP YOU THRU YOURS AS WELL.

2. 2. DENIAL DOES NOT AVERT OR ALLEVIATE A CRISIS IN TIMES OF STORMS.

THEY MADE A POSITIVE NEGATIVE CONFESSION!

VERSE 24 TELLS US THAT THE SHIP WAS COVERED WITH WAVES, AND VERSE 25 RECORDS THE EXACT WORDS OF THEIR POSITIVE NEGATIVE CONFESSION. “WE PERISH.”

T THE WAVES WERE REAL; WIND WAS REAL; DANGER WAS REAL AND THEY DID NOT DENY IT.

JESUS DIDN’T DENY THAT DEHYDRATION MADE HIM THIRSTY AS HE DIED ON THE CRUEL TREE OR CLOAK IT IN SOME GARBLED RELIGIOUS JARGON.

HE SAID, “I THIRST.”

DENIAL CAN BE THE PROSTITUTION OF FAITH AND THE CLOAK OF DISHONESTY.

THE BLIND MAN WHO CAME TO JESUS DIDN’T SAY, “MAN, EVERYTHING IS GREAT. I JUST WANT A BLESSING.” HE POURED HIS GUTS OUT. “I’M BLIND” HE SAID, “HEAL ME.”

DON’T DENY YOU HAVE A PROBLEM THAT YOU CAN’T MANAGE.

TELL IT TO JESUS AND HE WILL WAKE UP IN TIME TO HEAR IT AND DEMAND THE ELEMENTS TO OBEY HIM.

THE STORM DID NOT DEVASTATE THEM. THEY OUT LASTED THE STORM AND LIVED TO TELL OTHERS THAT IT’S POSSIBLE WITH GOD.

3. 3. DON’T JUMP OUT OF THE BOAT WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH.

COLUMBUS WOULD NEVER HAVE DISCOVERED A NEW WORLD HAD HE BAILED OUT AND TURNED BACK WHEN HE ENCOUNTERED HIS FIRST STORM.

STORMS ARE TO BE EXPECTED IF YOU SAIL.

THEY ARE THE RULE NOT THE EXCEPTION.

DON’T JUMP OUT OF THE SHIP OF MARRIAGE BECAUSE YOU HIT A STORM AFTER THE HONEYMOON IS OVER.

THE STORM WILL PASS. YOUR MARRIAGE CAN LAST AND YOUR LOVE BE A BLAST!

THE DISCIPLES DIDN’T JUMP OUT OF THE BOAT.

JESUS WAS STILL THERE AND THE SAFEST PLACE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD TO BE WHEN STORMS COME IS TO BE IN THE SHIP, FACING THE STORM WITH JESUS BY YOUR SIDE.

4. 4. DIFFICULTIES ARE MADE TO ROUSE NOT TO DISCOURAGE US.

“THEY WOKE JESUS UP…” (MATTHEW 8:25)

DIFFICULTIES REMIND US OF HOW WEAK WE ARE AND HOW STRONG HE IS.

THEY ARE A LETHAL WEAPON IN THE HAND OF THE DEVIL TO DISCOURAGE AND DISMAY US, BUT PAUL PROCLAIMED THAT IN OUR WEAKNESS, HE MAKES US STRONG. (II CORINTHIANS 12:9)

IT’S A MISTAKE FOR SATAN TO ASSUME THAT DIFFICULTIES WILL DESTROY US.

THEY JUST MAKE US MORE DETERMINED TO GIVE JESUS A “WAKE UP CALL”.

PSALMS 50:15 EXPLAINS IT CLEARLY. GOD SAID, “CALL UPON ME IN THE DAY OF TROUBLE; AND I WILL DELIVER YOU.”

THE DEVIL JUST DRIVES ME CLOSER TO GOD WHEN HE THROWS DIFFICULTIES IN MY PATHWAY.

THE DISCIPLES LEARNED THAT LESSON WHEN THEY WERE IN A STORM AND JESUS WAS TEMPORARILY ASLEEP.

5. 5. GOD MAKES OPPORTUNITIES, BUT HE EXPECTS US TO HUNT FOR THEM.

WHAT BETTER OPPORTUNITY CAN THERE BE FOR GOD TO INTERVENE FOR US THAN IN ONE OF LIFE’S STORMS?

JESUS DIDN’T SHOW UP. HE WAS ALREADY THERE. HE JUST SPOKE UP.

VERSE 26 DECLARES, “THEN HE AROSE, AND REBUKED THE WINDS AND THE SEA; AND THERE WAS A GREAT CALM.”

THE DISCIPLES FOUND AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GOD TO DEMONSTRATE HIS POWER AND WISDOM IN THE MIDST OF A TERRIBLE STORM, AND HE DID.

OPPORTUNITIES WILL MOST LIKELY SHOW UP IN DISGUISE AND MAY BE MASQUERADING AS IMPOSSIBILITIES, BUT THAT’S WHEN THE GRACE OF GOD SHINES BRIGHTEST.

GIVE JESUS A “WAKE UP CALL” AND WATCH HIM GO INTO ACTION FOR YOU.

THROUGH EVERY STORM

Pastor J & Bob

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