Monday, December 19, 2016

The Doubters

From Max Lucado's book-Fearless--What did Jesus do with the doubters in the Upper Room. Luke 24:27 "And beginning with ones and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." A face to face, put your hand on my wound visit. A meal is served, the Bible is taught and the disciples found courage.
What would Christ have us to do with our doubts? His answer, touch my body and ponder my story. We still can, you know. We can still touch the body of Christ. When we brush up against the church, we do just that. "The church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself." (Eph. 1:23) May others brush up against us and see Jesus!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Storms We Face

From Max Lucado’s book “ Fearless.”
“But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves… Matt.14:24-32
Peter and his storm riders knew they were in trouble. “in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves.” Apt description, perhaps for your stage in life?” The disciples fought for nine hours. Then about 4 AM the unspeakable happened. “They spotted someone coming on the water.” They didn’t expect Jesus to come this way. Neither do we. We expect to see Him in peaceful hymns or Easter Sunday or morning devotionals. 

But it is in a storm that He does His finest work. For it is in storms that He has our keenest attention. Jesus replied to the disciples’ fear with an invitation worthy of inscription on every church cornerstone, “Don’t be afraid, Take courage, I am here.” 

Power inhabits those words. “I am here,” changes everything. Perhaps that’s why God repeats the “I am here” pledge so often.The Lord is near Phi. 4:5; You are in Me and I am in you, John 14:20; I am with you always,, to the very end of the age. Matt. 28:20.

We cannot go where God is not. Look over your shoulder, that is God following you. Look into the storm; that’s Christ coming toward you. Much to Peter’s credit, he took Jesus at his word. “Lord if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. So He said, Come. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.” 

Peter never would have made this request on a calm sea. Storms prompt us to take unprecedented journeys. For a few historic steps and heart stilling moments, Peter did the impossible. He defied every law of gravity and nature, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

When Peter saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, Lord, save me! Peter shifted his attention away from Jesus and toward the squall, and when he did, he sank like a brick in pond. Give the storm waters more attention than the Storm Walker, and get ready to do the same. Whether or not the storms come, we cannot choose. But we can choose where we focus during a storm. “We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.” Heb. 2:1. 

Do what it takes to keep your gaze on Jesus. Feed your fears, and your faith will starve. Feed your faith, and your fears will. Lam. 3:22-23 “Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, the Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him.”

The storm didn’t cease. “Lord, save me!” Peter cried. Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith, why did you doubt? And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.” Jesus could have stilled the storm hours earlier. But He didn’t. He wanted to teach the followers a lesson. Jesus could have calmed your storm long ago too. But he hasn’t.  Does he also want to teach you a lesson. Could that lesson read something like this, “Storms are not an option, but fear is?” 

His lesson is clear. He’s the commander of every storm. Are you scared in yours? Then stare at Him. Remember the words, “I am here."