And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. (Matthew 8:26 ESV)
“Why are you afraid?”
The disciples had seen the past work of Jesus. They had been there for the miracles that he had done. Yet, when it came to something beyond their control yet so in God’s Son’s control, they panicked. To make matters worse, it’s like they were surprised later on in the text when they said,
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:27)
Shouldn’t they have kind of anticipated that the Christ who healed, promised to raise from the dead and would eventually feed a ton of people on a fish sandwich could control the waves too?
1 Timothy 1:5 (ESV) The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
What a beautiful truth.
This verse really sums up the Christian walk doesn’t it? That we would love from a pure heart and a good conscience. That we would have a real and sincere faith that trusts God and causes us to love others through the love to Jesus.
And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-4)
Matthew 18:2-4 is an often quoted verse when it comes to talking about children in the church. We look at these verses and think about how children have genuine trust in others. How children are willing to trust without hesitation. I’m reminded of this fact every time I hold my little boy.
The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…. The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. (Genesis 2:9, 11 NLT)
God gave Adam everything. He literally had the best the world had to offer. He had water, the most beautiful and luscious fruit you can imagine, gorgeous plants, and even a help mate in Eve. To top off the beautiful scenery (although I’m sure Eve was a looker too), he had a section of the garden with gold in it…
And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. (Matthew 28:9 NLT)
I love the picture this verse paints in my mind when I see it.
I see the two Mary’s…. dazed and confused about where Jesus would be. Realizing that Jesus was standing just ahead of them, they take off in a dead sprint towards their Savior.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them. (Mark 5:18-20 NLT)
We all love a good story. We love hearing them, we love telling them.
In story telling, though, we often fail to tell the stories that are most personal to us. Sometimes it’s because we’re embarrassed with the situation or the outcome. Sometimes, we don’t talk about personal stories because we see it as bragging or we think others don’t want to hear them.
I love what happened to the man in Mark 5:18. Not just that he was set free from the chains of the Enemy, but what he did after he found freedom.
Jesus told him to go and tell his family. He went and told everyone.
Jesus told him to spread the story of his grace and mercy and the man went all out to tell others about it.
This man had experienced the power of grace of Jesus and was too excited not to spread it. It wasn’t enough for him to tell his family about Jesus, he went everywhere talking about it.
He told personal stories of the power of GOD in his life.
You see, we need to tell stories of how Jesus has changed us. Others need to see our lives confirm what we say about the work of Christ… they need to see us free.
They need to see it, then they need to hear it.
Brag. Brag hard. But brag in Jesus.
Several weeks ago, my wife and I had to take our 4 month old for his shots and check up. As any of you know that have children, watching your child get multiple shots and cry with each one is pretty gut wrenching. Sure, I know my little man will eventually fall down and get hurt, he’ll have his heart broken, and he’ll go through painful stuff in the future, but, watching him get those shots gave me a realization that…
Most of us know the story of the fall of man. Adam and Eve were living pretty until Satan tempted them and got them to disobey God. Their pride and sense of wanting to “know” led to them eating of the fruit, realizing their sin and shame, and hiding from the God that created and blessed them.
As they were hiding, God looked for them and the Bible says,
Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9 NLT)
Did you catch the subtle response of God?
It’s not what many would expect. Many have a view of God that believes, in the face of sin, He gets angry and immediately sends his wrath down upon the people. That wasn’t God’s response.