Today’s Texts and Thoughts of Encouragement
“And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday. And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.”
“In the dark and cloudy day,
When earth’s riches flee away,
And the last hope will not stay,
My Saviour, comfort me.
When the secret idol’s gone,
That my poor heart yearned upon,
Desolate, bereft, alone,
My Saviour, comfort me.”
J. H. Jowett
Today’s Study Text:
“And they were very much frightened, and said to one another, ‘Who can He be? For even the wind and the sea obey Him.’”
Goodspeed New Testament
“The Prince of Peace” – Part 11
“What Man Is This?”
“If God is infinite, He is beyond us, we cannot know Him unless He chooses to make Himself known. If He were to make Himself known, He would surely do so in the highest terms intelligible to us, namely through human personality. It is exactly this that Christians believe He has done.”
Have I ever faced a time in my life when I asked the same question Jesus’ disciples asked, “Who is the Man I call Jesus?”
“Without Christ, God will not be found, known, or comprehended.”
How has the Lord of “land and sea” taken control of the challenges I face today in my own life?
“We do not realize what we owe Him until we realize that He has plucked us from the fearful pit, and the miry clay, and set us upon a rock of God’s own founding.”
Peter Taylor Forsyth
The Work of Christ
“God, still fully God, became fully man as well so that He could pour Himself out on an executioner’s cross as our representative. That’s who Jesus was – both Son of God and Son of Man – and that’s what Jesus did.”
Just place yourself in the boat on Galilee. Having survived the blast of a stormy night with fierce winds that threatened to destroy the vessel you were in, a sudden calm descends upon the sea. In the darkness, a figure arises and speaks the words, “Peace, Be Still.” Shockingly, the water becomes calm and the wind ceases. And you and I sit shocked. Totally surprised that what we, a few moments earlier, thought would bring about our demise, now is a forgotten fear. For the “peace,” called for by the man Jesus, who is standing in our midst, has settled not only upon the Sea of Galilee, but upon our lives as well.
Along with Jesus’ followers that night, don’t you think that we too would look at each other and say, “Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey Him?” (Mark 4: 41, Amplified Bible). Interestingly, in telling this story, Mark states that “alarm” and “terror” filled the hearts of the disciples as they witnessed the change which immediately happened when their friend and companion, a man they simply referred to as Jesus, brought the out-of-control elements of nature to a complete standstill as calm reigned upon the ferocious water and wind. I have an idea that you and I would have been as surprised as the disciples.
They had seen with their own eyes Jesus ability to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and feed the hungry. They had listened to His words of life, spoken to the multitudes who followed His steps. They had heard His words filled with kindness even in the face of the bitter hatred that was heaped upon Him.
But now, at this moment when there was a strange reaction from nature, these experienced fisherman, many of whom had battled Galilee’s waves before, found themselves trying to figure out what type of person could still the elements with just three words, “Peace, Be Still!” What’s more, this man they thought they knew was asking them why they were afraid. And even more, He wanted them to have faith when they thought that their demise was imminent. Who was this person anyway?
To each of us who has faced dark and stormy nights in our own lives – the question may well have filled our own minds, “Who is this Man that calls me to His side? Who is this Man that calms my stormy sea?”
For each of us who chooses to become a follower of the Man of Galilee, there inevitably looms the question – “Who is this Man – Jesus?” Some call Him a great teacher. Others liken Him to a social worker. Some thought Him to be a spirit or ghost as His disciples did one night on the Sea of Galilee. Mark leaves a record that some called Him the “Son of man” while “blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, (who) sat by the highway side begging” called out, “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me” Mark 10: 46, 47).
However, today, I pray that you and I will call out, like the Roman centurion, beside the cross of Christ, “Truly this Man was the Son of God” (Mark 15: 39, K.J.V.).
In his book about prayer entitled, Say One For Me, author Tony Burnham leaves us with these profound words that help us embrace the Son of God who came to earth to live among us:
Coming and Going
we are glad that You came
In all our anxieties
be for us
our way, our truth, our life.
to hold tight and follow
in faith and doubt
take us with You and with God.
from scripture and the present
Your truth; in word and deed
in good times and bad
in joy and sorrow
we are glad that You came
Give us faith that in Your going,
we may see and know
loving us through You.”
“O Christ! Who has shown us the beauty of eternal peace and the duty of inseparable love, grant that we may ever think humbly of ourselves, abounding in gentleness and pity towards all, that following the example of Your humility and imitating You in all things, we may live in You and never depart from You.”
“Alone with none but Thee, my God,
I journey on my way.
What need I fear, when Thou art near
O King of night and day?
More safe am I within Thy hand
Than if a host did round me stand.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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