Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee; be strong and of a good courage.”
“Why should we, then, burden ourselves with superfluous cares, and fatigue and weary ourselves in the multiplicity of our ways? Let us rest in peace. God Himself inviteth us to cast our cares, our anxieties upon Him.”
“Thou hast Thy help upon the mighty laid;
In Him I trust, nor know to want or fear,
But ever onward walk, secure from sin,
For He has conquered every foe within.”
“I have laid help on one that is mighty.”
Today’s Study Text:
“And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another; ‘What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’”
“The Farce We Call Fear” Part 20
“What Manner of Man is Jesus?”
1. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, ‘God with us.’”
2. “(Jesus) saith unto them, ‘But whom say ye that I am?’ And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’”
3. “And when the centurion, which stood over against Him (Jesus), saw that He so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God.’”
If Jesus had come to me and said, “Whom do you say I am” – what would my answer be?
How do I honor Jesus’ care and love for me each day by my personal witness?
“In Christ Jesus heaven meets earth and earth ascends to heaven.”
“He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church, He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”
The wind had stopped. The sea was calm. And as evidenced by our study text for today, the disciples were quiet, too. Speechless might be a better way to describe their demeanor. However, when the silence was finally broken, the Bible tells us they said to each other, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey Him” (Mark 4: 41, Amplified Bible). Commentator Matthew Henry shares what this phrase means “in the original.” As he lays out: “‘They feared a great fear;’ so the original reads it.” But then he continues: “Now their fear was rectified by their faith. When they feared the winds and the seas, it was for want of the reverence they ought to have had for Christ. But now that they saw a demonstration of His power over them, they feared them (the waves) less, and Him (Jesus) more. They (also) feared lest they had offended Christ by their unbelieving fears; and therefore studied now to give Him honor. They had feared the power of the Creator in the storm, and that fear had torment and amazement in it; but now they feared the power and grace of the Redeemer in the calm; they feared (were in complete awe and respect) the Lord and His goodness, and (their fear) had pleasure and satisfaction in it, and by it they gave glory to Christ.”
In my own personal life, as I studied this experience on Galilee over the past few weeks, I had to recognize the fact that I do not hold up before my own fears the fact that Jesus is “God with us.” In times of fear, when the waves are really, “taking me down,” I am a lot like the disciples – shaking in my boots wondering what new calamity will rock my boat. J.R. MacDuff so touchingly reminds those of us weak-hearted followers of Jesus that the power which surrounds our life is even greater today than when Jesus walked the earth: “While we look up to heaven and see a MAN upon the Throne, O GOD is forever and ever!’ The combination of the two in the one person of the Ever-living, Redeemer, makes Jesus to be all we need, and all that we can desire. Indeed, in Jesus’ glorified humanity He now lives and reigns. He needs no longer, as at the eventide on Galilee, take earthly rest. His period of weakness, His struggle with human infirmity, is over. We need not, like the disciples, now go to awake Him; for in yonder glorious Heaven, ‘He faints not, neither is weary…there may be comfort – to your heart today – knowing He rules over winds and waves…No storm that sweeps the ocean can defy His power…Not one storm-cloud can gather – not one crested wave rise – not one board loosen – without His permission…All power is committed to Him in Heaven and on Earth.”
If today you fear that the storms of life are going to capsize your vessel, then I invite you to take some time, as I did, to reinforce your battered vessel with these words from the Psalm which remind us of the power of our Lord of ALL:
1. Psalm 29:2,3,11, Amplified Bible: “Give to the Lord the glory due to His name…the voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is upon many great waters…The Lord will give unyielding and impenetrable, strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.”
2. Psalm 59:16,17, Amplified Bible: “I will sing of Your mighty strength and power, yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy and loving-kindness in the morning; for You have been to me a defense, a fortress and a high tower, and a refuge in the day of my distress. Unto You, O my Strength, I will sing praises: for God is my Defense, my Fortress, and High Tower. The God who shows me mercy and steadfast love.” Thank You!
3. Psalm 63:1-3, Amplified Bible: “Earnestly will I seek You: my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land…So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.”
How thankful I am that today, no matter what calamity strikes us, no matter how great the winds and high the waves, the Captain of our vessel, our All-Powerful Master and Lord will carry us through.
Fierce Was the Wild Billow
“Fierce was the wild billow,
Dark was the night,
Oars labored heavily,
Foam glimmered white;
Trembled the mariners,
Peril was nigh;
Then said the God of God,
‘Peace! It is I.’
Ridge of the mountain-wave,
Lower thy crest!
Be thou at rest!
Sorrow can never be,
Darkness must fly,
Where saith the Light of Light,
‘Peace! It is I.’
Come Thou to me;
Soothe Thou my voyaging
Over life’s sea;
Thou, when the storm of death
Roars, sweeping by,
Whisper, O Truth of Truth,
‘Peace! It is I.”
Anatdius, 8th century
Translated by John M. Neale
“He was born in a stable
in an obscure village,
From there He travelled,
Less than 200 miles.
He never won an election,
He never went to college,
He never owned a home,
He never had a lot of money.
He became a nomadic preacher,
Popular opinion turned against Him,
He was betrayed by a close friend,
And His other friends turned away.
He was unjustly condemned to death,
Crucified on a cross among common thieves,
On a hill overlooking the town dump,
And when dead, laid in a borrowed grave.
Twenty centuries have come and gone,
Empires have risen and fallen,
Mighty armies have marched,
And powerful rulers have reigned.
Yet no one has affected men and women
as much as He,
He is the central figure of the human race,
He is the Messiah, the Son of God,
‘He is the image of the unseen God,
And the first-born of all creation,
For in Him were created all things
in heaven and on earth.’”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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