Peace, Be Still!

On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”

And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:35-41)


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Catching Men

“When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’

“For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.

“And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.’   So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him..”
Luke 5:8-11

The stunning miracle that Jesus performed in these verses caught the attention of all those present, and caused Simon Peter to recognize immediately who Jesus was.

This event can be interpreted as an illustration of the power of the Lord to bring prosperity to His followers. However, as Pastor John points out in a video on this scripture, the words hold a far more important message, and Jesus lost no time in delivering it.

As Pastor John says, “This story is not about how to get rich – it’s about how to get free from riches.”

It’s all about freedom – about getting free and about giving freedom to others.

How important that is! Here were four businessmen whose business had just been blessed with an enormous gift of business resources (perishable goods, incidentally, and ripe for selling at a profit). Yet such was the power of the Lord and of His presence, that having brought their boats to land, “they forsook all and followed Him.”

He had made it plain (as He would do many times during His ministry) that there are far more important priorities than riches, to be pursued in this life.

What a powerful story – and what a powerful lesson for us all.

That freedom is still available today, while most people are stressing and straining at this business of living – struggling with a changing and ever more difficult world.  While we focus our minds on the problems around us, we only magnify and increase them, and give them more power in our lives.

He holds the answer.

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Wings Of The Morning

wings-of-morning-iconIf anyone knew how to live life dangerously, it was David the Psalmist.  Slaying a lion, a bear, and Goliath as a boy was not even the start.  He had already been secretly anointed as king of Israel by the prophet Samuel at God’s command, while another king was on the throne.

As David’s fame grew, so did the jealousy of King Saul, so that by the time he reached manhood, he was forced to live in hiding in the hills and caves of Judea, or in exile, with a band of followers, on the run from the king’s wrath, fighting against the enemies of Judah and Israel, risking his life daily.  It is notable that twice during this time he had the opportunity to slay Saul, but did not because he would not lay his hand upon the Lord’s officially anointed one.

Even after Saul died in battle and David became king, danger was ever-present.  There was much work to be done in war and diplomacy, uniting and consolidating Israel, building up her army, and defeating her many enemies. He established Jerusalem as the capital and built his palace there. Finally, he had to deal with revolts against his kingship, including those by two of his sons, one in David’s old age.  He left a huge national legacy.


Out of this tumultuous life, and rooted in his years as a shepherd boy tending his father’s sheep, comes the Book of Psalms – an expression of many emotions, from joy to sadness, from hope to despair.  But above all in these 150 songs, the prevailing theme is trust in the Lord.  David was a sinner at times (like us, for those who like to point the finger) – but he was “a man after God’s heart” precisely because of his faith and trust, his love of God and the word, and his willingness to repent and ask forgiveness.

Let us remember that God does not require perfection – He knows we cannot hope to attain anything even close to that on our own.   In fact the only words of condemnation ever used by Jesus were spoken against the established religious leaders of His day who thought they were perfect and influenced others to have the same opinion.

God asks only for a willing spirit of devotion that He can work on “from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).


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