Friday, October 23, 2009

Matthew 8: In the Boat

As we get closer and closer to Christ's return our world fills up with more and more reasons to be fearful. People are losing jobs, barely making it by to pay bills, developing illnesses, etc. Jesus pretty much promised us in John 16:33 that in this world we will face trials and tribulation. However, in midst of the "storms" going on around us, He has also promised us that we'd be able to find peace in Him if we'd seek after it.

I imagine Jesus asking us the same question He asked His disciples in Matthew 8 when He stepped into the boat, fell asleep, and woke up to the disciples panicking because of the storm ahead. He asked them, "why are you so afraid?" In Mark 4, the same story is slightly more detailed and in response to Jesus' question, the disciples begin questioning His character by asking Jesus if He cared that they were about to drown.
Isn't it so true that when a storm comes our way we allow the fear that the enemy places in front of us to corrode the goodness and sovereignty of Jesus. It almost like we develop a form of Spiritual amnesia. It dulls our memory and makes us forget what Jesus has done and how good God is.

Although the Lord's first and most important commandment is to love Him and love others, more than any other commandment mentioned in the New Testament, Scripture commands us to "fear not." Whether its "take heart," "have courage," "be not afraid," we are commanded not to fear more than we are to love. Neither one is more important than the other, but I believe these two commandments go hand in hand with one another. If you REALLY love someone, its unlikely that theres a lack of trust in the relationship.

Therefore, loving God with all of your heart, all of your mind, and all of your strength; we place every ounce of us in Him......every fear, hesitation, doubt, anticipation, etc. And when we love others above ourselves, we're taking our eyes off our storms and putting the people around us above our situations. Doing that, fear is already conquered. Perfect LOVE cast out all FEAR!
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidy, but of power, love, and self-disciple." 2 Timothy 1:7

*side note: I can only take a little bit of credit for the orginial thoughts of this post. Someone very thoughtful who is very aware of my personal fears purchased this book for me and as you see already have been deeply inspired.*

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