Wise One

Matthew 7:24

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.

Those who are wise build their lives on the rock which is the teaching of Jesus. It is his words that form the firm foundation. Those who act on Jesus’ words are building their lives on that strong foundation.  Be clear.  The firm foundation isn’t built by a confession of Jesus.  It is constructed through deliberately, routinely acting on his words.

You know this but here is part two. If you have acted on the teachings of Jesus, if you continue to build your life on the rock, then you should expect your house to stand through the rain and wind. By God’s grace, you should expect to be able to weather the storm.

God has wisdom available for His kids and He gives His wisdom freely. We don’t have to blow in the wind. We can have a strong foundation which allows us to weather storms. Don’t misread me to say that I think we should act foolishly in a hurricane, tornado or any other life-threatening event. What I mean to say plainly is that when you listen to Jesus’ teachings and act on them, when you tune your ear to the voice of the Lord and obey what He says, you can, and should, expect your house to withstand the pressures of the storm.

It’s gonna rain folks. Winds will slam against our lives, but lean on that rock and you will be alright. Expect your house to stand.

Raging Storm

Matthew 8: 18, 23 – 26

Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side . . . and when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but He himself was asleep. And they came to Him, and awoke Him saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” And He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly calm.

Let me ask you a question today. Do you think when Jesus got into the boat, he knew there would be a storm? As we stop and ponder this situation, I bet a lot of us would expect that Jesus was aware a storm was coming. He was prophetic after all. I mean, how does he not know? If we presume he did know a storm was coming, then how rational does it sound to lay down and take a nap? I mean, knowing a big storm was coming, a storm capable of capsizing the boat, he went to sleep. We know it was a big storm because the waves were threatening to swamp the boat. Also, the disciples tell us they were “perishing.”

When he was aroused, he was nonchalant. The disciples must have been amazed, dumbfounded, and infuriated. “We’re dying here, and he is bothered that we awoke him? Really?” It gets worse for them, though. He was bemused to have been awaken for something as trivial as a life-threatening storm. He chastised them for having so little faith. The God’s Word version says it even more plainly, “Jesus said to them, “Why do you cowards have so little faith?”

What did he expect to happen? Did he expect to get to sleep all the way to the other shore even knowing that a tempest would assault the boat? Apparently, he did. Do you find this baffling?

It seems clear that he expected his disciples to take care of the storm. The humor in the situation is that he has just spoken on anxiety, but I don’t think his disciples would have considered a raging storm mere anxiety. Their lives were in peril. Jesus, though, sounded annoyed that they didn’t handle the storm themselves. “Why have you so little faith that you feel the need to awaken me?” None the less, he spoke to the wind and the sea and the sea became perfectly calm.

Verse 27 reads, “And the men marveled, saying, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Jesus’ response can be found in John 14: 12, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”

There is a lesson here. What is Jesus saying to us today?

Stormy Waters

Mark 4: 35 – 41

35 On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.”

36 Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him.

37 And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.

38 Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

39 And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.

40 And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

Don’t you just love this story? It is so out of our realm of experience. The storm they encountered out on the sea was obviously a big storm because waves were crashing over the boat and filling it with water. There were gale force winds. That is not the time most of us want to be out on the ocean. First of all, Jesus was just sleeping through it. That is amazing enough but then when his disciples awoke him, he actually rebuked them for their lack of faith. He was disappointed that they were afraid. Now how many of us would also have been afraid if we were in that kind of storm while on the sea? And yet Jesus tells us that we should not be afraid nor should his disciples have been. We are supposed to counter frightening circumstances with faith instead of fear. Isn’t that remarkable? Jesus did not even seem to think that the storm required a lot of faith to overcome. He accused his disciples of having no faith. You would think that hanging out with Jesus would cause his disciples to have great faith but they were even more afraid of him than they were the storm. They began to learn what he could do but they were not learning yet that it was his faith in the father that was the source of it all. Jesus expected the disciples to take care of that storm using the same faith that was available to him. What does that say for us? 

We must all learn to utilize that same faith that has been given to us through the son and the Holy Spirit. First by reading and meditating on this story and others like it, we can begin to become familiar with the level of faith that is available and even expected of us. We cannot begin to walk in this level of faith until we accept the idea that this kind of faith is possible to us. You cannot have what you cannot believe for and you cannot believe for that which you cannot fathom. Therefore, the first thing for us to do is to begin to wrap our minds around the concept of an enlightened faith walk. That is a harder task than it may first sound like because there are so many people who just cannot believe past the end of their noses. They won’t want you believing big either so they will attempt to discourage you. My advice is to follow Jesus example rather than theirs. I just think that you would rather walk like he did than anyone else you know. Set your eyes on him as your example and begin to tell yourself that all things are possible to those who believe.