Christ In The Storm

Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? —Mark 4:40

At the age of 27, Rembrandt painted the seascape Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee based on the story in Mark 4. With its distinctive contrast of light and shadow, Rembrandt’s painting shows a small boat threatened with destruction in a furious storm. As the disciples struggle against the wind and waves, Jesus is undisturbed. The most unusual aspect, however, is the presence in the boat of a 13th disciple whom art experts say resembles Rembrandt himself.

Mark’s gospel describes the disciples’ vivid lesson about who Jesus is and what He can do. While they were frantically trying to save a sinking boat, Jesus was asleep. Didn’t He care that they were all about to die? (v.38). After Jesus calmed the storm (v.39), He asked the penetrating question, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (v.40). Then they were even more afraid, exclaiming to each other, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (v.41).

We could also put ourselves in this story and discover, just as Jesus’ disciples did, that to each person who trusts in Jesus Christ, He reveals His presence, compassion, and control in every storm of life. By David C. McCasland

Be still, my heart; for faithful is thy Lord,
And pure and true and tried His holy Word;
Though stormy flood which rageth as the sea,
His promises thy stepping-stones shall be. —Anon.

God is a safe dwelling place in life’s storms.

Equipped to Do His Will

Exodus 3:1-14

I’ve met people who know God has called them to do something, but they are so focused on their perceived ability that they keep telling Him, “I just can’t.” Did you know that’s a form of rebellion? It amounts to telling the Lord He isn’t powerful enough to equip you, and His will being done on earth depends upon your natural ability.

On being called to lead the Israelites out of slavery, Moses complained that he was the wrong person for the job and offered an excuse of not being a good speaker (Ex. 4:10). God’s response underscores that not only was He more than able to equip His chosen leader, but He also planned to accomplish His purposes with or without Moses.

It is the Lord who gives us the ability to live within His will. He has promised that if we believe Him and move forward in obedience, He’ll show us what He wants us to do and then energize us to get it done. Philippians 2:13 says that God Himself “is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” There’s nothing to fear-—you never have to take on His work in your own strength, and He won’t ask you to do anything that He will not enable you to carry out. He is committed to equipping His children to do whatever He asks.

As a follower of Christ, you have a personal responsibility to say yes when God calls and to let Him achieve His purposes through you. He won’t let you down. Watching Him work through your life will strengthen your faith and further the process of being conformed to the image of His Son.

Specific Creation

“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” (1 Corinthians 15:39)

The doctrine of special creation means that creation took place by supernatural processes and that each created entity was specifically planned and formed by God. This doctrine is clearly taught in the Genesis record, where the phrase “after his kind” is used no less than ten times in the very first chapter.

One such remarkable reference is found here in 1 Corinthians 15:37-44. The distinctiveness of several major realms of creation is set forth as follows:

Botanical: “God giveth . . . to every seed his own body” (v. 38).

Zoological: “All flesh is not the same flesh” (our text).

Physical: “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another” (v. 40). Thus, although all celestial bodies may be made of the same basic chemical elements, planet Earth is unique in its complexity and purpose.

Astral: “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory” (v. 41). Even among the celestial bodies, each star is unique.

Spiritual: “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (v. 44). The Scriptures indicate that although they are genuinely physical bodies, they will one day be supernatural bodies, not controlled by the present force systems of nature.

God has a noble purpose for each created system, and He has specially designed each for that purpose. Although He has made ample provision for “horizontal” changes within the system, never can one evolve “vertically” into a more complex system. HMM

Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth

Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.—Luke 11:2.

THY Father reigns supreme above,
The glory of His name
Is Grace and Wisdom, Truth and Love,
His will must be the same.
And thou hast asked all joys in one,
In whispering forth, “Thy will be done.”
FRANCES R. HAVERGAL.

IN heaven God’s will is done, and the Master teaches the child to ask that the will may be done on earth just as in heaven, in the spirit of adoring submission and ready obedience. Because the will of God is the glory of heaven, the doing of it is the blessedness of heaven. As the will is done, the kingdom of heaven comes into the heart. ANDREW MURRAY.

What is it thou wouldst have done, that He cannot do if He think fit? And if He think it not fit, if thou art one of His children, thou wilt think with Him; thou wilt reverence His wisdom, and rest satisfied with His will. This is believing indeed; the rolling all our desires and burdens over upon an almighty God; and where this is, it cannot choose but establish the heart in the midst of troubles, and give it a calm within in the midst of the greatest storms. ROBERT LEIGHTON.

That blessed hope, … the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ

That blessed hope, … the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil: whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus. —Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things. — When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.

The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, … groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. — Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. — When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Hebrews 6:19,20. Acts 3:21. 2 Thessalonians 1:10. Romans 8:22,23. 1 John 3:2. Colossians 3:4. Revelation 22:20.

Consider how great things He hath done for you

Consider how great things He hath done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24

Thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. — The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death. — He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

Deuteronomy 8:2,5. Psalm 119:75,71,67. Psalm 118:18. Psalm 103:10,11,14.