Tough Questions… Tougher Answers
Jesus took three years of his precious life to disciple twelve men. They had the honor of walking with him to witness up close and personally the way the truth and the life. You’re most like the ones with whom you spend time… the ones with whom you associate. Who are your three and who are your twelve? Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
When Jesus taught his disciples, he asked them the hard questions… penetrating questions to see if they understood the walk and the talk. The lesson of Matthew Chapter 8 is that when the crisis comes, and courage is required, God expects his disciples to be his reliable ones who stand strong in the Lord in the face of the storms of life. This is the essence of life in a fallen world. The crisis reveals our character and our faith. The crisis is our training to test our faith so that our faith may grow. Adversity and failure prepare us to trust not in the power of our own might, but rather in his strength alone. The man of God is the one who is faithful to rise to the challenge and to learn from the lessons of adversity. The account of the storm in Matthew 28 occurs after Jesus healed the Centurion’s servant. Jesus marveled at the faith of the Centurion because he said to Jesus, you don’t need to come minister to my servant, just say the Word, and he will be healed. In Matthew 8:23 Jesus was asleep in the boat while the storm raged across the Sea of Galilee. The disciples were terrified and awoke Jesus. Jesus said, “why are you so afraid, O ye of little faith?” Is the storm you confront, bigger than the God whom you profess to believe? God always proves himself in the midst of the storms of life. Don’t tell God how big your storm is, rather, tell the storm how big your God is. The more helpless we are, the more God’s grace and mercy covers for our weakness. We must become child-like in our believing: Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” On our own there is no way that we can approach the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Turning from my own strength unto his strength is the meaning of repentance. I must decrease that he may increase. One of the hardest questions is, “do you want to spend the rest of your life learning to become just like him?” If the answer is yes, you will be tested by trials and tribulations. Crisis and calamity strike suddenly and without warning. Our hearts must have been prepared in advance. Jesus rebuked the waves and the raging storm when he said, “peace be still.” Who is this man that even the winds and sea obey him? The crises in life ask the great questions of life. Little crises are the tests for the bigger crises. He that is faithful in that which is least shall be faithful also in much. According to 2 Timothy 3:16, The Word of God is profitable for reproof and correction once we have heard the doctrine of how to believe rightly. The purpose is that the man of God may be perfect… perfected through and through unto all good works.
There are two types of storms: Storms of correction and storms of perfection. The disciples had already obeyed Jesus who had said, “let’s get in the boat and go to the other side.” They were within the will of God when the storm came. When God asks us to follow him, there are four levels of obedience: 1. I’ll do what God wants me to do if it lines up with what I want to do. 2. I’ll do what God wants me to do if he’ll do what I want him to do. 3. I’ll do what he wants me to do as long as I’m comfortable and it’s convenient. 4. I’ll do whatever you want me to do Lord, because I want to be just like Jesus. If you choose door number four, the storms of life will rage. These are the storms of perfection. According to James 1:3-4, “Knowing this, that the trying of your patience worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Jesus said, “You must take up your cross daily and follow me.” Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction. However, Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it. Only Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life. He said, “no man cometh to the father except by me.” Those who choose to follow him are a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, an holy nation. We’re outliers from this world as citizens of heaven. Nations of this world will come and go but the our heavenly homeland abideth forever. We’ve been redeemed from the bondage of this fallen world, having been reconciled to God through the finished work of his son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
What is the storm raging in your life today? My times are in thy hands… God’s question to his men is, “no matter the storms of life, will you still purpose in your heart to love me and to serve me?” Are you a man of God absolutely? I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice holy (and wholly) acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Are you all in? Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee…
May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ,