WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2021
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s passage is Mark 4:37-41, where the Scripture tells of a time when Jesus and his disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat.
And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he 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 awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Real Peace amidst the Storms!
God’s peace to you amidst whatever “storms” you are facing today. I think that’s an appropriate greeting today among Christians who are confronting many issues in our lives. There are the typical troubles of health and well-being which all of us face; that’s for sure. But there is an especially vitriolic feeling in America toward anything that asserts God’s moral limitations on our libertine attitudes about absolute freedom. We know how to protest, but we don’t know how be virtuous anymore. And the attacks on those who even remotely hint at godly things are getting more and more noxious by the day. That’s why this event in the life of Jesus and His disciples is one of my favorites. Here He is, God-in-the-flesh, an empathetic, merciful Savior of all who is willing to be a part of this sinful world so He can save us eternally. He literally took upon Himself the eternal ramifications of our sin, endured our death, and suffered the righteousness judgment that we deserved. So, if we are looking for a Savior who can help us in our time of need and in the midst of our real fears, well, that’s right up His alley.
There are so many things in this passage today that can bless us. The extent to which God was in Christ at work to save us is amazing. He leaves the power of the heavens to be born in a manger. He is willing to be vulnerable to the world that is in rebellion to its Creator. He is willing to serve to the point of exhaustion, and to sacrifice Himself, even unto death on a cross. Why? Because He loves us with a magnificent love! Yet, we, like the disciples, often ask, “Jesus, don’t you care?” (see verse 38). When He stopped the storm that day, they merely got a glimpse of the power that He would unleash through His suffering, death, and resurrection for them. You and I get to learn all about the fullness of that reality as we read the Scriptures every day.
So, remember today that Jesus wants you to trust Him, especially in the middle of the storms you may be facing. He doesn't enjoy the terrors any more than we do. But He's the One who can always see you through them. If it is His will, He can help you overcome them. If you must continue to endure them, He can even make such difficulties work toward a blessing to you and to others. In fact, He promises that nothing in this life will separate you from Him, His love, His life and the salvation He freely gives (see Romans 8:28-39).
These last few years have been “terrifying” in many ways. As a result, today some politicians are saying, “Look to me, put your faith in me, ‘vote’ for me, and I’ll get you through this.” No, Christ is our peace amidst the storms of life, and we will put our faith in Him ALONE. Vote for those who keep the government and its leaders in their proper place, and let us put our faith in Christ alone as we trust in His Word. In a world hell bent on libertine, amoral living, let us be, even more, people of Christ who remain obedient to His Word and gracious to our neighbors on His terms alone. Amidst the storms, Jesus provides real peace that can truly bless. After all, wind and waves are ultimately no bother to the One who is the Creator and the Redeemer of the world.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I don’t always know why You allow challenging “storms” to happen in my life. But when they do, give me even greater faith to trust in Your purposes for my life, and then use me to reach out to others with Your peace. AMEN.
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