Monday, April 20, 2015

Faith in a Storm

“The farmer plants the Word. Some people are like the seed that falls on the hardened soil of the road. No sooner do they hear the Word than Satan snatches away what has been planted in them.

And some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm. But there is such shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it.

The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes out of it.

But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.” (Mark 4:14-20, MSG)

“With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. When he was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots.

Late that day he said to them, “Let's go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we're going to drown?”

Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don't you have any faith at all?”

They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” They asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!” (Mark 4:33-41, MSG)

CJ calming the Sea of Galilee last week

What is the condition of our hearts?

Hardened? Shallow? Full of rocks or weeds? Fertile?

We want our heart soil to allow the tiny seed of faith to grow where God has planted it, don't we? To “produce a harvest beyond our wildest dreams.”

But how do we respond when a huge storm comes out of the blue and threatening waves crash into our boat, so that we think we're going to drown?

We know Jesus is with us, but he's not doing what we expect. Sleeping?! In our time of need. Doesn't He care?

How did Jesus want His disciples to respond to this situation that would have demonstrated their faith in Him?

And what is He saying to me through this passage today?

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