Rock the boat!

In Matthew 14:22-23 we read about Jesus and Peter walking on the water.  Peter saw Jesus walking on the water and Peter went out to meet Him.  But Peter saw the storm and started to sink, he called out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!”, and Jesus reached down and pulled Peter out of the raging sea (verses 30-31).

Jesus will do the same for us today!  He will reach down and help pull you out of your life’s raging sea.  But some of you are thinking right now: I have already called out “Lord, save me!”, but nothing is happening.  You are still sinking and you are just about to go under!  Look at verses 28-29:

 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

Peter asked Jesus to call him, and He called.  And then, watch this now, Peter got out of the boat.  Jesus has taken the first step, He died for you and me, then He called us to follow Him.  In Matthew 16:24 Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”.  It’s now our turn to take a step, to get out of the boat and go to Jesus, then He will reach down and pull us to safety.

Away from the office

Thank you for your inquiry.  I am away from the office.  If your message requires a reply, sorry, I won’t be there for you.  -Baal

This is pretty much the answer King Ahab and the prophets of Baal and Asherah received when they were challenged by God’s prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 18:17-40.

Elijah told the king and his false prophets to meet him on Mt. Carmel with all of Israel to prove to them who was the one true God.  Elijah and the false prophets built altars and put sacrifices on them, but Elijah also soaked his with water and dug a trench around it and filled it with water too.  The false prophets began to cry out to their “god” and dance around their altar.  They did this from morning until noon (1 Kings 18:26), after that Elijah mocked them saying things like:  “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened” (1 Kings 18:27)

The Bible says they continued like this until evening. Verse 29 says, “No one answered; no one paid attention.”  Now it was Elijah’s turn.

Elijah prayed to God, and God sent fire so strong that it consumed not only the offering and the wood, but the altar and dust and all the water that he poured over it.  Someone certainly paid attention to Elijah’s prayer.

So remember, God is always there for us, no matter the time of day or night.  Having a bad day?  Ask God for help.  Having a good day?  Tell God about it.  Got a problem at work/school/home?  God will be there for you.  When God told Abraham in Genesis 15:1: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield”, He didn’t leave office hours!  And when He told Isaiah in Isaiah 41:10; “Fear not, for am with you”, He didn’t say only on nights and weekends!  He is ALWAYS there for us!

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

We’ve all seen the movie or read the story of Snow White.  The wicked queen asks the mirror who the fairest of them all is and she doesn’t like the answer!  Well folks, a mirror doesn’t lie, but sometimes we do lie to ourselves.

James 1:23-25 tells us of just that same idea.  If you look into the mirror and see the person you ought to be, but then go about your day being the opposite person, you are lying to yourself.  Just because you look the part, doesn’t mean you will get the role in the school play.

The same goes for our Christian lives!  We may look good to the world by attending services and by being a “good person”, but until we match our hearts to the image we are portraying we are on that wide path that leads to destruction.

Or maybe your reflection is just the opposite, you don’t like what you see in the mirror and you want to change it.  Acts 2:38 suggests a good place to start: “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Be careful little ears what you hear!

Its impossible for us to control the words the people around us use, but sometimes we are able to control the people who are around us.  Unfortunately we can’t control who our employers hire to work with us or who is admitted to the schools we attend.

For those of us who work in or study in a harsh environment language wise, Jesus has good news for us!  In Matthew 15:11 He says, “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person”.  Or, its not the things that we hear and see that make us bad people, its what we say and do that define us.

This does not mean the we can surround ourselves with un-Godly things intentionally and not repeat what we see or hear and be ok.  Paul addresses something similar in Romans 6:1-2.  Paul asks, ” Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?”  In other words, do you intentionally commit sins because we know that God will forgive us?  In verse two Paul answers his own question, “By no means!”  This same principal can be applied to who and what we expose ourselves to.

One area that Christians fail in, myself included, is music.  The radio can be a horrible thing for you and your children to listen too.  Good news is there are some wonderful musicians out there that are great to listen to.  Two of my favorites are Acappella, and Faulkner University’s Cornerstone.

Why has your countenance fallen?

Did you know that God cares about your smile? No this isn’t about toothpaste and your pearly whites, its about how your attitude affects how the world sees you as a representative of Christianity.

God asked Cain why his countenance (face) had fallen (Genesis 4:6), or why he was frowning. Of course God already knew, but He wanted Cain to know that He cared about why he was upset, and in verse 7 tells him to do what is right, and he will be accepted.  To be accepted by God would certainly make me grin from ear to ear.

Think about this also, how effective are we as fishers of men if we are always frowning or just plain being sour? Jesus says in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”. Christian love will not always be rainbows and sunshine.  It will also be tears with each other in hard times, and will mean correction when we are wrong, but that love we share should make us smile!

If you see a friend without a smile; give him one of yours.  -Old Proverb

Say Cheese!