It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

What to Do When You’re Going Under

A much needed reminder as we tend to forget from one day to the next, what the Lord desires of us, and where we are to keep our eyes.
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. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” —Matthew 14:28-31
Whether you are four or forty, there’s nothing like a familiar and confident voice in the dark saying, “I’m here. There’s no reason to be scared.” Regardless of how many times you’ve been in a dark and unpredictable situation, hearing that voice can be the difference between sinking and safety.
Matthew 14:22-33 describes a night crossing on the Sea of Galilee when the disciples got caught in a storm. Jesus had sent them out in the boat alone. Interestingly, about half of the disciples were fishermen. They knew how dangerous the lake could be. It’s hard to know who was more afraid, those who knew what could happen or those who were wondering what would happen. Either way, there was a boatload of nervous men on the water that night.
As the wind and the waves threatened to take them under, Jesus walked by—on the water! Without a flashlight on board, all they could see was a dim figure making His way through the swells toward the boat. Their fear of the storm may have paled in comparison totheir terror over seeing a ghost! The disciples “cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid’” (vv.26–27).
Peter said to him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (v.28). He apparently concluded, If Jesus says I can walk on water, I can walk on water. As usual, Peter’s mouth and actions were about ten seconds ahead of his brain. But Jesus said, “Come,” and over the side of the boat Peter went. Imagine his wonder when the water held him up—like a kid playing on a waterbed.
Peter was doing so well, “but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me’” (vv.29–30). What went wrong? He took his eyes off the Lord. He forgot the reason he could walk among the waves. And when he did, fear entered his heart, and he started to go under.
Has that ever happen to you? When your eyes were on the Lord, life was good no matter what was going on around you. But the moment you changed your focus to the wind and waves, you began to sink.
Where are your eyes today?
If you’re going under, it may be because you are looking at the waves (of your health or the pitch and roll of your retirement funds). Maybe you’ve been listening to the howling wind (like the voices of doom and gloom constantly heard in our society). Possibly you have been taking your cues from what others are saying and doing instead of keeping your mind stayed on Christ (Isaiah 26:3).
But you can do better. Like Peter, if you get distracted and start to sink, it’s time to call out, “Lord, save me!”
What storms, winds, and waves in your life are distracting you from looking at Jesus?
What’s usually your first clue that you’ve taken your eyes off the Lord?
Lord, I don’t want every storm to feel like my first time out on the water. Help me remember all the times You have been faithful. Forgive me when I forget the constant demonstrations of Your care. Forgive the way I’m prone to wander. Forgive me when I am easily distracted. Thank You for being as patient with me as You are faithful to me. Continue to guide me toward greater faithfulness on my part. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Pastor James MacDonald
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My Friends Mary & Martha

Lord, help me to be LESS of Martha and MORE like Mary!

In Luke 10:38 Martha opened her home to Jesus! She was the hostess with the mostest-the sister with an extraordinary flair for hospitality.  Can you just imagine this highly organized, efficient woman as she flies into action, giving orders and demanding all that is to be done?  Bread kneaded and baked, meat prepared and grilled, veggies scrubbed and boiled, floors , table set, drinks poured, etc.

As you read, you sense things aren’t falling together quite right, as you watch Mary begin to get edgy and agitated.  Perhaps it was when she forgot to set the timer and the rolls burned that Martha’s simmering frustration finally began to boil as she looked around and realized that her younger sister was nowhere to be found!  Martha was DISTRACTED by all the preparations that had to be made.

As she began to demand, “Where’s Mary!”  Then she realized she’s in the living room with the men!  When the explosion came, it was NOT directed at Mary, but at Jesus.

When we become preoccupied with earthly things rather than eternal matters, we become resentful, self-centered and angry. Our party turns into a pity-party, and we start to believe that no one-not even Jesus-knows or cares about all the sacrifices we’ve made!

I can almost hear Jesus saying to Martha, “We don’t have to have a five-course meal tonight.  It’s OK with Me if we just have soup and crackers.  It’s OK if dinner’s late, if the rolls get burned, or even if we don’t have dinner at all.  None of that really matters. What DOES matter, is My relationship with you!  That’s why I came to your house!  That’s why I came to this world.  Your company means more to Me than your cooking.  YOU are more important to Me than anything you can do for Me.”

The Lord has given me the gift of Hospitality as well as the gift of Exhortation.  I have found myself from time to time getting out of balance in the area of Hospitality because I love to serve.  However, worldly business is a snare to us when it hinders us from serving God and gaining food for our souls.

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