December 14, Saturday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought is an edited version of a blog first posted on August 29, 2013.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“A Meek Jesus?  Yes, but He isn’t What You Think”

Luke 8:22-25

One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”

Do you believe in a Jesus who is always meek and safe to be around?  Well, he is always meek and safe but not necessarily according to the way we prefer.  While being meek, Christ can still rebuke us; while being safe, the Lord can still make us feel quite uncomfortable. In fact, Jesus himself declared, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Mt. 10:34).

And that’s the Jesus we see here in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, as he rebuked the disciples sternly (“Where is your faith?”) for giving into fear over a windstorm that rocked their boat, this, despite the Lord’s presence.  Elsewhere, Jesus called the two men with whom he was speaking, “O fools” (Lk. 24:25 KJ), for being “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”

So, what was the main problem with the disciples in the boat?  Like salt that needs to come out of the saltshaker to be useful, our faith needs to be put into action (Mt. 7:24-7); that is, it needs to be applied.  The disciples failed to apply their faith when facing a threatening situation; instead, they gave themselves over to fear and doubts. A typical problem facing many Christians is not necessarily the absence of faith or the presence of a weak faith, but a faith that is rarely applied, especially when facing hardships in life.  But even a cursory reading of the New Testament (e.g., James 2:15-7) would clearly indicate that God expects His people to put their faith in their daily situations.  

Ask yourself this question: When my circumstance goes from bad to worse, what is the first thing that I do?  Do I run to God in faith (manifested through prayer and worship) or run from Him toward men and the things of the world (relying on substances, human networking, etc.)?

Prayer: Lord, help me stop merely talking about faith; instead, help me to apply my faith in every situation and circumstance that surround me.  And help me to accept your rebuke so I may grow in faith. Amen.    

Bible Reading Today: Isaiah 62-63

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