Storms Often Come When You are Obedient

So many today think that if they follow Jesus and be a Christian, they will not have any problems. I knew a co-worker who thought he would never be sick again in his life. So what happens when problems do befall on them? They, in their guilt, think God is mad at them. This is all wrong! Besides the desires of the Devil to impact, not those already in destruction, but those trying to live as Jesus taught, I blame television preachers proclaiming the so-called “gospel of health and wealth”. Another name for this false unbiblical teaching is “word of faith” (sounds so much better, easier to hook people); this preaching comes from the likes of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and many others. Sadly, many local churches have also fallen prey to this heresy.

Let’s look at the book of Mark chapter 6 for a great example. After the feeding of the 5,000 men plus women and children, Jesus in verse 45 tells the disciples to get in a boat and go ahead of Him to Bethsaida. In the middle of the sea, the disciples were struggling against a strong wind storm. They were in trouble and afraid BECAUSE they had obeyed Jesus!

So at their darkest hour (it is darkest before the dawn, see verse 48), Jesus comes to them and says “take courage, it is I, don’t be afraid” (verse 50). To be obedient does NOT mean you will be well with money in your pocket, and a fancy new car. To be obedient could kill you, as it did for 11 of the 12 disciples; obedience killed Jesus!

I pray we stand up and be obedient; stand for something greater than what the world offers. Christians, show that we are not of this world! Show the world we stand for something so much better than the world we currently live in! Be obedient to the words of Christ Jesus and get in your boat. Recognize the LORD, it is Jesus coming to you, our one and only Savior! Jesus will come to you at your time of need!

Who Will You Follow?

I love to think about the Apostle Peter. He shoots from the hip; speaks before he thinks and has passion…much like the rest of us! He made mistakes and learned from them; this is the usefulness of mistakes…to learn from them. The selfish disciple Judas, a thief, only thinking of himself (much like many of us) realized he made a mistake in betraying Jesus, and instead of learning and growing from this mistake, he hangs himself…another sign of his selfishness.

Peter, with a focus on Jesus can walk on water, but one who worries about a storm, starts to sink. We who worry about the waves crashing against us will also sink if our focus is not on Christ Jesus. One evening, long ago Peter proudly forcefully tells all that he would die for Jesus, but within hours, he denies he even knows Christ. What can be gained from such a stumble from a man who walked with Christ for three years?

If we learn from our mistakes, we will grow; if we will follow Jesus, we will grow! Peter gained perspective…on who he was and who Jesus Christ was; throw in the Holy Spirit at Pentacost, and you have a great Apostle Preacher! The kind of preacher that strongly enters the Jewish Temple and lays down a hard-hitting truth on the guilty, as we read in Acts 3:13-15:

“The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murder be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.”

Peter was indeed an eye-witness for a truth he did in fact end up dying for. This is Holy Week, what can we learn? Will we too stand up for Jesus? Who will you follow?