Archive for June, 2009

What to do in a Storm…

Posted in Reflections on June 22nd, 2009 by phil – Be the first to comment

In Matthew 8: 23-27 we are told about an event that happens while the disciples are living their lives with Jesus. As they are crossing a lake, a violent storm comes upon them.

Mat 8:24  And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves;

This storm was a physical event but we can use this story as an illustration of storms that come upon us in life circumstances. This storm was unanticipated - it caught the disciples by surprise. It was completely uncontrollable - it was not their fault that this storm had arisen and there was nothing they could do to cause the storm to die down. Storms can be violent. They can seem to be almost life threatening as the waves of the storm swamp our lives.

There are many circumstances that could come upon our lives like a storm. It could be that your child has taken some bad decisions (become addicted to drugs or been influenced by the wrong company). It could be sickness that comes upon your life unexpectedly. Maybe the financial crisis has had a particularly devastating effect on your income. All these and many other things can come upon the life of a Christian.

In the situation that the disciples were in, there were 2 vastly different reactions to the storm. The disciples allowed the storm to dominate their internal state. They began to panic and they became completely dominated by the storm and by its effects in their lives. Jesus on the other hand was asleep. It was as though the physical storm on the outside had completely no effect on his inner world. He refused to allow the storm to dominate his life and his thinking. He was in perfect peace in the midst of a raging storm. His peace came from God and from a life of faith (We know this because he rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith).

No matter what storm life throws at you. Let the peace of God and His rest govern your life.

Psa 4:8  In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Change

Posted in Change, Reflections on June 15th, 2009 by phil – Be the first to comment

Matthew 18: 3

And He said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’

One of the hardest things to do in the world is to change. The more advanced we get in years, the more set in our ways we become. We develop patterns of thinking and of behaviour that are not right or wrong in themselves, but they become rigid and predictable. We become comfortable when things are familiar to us, and we become irritable or flustered when things change and we are forced to adapt to something new.

Jesus cuts right across this human tendency to settle into a familiar way of doing things with an expectation - no, even a command, to change.

The posture of the adult is one of knowledge and understanding. An adult takes responsibility for their lives and their decisions. They assume a level of maturity and knowledge adequate to make almost any decision that confronts them. They are most times quite clear about their values and their principles. They are almost never unsure of themselves and therefore reliant on someone else.

The posture of a little child on the other hand is one of complete dependence on someone else. Their natural inclination is to take the hand of an older person and be led - even when they know where they want to go. Instead of rushing in, they will hesitate and look for a sign that everything is OK. They will look for a reassuring glance from a parent, or a gesture beckoning them to come. Their default point of view is that they don’t know the answers and are continuously asking questions. They are like a sponge absorbing knowledge. They are like clay - able to be molded and shaped. They are like a blind man - able to be led and receptive to the instructions of another.

Let us be a generation of believers who are able to change. Let us take the posture of a little child and place our hand in the hand of the Master submitting ourselves to every inclination of His leading and His will.

The Gospel According to Esther

Posted in Reflections, Testimony on June 1st, 2009 by phil – Be the first to comment

Most Monday nights the Kendon family has some form of devotions together at the dinner table. At times we have read bible stories to our children, and at other times we have watched a christian DVD after supper, but lately we have being taking turns to choose a bible story and learn some lessons from it.

Tonight was Hannah’s turn and she chose the story of Esther. She read the portion of scripture relating to how Esther intervened to save her people from the extermination that Haman was planning and then we began to discuss what this story teaches us about God, Jesus and ourselves:

We concluded that the King is a type of God in this story. He is the one who has the power to rescue Esther’s people. If only the people could have the favour of the King, the threat to their lives could be removed.

We also agreed that Esther is a type of Jesus. She is the one who had to mediate between the people and the King, just as Jesus had to mediate between us and God. She was willing to lay down her life on behalf of her people by approaching the King without being summoned and Jesus did lay down his life on our behalf.

The Jewish nation in this story is a type of us. Through their mediator, Esther they were saved from certain death. Through our mediator, Jesus we also have been saved from certain death.

The gospel according to Esther is a great story and it is a reminder that all of history and all of the bible are pointing to the redemptive plan of God worked out through His incredible Son. To him be the glory forever and ever, Amen.