Thursday, January 10, 2013

January 10, 2013 … Ghosts Revealing Glory

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 10

Passage of the Day: Matthew 14: 26 in the context of verses 25-27 [NLT] …  
25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw Him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “It’s all right,” He said. “I am here! Don’t be afraid.” 28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water.29 “All right, … come,” Jesus said. 

Contextual Reference Passage: … To study today’s highlight passage in context, go to Matthew, Chapter 14by using this link

Reference Passage: Isaiah 41: 10 : [NLT] … [It's like Jesus is shouting this to us in the midst of our storms.} ...   

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.  

Reference Passage #2: Romans 8: 28 : [NLT] … {It’s true; but do we believe it; or is it just a Bible ghost to us? } … 
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

My Journal for Today: Seen any ghosts lately? The “ghosts” in life are those circumstances which seem overwhelming and produce emotional “knee-jerk” reactions of fear in us. The circumstances are real; and the fear is, most definitely real; but when we gain the perspective of time, we often learn that there was no reason for us to have panicked because, in reflection and our 20/20 hindsight, we can see later that the circumstances were engineered, or allowed, by God Himself to teach us or train us to have more faith and to cling to the reality that God was in the circumstances for our good and His glory.

 And that’s the essence of today’s highlight passage of Scripture, one of my favorite teaching passages, in this case from Matthew 14; but also found in Mark 6 and John 6. I guess I’m drawn to this story of Jesus sending His Disciples out in a boat and He coming to them in the midst of a deathly storm … because once I had a storm in my life and Jesus came to me in my storm. But you know the story as pictured above, … when Jesus came to the Disciples, walking on the water, the men, deathly afraid in the storm, reasoned that He was a ghost. But later, they discerned that He was the One they believed was the Messiah (well, at least some of them did). And Peter even was willing, at Jesus’ calling, to jump out of the boat in faith and go to Jesus; but when he did and realized what was happening, fear gripped him; and Jesus had to rescue him as he sunk in fear. Great story … with a lot of application for our lives; don’t you think?

And I think the story means so much to me because I had a time, a storm in my life, when my marriage and even my career was sinking because of a self-induced storm we were in because a lot of very bad choices on my part. And knowing that this storm of my own weakness would sink my family, I began looking for a “savior;” and I looked for redemption in far-eastern religions and self-help gurus; but I kept sinking. Finally, through an almost perfect storm of circumstances, Jesus came to me; but He seemed like a “ghost” to me; but then, … in a moment of truth, … He showed Himself to me through His word – by exposing me to Philippians 4: 13 (it’s too long of a story to relate here). But through that storm, which occurred on April 13th, 1983 (and I hope you see that this date translates to 4/13), my eyes were opened to the reality that Jesus was calling me to step out of my boat of selfishness and come to Him in surrender. And I did; and though my faith has been just about as incomplete as Peter’s was in that picture above, Jesus has been there for me; and the reality of the other passage I’ve quoted above (i.e., from Isaiah 41: 10) has become very real for me as well.

Yes, there are times – stormy times – when it’s difficult to believe the truth of another reality passage which I often quote in my daily devotionals - Romans 8: 28; but ALL of the storms of life are God’s way of showing us that He’s ALWAYS there in the midst of our storms, even if He might seem like a “ghost” to us … or maybe we can’t even discern that He’s there.

 But He is; and He wants us to come to Him and let Him be our Savior. In fact, there’s another passage, which I haven’t quoted above, but which is Jesus calling to us as He bride in the midst of our storms. You may remember the verse from Revelation 3: 20. I hope you know it; because EVERYDAY, in every storm of life, that truth is Jesus calling to us saying … “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear Me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.”  

Any ghosts today? Look closely, Jesus is there!

My Prayer for Today Lord, thank You for always being there when the storms rage in my life. … Amen

No comments: