IMMEDIATELY…

Matthew 14:28-33  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.  “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped Him saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”  (my emphasis).

Peter did something the other eleven did not do, he got out of the boat.  I wonder if you or I were there – would we have had the courage to ask Jesus the question Peter did and then do what Jesus said.  I like to hope I would but can’t really say for sure.

The problem for Peter began when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the wind and waves around him.  And if we would admit it – we sometimes do the exact same thing.

Yet, when Peter cried out to the Lord – IMMEDIATELY –  He reached out and took hold of Peter and kept Him from going under.  Thank you Jesus, that you still do that today for us.

Many times I have focused on the issues or problems I have encountered rather than the One who can help me get through.  I have tried to ‘fix’ things myself, figuring that if I could just control things a little they would straighten out.  But like Peter, I have then had to cry out to Jesus to save me.

Immediately, Jesus has been there to help.  It has not always been the way I expected or maybe even the way I wanted but He was there.  He has never let me go under.

If you have a relationship with Him – He won’t let you go under either!  He hears your cries – IMMEDIATELY and reaches out to catch you.  That’s a promise!

 

 

 

Continue in Growth…

John 17:26 (NIV) 26 “I have made You known to them and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them.”   
     Sometimes when reading my Bible, certain words in a passage of scripture will leap off the page at me.  Today it was – ‘will continue’.  Our salvation in Christ is not where the story ends.  It is only the beginning.
     Here Jesus is talking to His Father…He shows us here that through Him our love, knowledge, trust, faith, and many other things…only grow as we know more and more about the Father.  Our relationship with Christ is supposed to be a dynamic one, not stale or stagnant or in some rut.  The only way we can keep our life in Christ dynamic is to keep our desire for Him passionate.  That takes study of His word, prayer, fasting, and fellowship with other believers.  It takes a willingness to allow Him to be Lord of our lives – all the time.
     My prayer is that I am always willing to allow God to be Lord of my life…that my relationship with Christ never becomes stale or stagnant…that people around me can see the dynamic relationship I have with Jesus Christ.  How about you?
I pray everyone has a GREAT and BLESSED day.

Can we talk…Erosion!

What is it to erode? It means to diminish or destroy by degrees, to wear away or cause to deteriorate or disappear. Erosion happens in all kinds of ways. The banks of a river over time, the sides of a hill when there is too much rain, and even relationships can erode with time if we don’t nurture and sustain them.

Do you remember the story of the houses built by the wise man and the foolish man? (Matt 7:21-27) The wise man built his upon the Rock. His house was strong and steady. It could withstand anything. He had every assurance that he was safe. Now the foolish man he built his on the sand and invariably when the storms got too big and there was too much rain, his house was washed away. I want to let you in on a little secret…the foolish man could have started out like the wise man. His house could have been built on the Rock but with time and a lack of concern, he could have let his foundation erode away. Sand started out as a rock, but with time it has disintegrated and wasted away due to erosion. Did you get that—EROSION.

What does this have to do with our relationship with Jesus, you might ask. Well—lots actually. We can use the analogy of ‘rock to sand’ to describe what we are allowing the world to do to God’s church. Most of the church believe they are still serving Jesus, our Rock, but the world has eroded and undermined our walk with Him. When you can’t tell the difference between the world and the church (which is us collectively) there is something terribly wrong. I’m not talking about a list of ‘rights and wrongs’ or a legalistic approach to God, but a change of the heart, a new and different attitude.

We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are to become more like Him with each day we wake. He is to be our priority…our first love. Our relationship with Jesus is just like any other we have, if we don’t maintain it, don’t encourage it, don’t work on it, it will fade, diminish, and eventually no longer be a relationship. Just think about people you knew in school. Some you were close to. You talked to them, went places together and believed you would always be in touch. But somewhere along the way you quit talking. Life happened—you and they got busy. You didn’t have as much spare time as before and slowly you lost touch. At this moment you don’t know them at all anymore. It is the same with Jesus.

How do I know? Because I have been there. I was 18 when I went into the military. Because I was saved and serving the Lord I also knew that God had placed me there. But because over time I allowed more of the world in my life and less time spent with my Savior, it was not too long before I completely turned my back on Him. It wasn’t an over night thing. It was a slow process but I let go of God because I had not maintained my relationship with Him. For many years I was lost and by all rights I should be dead. In 2000, Jesus started knocking on my heart again and inviting me back into a relationship with Him. I thank Him everyday that He was merciful enough to look past my rebellion and selfishness to give me one more chance.

Today, I’m not always as diligent as I should be sometimes but I refuse to give up trying to be more and more of what He desires me to be. The only way I can know what plans He has for me is to make sure my relationship with Him is not eroding…that my Rock is steadfast and firm. It takes work…it takes time…it takes perseverance, but it is the only thing in this life that is worth it all.

I have an opinion which I firmly believe is true and it goes something like this; If you are not moving forward in your relationship with Jesus you will eventually go backwards, and if you’re not careful you can lose it altogether. I believe that, because the world we live in is not conducive to us standing outside of a relationship with Jesus and not becoming like it. The devil is in his season. He is going around doing all he can to destroy God’s creation—us. He loves it when we don’t pick up and read our Bible, when we don’t find a quiet place where we can talk to and listen for our Father. He knows that the less we work on our relationship with Jesus the easier it will be for him to fool us. Our battles are not in the physical world but the spiritual…and the only way we can fight them effectively is with a close, close, close relationship with Jesus.

I want to be like the wise man…I want my foundation to be on the Rock. Jesus is the Rock of our salvation. He is our Strength and our Song. Let’s stop the erosion that can happen. Let’s begin today shoring up our foundation with praise, meditation, reading, studying, singing, loving…until all we see in the mirror is a reflection of Jesus.