The Man in the Back of the Boat 11-23-2016

The Man in The Back of the Boat

The disciples followed Jesus into a boat which was to transport them across the Sea of Galilee. Because of the topography of the area storms can quickly turn a calm lake surface into a tempestuous storm. Such was the case this night as the group slowly made their way across the sea. The storm turned so horrific that even those who made their living fishing on this sea began to fear for their lives.

Then in the accounts of this story from Matthew, Mark and Luke, draw your attention to the back of the boat where Jesus is asleep on a cushion.
How can He sleep in this storm? Why is He still asleep in this storm?
So far this account has turned from the euphoria of Jesus’ miracles and teachings just before this boat ride, to a life and death situation – and Jesus is asleep! One of the bright spots of this story happen right at this point. The disciples at least know where to run in times of trouble – to Jesus! However, their approach left much to be desires, or at least much to be learned.


I do not think for one moment that Jesus is unaware of the entire situation. As a matter of fact, it is entirely possible that He not only is aware but has the entire scenario planned as a great teaching moment for the disciples and thus for us. Stated bluntly – Jesus is asleep on purpose.

Ok – back to the story.

The disciples awaken Jesus and say something like, “Do you not care that we are about to die in this storm?” Which probably meant something like, “How can you let us suffer and die while you do not even try to help us?” You see – the disciples were wanting Jesus to get up and help them on the oars or by taking a bucket and bailing water out of the boat – but He had something much greater in mind for these guys.

Things happen real fast now. Jesus gets up rebukes them for their lack of faith, leans out into the darkness and speaks quiet or peace to the storm. That’s it! Everything goes quiet. Jesus returns to the back of the boat and finishes His nap (He is simply leaving them alone to figure out what just happened).
As they try to take in all that has just happened they come to one collective agreement – they do not even know who this man is! Who is this man who can sleep through the storm? Who is this man who rebuked them for their lack of faith during what appeared to be certain death? Who is this man who can command a storm to simply stop being a storm? Who is this man who can immediately cause the waves to cease rolling over the bow of the ship? They suddenly had no clue as to the limits of His power!

But I am not writing this for the purpose of re-writing an event you can read for yourself in the Gospels. I would like to make some observations which I believe will be valuable to you in your walk through life:
– Rest can only come when you are at peace.
– Most of the storms in your life are not truly life-threatening.
– The answer for your life-storm is as close as a prayer away.
– Knowing whom to turn to when you are in a life-storm is vital.
– All of us often severely underestimate the Man in the back of the boat.
– The Man in the back of the boat (Jesus) truly cares about you.
– The Man in the back of the boat is the answer for your storm.
– What you need more than anything else in your life is peace.
– The Man in the back of the boat has the peace you need.

Please take a moment to let the truth found in this account sink into your mind and then allow The Man in the back of the boat to share His peace with you today!

Serving Him by Serving You,

What to do when you don’t know what to do. 11-3-2016

What to do when you don’t know what to do.

I remember a portion of an old poem that goes something like this;” What to do? What to do? Put some mustard in your shoe…” With our presidential election, just a few days from now there seems to be a high level of both indecision and anxiety. To that end I offer just a few simple steps for peace through the election process.

(1) Park the Panic
One of the worse things you can do is panic about this election. Look – God has this under His control! To quote a line from a children’s movie, “This is not the time to panic…I’ll tell you when to panic.”

(2) Pray
The very best option is for you to spend time in the presence of God. It both provides a great calming effect and puts you in the place where you can hear direction from the only One who knows for sure what is going on.

(3) Get Informed
My father used to occasionally say, “Are you ignoring me? One thing I can’t stand is ignorance!” I think he used a little play on words to tell me to both listen to him and to tell me to be informed. In this election, you need to be informed on the issues at hand and on the persons, you will be voting for. I heard a man talking the other day saying that it is our responsibility as citizens to vote – I don’t fully agree. It is our “privilege” as a citizen of a free country to vote but our “responsibility” is to not be ignorant and go cast our votes uninformed.

(4) Pray some more
After you have gathered all the information you can it then time to take your brain to the Lord and ask Him to help you sort through all the clutter you have accumulated.

(5) Go Vote
I really do not need to say much about this do I? Do not stay home in silent protest – go be a voice for Godliness and morality. Finally;

(6) Might be a good idea to go Pray again.
Your prayers for our country should not stop at the polls! There is a great need for God in our local, state and national governmental system. That will never be realized if God’s people will not humble themselves and seek His face on behalf of our leaders. Like them or not they are our leaders – pray for them fervently.

If you will follow these six simple steps then you can be at peace that He has everything firmly in His control.

Serving Him by Serving You,
Joe Jackson, Jr.