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.

Freeze!

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,
Joe


Can You Feel It? 3-14-2016

Can You Feel It?

You could feel it in the air. You could just smell the difference in the aroma outside. You could feel the changing of barometric pressure. You could look at the clouds and tell that there was something changing.

That was the weather change yesterday afternoon as the sunshine gave way to dark ominous clouds over my office here in Little Rock. On March 13th we experienced several very compact storm cells which swept across the state of Arkansas. Fortunately there have been no deaths or even serious injuries reported so far. But the change in the weather was incredibly obvious. You did not need to be an amateur weather bug type person to know that something was brewing and it had the great likelihood to be very big. Sure enough, several severe storm cells ripped their way across the state, tornadoes in tow, spewing our ice chunks at times the size of tennis balls. Winds recorded in the 70 mph range accompanied by torrential downpours were common with each of these storm cells.

Well, I am not a weather forecaster so I will leave the storm tracking to the professionals. However, I have been given the task of watching for changes in the Spiritual climate and spreading the news of what is coming. Lately I have been keeping my eye on the spiritual changes which are going on around us. There are very strong indicators that God is up to something big. Churches who have struggles for years are now seeing people come into the building and flood to the altars. A church not far from me is, for the first time in many years, now experiencing a strong move of the Holy Spirit in their services with lives being obviously changed. Last night while I was watching the storm outside the window of my office a friend of mine was preaching in his church and had a staunch member of a cult run to the altar to receive forgiveness and turn his life over into the hands of Jesus.

Just as the meteorologist can look at the radar and weather data and predict that a storm is brewing I can look at the signs around us all and tell that there is something happening in the realm of the Spirit. It is really happening and the time is now!

There is a spirit of revival beginning to sweep our nation! This should serve as a call for all of God’s people to turn up the heat in prayer and study to prepare themselves for whatever is ahead. Jesus is coming quickly! Let those who have an ear to hear listen and make themselves ready!

Serving Him by Serving You,

Joe Jackson, Jr.