MEN’S DEVOTIONAL BIBLE – SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2019

Storms of Life

Matthew 8:23–27

Recommended Reading: Psalm 27:1–14; Isaiah 41:10–11; Matthew 6:31–34; 14:30–31

Billy Tyne, a down-on-his-luck captain of a sword-fishing boat, set out with his crew in October, 1991, for one last try at a big catch. However, when a unique confluence of weather conditions combined in the North Atlantic to form what meteorologists later called “The Perfect Storm,” Tyne and the rest of the crew of the Andrea Gail perished.

According to locals, weather over the Sea of Galilee in Israel can be equally unpredictable. A squall can rise up at a moment’s notice, hitting with such a fury that fishermen in the area must be quick on their feet and ready for anything. At least four of Jesus’ disciples—Peter, Andrew, James and John—made their living as fishermen. Certainly they knew of Galilee’s infamous storms. Yet as Jesus slept in the ship’s bow, even these seasoned sailors panicked when the storm rose. After waking Jesus from his slumber, they pleaded, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25). Imagine a storm so intense that even hardened fishermen cowered in fear.

Jesus responded with a rebuke: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26). As the disciples faced the greatest storm Galilee had ever thrown at them, Jesus expected them to trust him first. And then he calmed the storm.

Life often seems to rise up against us when we least expect it. A dark spot shows up on an X-ray. A pink slip lands on our desk at work. A quarterly report reveals a serious downturn in revenues. Suddenly our deepest fears rise to the surface. So we look to the sky and plead, “Lord, save us!”

And Jesus responds, “Don’t be afraid. Trust me first.”

The next time the turbulence of life’s trials blows into your life, remember what Jesus asks. Trust him first, no matter how overwhelming the storm appears.

To Take Away

  • What storms in life do you find most difficult to face?
  • Why do most of us struggle with trusting God first?
  • When you’ve trusted God during difficult times, what has resulted? How can those experiences help you place your trust in him during the next trial you face?
MARK AS INCOMPLETE

CHOCOLATE FOR YOUR SOUL WITH SHERI ROSE SHEPHERD – SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2019

Laying Down Your Dreams
by Sheri Rose Shepherd”He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us.” — Ephesians 3:20

My Dream was to have the perfect family and a white picket fence. However, it was in a moment of crisis that I found the true meaning of following Christ. My dream came to life when I laid down my wants for God’s will and began to live out my life for a cause greater than my own happiness. I thought God had forsaken me, but I discovered that my most disappointing moment was the moment God freed me from depending on others to fulfill my personal dream.

Once I realized that His dream for me would leave a legacy of faith and my dreams would only benefit me, I received peace from Him that was stronger than my painful past and found a new hope for my unforeseen future. I realized then that every day I had lived and every day I have yet to live are masterfully created by Him, so wasting those days in worry is just a victory for the enemy. That night I gave my deepest heart’s desire to God and chose to follow Him at any cost.

My faith was no longer in people; it was in Christ alone.

His Love Letter to YouMy Beloved Daughter,

I want to birth a new thing in your heart and bring forth the perfect peace and plan I have for you. I am asking you, as your heavenly Father, to look to the future and not to the past to find the path I have prepared for you.

I know it won’t be easy, but it will be worth letting go of what once was to receive all I have for you. Your past has prepared you for your purpose, and nothing and no one can stop My plans for your life. Don’t allow disappointment to direct your path. Now is the time to take My hand and walk out the rest of your days on earth and dream with Me, your heavenly Daddy.

Love,
Your Lord and Giver of Dreams!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” — Proverbs 3:5-6 

MARK AS INCOMPLETE

C. S. LEWIS DAILY – SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2019

We have two bits of evidence about the Somebody [behind the Moral Law]. One is the universe He has made. If we used that as our only clue, then I think we should have to conclude that He was a great artist (for the universe is a very beautiful place), but also that He is quite merciless and no friend to man (for the universe is a very dangerous and terrifying place). The other bit of evidence is that Moral Law which He has put into our minds. And this is a better bit of evidence than the other, because it is inside information. You find out more about God from the Moral Law than from the universe in general just as you find out more about a man by listening to his conversation than by looking at a house he has built.

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity. Copyright © 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1980, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.