Spiritual, Uncategorized

Firm Foundations

Dealing with Storms

It’s not about what you’ve been dealt in life, it’s how you deal with it…

Matthew 7:24-27New King James Version (NKJV)
Build on the Rock
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

The rain will come and the floods will rise.
Sometimes life hits us like a violent storm. Things happen to us out of our control: Divorce, Death, Loss of a friendship, Failure, Fear, Disappointing circumstances, Unexpected temptation

What does our foundation look like?
Maybe it’s starting to rot, or is in danger of being destroyed. Our foundation in this life must be firm and built properly. The builder of our foundation should be Christ and His Word. Scripture tells us to build our house upon the rock.

The Rock: The Rock is Jesus and having a personal relationship with Jesus as well as knowing God’s Word: build your life on the Word of God! The Word of God should bring about TRANSFORMATION in our lives that will strengthen our foundations to withstand the strongest of winds. The transforming Word of God is so powerful that it should dictate how we live our lives, wanting to serve Him even in the devastations that come our way in this life.

The problem comes when we don’t build our lives on the firm foundation or the Rock which is Jesus. Scripture tells us that our foundations are resting on nothing but sand when we don’t choose to follow Christ and His instruction. When we abandoned Christ and follow culture, it’s a perfect storm for disaster to strike. Our culture is nothing but shifting sands, a place where people are constantly trying to find peace and contentment but instead find emptiness. The sand will fail and we will be left without a foundation or a house.

Sometimes our temptation may be to make Jesus an “option” among many other options offered to us. He is not just an option: He is our Hope, our Anchor in life…. He is the bridge that safely leads us over the destructive waters of our messed up situations into eternal salvation. He provides PEACE in the storm, when the angry waves relentlessly beat against us, He is the strong foundation, always holding steady. Without shelter from the storms of this life. If we want safety and stability we must know God’s Word and be obedient to it.

We have a choice,
We can build the foundation of our house on the sand OR
We can build the foundation of our house on the ROCK: JESUS

Read his Word – it’s not going to magically get in your brain…Read it, think about it, get to know the people of the Bible… imagine what it would have been like if you were there… journal your thoughts, prayers, etc…

Don’t just read it…

2. Do it! Once you gain the knowledge of God’s Word…. do your best to live it out… do your best to be obedient to His commandments… celebrate His Words… Worship Him with all your heart… Love others… Be the person who Jesus wants you to be…

When you fail…Return to HIM… Keep going…
God does not stand at a distance while His people suffer and struggle through the storm. His amazing grace surrounds us like a lifeboat bringing us safely to shore and into His arms.

Live, Uncategorized

Breakfast on the Beach with Jesus

4 As morning was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; however, the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 So Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish [to eat along with your bread]?” They answered, “No.” 6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find some.” So they cast [the net], and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great catch of fish. 7 Then that disciple (John) whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer tunic (for he was stripped for work) and threw himself into the sea [and swam ashore]. 8 But the other disciples came in the small boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.
9 So when they got out on the beach, they saw a charcoal fire set up and fish on it cooking, and bread.   John 21:4-9

Try to envision what that must have looked like to Peter that morning…seeing Jesus. His friend and Messiah who he had just watched be crucified and suffer a horrible death. Now Peter sees Jesus on the beach through the misty crisp morning air next to an inviting crackling fire. I think Peter must have rubbed his eyes a couple of times, squinting through the fog and his own disbelief. Could that really be Jesus? But Jesus was there on that miraculous morning. Not only was Jesus patiently waiting for His disciples on the beach that morning, but he was making them breakfast. That blows my mind! Jesus was making them breakfast on the beach… just take that in for a minute. I can’t imagine eating breakfast, (which happens to be my favorite meal), on the beach with Jesus, (which also happens to be one of my favorite places to be). The Creator of the Universe was serving them and meeting them right where they were. Breakfast on the beach with Jesus is absolutely one of he most beautiful visuals of Jesus’ love for us from the scriptures in my opinion.

Peter had walked beside Jesus and been a part of His amazing and oftentimes controversial ministry on earth, he was part of the original 12 disciples. Peter was the boisterous and zealous disciple, he was a fighter — maybe best known for cutting off the ear of one of the soldiers that had come to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Peter witnessed miracle upon miracle at the hands of Jesus and was always bold in his service for Him. He accompanied Jesus as they fed the thousands of people with the loaves and fishes, he watched in amazement at the beautiful healing work of the Messiah and even offered his services (as silly as it sounded) to provide shelter for Jesus, Moses and Elijah at the transfiguration. Peter believed with everything that he had within him that Jesus was the Messiah and was constantly trying to prove his love for his Master.

BUT – Peter STILL denied Jesus three times after Jesus’ death.

Peter must have felt so confused and horribly ashamed at his actions against his Savior. He may have even doubted everything he had just been through, all the miracles and teachings at Jesus’ feet. Was it all for nothing? Im sure in Peter’s desperation and fear he acted in haste, denying his relationship with his beloved.

It seemed Peter was at a desperate place after all the events that had just unfolded and he didn’t know what to do after Jesus’ death. So feeling defeated, he just went back to the only thing he knew…fishing on the Sea of Galilee.

Who was God to Peter?

Peter knew Christ well. He had experienced a heavenly encounter on earth with God’s Son, they had served together and walked the dusty roads spreading the message of Christ to the Jews and the Gentiles. This was not a casual relationship, it was a firmly rooted friendship and Peter truly loved Jesus. But, yet Peter was able to deny Him.

Jesus, filled with grace, goes on to give Peter three opportunities to profess his love for Him. After doing so, Jesus gives Peter a purpose and commissions him for ministry on that magnificent morning together on the beach. Peter obediently responds to the call and serves God faithfully the rest of His life.

This account of Peter and Jesus and the reality of their relationship prompts me to examine my own thoughts on who Jesus is, my relationship with Him and how I can better serve Him.  Here are three questions to ask yourself if you are wanting to know Jesus more intimately…

What tangible ways can you get to better acquainted with God?

List some characteristics of God based on the text.

Who is God to you?