Monday, February 18, 2008

Lenten Devotional: Day Ten, Monday Feb. 18th "When God Steps Up and Steps In."

Gospel Reading: Matthew 8-10
Devotional Emphasis: Matthew 8:26 “He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the waves, and it was completely calm.”

In looking at these three chapters in Matthew, you may have noticed a nice ABABAB pattern in the maters. A represents Jesus’ miracles and B represents those who want to follow Jesus. It breaks down as follows

A- Jesus heals the man with leprosy, the centurion’s servant, and Peter’s mother-in law.
B- Jesus turns two people away from following him
A- Jesus calms the storm, heals the demon possessed man and the paralytic
B- Jesus calls Matthew and defends his choice.
A- Jesus brings a dead girl back from the dead, heals a woman subject to bleeding, heals and heals the blind men.
B- Jesus says the workers a few, but the harvest is great and sends his disciples out to work.

In taking a closer look at these stories, they all resonate with having faith or the lack there of. It takes faith to come to Jesus and ask for healing and it takes faith to follow Jesus. There is a noticeable difference between the two people who are turned away by Jesus and those who take on the task of being true followers. It is true though, that even those who follow Jesus in faith struggle at times. When Jesus is with his disciples and they are crossing the lake, a storm emerges. Some of the disciples are very familiar with the water and know that they are in serious danger. In a panic, they wake Jesus up and ask him to save him. Jesus calms the storm and saves their lives.

As Jesus is calming the storm, he says, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid.” I have had times when I have felt like the disciples in the boat. I have been overwhelmed with the storms of life or the stress that crashes in around me. I have cried out to God that I cannot do it and I have thought about Jesus saying, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid.” After this I have also experienced the calming of the storm and the waves dying down because again and again, Jesus comes through. We all have our times when we have too little faith. It seems that when this happens, God always steps up and steps in. I pray that God will step up and step in for you when you reach this point.

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