Thursday, October 25, 2018

PFC #4 - Look to Jesus

Jesus is our example of how to live. 1 John 2:6 tells us “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” In order for us to act and react as we should in our lives we need to set our eyes on the perfect example. We need to look to Jesus. Today we are going to take a look at one day in the life of Jesus. We are going to look at the problems and situations that faced Jesus in that day and we are going to see how He dealt with them. We are then going to apply the actions and reactions of Jesus to our lives so that we may be better representatives for His Kingdom. In order to live as God would have us live, we must look to Jesus.

Today we are going to look at one day in the life of Jesus. It is not the day of His death or the day of His resurrection. Yet it is such an important day that it is recorded in each of the four gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John found this day so important that not one of them left it out of their telling of the life of Christ. Why did this one-day hold so much weight in the eyes of the apostles? Perhaps it is because it is a day that shows both Christ’s humble humanity as well as His divine deity. Perhaps it is because it is a day that shows Christ as both comforter and comforted. Perhaps it is because it is a day that shows Christ both worshipping and being worshipped. It is the only recorded time, prior to the resurrection, that the disciples actually worshipped Jesus. What kind of day would it take to bring 12 headstrong men to their knees at the feet of their humble Lord? Let’s take a look. Turn to Matthews telling of this most important day.

Matthew 14: 1-12
            Story: John the Baptist is beheaded by request of king’s stepdaughter

Matthew 14: 13-14
            Morning: Jesus hears about John's death. Jesus gets in a boat with the disciples and heads to a private place to mourn. The people see the direction of the boat and run on ahead of it. As the people pass through villages they tell everyone to come see Jesus. When the boat docks, there are 5000 men plus women and children waiting for Jesus. Jesus "Has compassion on them and heals their sick and wounded."

Every one of us has a bad day once in a while. When a catastrophe strikes it is our first impulse to pull away from everything and spend time dealing with the hurt. But what are we to do when our need for solitude clashes with the needs of those around us? We are to look to Jesus. We are to take His example and follow it. What did he do when His need for a time of reflection clashed with the people’s need for a time of healing? Verse 14 tells us that “He had compassion on them and healed their sick.” As Christians - following the example of Christ - we should do the same. If our time of sorrow is interrupted, we are to have compassion on those who are interrupting and do our best to fill their needs.

Matthew 14: 15-21
            Aren’t we very often like the disciples? People are starving around us every day for spiritual bread. They are gorging themselves on the world’s low nutrition, high entertainment, processed food. And we can see their need. Yet we pray, “These people need food, Lord. Send them to a church, or an evangelistic crusade, or have them accidentally tune into a Christian radio or television station.” And in Verse 16 Jesus responds to us, “They don’t need to go away. You give them something to eat.”  “But Lord I don’t have anything to feed them.  I only have an hour a day to spend with you. I only have five loaves and two fish. I don’t have enough for anyone else. What am I supposed to do?” The answer is given in verse 18 where Jesus says, “Bring your loaves and fish to me first. Then watch what you can do with it!”

Verses 19-21 give us an example of what will happen when we bring our spiritual food to Jesus. When we have our morning devotions we need to bring our few minutes, our five loaves and 2 fish, to Jesus. Every morning we must look to Jesus. And when Jesus takes the spiritual morsels that we have found, blesses them and breaks them, he will hand the bits back to us, His disciples, and say, “Give them to the people.” And when we do, thousands will be fed and His blessings will return to us overflowing so that if we were able to find and pick up all the discarded pieces it would take 12 baskets to hold our findings. The spreading of His word will be greatly successful if we will but look to Jesus and ask Him to bless our devotional meal before we begin our study each day.

Matthew 14: 22-31
            Evening: at dusk, the boat was in the middle of the lake. The waters were rough. Mark tells us that Jesus could see the disciples struggling at the oars. Jesus prayed for 7 or 8 hours. Went out on the lake between 3 and 6 AM - the forth watch. Disciples thought he was a ghost. Jesus said, "Don't be afraid, it is me!" Peter says, "If it's really you then tell me to come to you on the water." Jesus calls Peter.

Peter walks on water: The Bible does not say that Peter turned to his friends to make sure they were watching. The Bible says Peter saw the wind. Have you ever seen the wind? Me neither. We only see the effects of the wind. And I think that is what Peter saw. Peter saw a wave looming over him. So he braced himself. If the wave came in high Peter would hip-and-shoulder his way through it. If the wave came in low he would jump over it and land on whatever he was standing on before the wave hit. He was ready for the problem coming his way. He had it all figured out. Then Peter’s problems began to get deeper than he expected. He began to sink. What was Peter's first reaction when he started sinking? He knew he had lost his focus so he looked back to Jesus. What did Peter say to Jesus? Did he say, "Lord, teach me to swim!” No! He said, "Lord, save me!" And Jesus did. Peter's reaction was not to ask for a swimming lesson but for a lifeguard.

Matthew 14: 32-33
God sees you in your sea of troubles. He sees a huge wave about to pound you and He wants to save you. So he turns to the nearest angel and says, "See my Son down there? He's about to be crushed by one of the enemies waves. Can you go save him?"
 The Angel replies, "Yes Lord, I'll leave right now!"
God says, "How long will it take you?"
"You made us all fast, Lord, so we could deliver your answers to prayer! I'll be there in thirty seconds!"
"TOO LONG!!" God shouts. So God turns to Gabriel, his number one angel. "Gabe, do you see my daughter down there? She’s about to be crushed by one of the enemy’s waves. Can you go save her?"
"Yes, Lord."
"How long will it take you to get there?"
"You gave me six wings! I can fly at the speed of light! I'll be there in 15 seconds!"
"TOO LONG!" God turns to his Son, "Son, Do you see our child down there—about to be crushed by one of the enemies waves? Can you go save them?"
Jesus responds, "Yes Father."
"How long will it take you?"
"I'm already there Father! I'm already there!” He’s already here!

Jesus is standing on the water right in front of you waiting for you to look back to Him. When you are mourning a great loss and feel others pulling you to pieces with their wants and needs- look to Jesus. Each day before you enter the world of spiritually starving people, get ready - Look to Jesus. And when you are sinking in the sea of your problems look to the solution. Lift your eyes from your own inability and focus on His capability. Release the death grip that you have on this world and throw your hands to the heavens. Then, like Peter, cry out, “Lord, save me!” and when he does, you too will worship Him.

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Dave Edgren ~ Story: Teller, Author, Trainer ~

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