Daily Encouragement - April 15

Matthew 8:23-27 Common English Bible

When Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. A huge storm arose on the lake so that waves were sloshing over the boat. But Jesus was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, "Lord, rescue us! We’re going to drown!"

He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you people of weak faith?" Then he got up and gave orders to the winds and the lake, and there was a great calm.

The people were amazed and said, "What kind of person is this? Even the winds and the lake obey him!"


When the disciples got in the boat, they likely didn’t realize that following Jesus IS NOT EASY. It never has been. The people on this boat are radically diverse. When they board the ship, the waters are fine. It is a calm and peaceful evening on the water. They begin to drift out. And then…just as things are smooth sailing - chaos!


I attended a conference in Raleigh back in the fall and this scripture was used as a meditation for the day. There was a constant reminder that we are all in this metaphorical boat of discipleship and Christian journey together. And though we all have many adversities, schedules, family dynamics, hurts, joys, health issues, financial concerns, we are all trying to live by what we have been taught to believe is right. We try to be kind and fair. We use Christs life and teachings as a basis to measure how well we are doing and we use our own journey to reflect how far we have come and to ponder the work God has planned for our hearts and lives for today and the future.


And life…just like the boat Christ is in…life is easier knowing that Christ is with you. When you base your decisions, trying to look through the Christ lens of how Jesus would respond, what Jesus would say or do or how Christ might think through a certain process, a whole new outlook and perspective often comes from whatever chaos you may be navigating through today. And just like through creation and through today’s scripture, you will find that out of the chaos comes order and out of those first few uncertain steps, comes personal development and fullness of life.



Prayer:

God who turns chaos into order, as I am thankful for all I have, I pray for those who have less than I, that their struggles and burdens may be lifted. I pray for those who have much, that they are faithful in how they use their resources to serve you. I pray for everyone reading these words, that as I pray, we all may feel connected in this time of social distancing. I pray for the prayers of my heart, which are ________________________. May your will be done, Lord.

God who calms all storms, calm the storms in me. When my faith wanes, reveal yourself to me. When I grow tired, strengthen me. Strengthen me into being a better steward of all I have been given. Help me see my neighbors plight and how I may help bring them healing and help them recognize your love. Through the power of the Holy Spirit of the Lord and in the name of Jesus, the Christ, Amen.


Pastor Michael

Centenary United Methodist Church

309 New Street, New Bern, NC, 28560 

P.O. Box 1388, New Bern, NC 28563

Phone: 252.637.4181

Fax: 252.637.5602

Email: centenaryumc@centenarychurch.com

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