God Still Has a Job For Us To Do

I Confess that this election has been tough to deal with, but moping isn’t going to help much and as I’ve been praying, God comforted my heart with four things from Matthew’s gospel.

Then he got into the boat and His disciples followed him. Matthew 8:23. Jesus is still in my boat! As the disciples traveled across the Sea of Galilee they got caught in a storm. But no matter that water was coming over the sides and they were exhausted they had the most important thing going for them. Jesus was still on board!

All the storms we face in life have one thing in common. We get afraid, but Jesus is not! The disciples went and woke him saying, “Lord save us! We’re going to drown!”

Jesus is still in control! He is not wondering what to do next! …Then he got up and rebuked the wind and the waves and it was completely calm. Matthew 8:26b

God still has a job for us to do on the other side of the storm! Matthew 8:28 when He arrived at the other side… If we will just stick close to Jesus we will discover that He always brings us to the other side and that when we get there he has something for us to do!

Thursday Morning Sunshine

As I mentioned last week three of us in nursing home ministry have been producing a weekly devotional which we call The Sunshine Newsletter. This free publication goes into about 9 different long term care facilities in Florida and New York. Each Thursday I will be posting a revised version of the Newsletter for my readers. We purposely are not copyrighting the material so as to make it freely available to as many people as possible. So if you know anyone in the long term care community including, staff members, family, residents or volunteers, please feel free to either contact me for future issues of you may copy and share our weekly issues. Though our writing is tailored to those whose world is regulated by long term care, you may be surprised how the content touches you. After all, the unexpected invades each of our lives more often than we like and lets us know that we are far less in control of our world than we may believe!

Through a Father’s Eyes by Rob Keller

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV

As a father and as an artist, I was thrilled when my son said, “I want to learn how to draw.” Immediately, I took him to an art supply store where I bought him a sketch pad, drawing pencils, an eraser, and a book that teaches basic drawing skills. After completing the first exercise, he was very disappointed with the results and never picked up a drawing pencil again. When we talked about it, he told me how much he still wanted to learn how to draw, but didn’t. Digging a little deeper, I discovered that anything less than a masterpiece was unacceptable to him. I tried to help him understand that it would take time and a lot of practice to develop his skills. Despite all my efforts to encourage him, that sketchbook just sat on the shelf gathering dust. It still makes me sad to think about my son’s short-lived art career. It’s not his lack of drawing skill that upsets me, it’s the fact that he was so hard on himself. He wouldn’t give himself room to let loose, have fun, experiment, and grow. Because I was His Dad, when I looked at those first few sketches, they were beautiful to me. I just wish he could have seen them that way!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Have you ever earnestly committed yourselves to grow in some area of your walk with God? If you are like me, you were frustrated and disappointed by your inability to consistently get it right. Our heavenly Father sees our struggles. He is pleased with our desire to be more like Jesus, but he wants us to remember that it is a lifelong process. He is graciously working in our lives, and delighted to watch our slow steady transformation. We may only notice our failures, but He is sitting right by our side, gently guiding us to become the men and women he destined us to be. Don’t give up! because God has never given up on you. Some days you just need to see things through our Father’s eyes.

Jesus Cares About You! By Pastor Janice Burnett

A wedding took place at Cana in Galilee…This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed…He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. John 2:1,11 NIV

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

What is your favorite thing about a wedding? Is it the bride walking down the aisle or the cute flower girl or maybe even the little boy who is the ring bearer? Maybe you are a Hallmark channel fan and just love the romantic story of the couple, or a lover of parties and simply enjoy the reception with delicious food and drink with everyone. What isn’t there to love about wedding? Jesus did and He even went to one with His disciples and His mom. It seemed that Jesus hadn’t planned to reveal that He was the Son of God or performing a miracle – but when the wine ran out His mother came and asked for help. Who doesn’t want to do a favor for their mom? But Jesus did this not only because of His mother but because He cared about all the people at the wedding. If you read the whole chapter, you would see that to show His care, He turned water into wine! He cared about the bride, the groom, the parents of the bridal couple – the hosts of the wedding – the servants serving the wine and every one of the guests! He loved them so much that He blessed them with delicious wine to drink at this wedding when it ran out – He cared enough to fix their problem and what He gave was the best wine of all!

When Jesus is in your life, He cares about you to give you the very best. Here is my story…I knew it was time to sell my house and move closer to where I now live. I listed my house and it sold in one day (and this was long before the current housing boom) – and I hadn’t even started looking for a new place. Long story short, God had saved the PERFECT place in the PERFECT location for me – it had been empty and for sale for three months! Jesus cares about what we care about. What are some things that are important to you? Bring them to Jesus – He cares about people and He cares about you!

As A Butterfly Rests

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

As a butterfly rests
In the palm of our hand
When its flower-top flying is past
Jesus calls us to give
Him the weight of our load
When the pace of our race runs too fast

And take up a burden that's easy and light
And a joy as we give Him control
Then listen and learn from His meek lowly heart
That in Him is refreshing for souls!

As a Butterfly Rests by Peter Caligiuri 
copyright 2021 all rights reserved

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Even the Wind and Sea

And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Mark 4:41 ESV

Have you ever noticed that even when we think we’re headed in the right direction life is rarely routine for long? Here in this little story the disciples were doing exactly what Jesus had told them to do and yet everything went wrong. Worse yet, Jesus seemed unaware of or unconcerned about their life shaking problem. But the interesting thing is that when the Lord did get up and take care of the storm that they were not at peace. In fact God’s very method of saving them made them fearful of what they had just experienced. Does the Lord allow circumstances that shake our world to just force us to run to Him, or is He aiming for something more? Maybe He has been stirring up our comfortable routine to get us to ask life changing questions that only He can answer. After all life is not so much having the right answers neatly tied in a bow as in seeking Jesus for the answers and finding them in Him! Have a wonderful Sunday and may God speak a peace into your heart just as He did so long ago. Take a moment alone and ask Him to answer your deepest questions. Maybe this quiet praise from Emu music will help you rest in Him.