Chronological Gospels: Matthew 8:14-34; Mark 4-5
We pick up this week in Matthew 8, finishing up the second half in verses 14-34. Here and in Mark 4:35-41 we read about Jesus and His disciples taking a boat across the sea. While crossing, Jesus slept but a storm came that terrified the disciples. They woke Jesus wondering if He cared about the raging storm.
This story is one that sticks with me and every time I read it I am reminded that Jesus is with me in every storm. Not only is He with me, but He isn’t worried – so neither should I be. He has authority over every storm, knows every storm, and is with me in every storm. I don’t have to worry, but only have faith in Him before, during, and after each and every storm I face in my life.
Are you in the midst of a storm in your life? Think about past storms you have been through, and describe how Christ was with you, even if you didn’t know it at the time.
We also read again about the parable of the sower, as well as the bowl an the lamp, growing seed, and the mustard seed. In all of these parables we get to learn vital lessons as believers. The Kingdom of God is equated to a seed that is sown, and that grows over time until harvest. It is also equated to the smallest of all seeds, the mustard seed, that starts out tiny, but over time it grows into the tallest and most fruitful plant in all the garden.
How do these parables speak to you today? What is this teaching you in this present season of your life and faith?
One thing that stands out to me in all of these passages this week is that Jesus teaches each of us according to what He knows we are ready for, and He gives each of us the understanding we need at the time and in the way He determines is best for us. He did this with the disciples, and He still does that for us every day.
Jumping into the story of Jesus casting out the Legion of demons, I am always struck by this story in a new way every time I read it. Reading all of these parables alongside this story today I am reminded that, just like the demon possessed man whom Jesus healed, He heals us of our many afflictions. Again just like this man he healed, he does not immediately call us all home to dwell with Him but instead commands us to take our testimony out, plant seeds for the gospel, and participate in growing the Kingdom of God before the time of the harvest comes.
What are you doing in your life right now to grow in your faith?
We are all called to go out into all the world and share the gospel, and we are all given a testimony to share. Our testimony is powerful because it has Jesus’ fingerprints all over it. We should constantly be thanking Him for all He has done, humbling ourselves as we remember how much we have needed and still need Him, and planting seeds around us so that others may come to know Him and experience the healing power of Jesus through faith as well.
What can you do in your life right now to plant seeds and share your testimony?
We don’t have to have it all figured out. Jesus grants us the understanding He knows we need and are ready for, and the understanding He gives us He wants us to use. What we use will be measured, and we will be given more understanding according to the measure we use. If we fail to use the wisdom granted to us, He will take it away.
Let the light of Christ shine from you and your life and encourage others everyday.
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