If you missed Lead Pastor Ben Snyder’s video in yesterday’s study, take a moment and listen to it as he shares vision for this year’s LivingItOut Bible Study, and invites you to journey along with us through the New Testament.
Vision for the 2019 LivingItOut: Video
Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 4
A few months ago I was going through a wonderful season of life. I was so grateful. I felt close to Jesus. My family and friends were doing great. Life was really good. I was so thankful. I remember going to bed one night and thinking about going to church the next morning. I fell asleep pretty quickly. I was awakened by my phone ringing… I answered the phone and received terrible news. I remember going downstairs and sitting in a chair numb and in shock. I couldn’t even speak. Unfortunately, we’ve all have experienced fierce storms coming out of nowhere—storms that are so heavy, we feel like we are going to drown. How do you respond to the storms of life? Do you become angry and bitter? Do you try to control everything? Do you shout to Jesus, “Don’t you care that I am going to drown?” Or do you pray to Jesus with your heart full of trust and faith, “Help me, Jesus!” Do you take time to take your eye off the storm and refocus on Jesus? Let’s see what the disciples did when they were suddenly struck by a fierce storm.
35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the Lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat and it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care we’re going to drown?” 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still! Suddenly the wind stopped and there was great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 The disciples were absolutely terrified, “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Jesus’ questions, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”, really speak to me. They make me ask myself really hard questions. Do I really trust Jesus to help me through the storms of life? Do I live by faith or fear? Will I choose to stop and refocus on Jesus instead of the storm? In my head, I know Jesus is almighty and powerful. I look at his Word and the miracles he has done in my life, and I know that I can trust him. I know he won’t always quiet the storm as he did in this passage. I know sometimes I just have to hold onto his hand and let him guide me through the storm. I do know that the more storms I survive, the greater my faith grows in him. I have to be honest, when I am going through the storms of life I do experience fear, and sometimes I do question Jesus. I wish I could say I handled the storms better. I’ve learned that it is not about how I handle the storms that is important, but what is important is that I have faith that Jesus will handle my storms. All I need to do is trust him. I, like the disciples, am in awe that Jesus can bring great calm after he rebukes the wind and the waves. Unlike the disciples, I know who Jesus is. He is the Son of God, our Savior.
Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 4
How do you respond to the storms of life? Do you respond with fear or faith? What has Jesus done in the past that increases your faith in him?
Think about the last storm you went through. Write down all the ways Jesus helped you and blessed you during that storm. Refocus on Jesus instead of the storm and thank him for his help. Ask him to reveal to you all the miracles and wonders he does for you. Pray he fills you with hope and trust. Share your story with others. Participate in the 21 Days of Prayer and fasting.
21 Days of Prayer -Day 5
Today’s Prayer Focus: Connect with God Relationally – (Romans 8:15)
Father, I come to you in prayer today thankful that I am your child. You have forgiven me and adopted me as your own. You have made me righteous and restored our relationship. I am so grateful that you are my Father. Thank you for loving me. I love you.
21 Days of Prayer -Day 6
Saturday’s Prayer Focus: Express My Faith in God’s Ability – (Jeremiah 32:17)
Father God, nothing is too hard for You! Through Your great power, all things are possible. All authority is Yours, all might is Yours, and I know that Your victory will be complete. You are amazing, and I worship You. I praise You for Your power and presence in my life. You are my God, and You are worthy of all praise.
21 Days of Prayer -Day 7
Sundays Prayer Focus: Worship God’s Great Name – (Proverbs 18:10)
God, I am in awe of You. Your Name is a strong tower, a place of protection and safety for me. I praise You as my Healer, my Shepherd, and my Banner of Victory. You are my Peace, my Provider, my Righteousness, and my Sanctifier. Your Name is great, and I worship You.
This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.
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