The banquet hall was filled. To speak for the occasion, a renowned orator had been brought in. After a wonderful meal, he mesmerized the crowd with his voice as he recited poetry and famous selections of speeches.
Near the end of the program, he asked if anyone had a favorite selection that they would like for him to recite. From the back of the room, an old man stood up and kindly asked if he would mind reciting the 23rd Psalm. The speaker said that he would be glad to do it if, when he was finished, the old man would recite it as well. The old gentleman nodded his head and sat back down.
In a beautifully trained voice that resonated throughout the great room, the speaker began, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…” When he was finished, there was thunderous applause and a standing ovation.
I have selected, as today’s text, Mark 4:35-41
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 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 4:35-41
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”
It was a day like every other day.
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.
Followers of Jesus experience sudden and surprising storms.
36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was.
The sudden storm does not mean Jesus is not with you.
38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.
At times it seems like Jesus is doing nothing.
And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
At times it seems Jesus does not care.
| 39 And he awoke and |
rebuked the wind and
said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
|If we listen closely, we will hear Jesus speaking in the sudden storm. |
God could have prevented the storm from ever happening in the first place, but he allowed the sin impacted world to work as it does.
God did not prevent our storm today, but He is present with us and proclaims “Peace! Be still!” to our troubled hearts.
This wind will cease, and we will again experience great calm.
|40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”|| Jesus invites us to live by faith. |
Faith in God before the storm, in the storm and after the storm.
Storms without faith in Jesus are devastating.
36 And other boats were with him.
What Jesus does in you in your storm helps all the other “boats” around you.
Let’s return to the opening banquet hall. The professional and highly trained orator has just finished his recitation of the Twenty-third Psalm. The crowd has energetically applauded and have returned to their seats from the standing ovation.
He then looked at the old man and said, “All right sir, it is your turn now.”
In a trembling voice that was cracked by time, the old man began to recite, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” It is said that when he was finished, there was no applause, but neither was there a dry eye in the building.
After the event, someone asked the famous speaker what he thought produced the different responses in the crowd. The speaker paused, thought for a moment and said, “I know the Psalm, but that man knows the shepherd. That makes all the difference.”
The most important result of this storm experience is for you to come to know Jesus, the Shepherd of the sheep and the Captain of the ship.
The Bible teaches that you are physically born and will physically die.
And you are invited to a second, spiritual birth.
This spiritual birth is the response to placing your total trust in Jesus for spiritual life.
The reality is, there are two options:
- Born once – Die twice – both a physical and spiritual death.
- Born Twice – Die once, only physical death. Because your spirit then lives forever with Jesus.
Jesus said to some of his friends at the death of Lazarus. John 11:25
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
Be encouraged today to Live by Faith in Life’s Sudden Storms.
Get to know the shepherd and not just the Psalm.
Be born twice, by placing your trust in Jesus for salvation today and you have Jesus’ promise……you will only die once and live forever with Him.