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"And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him." (Gen.22:2-3)
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Br. Samuel Babu, Believers Brethren Assembly, (BBA), Majlis - Bahrain For the last few days, we have been relentlessly praying for Br. Samuel Babu, who suffered Cardiac Problems and was admitted in Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain. It was well pleasing for our Lord to call HIS child to the Eternal Home, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no tears, no sickness and no death. He went to be with the LORD around 10:30 PM Bahrain Time today (Friday 23rd 2015). Let us uphold the grieving family members to the Throne of Grace. May the Lord bestow upon them heavenly Grace, Peace and strength and console them with the word of God.
 
 
 
E-DEVOTIONAL

DID WE DISBELIEVE JESUS ANY TIME???

(a tempest of wind with rain)

Bro. Stalin T. Mathew, Bahrain 

"35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.   36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.   37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.   38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?   39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.   40 And he said unto them, why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?   41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, what manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mark 4:35-41).

Faith needs constant strengthening, as the disciples eventually came to realize, "increase our faith"! They pleaded to Jesus (Lk. 17:5). Many believers are subjected to disbelief very often by certain circumstances. But the more we believe, the more we also want to cry out like the father of a boy who was possessed with the unclean spirit; We know, God can provide it but we also know how easily we can forget His provision. We know God loves us, but we also know how easily we forget His love, we know that He gives us peace but we also know how easily we can fall into worry and despair. When it is coupled with a little faith, even much knowledge about God leaves on timid and afraid when trouble comes.

            Several of the twelve disciples were fishermen, and here in this passage we can be sure that they had done everything possible to save themselves. But they knew they were powerless. Many people turn to God when other resources have been exhausted. When sickness, death, loss of job, or some other tragedy comes, they cry out to God as much as the disciples did to Jesus. They had nowhere else to turn but to Jesus and exactly where God wanted them to be. Some time the Lord has to bring us to the point of trail and difficulties before He can get our attention. And that is what He did with those disciples whose boat was about to be broken into pieces.

Panic Vs.37, 38

            This sudden storm came unexpectedly after a good day. Large crowd pressed around Jesus as He was teaching. The people, who could not get close enough to hear Him, got in little boats and pulled Him seawards. When evening came Jesus tried to dismiss the people, but the crowd refused to disperse. The only way for Jesus and His disciples was to leave the place and get into a boat and go seven miles across the lake.

            Historically fishing was a primary industry in Galilee. And most of the boats of the Sea of Galilee where fishing boats. So the boats would not have been large in size. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. The storm was so great, that the ship was full of water, not by springing a leak, but perhaps partly with the shower, for the word here used signifies a tempest of wind with rain; however, the ship being little, the waves beat into it so that it was full. It is no new thing for that ship to be greatly hurried and endangered, in which Christ and his disciples, Christ and his name and gospel, are embarked.

            The storm which arose soon, turned in to a cyclone. Though the disciples were experienced seamen, they could not do anything to prevent this storm, or they could not take control over the boat by which they were traveling. The storm was enough to break their ship. Soon they realized that they were not able to bail out the water as fast as it was coming.

Up to this point they thought that being with Jesus will exclude them from all trials and dangers. When they came to know that it was not true, doubt and fear overwhelmed them. Now they forgot their master who was in the boat. Instead of getting His help they were looking into the sea and its huge waves. The moment they realized they were powerless their conscious woke up. Quickly they rushed to Jesus Christ who was sleeping in this ship during the storm; and here we are told that it was in the hinder part of the ship, the pilot's place: He lay at the helm.

To intimate that, as Mr. George Herbert expresses it,

"When winds and waves assault my keel,

He doth preserve it, He doth steer,

Ev'n when the boat seems most to reel.

Storms are the triumph of His art

Though He may close His eyes, yet not His heart"

He had a pillow there, such a one as a fisherman's ship would furnish Him with. And He slept, to try the faith of His disciples and to stir up prayer: upon the trial, their faith appeared weak, and their prayers strong.  Sometimes when the church is in a storm, Christ seems as if He was asleep, unconcerned in the troubles of His people, and regardless of their prayers, and does not presently appear for their relief. Surely He is a God who hides himself, Isa. 45:15. But as, when He tarries, He does not tarry (Hab.2:3), so when He sleeps He does not sleep; the Keeper of Israel does not so much as slumber (Ps.121:3, 4); He slept, but His heart was awake, as the spouse.

His disciples encouraged themselves having His presence, and thought it the best way to improve that, and appeal to that, and ply the oar of prayer rather than their other oars. Their confidence lay in this, that they had their Master with them; and the ship that has Christ in it, though it may be tossed, cannot sink; the bush that has God in it, though it may burn, shall not consume.

Certainly, their death was inevitable. They woke Him up with words full of reproach to their master. Did He not have any concern over the fact that they were perishing. They implied that He was sleeping because he did not care about them.

When Christ seems as if He slept in a storm, He is awaked by the prayers of His people; when we do not know what to do and how to do, our eyes must be to Him (2 Chron. 20. 12); we may be at our wits' end, but not at our faith's end, while we have such a Saviour to go to. Their address to Christ is here expressed very emphatically; Master, carest thou not that we perish? We understand this sounds some what harsh, rather like chiding Him for sleeping than begging Him to awake. We know no excuse for it, but the great familiarity with which He was pleased to admit them into, and the freedom He allowed them; and the present distress they were in, which put them into such a fright, that they did not know what they said. They do Christ a deal of wrong, who suspect Him to be careless of His people in distress. The matter is not so; He is not willing that any should perish, much less any of His little ones, Matt.18:14.

            The disciples forgot how Jesus had poured out His soul and strength in ministry all that day. His sleep was not because of His indifference. But because of his tiredness. It shows his humanity completely. Actually, Jesus was ready to help them. The sad thing that they waited so long to seek His help, and then sought it when they were moved by fear instead of faith.

Power (vs. 39)

When Jesus arose, He faced the raging storm, rebuked the wind and commanded the crashing waves of the sea to be silent. "Be peace", here it is not an ordinary word. But a sharp command to quit.
            At the word of the creator, the storm could do nothing but become perfectly calm.  The winds stopped, the waves ceased, the air cleared. Usually the storm subsides normally and gradually with winds and waves diminishing little by little until calm is restored. But this storm subsided faster than that it had come. It came slowly and it ceased instantly. Though the storm of the Sea of Galilee gathered multiplied millions units of horse power but Jesus stopped it with a word.  

Thus He stills the noise of the sea, the noise of her waves; a particular emphasis is laid upon the noisiness of them, Ps.65:7. The noise is threatening and terrifying; let us hear no more of it. This is, a word of command to us; when our wicked hearts are like the troubled sea which cannot rest (Isa.57. 20); when our passions are up, and are unruly, let us think we hear the law of Christ, saying, Be silent, be dumb. Think not confusedly, speak not unadvisedly; but be still. A word of comfort to us, that, be the storm of trouble ever so loud, ever so strong, Jesus Christ can lay it with a word's speaking. When without are fighting's, and within are fears, and the spirits are in a tumult, Christ can create the fruit of the lips, peace. If He say, Peace, be still, there is a great calm presently. It is spoken of as God's prerogative to command the seas, Jer.31:35. By this therefore Christ proves himself to be God. He that made the seas, can make them quiet. 

The sad thing they were so late to come to Jesus. They were so late to understand His presence and power of the One who has the control over demons also has control over the nature too.  

Portent(vs. 41) 

The men could not imagine what kind of man Jesus was, that even the winds and the sea obey Him. They were now more afraid of the One who had settled the storm than they had seen dangerous storms, because none of them had seen such a supernatural power as Jesus here displayed.  

            God's majesty is so overwhelming when He displays Himself in a small part of His glory and men can't stand in such of His presence. These disciples suddenly, in the very boat with Him, were terrified by His power and His holiness.

The impression this miracle made upon the disciples, is here differently expressed. In Matthew it is said, The men marveled; here it is said, They feared greatly. They feared a great fear; so the original reads it. Now their fear was rectified by their faith. When they feared the winds and the seas, it was for want of the reverence they ought to have had for Christ. But now that they saw a demonstration of His power over them, they feared them less, and Him more. They feared lest they had offended Christ by their unbelieving fears; and therefore studied now to give Him honour. They had feared the power and wrath of the Creator in the storm, and that fear had torment and amazement in it; but now they feared the power and grace of the Redeemer in the calm; they feared the Lord and his goodness, and it had pleasure and satisfaction in it, and by it they gave glory to Christ, as Jonah's mariners, who, when the sea ceased from her raging, feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, Jon. 1:16. This sacrifice they offered to the honour of Christ; they said, What manner of man is this? Surely more than a man, for even the winds and the seas obey him.

Therefore dear readers let's not stare at the storm and fear it that comes on our ways but to trust and have confidence in Him who is available in our ships. God would bless you all abundantly.

 

 
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