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AUDIO Hang On! Stormy Weather Is On Its way

Rev Bill Woods

Luke 8:22-25 — One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out.
23  As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
24  The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. The storm stopped and all was calm!
25  Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”

Mark tells us this miracle happened after Christ encountered the opposition of His friends and enemies.

Mark 3:20-35 — One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat.
21  When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.
22  But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.”
23  Jesus called them over and responded with an illustration. “How can Satan cast out Satan?” he asked.
24  “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse.
25  Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart.
26  And if Satan is divided and fights against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive.
27  Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
28  “I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven,
29  but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.”
30  He told them this because they were saying, “He’s possessed by an evil spirit.”
31  Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them.
32  There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.”
33  Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
34  Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers.
35  Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

There were several other confrontations where He was even accused of being demon-possessed.

He told several parables and warded off several attacks and was exhausted.

This had been a bad day of ceaseless pressure and agonizing responsibility, a day of physical and mental exhaustion.

Jesus told His disciples to go to the other side of the lake — the eastern shore.

He lay down in the boat to rest.

This was between 5 and 7 miles from where they were.  As they made their way across the lake a storm suddenly broke.

Mark 4:35-41 — As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross 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 that we’re going to drown?”
39  When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the water, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a 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 waves obey him!”

That’s kind of a picture of life.  Not all storms we face are weather related.  Some are of the emotional and spiritual nature.

We start out going where we’re supposed to go and doing what we’re supposed to do and suddenly we’re caught in some turmoil that just about sinks our boat.

All kinds of storms come to all of us in this lifetime.

Often, we think we can’t bear up under the pressures of the storm only to find the weight seems too great and we can’t continue on.  We want to throw in the towel and just quit!

When these stressful times come we must learn to turn to the Lord for His help.

How heavy does something have to be, to be too heavy for us to manage?  When do the circumstances become so severe that we just feel like quitting?

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to her class.

She raised a glass of water; everyone expected her to ask the “half empty or half full” question.

Instead, she asked: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She said, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass hasn’t changed, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

“The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt.

And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses as early as you can–put  your burdens down.

Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

Jesus said, “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” (Matthew 11:28-29, ESV).

Good news! Jesus doesn’t leave us to flounder in the storm alone — He is in the storm with us.  He will share the load we carry.  He says, “His yoke is easy and His burden is light.”

Take a closer look at THE CRISIS ON THE LAKE (V. 23 )— As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.

The lake, or Sea of Galilee, was notorious for its horrific storms, which came with shattering and terrifying suddenness.

They were like some of the storms we experienced when we lived in Cheyenne. 

Or like the storm we experienced this week in Sun Valley, with massive lightning and thunder and winds that knocked our power out and left us in the dark for 18 hours. 

If we would’ve had any trees many of them would be down after that storm!

The storm that caught the disciples on the Sea of Galilee was humongous. More than these seasoned fishermen could handle!  They’d been through storms before, but nothing compared with this one! 

The Sea of Galilee lies in a basin 600 feet below sea level.  It is surrounded by high mountains causing cold air to rush down the gorges and meet the warm air in the basin creating severe storms on the lake.

Maybe, like those disciples, you’re caught in a storm today.  One so severe you’re close to panic!

Is your storm a domestic problem — maybe a war within the home — a divided family under one roof?

You’ve reacted in anger and said things that can’t be retracted.

You’ve burned bridges that can never be rebuilt.

There’s animosity and resentment and the atmosphere of your home is charged with cruelty and massive stress.

That storm is in so many homes today.  Christ can ease the storm in your home!

For others it’s the storm of physical problems.

Perhaps the hounding “fear of the unknown” — the unknown future for so many seems totally frightening.

Some are facing a storm of doubt — the old truths no longer seem quite enough.

Thomas had to put his finger in the nail prints.

Some are facing the storm of decision.

They’ve come to a crossroads, there’s no word from Heaven.  Their minds are in turmoil and they’re fearful.

Its night and they’re in the midst of a storm.

As we read this story, it’s important to notice the storm was so severe the ship was being swamped.

These men were seasoned fishermen!  They knew this lake.

Yet here they were in a storm and their boat was sinking.

Not only was the boat getting swamped — they were in great danger. This was a crisis situation!

2. THE CRY OF THE DISCIPLES (V. 24) — The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. The storm stopped and all was calm!

The Galilean fishing boats were very large and hard to handle.  They had one large mast and a large 3-cornered sail.

Jesus was probably asleep on a deck like platform when this storm came up.

The disciples woke Jesus and told Him they were all going to drown!

Jesus responded by getting up and rebuking the raging wind and the rough sea.

Immediately the storm ceased!

Jesus demonstrated His Power to still the storm.

There was a complete calm — a total stillness that descended on the lake.

Christ’s mastery over the elements was complete.

3. THE CHRIST WHO CONFOUNDS (V.25 )— Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”

Jesus questioned the disciples about their faith.

We get the impression that the disciples shouldn’t have been terrified.  They should’ve trusted Him.

The One who is Lord of history and nature was in the boat — why should they fear?

The disciples were amazed!  They kept asking each other, “Who is this?”

This is a very important question which Luke doesn’t want us to miss.

This is a nature miracle — different because it shows the Lordship of Christ over man and his world. (25b) “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”

The disciples should’ve known when Jesus got in the boat He said, “Let’s go to the other side of the lake.”

He didn’t say “Let’s go to the middle of the lake and sink like a rock.”

You know Jesus is in your boat with you today too.

The news about what’s happening in this world is completely unnerving!

All you hear are threats of war, runaway inflation, depression, shortages, coming famine, raising interest, money being devalued, and on and on.

It’s all anyone can do to keep from going into sheer panic.

Let me give you a word of encouragement, Jesus promised He’ll never leave you or forsake you.

Let Him still your storms.

I was remembering the story of Henry J. Taylor, a famous American journalist who wrote about an experience he had as a boy.

His father owned a mine and one time took Henry with him to inspect a new elevator being installed in the mine.

Before the elevator’s safety cage was fitted, someone had to go down the shaft in a barrel dangling on the end of a rope.

Taylor went down in the barrel with his dad.

He was terrified!  The barrel swinging and swaying at the end of the rope, banging against the sides of the shaft.

Henry began to panic!  He was so frightened that his heart was beating like a trip hammer, he thought it was going to beat right out of his chest!

His father put his strong arm around him and kept saying, “Don’t be afraid, son.”

At the bottom of the shaft, they found a strange, dark, frightening underground world.

A miner warned them to be careful of poison gas!

That warning made things worse!  Henry likened the whole experience to a horrible nightmare.

The only thing in the whole terrifying ordeal was that Henry’s dad was right there to comfort and protect him.

A miner asked Henry, “Aren’t you scared?”

“Well,” Henry answered honestly, “I’d really be scared except my father is with me.”

That’s where I am today.  The world seems to be coming apart at the seams and “I’d be awfully scared except my Father is with me!”

I have the hope that Jesus will strengthen me here and has prepared a wonderful place where I will spend Eternity with Him! 

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  — John 14:1–3.

If you don’t have that assurance, you need to accept Him as your Savior too!


PODCAST HANG ON! STORMY WEATHER IS COMING!

https://www.buzzsprout.com/824359/11168526


There is Still Power in the Blood

Don't believe in the Devil? 

That's exactly where Satin wants you. He and his demonic hosts are working hard to deceive you because he knows his time is running out and he will soon be cast into the bottomless pit. One pastor told me to leave Satin alone because "If we leave him alone will leave us alone." That's dumb because he doesn't intend to leave you or your family alone. You must learn how to stand against him. 

In this book you will find how:

-Demons enter in the first place.

-How to be set free from demonic bondage.

-How to stay free.

-Pit falls Satin hopes you will fall into so he can destroy you and your family.

-How to have a close walk with Jesus Christ and enjoy victory in your life. 

Remember: THERE IS STILL POWER IN THE BLOOD!

https://www.churchofthegalilean.com/product-page/there-is-still-power-in-the-blood

VIDEO Life-Saving Blood

August 1, 2019 by Joe Rodriguez

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Pictured above is the Head Harbour (East Quoddy) Lighthouse. Bult in 1829, it sits on a small rocky islet located off the northern tip of Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada. This 51 feet tall wooden lighthouse is claimed to be the most photographed beacon in the world. It can only be accessed at low tide and the journey to reach it is said to be an experience in itself. In 1842, a large red cross was painted on the eastern side of the tower to serve as a conspicuous daymark.

What is the first thing you thought about when you saw this lighthouse? Among the few possible things, I guarantee that some of you, like me, will say The American Red Cross (organization).

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The red cross on the Harbor Head Lighthouse reminded me of one of the main services provided by the American Red Cross. Founded in 1881 by Clarissa Harlowe, the Red Cross developed the first nationwide civilian blood program and it is the only organization that still provides more than 40% of the blood products in the USA.

According to the dictionary, the word blood has several meanings, but the two most relevant to this devotion are:

  1. the physical substance circulating the body of humans and other vertebrates
    carrying nourishment and oxygen to and bringing away waste products from all parts of the body.
  2. the vital principle; life:

One of the most powerful, heart-tugging, and humbling messages that cause my soul to tremble is found in the lyrics of the song It’s Your Blood.

The blood that flows through our veins is without a doubt vital to our existence, but the blood that Jesus shed on his way to and at Calvary’s cross is surpassingly more significant and valuable. However, in order to understand its true power and worth, you first need to have a general understanding of the gravity of sin.

Sin is what separates the mortal man from the holy and eternal God. Unlike the common terminology that many use to define it, sin is more than just “missing the mark.” A more accurate and relatable way to describe sin is lawlessness. “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” –1 John 3:4Sin stems from the desire for self-satisfaction and self-sufficiency, so it avoids accountability at all cost (read Genesis 3). Sin is controlling and destructive. That is why the Bible tells us that its end result is eternal death (separation from God). “For the wages of sin is death…” –Romans 6:23a. However, God in His infinite love provided a way to do away with sin and its consequence and reconcile man unto himself. “…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 6:23b. Because sin is lawlessness, it has to be dealt with justice. The Bible declares that without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin (Hebrews 9:22). Only God has the power to deal with and remove sin because He is holy and righteous. And because man could never approach God in his sinful state, God chose to come to man in the person of Jesus Christ to pave the way. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6.

Jesus lived on earth as both God and man, which means that His blood had human as well as divine qualities. Using the previous definitions of blood above, consider this…

  1. Jesus’ divinity and sinless life is the reason why He was able to offer himself as a ransom for our sins. His bloodshed is the only thing that provided full settlement for a debt we could never pay. Depositing our faith in His atoning sacrifice is what removes our sins (waste) and the penalty that comes along with it, which is eternal separation from God. This faith also allows us to be spiritually renewed and strengthened (nourished) through the power of His word.
  2. Trusting in Jesus’ redemptive work is the foundation (principle) of our faith. It is the ONLY thing that can supernaturally give and guarantee us eternal life.

It’s interesting to note that the red cross on the Harbor Head Lighthouse is also known as the Saint George Cross. Saint George became widely venerated as a warrior saint during the Third Crusade. Jesus’ life on earth was marked by a message of love, compassion, and eternal hope. In that sense, He became (and still is) the Mediator/Peacemaker between God and man. However, his death, burial, and resurrection also identify Him as the Righteous Warrior who defeated sin and Satan’s deceiving power. With Him as our spiritual Captain, we continue to engage in a spiritual battle (crusade) against the evil forces of darkness that challenge our faith.

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Equally fascinating is the history behind the Red Cross logo. Henry Dunant of Geneva, Switzerland, was the founder of the International Red Cross movement. In his search to adopt a symbol that was easily identifiable universally, he met with other delegates. In 1863, they agreed that the emblem should be a neutral symbol that reflected the ideals behind their life-saving mission. Because Switzerland long maintained an armed impartiality, they thought that a reversal of the Swiss flag would be a fair representation. The white flag is generally viewed as a sign of surrender. Thus, the Red Cross logo was adopted. John 3:16 (For God so loved the WORLD…) proves that God’s’ love is impartial. That love is universally represented today by the symbol of a cross. Furthermore, Jesus broke Satan’s power over fallen humanity because He willingly surrenderedHis life as a ransom for the world’s sin.

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Scripture reveals that the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and after breathing into his nostrils the breath of life, he became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). It also declares that the life of all flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:4). In other words, LIFE as we know it originates and belongs to the One who gives it (Isaiah 42:5).

The miracle of conception is the means by which God allows man to procreate. Therefore, unequivocally life begins at conception. Fetal development shows that by week 4 the embryo begins to receive nourishment from the blood in the mother’s uterus. By week 5 the baby’s blood cells begin to form and on the 6th and 7th week, blood begins to pump through its main vessels.

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Every life is precious, valuable, meaningful, and purposeful. No matter the difficulties you may have had, are having or will have to endure, God can use them to bring you closer to Him and experience the joy, peace, and love that nothing else in this world can ever offer. Even the darkest of days can turn into a testimony of God’s mercy and grace.

ONLY the life-saving blood of Jesus (his sacrifice) can grant us true hope in this world and eternal salvation for the life hereafter. Have you placed your trust in Him? If so, I encourage you to keep shining His life-giving light wherever you go. If not, I invite you to place your life in His by following THIS LINK.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that no matter how difficult life may get at times, every heartbeat in my chest pumps the blood that keeps me alive and for that I thank you. But most importantly, I thank you for the life-saving blood of your Son who died and rose again to guarantee me eternal life if I put my trust in Him. Help me to never take that sacrifice for granted. Amen!

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” -John 1:14 ESV

Our sins are washed away and we are made clean because Christ gave His own body as a gift to God. He did this once for all time.” –Hebrews 10:10-12 NLV

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,.” -1 Timothy 2:5

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” -Genesis 2:7

Credits
History of the Red Cross Emblem – icrc.org

Life-Saving Blood

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