pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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A Little More

After the feeding of the five thousand the disciples head out across the lake without Jesus.  He has sent them on ahead presumably with reassurances that He will join them later.  One can assume that the disciples thought Jesus meant in Capernaum, their destination.  About three miles into their journey, they discover another reality.  With water as far as the eye can see in the dark of the night, the disciples spot something approaching.

The disciples reality is jarred as  they must have moved from “Hey look” to “can’t be” to “it is?” as Jesus draws near to the boat.  Jesus was not on a jet ski or in a speed boat.  He was walking on the water.  This must have struck a chord of fear in the disciples as He had to reassure them and calm them as He climbed into the boat.  I bet his sandals and the edges of His clothing were not even wet.

The scriptures tell us that as Jesus joins them, just as He got into the boat, suddenly they were there on shore.  Once He joins them they are there.  Does this phenomenon occur in our lives?  Does it ever seem as if Jesus sends us out and we journey along on our own?  Then just at the right time He is there, right in the midst of life with us?  Then He too says, “It is I.  Do not be afraid.”

His presence is an amazing part of this journey of faith.  Although God is omnipotent and omnipresent, it seems at times we get a little extra ‘bump’ – He is just a little more present, a little more with us when we need Him most.  He calms us with the same words again, “It is I.  Do not be afraid.”  For this we say thank be to God!

Scripture reference: John 6: 16-21

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Memory and Reassurance

As Israel prepares to cross the Jordan River, they must have felt so much emotion.  This moment is like crossing the Red Sea in  some ways.  God is parting the waters and providing a way across.  In both events they can clearly see God’s power and feel His presence with them.  One chosen by God himself leads them.  Yet these crossings are also different.  At the Red Sea they were fleeing their enemy and were about to enter the wilderness.  At the Jordan they were crossing over to face their enemy at Jericho and they were leaving the wilderness.  Joshua had replaced Moses, but God was clearly with Joshua, just as He had been with Moses.

The connection to and memory of what God has done forms the foundation of their faith and also provides reassurances that He will continue to be present with them.  Our history and experience does the same for us.  To remember that difficult situation that God walked us through or to recall that job that He provided reassures us of His love for us and also gives us a basis of hope for our future.

God is always and always will be.  As we remember what He has done for us, hope and faith are built up in us.  We look forward with confidence, knowing God’s steadfast hand will continue to guide and lead us.  Whether facing a wilderness or preparing to enter a promised land, we can step forward knowing the He will never leave us and that He will never forsake us.  A God that always was, will always be, for He is everlasting.

Scripture reference: Joshua 3: 7-17


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In Our Moments

Have you had someone suddenly mad at you or suddenly lost a friend and had no idea why?  In that moment, you were probably stunned, sad, angry, hurt.  Sometimes you figure it out and become friends again, sometimes you do not.  Sometimes you just never know.

Hagar was Sarah’s maidservant.  Sarah was barren and advanced in years, but desperately wanted a family.  So Sarah convinced Hagar to sleep with her husband Abraham to bear them a child.  I imagine it was hard to  bear a child for a man who would never love her, who already had a wife he loved.  But she did.  I imagine that Hagar felt like she had done something special for Sarah and Abraham.

Fast forward a few years and now Sarah is pregnant and bears Abraham a son named Isaac.  Sarah becomes jealous and protective and wants Hagar and her son Ishmael sent away into the wilderness.  Abraham is unwilling but God reassures him of he plan and he sends Hagar and son out into the desert with some bread and water – presumably to die.  As this happens, can you imagine what is going through Hagar’s mind?  Do you hear her thinking, “But after what I did for you…?”

After they run out of water, Hagar walks off a little way from Ishmael and resigns herself to death.  She cannot bear to be near him and to hear his cries for water.  Hagar is in anguish.  But then suddenly a strange thing happens.  God sends an angel who asks her, “What is the matter?”  What a question!  God provides water, reassures her, and continues to watch over them as the boy grows up.  It all turns out OK for them.

Has God ever asked you, “What is the mattter?”  Has God ever entered into your brokenness?  You and I are blessed – always just a prayer away from God’s presence.  Yet sometimes we too are like Hagar – too broken and distraught to even offer up a prayer.  In these moments God will seek us out too.  Our God is a God of love.  A God who will seek out to lost and the broken.  Praise be to our God!!