Posts Tagged ‘Care

23
Jul
18

Showing Our Concern

The apostle Paul was sending one of the Philippians’ own back to them. His name was Epaphroditus. Apparently, this man became sick and nearly died while he was visiting Paul. Paul wrote:

For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. – Philippians 2:26-28 (NIV)

Epaphroditus was a beloved member of the Philippian church. His illness was a great concern to his church family. We need to be concerned about one another in the church. When people are sick or hurting, we need to pray for them and tend to their needs. Pick out someone in your church who is hurting and sick and find out how you can ease their burden or lighten their load. It’s one thing to say you’re concerned and another thing to show the love of Jesus to our brothers and sisters.
Advertisements
03
Jun
16

Does Jesus Care?

Matthew 8:23-27

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Calms the Storm

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Storms were common on the Sea of Galilee.  Because of the landscape around the lake, squalls would come up suddenly and would churn up the sea.  That is what happened on this occasion.  The disciples, several of them who were seasoned fishermen, were terrified.  Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples wake Him up and say, “Lord, save us!  We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25, NIV).  Mark records their words a little differently:

Teacher, don’t you care if we drown? – Mark 4:38 (NIV)

This is the question that nearly every follower of Christ asks at some point in their journey of faith.  The metaphoric seas around us are rough.  The lightning is flashing and the thunder is booming.  The waves are crashing and we’re rowing for our lives!  “Where is God?!?!?  Why doesn’t He do something?!?  Can’t He see that I’m going to drown?!?  Doesn’t He care?!?”
The answer is, “Yes, He does.”  Why was Jesus sleeping in the ship?  Didn’t He know about the storm?  Couldn’t He see what was going on around them?  Of course He could.  Jesus knew about the storm.  He probably knew about it before it ever happened.  The thing about Jesus is that He knows who is in charge and who is in control.  The winds and the waves obey Him.  He is in charge.  He is in control.  Everything is under His command.
The waves that are crashing over your boat?  He sees them.
The wind that is blowing hard against you?  He hears it.
The way that you are being tossed about in the storm you are going through?  He is fully aware.
He sees you rowing for your life.
He knows about your fears and anxiety.
He cares for you.
He asks you the same question He asked His disciples:

…why are you so afraid? – Mark 8:26a (NIV)

It is time to stop rowing against the seas.
It is time to stop fighting the storm by yourself.
It is time to let go of the oars and turn to Jesus and cry out, “Lord, save me!”
He can calm the storm and He can calm you, too.
Rest in the power of His voice to bring peace to you, His precious child.
25
Apr
16

Know That God Is God

Psalm 46 (NIV)

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 

No matter what happens, God is God.  Look at some of the things that happen in our world from Psalm 46 (NIV):
  • The earth may give way (verse 2)
  • The mountains crumble and fall into the sea (verse 2)
  • The seas roar and foam (verse 3)
  • The mountains quake (verse 3)
  • Nations are in uproar (verse 6)
  • Kingdoms fall (verse 6)
  • War (verse 9)

Do any of these sound familiar?  We hear of natural disasters throughout the earth.  We hear of nations falling in political turmoil?  There are wars everywhere.  Terrorism abounds.  Violence seems to be the order of the day.  The Sons of Korah say it twice, though:

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. – Psalm 46:7, 11 (NIV)

We need to remember that God is with us.  He will not leave us.  He will not forsake His people.  Instead of freaking out, we must “Be still, and know that” He is God (Psalm 46:10, NIV).  Know that God is God.  Know that He will silence the nations and the violence.  He is our refuge and strength.  He is our help in our times of need.  He is our loving Father who patiently and gently deals with His wayward children.  Remember His deeds of the past.  Remember how He has carried you and held you and given you His peace.  No matter what you may be going through today, He is there.  Know that He is God and He loves you and cares for you deeply.
PRAYER: Help me to know that You are God today, O Lord.  Help me to be still and to stop worrying about every detail of my life.  Help me to remember that You are God and You are in control.  Thank You for your love, care and concern.  Amen.
03
Jun
13

Does Jesus Care?

As we continue looking at the miracles of Jesus, we turn to Matthew’s Gospel for his retelling of Jesus’ ability to bring peace in the midst of a storm.  Storms were common on the Sea of Galilee.  Because of the landscape around the lake, squalls would come up suddenly and would churn up the sea.  That is what happened on this occasion.  The disciples, several of them who were seasoned fishermen, were terrified.  Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples wake Him up and say, “Lord, save us!  We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25, NIV).  Mark records their words a little differently:

Teacher, don’t you care if we drown? – Mark 4:38 (NIV)

This is the question that nearly every follower of Christ asks at some point in their journey of faith.  The metaphoric seas around us are rough.  The lightning is flashing and the thunder is booming.  The waves are crashing and we’re rowing for our lives!  “Where is God?!?!?  Why doesn’t He do something?!?  Can’t He see that I’m going to drown?!?  Doesn’t He care?!?”
The answer is, “Yes, He does.”  Why was Jesus sleeping in the ship?  Didn’t He know about the storm?  Couldn’t He see what was going on around them?  Of course He could.  Jesus knew about the storm.  He probably knew about it before it ever happened.  The thing about Jesus is that He knows who is in charge and who is in control.  The winds and the waves obey Him.  He is in charge.  He is in control.  Everything is under His command.
The waves that are crashing over your boat?  He sees them.
The wind that is blowing hard against you?  He hears it.
The way that you are being tossed about in the storm you are going through?  He is fully aware.
He sees you rowing for your life.
He knows about your fears and anxiety.
He cares for you.
He asks you the same question He asked His disciples:

…why are you so afraid? – Mark 8:26a (NIV)

It is time to stop rowing against the seas.
It is time to stop fighting the storm by yourself.
It is time to let go of the oars and turn to Jesus and cry out, “Lord, save me!”
He can calm the storm and He can calm you, too.
Rest in the power of His voice to bring peace to you, His precious child.

 

Matthew 8:23-27

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Calms the Storm

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

20
Dec
12

He Cares For You

1 Peter 5:7 is one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture:

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. – 1Peter 5:7 (NIV)

I think that this is one of our greatest questions we have of God.  Does He care?  Does He care about us?  I think of the story of Jesus and His disciples out on the Sea of Galilee in Mark 4.  There was a furious storm and Jesus’ disciples are rowing for their lives.  Where was Jesus?  Sleeping in the stern of the ship.  The disciples woke Him and said, “Don’t you care if we drown?”  (Mark 4:38, NIV).
Sometimes we are fighting against the storms of life and we are full of fear, worry and anxiety.  We feel like we are drowning and we wonder the same thing and ask God, “Don’t You care if I drown?!?”  I believe that God says two things to every heart that asks this question:
1. Yes, I do care.
2. I won’t let you drown.
Jesus woke up and calmed the storm.
God, as the Psalmist says, neither slumbers nor sleeps.  He sees you rowing for your life.  He sees you battling the winds and the waves.  He isn’t sleeping.  He isn’t even yawning.  He knows and He cares.  So let go of your worries, fears and anxiety.  Cast it upon Him because He cares for you.  Let Him calm you and calm your storm.

1 Peter 5

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

To Elders and Young Men

5 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

12 With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.




%d bloggers like this: