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Flood

In the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. The rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons, entered the ark, they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind—every bird, every winged creature. They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in. The flood continued for forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered; the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings; everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred and fifty days. But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided; the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters gradually receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred and fifty days the waters had abated; and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared. (Genesis 7:11–8:5, NRSV)

We think of the Noah and the flood story as a great children’s story. But remember the world was fully populated, not as high as today, but the only people who survived were Noah, his wife, and the sons and their wives and the animals. Everyone else did not survive…

Noah followed after God, and the promise of love followed through Noah.  And God remembered them and stopped the rain and let the boat find land…

God is good to His promises.

 

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little faith

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A gale arose on the lake, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?’ (Matthew 8:23-27, NRSV)

If Jesus is asleep is anything really going to happen to them? Plus if he is able to sleep, how bad can the storm be any how?

We always seem to see the waves as bigger than they are. Problems seem over whelming, but if we can let Jesus walk with us through life, our problems will be under control. Not that we won’t have problems or waves anymore, Jesus never said that He would take the storm away, but that He would be with us through the storm.

So let Him calm you and the waves… and have a little faith in Him!

 

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stilled the storm

Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the mighty waters; they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their calamity; they reeled and staggered like drunkards, and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out from their distress; he made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they had quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind. Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.(Psalm 107:23-32, NRSV)

Life sometimes is a whirlwind all around us. Throwing us to and fro. Seeming to control everything in the winds and waves crashing around us.

But God is there and if we hold tight to Him, He will calm the storm around us so we can manage our lives. He will not take the storm away but calm us and it so that we can walk through it with Him.

Let Him hush the waves and winds of your life. Let Him accompany you on that journey!

 

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Where were you?

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. ‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? ‘Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?—when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped”? (Job 38:1-11, NRSV)

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world?

God has a way of putting things in perspective.

God set this world into motion, yet still, cares about you.

Here is one of my favorite songs which I think speaks wonderfully about this passage:

 

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Sinking…

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’ (Matthew 14:22-33, NRSV)

Why did Peter sink?

Jesus called him out of the boat and as he looked at Jesus he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water.

But when Peter noticed the wind and his focus shifted he started to sink.

Peter took his focus off of Jesus. If we focus on Jesus, we will walk on water.

Don’t doubt, just focus on Jesus!

 

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open hand

I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name for ever and ever. Every day I will bless you, and praise your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendour of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed, and I will declare your greatness. They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness, and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power, to make known to all people your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds. The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing. The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfils the desire of all who fear him; he also hears their cry, and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh will bless his holy name for ever and ever. (Psalm 145, NRSV)

The Lord opens His hand satisfying the desires of all living things.

The Lord is faithful to all He has said He will do.

The Lord watches over all that He has made.

So lean on Him and know that He will always support you and His hand will be open to give you what you need!

 

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Big Breakfast

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ (John 21:15-19, NRSV)

Do you love me?

Yes, you know I love you.

Do you love me?

Yes, you know I love you.

Do you love me?

Yes, you know I love you.

Sounds like an exchange any of would get more upset about as the one we loved asked us 3 times if we loved them. But the problem is, Greek has 3 words for love, where English has one.

Greek has ἀγάπη which is unconditional love, φιλέω which is brotherly love, and ερως which is erotic love. This last one does not come up in the Greek New Testament, but the first 2 do.

The exchange between Peter and Jesus is more like this:

Do you ἀγάπη me?

Yes, you know I φιλέω you.

Do you ἀγάπη me?

Yes, you know I φιλέω you.

Do you φιλέω me?

Yes, you know I φιλέω you.

Did Jesus give in? The first 2 times He asked Peter do you unconditionally love me, and as Peter responded with I love you like a brother, then Jesus asked do you love me as your brother, and Peter said yes. Then Jesus tells him what will happen.

How do we love Jesus? Could we take a seat at the Big Breakfast?

 

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