Jesus and the Storm, Mark 4:35-41

“When faith is M.I.A.,
fear is not far away.”

Good morning SNC brothers and sisters.
It’s 2nd look time!
This week I invite you to consider the question I left you wit on Sunday.
The question went something like this:
Think about something you are nervous, worried or scared about in your life. Something that may feel like a storm coming against your “boat.” Now think about how you view Jesus in the midst of that storm? Does He seem distant, aloof, uncaring, or the opposite? In your mind is He the one with the solution or do you feel tempted to look elsewhere? Who is Jesus for you in the midst of this storm?
Bring this to God in prayer this week and consider Mark 4:35-41 again as you pray.  We mustn’t forget who Jesus is and just what He is capable of! 
Have a great week everybody and may God strengthen you in the grace of Jesus Christ!
Pastor Ryan

Jesus The Strength

If you were with us last Sunday you may remember we spoke about how Jesus is meant to be our strength; our vitality; our purpose; the change agent in our lives; and our ability to have self control. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. He calls us to remain in Him for apart from Him we can do nothing. This is a pretty large claim. After all – how many people have you known who would earnestly look at you and say: “Follow me for apart from me you can do nothing?” That is a claim of the most audacious order.
But is it true? I think this may be one of the biggest problems the church faces today.  We may sing songs about Jesus and all He has done but we often end up living our lives as if He doesn’t exist. Someone called this: “Practical atheism” not that we don’t believe in Jesus – we just live our day to day lives as if He doesn’t exist. In the 90s there was a band called: “Live.”  They wrote a song called: “Operation Spirit.” One of the lines from the song goes like this:
“Hear alot of talk about this Jesus
A man of love a man of strength
but what a man was 2000 years ago
means nothing at all to me today.
He could’ve been
telling me about my higher self
but he only lives inside my prayer
so what he was may have been beautiful
but the pain is right now and right here.”
What are they saying? Yea sure this Jesus was a neat guy but everything He was means nothing to me today. I’ve got my pain and my life and while this Jesus guy lived a beautiful life – it doesn’t help me in the here and now. Here’s the problem – that is simply not what Jesus claimed. Jesus claimed He was the answer to life’s problems and questions; that apart from Him we could do nothing.
I think “Live” points to an issue I’ve often had in my 39 years connected to the church. I hear a lot of talk and yet have seen few lives changed. I’ve even seen how my life has failed to change even though I’ve gone to church. I wrestled deeply with my journey with God. Is this whole thing real? Are we really different because we know Christ? Have we really found an answer here – or just another set of questions? I began to wrestle with this question: If Jesus is really here – what am I missing? This question hit me hard in college. I looked around me and in me; and saw prayerlessness; a lack of change and this fruit of the Spirit Paul talked about.
“God I don’t want to be here if you’re not.  I want more.  If there is more to have…”
This is when I began to come into contact with many writings and challenging experiences and God has been so good and faithful to begin to show me what it means to have a Christ centered life. He has repeatedly challenged my thinking through the years. Bringing me face to face with the destructive ways I think – and how my mind needs to be transformed – and that this is a slow process. God has repeatedly brought me back to my need for relationship with Him and with His church; And He has stoked a fire in me to Share the Gospel with others and to get out there and do the things Jesus did.  So as my mind and my relationships; and my life changes; it grows to look more and more like Christ. This is what it is meant to be. We are meant to look more and more like Christ. Let me remind you of this Scripture:
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  Romans 8:29.
He knew you before time and His plan; that you would be conformed to the image of His Son – that you would look more and more like Jesus.
Isn’t this crazy!!!! Bring it back to Christmas. A baby lying in a manger; so many years ago; was there so you could be brought into a process of becoming more and more like Jesus! To have Jesus as the center and the strength of your life.  Amazing.
Have a great week everybody.  may you find your strength in our precious King Jesus!
Pastor Ryan