Reflections Week of 7/24/16

Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the message preached the previous Sunday. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.

Read Mark 4:35-38
It’s interesting to me that the storm in this passage is so bad that even the professional fishermen who were disciples were freaking out. If anyone had experience sailing these waters and dealing with the storms it was them. They even decide to wake Jesus up, but not to ask for help, instead to criticize him. This image of the disciples running around the boat trying to keep everything together, trying to keep the boat from capsizing contrasted with Jesus taking a nap speaks volumes about my life. I see the storm coming I freak out I run and run trying to do everything myself, trying to rely on my own skills and talents and either forgetting or ignoring that I have Christ with me. He’s not freaking out. He’s not worried. He knows he is in control. He knows this storm isn’t more powerful than he is. What would it look like if instead of running around the boat and getting so caught up in the stress and the chaos and believing that every storm in my life was going to sink me, I just turned to Jesus and asked him to calm the wind and the waves? How would it change not only my situation but the next time I see a storm coming and remember that nothing is outside of his power?
For Reflection: What’s your go to instinct when the storms of life appear? How quick are you to turn to Jesus and ask for help?
Read Deuteronomy 5:12-15
Taking a Sabbath day of rest is not only a good idea, it’s one of the “big ten” commandments. Usually when we think about that list of laws we don’t consider the seriousness of this command. We don’t equate “make sure you rest” with “do not kill”. And yet it’s part of the same list of commands. In our busy lives we run and run, we work longer hours and take fewer days off to try and get ahead, to try and work our way up. But here God is telling us to take a break. Rest. To take a day off, to have a day that isn’t about trying to get ahead, trying to do more, what we are doing is saying “God I trust that you are in control.” Did God need to take a day off during creation? No! But he did, to model for us, this is the way life is supposed to be. Work hard and then rest and focus on God, enjoy the time off and let him fulfill you. Your Sabbath might not be on Sunday, but we all need a day that isn’t about planning and strategizing but about enjoying God and the creation he has given us. This isn’t just a good idea or a clever “life hack” from God, this is a command from your creator, take a break!
For Reflection: What’s your plan to take a Sabbath? Are you able to have regular rest built into your life? If not, what is stopping you? What needs to change?
Reflections written by Pastor Tim Gioia

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