Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, 'Lord, save us! We are perishing!' But He said to them, 'Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?' Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
Too many believers confuse the subjects of life and death, blessings and curses, safety and danger--and how they're defined. Paul, the reformed persecutor of the brethren, got them straight. Paul, the renowned evangelist of the brethren, understood. He, the former hunter, became the hunted until his death.
He confessed: 'For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain' (Philippians 1:21).
'Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life' (Romans 6:3-4).
Actors, models and talent for Christ, many great sermons talk about storms: how we must keep our eyes on Jesus, rather than focusing on the waves; how not to be afraid of the dark for at its end is a golden sky; how in Him we'll never walk alone.** All of these words are perfectly true.
So I want to sing another tune: Each person on earth is gonna die. But that's just a step of transition. If our life is just a puff of smoke, here for a little while and then gone,*** isn't our next step the bigger deal? The one God labels, eternity?
To me, this life is a testing ground: one that provides multiple choices. Whom we follow and what we're doing matter even more than our safety. Since Jesus is the One grading us, let's be about our Father's business. If it's enlightening media, then let's shine brightly on earth's stages.
For us, the real danger lies elsewhere, as in not following God's Orders. 'And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him Who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell' (Matthew 10:28).
To Be Continued
* See Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on Matthew 8:23-27: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/8-25.htm
** Mahalia Jackson's AMAZING video of Youll Never Walk Alone. Wow! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx4vME0d1w8&nohtml5=False
*** See James 4:14: http://biblehub.com/james/4-14.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Bad Ideas series.