Monday Morning: 30 Sep 2019 – Matthew 16:13-28 ~ a matter of perspective

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening –  A Collect for the Renewal of Life (Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Morning Reading – Matthew 16:13-28 (NLT)

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Jesus Predicts His Death

From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”

Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
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Morning Reflection:

a matter of perspective
“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
– Matthew 16:16 –

The answer to Jesus’ question: “Who do you say that I am?” is a matter of perspective.

+ From a human perspective, Jesus is a teacher, a miracle worker, or even a prophet.
+ From a faith perspective. Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.

However, Peter’s profession of faith and near immediate relapse into a human profession of alarm demonstrates how difficult it is to maintain God’s revealed perspective in the practical concerns of everyday life.

From a human perspective it is counter intuitive to voluntarily take up a cross… or give up one’s life in order to save it… or follow a leader to our death. But from God’s perspective, it makes perfect sense. This change of perspective requires a total transformation, or renewal, of how we think, feel, and behave. And that requires total  immersion in the revealed will of God (the Bible) and openness to the power of God’s Spirit to bring about in us the changes required to live by faith.

Questions for consideration:

  • What does the confession that “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God” mean to you. Please explain.
  • Do you ever catch yourself vacillating between a faith and human perspective? Please explain.
  • What have you done to write God’s Word on your heart? Can you think of times when the Holy Spirit has reminded you of God’s perspective in a particular situation? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: For Inner Renewal through the Word

Gracious God and most merciful Father, you have granted us the rich and precious jewel of your holy Word: Assist us with your Spirit, that the same Word may be written in our hearts to our everlasting comfort, to reform us, to renew us according to your own image, to build us up and edify us into the perfect dwelling place of your Christ, sanctifying and increasing in us all heavenly virtues; grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
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“The Solid Rock (My Hope is Built)”
– The Mennonite Hour Singers

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
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The Rock Church In Helsinki – John Bern

Situated In the Töölö neighborhood of Helsinki, Finland,The Temppeliaukio Church, commonly known as the Rock Church, is excavated directly on to the solid rock. The structure is barely visible from the street level with only the copper dome poking out of the rock. Much of its lies underground, bathed in natural light that filters through the skylight surrounding the center copper dome. A thick rocky wall surrounds the entire structure. The rough, virtually unworked rock surfaces on the interior has given the church an excellent acoustic quality making it a popular venue for concerts.

Designed by architects and brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and opened in 1969, the Temppeliaukio church is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, visited by half a million people annually.
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16th Sunday after Pentecost, 29 Sep 2019: Luke 16:19-31 ~ Use your money to do good.

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer:

O God of justice, hear our cry and save us. Make us heed your word to the prophets; rouse us to the demand of the gospel and impel us to carry it out. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 146:1-6 – Free Church of Scotland
Hamilton Scottish Metrical Psalter 1650

Praise God. The Lord praise, O my soul.
I’ll praise God while I live;
While I have being to my God
in songs I’ll praises give.

Trust not in princes, nor man’s son,
in whom there is no stay:
His breath departs, to’s earth he turns;
that day his thoughts decay.

O happy is that man and blest,
whom Jacob’s God doth aid;
Whose hope upon the Lord doth rest,
and on his God is stayed:

Who made the earth and heavens high,
who made the swelling deep,
And all that is within the same;
who truth doth ever keep:
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Gospel Reading: Luke 16:19-31 (NLT)

Luke 16:19-31 New Living Translation (NLT)

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

“Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. The rich man also died and was buried, and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.

“The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’

“But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’

“Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’

“But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’

“The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’

“But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

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“Poor Man Lazarus” – The Georgia Spiritual Ensemble ·

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Intercession:

Merciful and gracious God: You welcome our prayers and attend especially to the cries of the poor. Hear us now as we pray –

+ For world leaders and those in authority, that they may govern with wisdom and compassion as those who are accountable to You….

+ For our brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted for their faith. that they may be delivered from injustice and be restored to their families and communities…..

+ For all those who are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness,or any other adversity, that Your people may gladly provide help. healing and hope in Your name….

+ For believers who are rich in this world, that we trust in You and use our money to do good….

+ For all believers that we be generous to those in need and always ready to share what we have….

God of grace and mercy, You are just to both rich and poor hear our prayers, we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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(We Will Feast  in the house of Zion) – Sandra McCracken –

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more

We will not be burned by the fire
He is the LORD our God
We are not consumed, by the flame
Upheld, protected, gathered up

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more

In the dark of night, before the dawn
My soul, be not afraid
For the promised morning, oh how long?
Oh God of Jacob, be my strength

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more

Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed
You are the Faithful one
And from the garden to the grave
Bind us together, bring shalom

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more

Closing: – 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.

Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Saturday Morning, 28 Sep 2019 – Matthew 15:29-16:12 ~”Watch Out!”

Saturday Morning

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:  (A Collect for Sabbath Rest – Saturday)

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and set aside a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared to meet you in worship, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading: Matthew 15:29-16:12 (NLT)

Jesus Heals Many People

Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down. A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all. The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn’t been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking, and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.

Jesus Feeds Four Thousand

Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way.”

The disciples replied, “Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?”

Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”

They replied, “Seven loaves, and a few small fish.”

So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.

They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. There were 4,000 men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children. Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan.

Leaders Demand a Miraculous Sign

One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.

He replied, “You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times! Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then Jesus left them and went away.

Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. “Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up? Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’”

Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
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Morning Reflection:

“Watch Out!

Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread,
but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
– Matthew 16:12 –

Believers today live as strangers and aliens in a world permeated with lies and deception – fake news and false witnesses are everywhere both inside and outside the church. Perhaps the most outrageous are the pretenders – those who claim to be believers but seek to devour people of faith and good will.

Jesus’ warning against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees addressed the deceivers of his time. His point was that their deceit didn’t simply affect them, it affected everyone who listened to them and gave them credence. Lies and deception, fake news and false witnesses are like cancer cells that metastasize and eventually kill the entire body.

So what are believers to do? Watch out! Use our minds to think critically – ask yourself

+ Is it true? Does what is being said conform to the revealed will of God? Does it glorify God?
+ Is it consistent? Does what is being said now jibe with what was said earlier? Does it edify believers?

“Watch out!” Jesus warned them.
“Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Questions for consideration:

  • Do you consider yourself a stranger and alien in this world? Please explain.
  • Can you identify some of the liars and deceivers in your part of the world? Please explain.
  • How have these liars and deceivers affected people of faith and goodwill around you? Please explain.
  • Once identified, how can you respond to the liars and deceivers in your world? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: For Those Who Inform Public Opinion

Almighty God, your truth endures from age to age: Direct in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may speak your truth to make the heart of this people wise, its mind discerning, and its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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“Jesus Is Better” – Austin Stone

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Friday Morning: 27 Sep 2019 – Matthew 15:1-28 ~ teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Endurance – Friday)

Almighty God, whose beloved Son first suffered pain and crucifixion before entering into glory: Mercifully grant that we, walking in his footsteps, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 15:1-28 (NLT)

Jesus Teaches about Inner Purity

Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”

Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,

‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’”

Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”

Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”

Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.”

“Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”

The Faith of a Gentile Woman

Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”

But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”

Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”

But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”

Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”

“Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
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Morning Reflection:

teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

“The words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.
– Matthew 1:18 –

In today’s reading, Jesus was speaking of ceremonial, or ritual, defilement – making the point that eating certain foods does not make one unclean. His point was that to God what proceeds from the heart is more important than what enters the mouth. Motives and attitudes are more significant than food and drink.

That shouldn’t be a new thought to us since we know that God looks at our hearts rather than outward appearances. Why then do we get so caught up in outward appearances – trusting in the blind guides of our time to tell us what to think, feel, and do? Simply put, I think it’s because it’s easier – to go along to get along in our religious communities. It’s hard work examining the inner workings and motivations of our own hearts – especially when the gold standard is the heart of Jesus.

We are tough nuts to crack because – human beings have an infinite capacity for self-deception.

On the one hand, the human heart is incurably religious; on the other hand the human heart is incurably evil apart from the grace and mercy of God.

Questions for consideration

  • Jesus identified these defiling (evil) thoughts as coming from our hearts – murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. Do any of these apply to you? Please explain.
  • Jesus also quoted Isaiah, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce.” Have you ever gone through the motions of worship while your heart and mind was somewhere else? Please explain.
  • Where do you need God’s healing, cleansing, and forgiveness in your secret heart? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: – For a Virtuous Heart (Thomas Aquinas)

Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy thought can drag down; an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose can tempt aside. Bestow upon me understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and faithfulness that finally may embrace you. Amen.

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Psalm 51 (Wisdom in the Secret Heart) -Shane & Shane

Behold I was brought forth in iniquity
and in sin did my mother conceive me
Behold you delight in the truth and the inward me
and you teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

My sin is not far but right in front of me
against you and you alone God I am guilty
Wash me thoroughly cleanse me from iniquity
and teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
Renew a right spirit within me, oh God
Cast me not away from Your presence
take not Your Holy Spirit
restore in me the joy of Your salvation
and teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

Send me the chief of sinners to proclaim
come be forgiven the sin of the lamb of God was slain
Open my lips and my mouth will declare your endless praise
and teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
Renew a right spirit within me, oh God
Cast me not away from Your presence
take not Your Holy Spirit
restore in me the joy of Your salvation
and teach me, wisdom in the secret heart
wisdom in the secret heart

The Lord is gracious
and slow to anger
Rich in love, He is good to all
good to all

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
Renew a right spirit within me, oh God
Cast me not away from Your presence
take not Your Holy Spirit
restore in me the joy of Your salvation
and teach me, wisdom in the secret heart
wisdom in the secret heart
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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Thursday Morning: 26 Sep 2019 – Matthew 14:22-36 ~ “Don’t be afraid. Take courage, I am here!”

Thursday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Guidance – Thursday)

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: Guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our lives we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 14:22-36 (NLT)

Jesus Walks on Water

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.
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Morning Reflection:

“Don’t be afraid. Take courage, I am here!”

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him.
“You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
– Matthew 14:31 –

Jesus’ response to the disciples’ fear centered on, “I am here!” The disciples could take courage because Jesus was there. The words, “I am,” were a term Jesus used to claim deity.

On one hand, the disciples feared drowning because of the ferocity of the storm. On the other hand, Peter feared drowning because he climbed out of the boat. But in both cases the message is the same – “Don’t be afraid, I am here!” – Jesus stills the storm, and hauls Peter back into the boat.

Courage comes from knowing that Jesus – the One who is “I am” is present.

Questions for consideration:

  • What sort of storms have you experienced in your life? What was  your greatest fear when you were caught up in the middle of it? Please explain.
  • How did Jesus see you through it? Did you experience his encouraging presence in the midst of it? Please explain.
  • Are you currently experiencing a storm in your life, or is there a storm on your horizon? What do you need Jesus to do for you? Do you believe that he will? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer – For Times of Suffering or Weakness

Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: I hold up all my weakness to your strength, my failure to your faithfulness, my sinfulness to your perfection, my loneliness to your compassion, my little pains to your great agony on the Cross. I pray that you will cleanse me, strengthen me, guide me, so that in all ways my life may be lived as you would have it lived, without cowardice and for you alone. Show me how to live in true humility, true contrition, and true love. Amen.
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“Be Not Afraid” – John Michael Talbot
(Video clips from the 1998 movie The Prince of Egypt)

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen