Sunday 28th February 2021

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Yesterday in our Lent booklets we prayed:

Loving Lord, please fill me with your love

to such an extent that it overflows from me

and touches other people, drawing them to you.

Use this song to help you focus on all that God has done for you:

Overwhelmed by love deeper than oceans, high as the heavens

Ever-living God Your love has rescued me.

All my sin was laid on your dear Son, your precious one.

All my debt He paid, great is your love for me

No one could ever earn your love, your grace and mercy is free

Lord these words are true, so is my love for You

(Noel Richards © 1994 Kingsway's Thank You Music)

Our lent booklet starts a week of ‘Stories of Transformation.’ Tomorrow’s Lent bible reading from Mark ch.5 starts with ‘when Jesus got out of the boat.’ This morning we are going to read the end of chapter 4 starting with Jesus saying ‘Let’s get into the boat and go to the other side of the lake’. Read Mark 4: 35-41

A story of transformation. Sometimes people treat this incident like a parable and think life is like a journey in a boat and at times we face storms. Then the kingdom of God - personified in Jesus, comes and calms the turmoil in our lives, but we know that we have called out to God, asking him to calm the storm which is erupting in our lives and He has rarely answered by stopping the storm, neither does he always answer by bringing us calmness – while the storm continues all around us. 

So, if that isn’t what we should learn from this bible reading, what does it have to teach us? It is easy to understand why we are told that the disciples were afraid, but what’s of interest to us this morning is that after Jesus had calmed the storm the disciples were no longer described as afraid, instead we are told they were terrified!! They asked each other ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’ (v.41)

The calming of the storm isn’t the lasting transformation which comes out of this incident, the lasting transformation what the followers of Jesus discover about who Jesus is, This is the information which transforms their lives – transforms their faith as they discover that Jesus is (Dan.6: 26-27)

‘The living God who endures forever…

…He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.’

The calming of the storm was a momentary experience - the lasting transformation was the disciples’ insight into who Jesus is. In each of our own stories of faith and transformation, we may (or may not) be able to recall a special moment when God was very real to us, but that is a passing experience, the lasting transformation is how our faith and trust in God was strengthen through what we learnt about God during that event.

Let’s consider those occasions when, like the disciples in this incident, we feel overwhelmed by our circumstance and afraid of what the future holds for us. We possibly feel on those occasions that God must be sleeping or at least unaware of our circumstances, because we feel he is not responding to our situation. In the past you may have become so frustrated with the situation that you think – or even say in your prayers what the disciples said - “Teacher – don’t you care” v.38. Could we in the future say ‘I trust in the living God who endures for ever…’?

There was a wonderful Dutch lady, Corrie ten Boom, who faced some terrible storms in her life but instead of saying to God ‘don’t you care’ she simply trusted that her ‘Father in Heaven’ would take care of her. This transformed how she lived her life so that when she talked about her trust in God, she would often use this acrostic on the word FAITH - ‘Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him’. (some of you who enjoy word games may want to think up other acrostics for FAITH)

This acrostic reminds us that Jesus said (John 10:10) ‘I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full. Fantastic Adventures in Trusting Him speaks to us of abundant life, and knowing that with Father God looking after us no matter what circumstances we face, he will know the best way to deal with them.

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life, When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?

When the strong tides lift and the cables strain, Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move, Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

(Pricilla Jane Owens 1829-99)

Page last updated: 3rd March 2021 7:22 AM