Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lord of Everything (church bulletin cover)

The world sometimes seems out of control. Stock markets are in turmoil... people in countries like Haiti and Burma starve at the hands of oppressive regimes... terrorists bomb markets full of innocent people… the list can go on and on. And then one can add personal challenges to the list — a serious health issue, a relationship in trouble, a vehicle breaks down. Life begins to feel like the perfect storm.

Last week, Stanley Mehta preached at Gateway on Jesus and His disciples crossing the sea amidst a serious storm. It was so bad, the disciples thought they would drown. Perhaps some of us felt similarly overwhelmed this week as we read some of the news headlines. Yet as chaotic as things seemed in the storm of Matthew 8:24, it says in the same verse that Jesus was asleep. Is Jesus equally calm amidst the storms of September 2008? I think He is. As the disciples woke Jesus while waves were crashing into their boat, Jesus’ immediate response was to challenge their lack of faith in the midst of the storm. He then rebuked the storm so that “it became perfectly calm” (v.26). Fear turned to amazement. As one of the disciples aboard that boat, Matthew writes this account in a chapter packed with other miracles-stories. The disciples had just seen Jesus heal a leper and a centurion’s servant, as well as Peter’s mother-in-law. And now they discover that He is even Lord of the elements! Then, when they come ashore, Jesus delivers a demoniac. But not before the demons asked if Jesus had come to torment them “before the time” (Matt. 8:29). This is significant because their question revealed the truth that Jesus even had authority over the times in which we live and the times to come. This brief chapter essentially tells us that Jesus is Lord of everything!

If that is true, then we can know that the world is not out of control. Jesus, who is clearly Lord of all creation, is Lord in all of Matthew 8 as well as Lord of all September 2008. Why then should my faith be small in days of turmoil? Everything must obey Jesus, and He has invited us to call out to Him in time of need. Seas, wind, sickness, demons, nations, commerce -- it must all obey the Lord of creation. And I’d be wise to obey Him as well, by putting my faith in Him in every situation I face in this uncertain world. Only then will I be able to have confidence amidst a world that seems out of control!

© 2008 by Ken Peters

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