In morning devotions, we are looking at the ministry of Christ before He went to the cross. This last week my devotions with the children focused on the importance of water in the Bible.
We spoke about the various stories that are covered in the Bible that center around water. I pointed out to the children that water is mentioned in the second verse of the Bible, God uses water to wash the earth clean in the flood, water is central in much of Moses’ life story. Jesus points out the importance of Baptism both at the beginning of His ministry and the end of His ministry. So much of his ministry focuses on water.
This past week we began with the (his)story of the woman at the well. Jesus told the Samaritan woman that He would give her water in which she would never again thirst. When she heard these words, she rushed to tell everyone that she had found the Messiah. Had she? Actually, as in our lives, the Messiah had found her!
Our other (his)stories then focused on Jesus and his disciples and their boats.
Jesus tells His disciples to let their nets down and they, trusting Him bring up a large catch of fish! They don’t doubt, they just do! They had faith while He was right there.
We heard the (his)story of the disciples and Jesus in the boat during the storm. Jesus was asleep while the storm raged around the boat. They panicked; their faith faltered. They had enough faith, though to call upon His name. Jesus comes, gives the winds and the waves the directive to STOP and immediately the winds and the waves STOP! His comment to them is that their faith is little. They lost sight of the who the LORD truly is.
Our final (his)story of the week was Jesus walking on the water. While the disciples were in their boat crossing the sea, Jesus went off to pray after feeding the large crowd. While the disciples were on the boat a storm came up. In their fear they thought they saw a ghost upon the water. Peter realizes it is the LORD! He asks to go to the LORD. Jesus tells him to come. Peter with all his faith comes to the LORD. When the wind kicks up, Peter’s faith falters and he does just what we all are commanded to do, call upon the name of the LORD in times of trial – Jesus reaches out and takes Peter’s hand.
All week we have been examining the topic of calling upon the name of the LORD and He will be there (Psalm 50:15). We have used the theme of water and God’s saving grace for us.
As we face many uncertainties in the coming days, know that our LORD is with us now and He is already ahead of us in the future. He knows what the future holds for us.
Jesus & the Samaritan Woman – John 4:1-43
Jesus and the Large Catch of Fish – Luke 5:1-11
Jesus Stills the Storm – Matthew 8:23 - 27
Jesus Walks on Water – Matthew 14:22-34
This past week I’ve heard an interesting story in the news as well as through social media.
It seems there was this woman who had purchased a plant, a succulent. She was determined to take the best care possible of this new plant. She kept it on her kitchen window sill, watered it faithfully, wiped its leaves to keep it shiny and free of dust. Whenever anyone attempted to water it, she would not let them help, afraid they would harm her plant.
After taking very good care of her plant for two years, she decided to replant it to a larger container. When she removed it, she discovered that it was a plastic plant in Styrofoam. She was both disappointed and embarrassed at her actions over the last two years.
After recovering from her embarrassment, she posted her story on her Facebook page, this story of course went viral!
Now, I don’t know if this a true story or not, but it started me thinking about our faith.
There are those who have a faith they take care of, but won’t let anyone near enough to help them. They tell people they are Christians. But rarely if ever attend church or read their Bibles. Their faith is for show.
The story in the Bible about Nicodemus (John 2:13, 3:1-17) and his questions to Jesus illustrates this in the way that Nicodemus questioned the LORD. Jesus’ response to Nicodemus was in the form of a question, “How can you be a teaching in Israel and not know these things?”
It is important that we as Christians study the Word of God. We need others to show us the way, to help us along the way.
We need others to help us prevent our faith from becoming a faith that is plastic.
We here at Grace do this on a daily basis as we instruct the children in the way of the LORD.
Our faith is an alive active faith. It is a growing faith.
Vicki Helmling is a teacher at Grace English Lutheran School