July 4

Today's Bible Reading
     Joshua 6:6-27
     Psalms 135-136
     Isaiah 66
     Matthew 14
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, 'Lord, save me!' And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him. 'O thou of little faith, why did you doubt'?'' (Matthew 14:30-31)
 
SURVIVING THE STORM
When I visit in Israel, one of my favorite places to go is out on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus loved the sea and most of His Apostles were originally fishermen in these very waters. Twenty-five of the thirty public miracles of Jesus were performed at or near the Sea of Galilee. Most of the miracles of Jesus were performed around the shore of this sea. These miracles proved Jesus to be the Messiah.
It was near here that Jesus fed the 5,000 and the Disciples were on a high. It was here on this Sea of Galileethat Jesus taught Peter how to survive the storm. You also will face storms in your life, and these same principles will enable you   to survive the storm.
Believers in America are now involved in a moral and spiritual storm like never before in our country. The political leaders of our nation have crossed the line. We have continued to abort the unborn, applauded perversion, legalized same sex marriage, and we continue to betray the nationof Israel. The judgement of God on our nation is inevitable. Christians are entering a period in America in which we will be a remnantwith a minority opinon. The church must learn to survive the storm that will inevitably come. Get ready, the storm of the ages is brewing. 
 If you are to walk in victory, you must realize...The presence of the Savior. Jesus wanted Peter to understand the importance of His presence. He showed up at just the right time, and proved to them that He could calm the storm. The important thing here is not what happens to us, but what happens in us.
            Then consider the power of the Savior. (vs 27) Peter instantly recognized Jesus because he had spent time with Him. If we are going to survive the storms in our lives, Jesus Christ must become as real to us as the storm itself.
             It is also interesting to notice the promise of the Savior. Why was Peter distracted?  Was it a moment of self-awareness?  He took his eyes off Jesus and began to think, “This is impossible,"  Therefore, he began to sink. He prayed a very brief prayer, “Lord, save me.”Many people criticize Peter for his lack of faith. The tragedy is that most of us haven't even gotten out of the boat, but now we must learn from Peter:
We must give careful attention to the promises of the Bible. Sometimes Jesus calms the storms of the sea; sometimes He calms the storms in our hearts.
The sea that threatens to be over our head is under His feet. He is in absolute control.
The power in our feet is dependent on the focus of our eyes. One does not discover new lands without losing sight of the shore.
When you focus on Him, you will not be a sinking saint in the storms of life. You will discover His strength to be sufficient for every storm.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            The Republic of Zambiahas about 10 million in population. These people are 85% Christian and have experienced significant growth in the 1990's. Evangelicals numbered 515,000 in 1980; 800,000 in 1990, and more than 3.2 million by the year 2000. Pray especially for those who work among the AIDS victims in this country. The crisis is overwhelming with health services, and the pastoral work of the churches and family life. Pray that the church would be loving, gracious, and bold in its witness in the face of the AIDS crisis.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
“Often our trials act as a thorn hedge to keep us in the good pasture; but our prosperity is a gap through which we go astray.”
C. H. Spurgeon