AFM Ministry's David Shelton

David's Life applications of God, his Word and his calling

Month: March, 2015

Resting deeply.

Could you sleep through a violent thunderstorm pounding your home? I do many times, but I know many who cannot. How about if we add a mega earthquake to that storm?  Could you sleep through that?
Okay..you know someone who could maybe?
Well then let’s move their comfy bed outside and then let the torrent of rain fall down on them and add that storm and earthquake to them. How about then? Could they sleep though that?!   I bet not!
   You’d have to either be literally unconscious, crazy, dead, or so full of assurance of your life being in Gods hands, that you would be comfy taking a “rocking-n-rolling-shower-in-bed-while-you-slept” nap!!

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I love the story in Matthews Gospel about Jesus sleeping in the storm. Just think about this. The twelve disciples on a relatively tiny fishing boat in a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee fighting for their lives to stay afloat while water is violently thrashing around their boat splashing in and all over everyone! There is no “below deck” sleeping quarters here…just think like a large canoe! And yet Jesus is quietly taking a peaceful catnap with water splashing all over him… and the thunderstorms seemingly about to sink their vessel far away from land! Think loud, rough and wet!

Read this Matthew 8:23-27 with me…

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

He was asleep! They had to go and wake him!
I mean there is so many things to take away from this account and his miracle of commanding the storm and the sea to be calm is what most of us focus on because of its miraculous nature, but don’t overlook this important part of the story!

Jesus was sleeping! Really! How can that be? Think about how you cannot sleep when even tiny things worry you and keep your mind churning… Just imaging what is going through Jesus’s head to sleep through such an event. Nothing! Absolutely nothing but a dream about riding a cart pulled by 12 little lambs.. Haha. Who knows what he was dreaming, but I can tell you this. It was no nightmare!
He had total confidence that the Fathers will must be done… and his heart was so in tune with God’s so as to rest totally in God’s divine power and sovereignty!  (He and the Father are one in essence and the Spirit kept him humanly aware)
So he did not worry that they would perish on that lake because he knew this…
God’s will was not for them to drown at sea
    but to spill his blood for you and me..
on the cursed tree!

Are we willing to let go of life control so much as to drop of all your worries, and truly trust in God?
Oh how I pray for this kind of Holy Spirit power. Not so much to command the seas and the winds, but to rest my soul even in the storms that blow through my own mind and life!
We all have various storms, but will we rest in Christ through faith?

Come unto me all you who are tired and heavy burdened and I will give you rest. -Jesus (Matt 11:28)

He is the Master of REST! 

Humility, a prayer

God.
You do not play in convincing me of sin,
Satan did not play in tempting me to it,
I do not play when I sink in deep mire,
  for sin is no game, no toy, no bauble;
Let me never forget the heinousness of sin lies
  not so much in the nature of sin committed,
as in the greatness of You, the One sinned against.
When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me,
  By showing me that in myself I am a dying condemned wretch,
  but that in Christ I am reconciled, made alive, and satisfied;
that I am feeble and unable to do any good,
But that in him, I can do all things and for your glory!  Thank you Father God. In Jesus I pray. Amen.

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Inspired by “‘Humiliation’ The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers”

O God my exceeding joy!

Singing your praises uplifts my heart, for you are a fountain of delight, and do bless the soul that joys in you.
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But because of my hearts rebellion, I cannot always praise you as I should; yet I will at all times rest myself in your excellencies, your goodness, and loving-kindness.

In Jesus, you are the object of inexpressible joy, and I take exceeding pleasure in the thought of you.

But Lord, I am sometimes as though your enemy; my nature revolts and wanders from you.

Help me to extol you with my entire heart-submission, to be diligent in self-examination, to ask myself whether I live as one born-again, whether my spirit is as that of your child, whether my griefs are those that bring repenting hearts, whether my joys are the joys of faith, whether my confidence in Christ works in love and purifies the soul.

Give me the sweet results of faith, in my secret character, and in my public life.

Cast cords of love around my heart, then hold me and never let me go!

May the Saviors wounds sway me more than the scepter of princes.

Let me love you in a love that covers and swallows up all, that I may not violate the pure union with all of your beloved!

There is much unconquered territory in my nature, so scourge out the buyers and sellers of my souls temple, and give me in return pure desires and longings after perfect holiness with you my dear Lord. 

This is my prayer, my Father;  My God, my Savior!

Amen.

My prayer today adapted from “A ministers praises, Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers “

Seek… It’s an action word.

God created us to know him intimately and to find true riches when we consider him our greatest treasure and prize. God created us to not just be loved by him, but for us to love him. True love seeks its lover, and God’s true love for us has promised that he will respond to our love, but God desires that we show our love by pursuing him also.  Yes he first sought us and redeemed us in Christ, apart from that we would have remained lost, but as in all relationships, we too should seek him back. This is what love does. Seek Christ with all of your heart and you will know the most grand treasure possible in this life and joy for all eternity!

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You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart -Jer 29:13

The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing – Ps 34:10

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you – Ps 9:10

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you – Mat 7:7

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Mat 6:33

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Mat 6:19-21