Bible Reference: John 6:16-21
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
Bible Text: 16 That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!
OBSERVATION: It is so encouraging to read accounts of how Jesus showed up for His disciples at just the right time when they needed Him most. Encouraging because He is still the same today as He was that evening when He showed up while His followers were in distress on the rough waters of the lake they were crossing. We are never happy about the days when we feel like things could get no worse, however as followers of Jesus Christ, we have assurance that our Savior watches out for us and will be there for us, especially when life is at its toughest for us. May we be encouraged as we meditate on God’s Word today!
APPLICATION: Unless we take for granted what each believer goes through on a daily basis, let’s not imagine for a moment that our situation is any worse than our neighbor or our fellow believer, and let us never think that we are really more deserving of a hand-up with all that we are encountering. You see, some might be very sad at the loss of a spouse, or a parent, or a child, while others might be overwhelmed to the extent of being frantic, or have a nervous breakdown. In the case of the disciples – they were terrified at the fear of the rough waters, our Christian Brother of Sister may look on life, even the worse types of scenarios, and some might assume a very trivial outlook, while others may become frantic if any planned activities are simply changed, or if things are not going exactly as they had planned. Friends, I believe that we are all aligned with the disciples in our fear of being out of control, when life’s circumstances are beyond anything we could do to improve, or change the outcome. That’s why many need emotional help after losing their job, or losing a girlfriend/boyfriend, or when traveling on a boat or a plane going through turbulence, for they are out of control. There are several lessons in this Scripture that may serve to help us today:
1. Jesus knew His disciples were in trouble, so He went to miraculous means to get to them and to help them. Let me remind you dear friend that Jesus knows about your struggles also, and that He will move mountains just to be there for you child of God!
2. Notice that the disciples welcomed Jesus into the boat. Did they have an option? Of course they did, they could have done like many of us do when we see someone in need – we wave at them and we may wish them well, or we may say that we will pray for them, but we don’t stop to truly understand their need and help them lovingly and compassionately. But that’s not how Jesus reacted with the disciples in their time of desperation, and it is not how He will respond to us in our times of feeling like we are all alone in walking through life’s most challenging times. In the Scripture we are told that Jesus will be with us always! Praise God, He knows when we are hurting; when we are sad; when we are lonely; and when we feel like there is no hope. This same chapter of John reminds us that Jesus not only cares about today’s struggles, but that He has a home prepared for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven. So there is a long-term plan for those of us that have placed our faith and trust in Jesus, God’s only Son! Let me carefully show you one important thing in this 2nd point though: Jesus didn’t just place Himself in the boat amidst His disciples in their panic, for He wanted to make sure they wanted Him there with them. Notice that they invited Him into the boat. And that’s the way it is with us still today, we must invite Jesus into our hearts and plum into the middle of our lives, our decisions, our aspirations and our long-term plans. Throughout the Bible we are told that God is preparing a glorious home for us in glory, for I believe that our King wants nothing but the best for His princes and princesses!
The ball is in your court dear friend. Take heed from the disciples and invite Jesus in – into your heart. Regardless of how well you behave, or how much you give to the church, this is a required step for you to enter heaven. Invite Jesus in – TODAY, my friend! Tomorrow may be too late, for death without Jesus places you in the pit of Hell with no mercy from Satan.
PRAYER: I can’t imagine life without options precious Lord, so I thank You for seeing the desperation in the need of the disciples. I am most appreciative of the mercy You showed for us as well dear Lord, for You sacrificed You very own Son so that we might escape the fury of Hell, and have the hope of eternal life in Paradise with You! Thank You Jesus for having mercy on those that choose to surrender their life to You and invite You into their heart. You have placed the ‘ball’ into our court now. Oh that all who read this devotional have a desire to invite you into their heart, and accept the Gift that You are offering us today. It is my desire to be with You Oh King, and I pray for that same desperate call by all who will read this devotional today. AMEN!