April 23, 2021 — The Double Rebuke

“The other day,” Stan began, “we talked a little about Jesus and the disciples being in a boat when a storm was just about to fill the boat with water.”

“We did,” I replied.  “About how Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat and the disciples woke Him up and asked if He didn’t care about them.” [Note to reader:  See the posting for April 21, 2021 “Caring About Perishing.”]

“That’s right,” Stan said.  “And after the disciples awakened Jesus, what He did and said has an impact on my faith walk.”

“In what way?” I asked.  “What did Jesus do and say a long time ago that has an impact on you today?”

“A double rebuke,” Stan replied.

“Double rebuke?  What’s that mean?”

“The first thing Jesus did was to rebuke the wind and it stopped so the boat was no longer in danger of being swamped with water.  Then He rebuked the disciples.  That’s the rebuke that has a daily impact on me.”

“How so?  What did Jesus say?”

“What Jesus said,” Stan replied, “in the first place, was to ask the disciples why they were afraid. Then He went on from there and asked them, ‘Do you still have no faith?’”

“Still have no faith,” I repeated.  “Wow, that’s a big-time rebuke!  I can see why you say that can have a real impact on your faith walk.”

“No doubt about it,” Stan said.  “When God, through the voice of the Holy Spirit, asks me those two questions, I take the rebuke seriously by confessing and repenting.  I confess that any fear I might sense is caused by a lack of faith.  I then ask God to lead my repentance so that my faith is strong enough to overcome any fear that may seek to overcome me.”

“As I listen to the rebuke and take it seriously,” Stan concluded, “my faith grows stronger and my relationship with God grows closer and deeper.”

__________________________________

Bible verses to consider:

And He said to them, “Why are you afraid?  Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:40.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1.

And He will delight in the fear of the Lord, and He will not judge by what His eyes see.  Isaiah 11:3.

Immediately the boy’s father cried out and began saying, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”  Mark 9:24.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you love and care enough about me to rebuke me when my faith in you and your provision falters.  Please lead me in taking your rebukes seriously so that I respond in the way you intend, by confessing my lack of faith and by asking for your help in following your lead into deep and abiding faith based on an ever-closer and ever-deepening personal relationship with you.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Fear or faith.  Can one overcome the other?  Why or why not?  Have you ever sensed God rebuking you for a lack of faith?  If so, what was that like?  What was your response?  If you have not sensed such a rebuke, why do you think that might be?  Have you heard the expression, “To fear and not be afraid”?  What does that mean to you for your relationship with God?

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