My brothers and sisters in Christ, I think all of us can identify with the disciples as they struggled painfully against the wind (Mark 6: 48).  They had accompanied their Lord into the wilderness, received His instruction with the great multitude, witnessed His miraculous feeding of that multitude of 5,000 men plus women and children.  He then compelled them to get into the boat and sail across the Sea of Galilee after that long day and upon which they encountered a severe tempest that overwhelmed their physical and mental skills.  Their emotional state can only be imagined.

  Yet, our risen Lord is calling us today to identify with Him, look to Him, believe in Him as we go from sunshine to shadow, feast to famine, the exhilaration of success to the emptiness of setbacks and failures.  Especially if we are moving into a fall season where the late shadows of day appear starting to lengthen in the west and storm clouds appear to be gathering on the horizon.  It is good and right that by the power of the Holy Spirit we look to the One who is the Founder and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1) for He has passed through far more dangerous and demonic tempests as He walked the narrow path of righteousness that led through the cross and the grave into the glory prepared and promised to Him from before the creation of the earth:  all authority over heaven and earth as the Messiah, the Savior, the Redeemer of mankind.  God became man to save mankind so that you and I would repent, believe in Him and take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9: 23).  The Holy Spirit gives us both the will and the means to repent, believe in Him and take up our cross and follow Him.  Christ knows that the path He is leading us upon will take us through dangerous and devilish tempests that terrify us, overwhelm our senses and skills, and seek to separate us from our Lord and our God.  He calls us, our brothers and sisters in Christ and all God’s children to look to Him alone and remain close to Him both during these times as well as times of sunlight, feast, and the exhilaration of success for no one can snatch us out of either His hand or our heavenly Father’s hand (John 10: 28).  In all of these things He proves over and over and over again that He is the faithful, steadfast, compassionate, attentive, and truthful One.  Therefore, the faith given us by the Holy Spirit is enough to sustain, safeguard, and strengthen us as children of God as He comforts us in any and all times, places and situations.  

  He stands before us, the God/Man who compelled His disciples to get into the boat.  He stands before us, the God/Man who prayed all night to God.  He stands before us, the God/Man who watched over them and observed them regardless of the darkness, the storm, and the distance.  He stands before us and calls us to stand with Him, to walk with Him on the path of righteousness that will take us through darkness, tempest and time. Jesus declares that He is the light that overcomes the darkness (John 1: 4-5), He is the peace that overcomes the tempest, He is the Alpha and Omega that is from everlasting to everlasting that on the last day will come in glory and judge the living and the dead.

  The Lamb of God beckons, calls, and exhorts us to follow Him into His Father’s field where the hard and demanding good work of the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20 and Mark 16: 14-18) is to be done in and through His children gathered at Martin Luther Chapel.  By the power of His Spirit we must identify with Jesus that we would prepare ourselves for both the trails and afflictions AND the successes and victories He is leading us to and through as we complete this year and move into the new church year.  We must look to Christ alone as we stand up to face, meet and overcome the challenges He will lead us to and through while identifying and using the gifts the Holy Spirit has given us as individual children of God and as His family here at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Mesquite, NV.  Finally, He calls us to believe in Him for He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  There is no other way, no other truth, and no other life apart from Him.  Therefore, we must resolve ourselves, rouse ourselves, and rally ourselves to seize the opportunities He provides, remain steadfast and courageous in the knowledge that He fights for us and thwarts and brings to naught the plans and schemes of the evil one (Joshua 1:1), and redouble our efforts to take the Gospel to our families, our relatives, our neighbors and our friends with the time, treasure and gifts He has blessed us with.  

In Christ,

Pastor Bob