February 20 - The Kingdom of God at Hand

By Melvin Eugene Surface

Today's Scripture: Mark 4:39

Central Thought: We need never give way to fear when Jesus is master of our lives.

    'Why are you so afraid?” Jesus' question to His disciples echoes for us today. The disciples stood in amazement and fear as their boat bobbed on the placid sea. Moments before, they had feared for their lives as the wind raged and massive waves battered their tiny ship. Now they stood in awe of the One who had proven power even over nature.

    Jesus was with them in the storm but asleep after arduous hours of ministering to the crowds. Mournfully pleading, they shook Him awake: 'Teacher, don't you care that we are perishing?” Jesus responded by commanding the wind and the sea to be silent. Then He asked His trembling disciples the reason for their terror: 'Have you still no faith?” Fear is a natural and necessary defense mechanism, but laced with unbelief, fear cripples.

    Throughout His ministry Jesus proved He was supreme in every natural and supernatural arena. He showed He was master over nature by stilling the storm. He healed all kinds of sickness and disease, and He proved He was the Lord of life by rising from the dead.

    Faced with a legion of unclean spirits, Jesus confirmed His power over all the kingdom of darkness. The unclean spirits possessed a man and drove him into tombs. There the helpless soul cried out and bruised himself with stones. No one could subdue him, and he lived in pitiful bondage. When the possessed man saw Jesus get out of the boat, he ran and fell at His feet. The man could not pray for himself because the demons had stolen his voice. But Jesus heard the cry of his heart and said, 'Go!” Immediately the demons fled, entered some pigs, plunged down a steep embankment, and drowned in the sea. The unclean spirits probably intended this all along for their human victim, but Jesus intervened.

    Jesus told what the kingdom of God was like in His parables. He showed what the kingdom was like with His power. In the end, God's kingdom will be absolute. Now, He rules in the lives of His children. Christ is with us, even when we fail to see Him at work. 'Why are you so afraid?”

Devotional Prayer: Lord, rule in my life, and, even when I do not see You at work, help me not to be afraid but to trust and obey.

Today's Bible Reading: Leviticus 9:7-10:20; Mark 4:26-5:20; Psalm 37:30-40; Proverbs 10:6-7