“So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."”
John 20:21 NASB
After His crucifixion and after His resurrection, Jesus appears to His disciples and speaks to their fears and gives them a glimpse into what is in store for each and every one of His disciples.
The disciples were being tossed to and fro on the stormy waters of doubt (where was Jesus - was He raised from the dead), fear (they killed Jesus, will they kill us), indecision (what do we do now that Jesus is gone) and disappointment (our leader, our king is gone). In the same way that He calmed the storm and the waters, Jesus calms the hearts of His disciples. Seeing and hearing Jesus the disciples were freed from their doubt and fear. The disappointment and the indecision are gone and replaced by Jesus' clear command - As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.
In this season of your life, are you in a storm? Are you battling waves of doubt and fear? Are the winds of indecision and disappointment buffeting you? Do you long to have peace? You need to hear from the risen One. The very One that longs to shepherd your soul desires to speak to your storm.
“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."”
John 10:4-5 NASB
How can you hope to hear from Him in the middle of your storm if you don't know His voice? How can you hope to follow the Good Shepherd if you don't spend time with Him. Why not make a commitment now to daily spend time reading, meditating and studying the Bible - God's Word to us? Make the time, choose a plan, follow through and be prepared to hear Him speak to your storm. You'll find that God has perfect designs and plans for all areas of your life and when He speaks to your storm, be obedient. Follow the commands.
Follow the Good Shepherd. You need not fear the One who desires to lead you in paths of righteousness for His Names' sake. Follow the One that will lead you beside still waters and desires to pasture you in green pastures. The Good Shepherd protects, leads, provides, and walks with you even when the path leads through the Valley of Death. Let the Good Shepherd lead you in the storms of your life.
Passion 2017, what a week! Our church had the opportunity to take our college students to the Georgia Dome to spend three days with 55,000 other college students! Passion has been a great partner for SABC through the years because they spend that first week of the year teaching and encouraging students that God has a great plan for their college years. He is not waiting for them to get a degree to begin using them. In fact, God has no need for an expensive piece of paper from an accredited university, He desires willing hearts. This year was no different. Our students got to hear from church leaders like John Piper, Francis Chan, and Louie Giglio, as well as many others. The focus of the week this year was built around suffering; something many would not think would be a good idea for 18-25 year olds. It was clear that the Spirit was all over this, however, as we heard story after story from God’s Word as well as the testimonies of His people of how God has used what they thought was the worst trial of their life to become one of the greatest goods.
Something that has become typical of Passion events is the challenge these students send to the world with their generosity. Owning the term “poor college student” these students come prepared to give what they have to a cause. This year that cause was children around the world living without sufficient food, housing, and education, in some of the world’s poorest countries. Through Compassion International, these college students gave to children in El Salvador, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Indonesia. This wasn’t just a one-time gift either. This was a commitment to care for that child from now until they become an adult. They didn’t just give to some of the children in these countries however. By the power and Grace of God, Every child in the Compassion program in all four of these countries was sponsored at passion 2017. That’s over 7000 Children whose lives were forever changed because of the generosity of college students. This was the largest number of children sponsored from a single event in Compassion’s history. God is Good! And He is using “poor college students” to show His goodness to children around the world.
Let the testimony of our college students at SABC challenge you in two ways. First, be challenged and encouraged to know that God is good even when times are hard. Many times, God uses the hardest times in our lives to teach us the most about Him. Let’s not waste our suffering. Secondly, Be challenged as I was that if a college student can give extravagantly off of a part-time wage, my excuses to do so are probably pretty feeble.
Praise God for what he has done in our college students this past week, as well as what he has done in tens of thousands of college believers all around our nation.
Grace and Peace,
Sheep who Shepherd: