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The Water Walker 10-15-2016

Richard Bonjour  •  Hawkeye SDA Church
Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  19:58
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The Calm Before the Storm

Lets look at the setting for what I would like us to learn more about today.
Matthew 14:15–21 NKJV

When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”

He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

We know the story well. Jesus always looks after those he cares about. Feeding 5000 people was a miracle in and of it's self and we could spend a lot of time right here but let go on to the next verse.
Matthew 14:22–23 NKJV

Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.

Did you notice what Jesus did to his disciples? The word "made" is used. Other version use "He made".
The Gr. anagkazō, “to compel,” or “to constrain” . This was the first time Jesus had found it necessary to speak to His disciples with such authority and force (DA 378). The words eutheōs, “immediately,” and anagkazō, “to compel,” imply both haste and urgency on the part of Jesus, and hesitation and reluctance on the part of the disciples. The reason for this reluctance is made clear in John 6:15 (see DA 377, 378; see on Mark 6:42). Convinced that Jesus was the promised Messiah, or Deliverer of Israel, the multitude were bent on crowning Him king on the spot. Perceiving the sentiment of the multitude, the disciples took the initiative and were on the point of proclaiming Him king of Israel. Judas was the first one of the Twelve to sense the significance of the popular sentiment, and it was he who initiated the project to make Christ king (DA 718). So rash a course of action would have prematurely brought Christ’s earthly mission to a close. Prompt and decisive action on the part of Jesus was necessary in order to quell the popular sentiment of the people and to control His own disciples.

The Storm

Picture in your mind a storm. A really good one. Maybe like hurricane Matthew that recently roared up the Florida and South Carolina coasts. Warp that context just a little and think about the storms that have come into your lives from time to time. Give you food for thought doesn't it.
Matthew 14:24 NKJV

But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

Think of the high waves and the wind and Peter James and John and the others trying to keep the boat stable in the water.
Matthew 14:25–27 NKJV

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

Your scared as all get out. You see an apparition walking on the water and it speaks to you. You are over joyed to see you Lord.
Matthew 14:28 NKJV

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

Peter was never one for the status quo. He had to know if that apparition was real. Do we ever offer challenges like that?

The Invitation of Faith

Matthew 14:29 NKJV

So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

Jesus said "Come" It's an invitation.
Did you know that there are more than 1900 invitations. There are all sorts. There are invitations to receive hospitality, to weddings or banquets, for lovers in the Song of Solomon, and to join in worshipping God. Did you know that there are even invitations to do what is sinful? Uh huh, Joseph

7 And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”

Or how about the King of Moab asking Balaam to come and curse Isreal.
Consider some of the invitations the Jesus made.
Matthew 11:28 NKJV

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

or
Matthew 19:14 NKJV

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

John 7:37 NKJV

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

John 6:37 NKJV

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

What do all theses verses say? Come to Jesus and trust Him. He will be yours and my Savior!

The Adventure of Faith

So Peter is coming down out of the boat and going to walk on the water. Do think at this point Peter is actually thinking about what he is going to do? Peter is a very experienced fisherman. He most have had in his life time seen at least some of his fishing companions drown. He knows the treachery of the sea. He's spent most of his life on it up til now.
There something within all of us that loves an adventure. Some of us live it vicariously through reading or watching a movie. Some of us actually get out and experience it.
Going over the falls in a barrel.
There are many others . Mountain climbing, sky diving, car racing, the list goes on and on.
Peter got out and walked on the water and learned that Christ is Lord of all.
Did you know that there is adventure in stepping out on God's promises? The adventure is in trusting God instead of man and in giving not knowing how God will provide that need. It's in going out to do something and then trusting God to lead the way.

The Adversaries of Faith

30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid;

Apparently Peter had forgotten, for the moment, the wind and the waves. As his feet became accustomed to walking on the surface of the water he evidently thought of his companions in the boat, and wondered what they thought of his new-found skill. Turning his glance momentarily back to the boat, he lost sight of Jesus. At that moment he was in the trough between two waves, and when he returned his gaze again to where Jesus had been he could no longer see Him (see DA 381). All he could see was the turbulent water and the wind. In that brief instant self-satisfaction had diluted faith with pride, so to speak, and faith lost its sustaining power.

That's what Peter was looking at. What have you looked at this week. What troubles have we come in contact with. Was it temptation, grief, money issues, job problems, or sickness? What was your response when you looked at your own personal storm?
Peter's fears were the adversaries of his faith.
Fear. Did you know that fear and faith are opposites. An Opposite is something that is opposed to some other often specified thing. What's the definition for fear. Fear is an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger. So the definition for faith then: 1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust.
General "Stonewall" Jackson once said, "Never take counsel of your fears. To not take counsel from our fears simply means that we do not permit fear and uncertainty to determine our course in life.  To not take counsel from our fears means that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ overrules our fears and that we press forward with a steadfastness in Him. Another paradox and a natural result is that as faith increases our fears decrease. The more we depend on Jesus depend the more we see the results of that faith. Fear cannot survive where there is strong faith.

The Resource of Faith

What are resources of faith? Maybe another way to say it is, what resources do we have to increase our faith. Let's look at the last part of vs 30.

and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

It wasn't a Lord I need some help, it "Lord, save me!"

A fisherman all his life, Peter knew how to swim (see John 21:7). But a sea like this, in which a boat was not safe, was even less safe for a swimmer.

"Lord Save Me" That was basically a prayer wasn't it. A very short and intense prayer I'll grant you, but a prayer none the less. Jesus was standing in front of him yes, but is Jesus any farther away from us really.
Peter prayed when all looked hopeless. He didn't no where else to turn. His very short prayer recognized the power of Christ to answer.

31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

His prayer was immediately answered. He was raised out of the water and as they walked to the boat together, Jesus said "Why did you doubt? Isn't for fear of the waves that Lord was rebuking him, but letting go of his faith!
The word “doubt” (from Greek distazō) suggests the idea of trying to go in two different directions at once or of serving two different masters simultaneously. Having lost his initial faith, Peter is unable to go on. So here Peter gets rebuked for wavering. There is a lesson here for us. If we have learned like Peter what faith in Jesus can do for us, the Lord expects us to hang on to it and not release our grip on it so easily. Jesus expects us to hang to our faith. It is the only thing that will get us through the troubles times that are ahead.

Our Response

Jesus is standing in the midst of our storms. In the middle of the winds that are trying to blow us over, trying to get us to sink. He wants a response from us. He is more than willing to save us like he saved Peter. But it's more than that. He wants a faith in us that won't get confused and begin to waver, to doubt. It's OK if we are like the father of the child that said,

“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

The greek word for believe pisteue means to trust, to have faith in.
It's ok to feel like that father right now. It's ok to yell like Peter did "Lord Save me". Let's just not leave it there. We need that faith that can move mountains. We need a faith like Jacobs that will say I will not let you go. In his case it was for a blessing. In our case, it is for strength to get through these last days.
Let's pray for that kind of faith right now.
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