Immediately he made the disciples get into a boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Some ten months ago, a friend of the family, a beautiful 21 year old young woman, was murdered by her father’s girlfriend. At her funeral, we sang the 23rd Psalm. In the homily, the pastor said something I will hold close for the rest of my life. He said
We’ve just sung the 23rd Psalm. And people are already asking where God was when this horrible murder happened, when Abi was bleeding out her life. GOD WAS THERE. GOD WAS WITH HER. “....I fear no evil” doesn’t mean that evil will not happen. And it doesn’t mean that we will be brought through the danger safely in this life. It’s not a matter of ‘enough faith makes you safe.’
So many times in Scripture the Lord tells us Do not fear! Be not afraid!
What is true, what we hold onto is this: God does not leave us. Ever. Not even in death. We all belong to God.
There will be storms, bad things will happen, and one day, one of those storms will take me out of this life. But I do not need to be afraid.
I will not be alone. The grace of God, the presence of Christ gives me comfort. I AM unafraid.
" There’s not some kind of deductible of self-reliance you have to meet before your spiritual benefits kick in. You can be downright wasteful with your prayers for help." OMG this is so lovely to hear. Thank you again for sharing your sermons. I wasn't raised in Church so my knowledge of these stories is shaky - however, even if I HAD been raised in a church, I think my understanding of them would have been shaky. You find ways to cut through to some hidden gem that seems so obvious when you are done. Thank you! I am planning to be downright wasteful with my prayers for help.
“Don’t make things harder than they need to be.” Sounds like the word of God to me. Thank you for digging deep and developing these sermons. They are each a gift and consistently hit a mark in my heart.
This probably has nothing to do with your good message,
but this rob bell quote from everything is spiritual keeps popping up: (as he comes out of therapy with sister virginia)
"it wasn't that my problems were gone, it's that they weren't the point anymore"
Who do they think they see walking on water… GHOST… best line and makes the point! I love this so much! Thanks ❤️
HEY, NADIA. I'm getting into this response business. An additional comment about the WWJD fad, is that most people wearing the bracelet don't know what Jesus did. Lanny
I remember when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2019, of course I prayed, cried out for healing , a friend even prayed I would have more faith, I responded, it’s not a lack of faith, but I was trusting in her healing in what ever form He so did choose. Well leslie is cancer free, we went through a double mastectomy with flat closure, she has to take meds for the next two years, she has been on meds for three years, I fully trusted for Leslie’s healing, and Father chose to heal by the hands of Dr Birdwell, surgeon and Dr Moparty oncologist. So hearing you speak on this topic is a shot in the arm for me!! Thanks so much!
Loved this sermon! The biggest Take-away: we don't have to do the impossible and walk on water to get to Jesus - he comes to us ❤
Here is something on a lighter note:
Whenever I'm in trouble I think WWJD. Then I pretend to be dead and disappear for three days!
Just have to share what our pastor this morning preached (briefly) about this passage. (He actually gave his sermon on Romans 10:5-15,). He called attention to the fact that Peter said, "IF you are he, call me..." and concluding that sometimes faith is demonstrated by staying in the boat. Loved that!
I listened intently as you presented this sermon and I exhaled a sigh of relief! YES! Let’s all remember all the times we found Jesus as we were struggling through life! He walks towards US! And, I don’t need to be Jesus, I need to allow Jesus to be there with me, doing whatever miracle he knows that I need. Alleluia.
"Their failure was in buying the lie that calm waters are the only satisfying proof of God’s presence."
Thank you for sharing a gorgeous and thought-provoking and reassuring reflection; magnificent.
Thank you! 😊
This is a Grace message.
It has never been about works, always about trust.
He is there in and outside our boat.
Thank you. When the WWJD bracelets were all the rage I felt very uncomfortable about it all. The notion that we should expect ourselves to: 1. Know what Jesus would do in any given situation (He was full of surprises, we should remember.) 2. Then, deciding that we know what he would do, do that thing. There are some big problems with these notions, which you summed up brilliantly. Thank you for reminding me that I am a mere human being who would do well to remember that I was created by the kind of Love that is incomprehensible on this Earthly plane.
Loved this. Made me cry. Really needed it. And I am also a preacher who starts preparing every sermon by instantly moving into super panic mode.
I always ask myself : "what would Grandma do?" . My Grandmas were good women who I could count on. They are gone, but there advice and memories linger.
Would a father give a hungry child a scorpion? Would a Father see His struggling child and call out, "try harder"?
I love that you call it a type of atheism....I am not God....one of the toughest lessons I have to keep learning. It's ALL about Him, not me or how much I can muster up.