Summary: This sermon deals with where people may find themselves during tough times in their lives, and how through God

Which Boat Are You In?

Opening Ill- There has been so much in the news lately about the Titanic- the new movie, books and memorabilia springing up since the popularity of the movie; possibility of bringing artifacts up from the ocean floor where the wreckage now lies...

There is no question but that when the Titanic pulled out of harbor on it’s maiden voyage, the most enviable place to be was on that ship; however, not too long after, it was a place of death for hundreds, and instead the lifeboat was the best place to be...

Let me ask a question of you today... What boat are you in?

I. The Boat of Dangerous Faith...Luke 5:1-11

Ill-It’s been said that “to laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for another is to risk involvement. To expose feelings is to risk exposing our true self. To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd is to risk loss. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk despair. To try at all is to risk failure. But to risk we must, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The man, the woman, who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.”

Exp- Jesus was looking for a few good men, who were willing to risk it all for Him... And these men were able to see Jesus for Who He is- [read vss 4,5, & 8 {”Master” to “Lord”}

And when you do see Jesus for Who He really is, then you will abandon all for Him!!!

Ill-A certain South African missionary society once wrote to David Livingstone, "Have you found a good road to where you are? We want to know how to send some men to join you." Livingstone wrote back: "If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road."

Scr-Luke 5:10b-11

Ill- I love the story about the Episcopal pastor who was having a cup of coffee in the restaurant across the street from the church. He was reading his paper when the fellow next to him noticed his clerical garb and asked what church he was with. He pointed across the street to the Episcopal Church and the fellow said "Why that's the church I go to myself." At this the pastor perked up and said "That's strange. I've been preaching there for five years and I don't believe I've ever seen you." The man responded, "Come on now, preacher. I didn't say I was a fanatic."

App- Jesus is worthy is not just worthy of our affection, or our attention.... He is worthy of our all, of our lives; He is worthy of our fanaticism; He is worthy of followers who will live a dangerous faith for Him... WHAT BOAT ARE YOU IN?

II. The Boat of Desperate Need...Matthew 8

Exp- The disciples lost sight of Who Jesus is [read vss23-25] ; and from that distorted perspective,

■ They questioned His heart {another gospel says they said, ‘Lord, don’t you care?’} --

■ They determined what their future would be { ‘We’re going to drown’}...

Desperation tends to draw our our attention to the movements and motions around us, the busyness and activities that invade our life...

Scr-Psalms 25:3 “No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame.”

Psalms 59:16 - “But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge intimes of trouble.”

Matthew 8:25- “Lord, save us; We’re going to drown!”

Ill- A Kindergarten class went to the fire station for a tour and some instruction in fire safety. The fireman was explaining what to do in case of a fire. He said, "First, go to the door and feel the door to see if it's hot. Do you know why we feel the door?" “To see if there is fire on the other side”, a child responded. Then he said, "Next fall to your knees. Does anyone know why you ought to fall to your knees?" One of the other children said, "Sure, to start praying to ask God to get us out of this mess!"

App- Jesus is not afraid of circumstances- He is in Charge!

I don’t think anyone avoids spending some time on this boat, and I hope that if you’re in this boat right now, that this truth will bring you some comfort... around you sit so many others who have been in the Boat of Desperate Need...

You might be in this boat, but you don’t have to go down with the ship!!!!

The lesson that we can learn from the disciples is as simple as the little song we sing... Jesus is the Answer, for the world today, Above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the Way!


III. The Boat of Hardened Hearts...Mark 6

Scr- [read vss 47-51] then read the verse never really seen before, verse 52... they didn’t recognize His presence because they had failed to see Him at work...

Ill- A messenger was once sent by his king to deliver vital information to a distant city in the kingdom. Since the messenger bore the king's authority, he was rehearsed over and over to be sure he had the message right and could deliver it without error. At the appointed time, the messenger set out upon his journey of many days. The first day went well, with good speed and few distractions. At the end of it the messenger again rehearsed the information in his care, to keep it fresh and accurate. On the second day the messenger met a lost child who begged to be restored to her family, and though not without anxiety about the cost of time and concentration, he took the child along a different route to find her home. That night he rehearsed the message with greater difficulty and the beginnings of concern that he might have lost small parts of it. The third day brought the messenger into a village whose well had gone dry, leaving its inhabitants too weak even to send for help. They begged him to take word to the next town, lest they all perish of thirst and disease, and the messenger reluctantly agreed to do so. That night the message was in parts unclear and his worry increased. Each day thereafter found the messenger more distracted, more interrupted. People talked to him, beseeched him, clutched at him, and in his decency he responded as best he could. But each evening, when he rehearsed the king's message, it became less accurate, less clear. When he finally reached his destination, he was in agony, for he knew that he could not deliver what he had been sent to say, and he knew too that the penalty for his carelessness would be severe. To the governor of the distant town he presented himself and told his tale, reciting in succession the agonies that had distracted him, beating his breast in repentance for getting himself so misled from his sworn duty as agent of the king, and ending with his confession that he could not now say the vital words he had so carefully rehearsed in the king's presence. The governor reached out to the by now trembling messenger and bade him rise from where he had fallen in his shame and fear. "You were not the only messenger, my son," he said. "Our king, on the day of your departure dispatched yet another servant, unskilled in memory or perception but carrying in written form the same message entrusted to you. You may read what it says." The message was as follows:

My Dear Governor: There is great suffering in the land, but our people's hearts are hardened. I must find someone with eyes to see, a will to respond, and the courage to share the pain that lies about us to act as minister to my people. Pray, tell me if you have such a person, and send him to me at all speed, for the time is short and the responsibility heavy.” The messenger looked up in confusion; his understanding grew as the governor said, "Until you came, I had no such person to send, but now it is clear that you are he. Return to the royal service of your king, for you have brought the message ten times over and ar more clearly than ever you rehearsed it."

App- Jesus is looking at some today who live on the Boat of Hardened Hearts.... all around them pain, suffering and despair happens, and their hearts are hardened to the possibility of joining Jesus in touching lives.... because you see,

Jesus is the Miracle Man; and He is still in the business of doing miracles in and through you and me! He doesn’t care how strong the wind is blowing, how high the waves are, how small the boat is, or hard you’ve been pulling on the oars... When Jesus shows up on the scene, He’a going to shake things up-- and He wants you in on it......

Exp- Like He wanted the disciples in on it... but the disciples failed to see Jesus for what He had already done, and so they had trouble seeing what He was about to do; all stemming from hardened hearts...


IV. The Boat of Painful Regrets...John 21

Ill-There once was A man who never opened the car door for his wife or any other woman. He felt it was a sissy Emily Post kind of thing to do and "Besides," he was fond of saying, "she doesn't have two broken arms." His table manners left much to be desired, and manners in general were looked upon by him as quite unnecessary. After many years of marriage, the wife died and her husband was heartbroken because he truly loved her. Somehow, as the pallbearers brought her casket out of the funeral service, the husband and his family reached the hearse ahead of them. The mortician was back a few feet and, since he knew the husband quite well, he called him by name and said, "Open the door for her, will you?" The man reached for the door handle and then, for one second, just froze. He realized he had never opened a car door for her in life; now in her death it would be the first, last, and only time. It was a moment for him when years of regrets came crushing down around him.

Exp- Regrets.... Over things done and undone, spoken and unspoken in our lives can eat away at our soul... Jesus wanted to show Peter Who He wanted to be in his life, to redeem him from the prison of regrets that Peter lived in... He had denied his Lord, three times, in front of many witnesses... He had done the one thing he swore he would never do... And although this would be the third time he had seen Jesus since His resurrection, we don’t have it recorded anywhere that they had ever talked about his betrayal...

The guilt and pain, the regrets must have been overwhelming for Peter... and here he was, back at the same place he was when he first responded to the call of Jesus-- You remember, the first passage we looked at today... Life must have loomed over him like a cloud.... but the faithfulness of God was sure...

Scr- II Corinthians 5:17- “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Philippians 2:12, 13- “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose!”

You Don’t Have To Live In The Boat Of Painful Regrets!!!

Ill- Some of you may have heard the story of the little boy who disobeyed his mother. But his conscience began to hurt him, and he was sneaking up to his room when his mother saw him. "Where are you going, Frank?" she asked. "To my room to talk to God." "Is it something you can't tell me?" Frank explained, "Yes, it is. You'll just scold and punish me while God will forgive and forget all about it."

App- Jesus looks towards our future, not our past... His focus is not on what we HAVE done, HAVE said, HAVE been... but what we ARE in Christ right now... A NEW CREATION, fitted and able to DO GOOD WORKS!!!


■ The Boat Of Dangerous Faith

living out there on the horizon of your faith for Christ?

■ The Boat Of Desperate Need

your faith being thrown about, and you in fear of losing

it all, because the circumstances of life are raging?

■ The Boat Of Hardened Hearts

having a hard time seeing & joining Christ at work

around you, because you’ve allowed your heart to harden?

■ The Boat Of Painful Regrets

overwhelmed by the pain of your past, afraid to point your

face in the direction of the face of the Captain of your Soul?

Whichever boat you find yourself in today, make today the day that you genuinely surrender to Jesus; let him genuinely be the Captain of your Soul...