Summary: Using Peter's walk on the water, we can see that our own faith can only be tried by getting out of the boat. Then and only then can Christ use us. Our faith can grow, our trust increase and we can serve our Lord.

I. Introduction

A. What would be the best message for the first of the New Year?

1. I’m sure that every preacher has an answer for that question

2. And like me, probably, its different from year to year

B. Just about a month ago we were watching John MacArthur one Sunday Evening and he was talking about Peter’s trip on the water.

1. Turn to Luke 17:5

2. MacArthur’s message was not like this one, but it put the story in my recent memory

3. Then a few weeks ago I was talking to some one and they told me that their faith was not where they wanted it to be, they asked me how to increase their faith as the apostles asked in Luke 17:5

Luke 17:5 (NKJV)

And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."

a. What flashed through my mind was Peter and walking on the water and I told this individual, “Get out of the boat.”

b. Imagine that individual asking, “How can I increase my faith?” And me saying, “Get out of the boat.”

c. The look on their face was quite amusing

(1) Lets turn to Matthew 14:25-32 and read this incident

Matthew 14:25-32 (NKJV)

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. {26} And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. {27} But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." {28} And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." {29} So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. {30} But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" {31} And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" {32} And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

II. Body

A. What I see in this story

1. First, this is a real incident, not a parable

2. However, we can look at this as a kind of parable

a. The raging lake water is life in this old world of ours

(1) Stepping out into the water we have two alternatives

(2) It takes courage to step into the water and when we do step into the water we can

(a) Sink

(b) Or swim

(c) Or in Peter’s case walk on the water

(3) It takes courage to leave our little houses in the morning

(a) Or to begin to engage in the daily grind, what ever that might be

(4) When we leave our little house in the morning we must sink or swim

(a) Or we must keep our eyes on Jesus and walk on water

(5) The alternative is to stay home

(a) Stay in bed, pull the covers up over our head and hide from the world

(b) There are times that is the thing to do, in all practicality that is because of

i) Blizzards

ii) Tornados

iii) You know, adverse weather

iv) And other things which preclude our venturing out

(c) However, there are also times when we must leave our houses and brave the world

i) Even under the most adverse conditions

b. Think of the boat as a safe place, like our houses

(1) Turn to Matthew 8:23-25

(2) Some preachers will tell you that the boat the disciples were in was about to sink

(3) But, the Scripture does not say that

(4) There was a time that the boat was being swamped and about to sink

Matthew 8:23-25 (NKJV)

Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. {24} And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. {25} Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!"

(a) Disciples, Christ, boat, storm

(b) This time the boat was being swamped

(5) But, in the other instance, there is no mention of the boat sinking

(a) There were at least four men on that boat that we know were experienced fishermen

i) Men who knew boats

ii) Four sailors

a) Andrew

b) Peter

c) James

d) And John

iii) Men who knew the sea of Galilee

iv) Their consternation was not the storm

v) It was seeing what they thought was a ghost

(6) No matter, the boat was safe place

(a) But, they were frightened by Jesus’ appearance

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