Summary: First sermon in series Get On Board.
Having the faith to follow
As we begin this new year I would like for us to embrace a thought pattern or to say it another way.
Let us here at WCC all be likeminded as press forward in our work for the kingdom of God. My goal today is to introduce a new campaign that we will be doing for the year.
“Get on Board” is the theme for the year and we shall focus on how we as followers of Jesus can be sure to Get on Board with a renewed sense of unity in all things this year. As you may have guessed this year will be built upon the “ship” theme. We will be talking about biblical ships such as relationships, fellowship, stewardship, and so on.
Today I want to begin with the ship of Discipleship.
Interestingly, for the first sermon on the Get on Board series is about a guy who jumped out of the boat!
Yes, we are going to talk today about Peter and his willingness to follow Jesus command to step out of the boat into the storm…lets read Matthew 14:22–33 to get us started. (Bible slides)
The first thing that has to happen before anyone can board a ship is a period of training.
There are rules for every vessel that must be learned and procedures that must be followed…
there is a captain and his orders are to be followed if the ship is to arrive at its destination safely.
Why is this so important?
First of all everyone has a responsibility…
someone must keep the engines running or sails in great shape…
someone must keep the ship clean (who wants to work on a filthy ship)…
someone must keep the crew fed (the most important member of the crew)…
then there is the crew members who are on lookout for danger…rocks…other ships…pirates…
and of course there are the storms…and seeing these dangers behand is essential
Because there are always storms on the horizon…
Pictures of the storms of life that come to us all…relationships, work, life is rough at times.
We face death and sickness…they can feel like a hurricane and can sink your ship if you’re not prepared.
Even when you are prepared they can really make life difficult and that is where the captain should shine in your life. He directs the crew to make the necessary adjustments for the crashing waves and seemly impossible winds.
The disciples struggled with high winds and waves (v. 24)
They didn’t just struggle they were terrified. Chances are they couldn’t swim very well…they thought they were going to die!
Jesus (the captain) came walking on the sea encouraging them (vv. 25–27)
Peter’s Challenge: “If it is you tell me to come…” (v. 28)
Can imagine the boldness it took to say “If it is you!”
Earthly captains would have thrown him overboard…but Jesus like all good captains takes the opportunity as a teaching moment…he offers an invitation.
The Invitation to Faith (v. 29)
“Come!” A word of invitation
There are more than 1900 invitations in the Bible
Consider some of the invitations of Christ
“Come to me … and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28)
Jesus inviting children to come (Matt. 19:14)
Jesus inviting the thirsty to come and drink (John 7:37)
All who come will be received (John 6:37)
Come to Jesus and submit to him being the captain of your life.
The Adventure of Faith (v. 29)
Peter coming down out of the ship
Peter’s knowledge of the sea as a fisherman he had a lifetime of experience where perhaps he had experiences with drowning companions and faced more than one storm…
He knew the treachery of the sea
There is something within us that loves adventure
Going over Niagara Falls in a barrel…
Mountain climbing, sky diving, car racing, space travel
Peter walks on the water and learns that Christ is Lord of all
The adventure of stepping out on God’s promises
In trusting God instead of man
In giving and not knowing how God will provide
In going and trusting the Lord to lead the way
The Adversaries of Faith (v. 30)
The wind was boisterous: your present circumstances
Have you had a troubled week?
Are you struggling with temptation? Fear? Grief?
Peter’s fears were adversaries of his faith
Fear and faith are opposites
General Lee: “Never take counsel of your fears”
As faith increases, fear decreases
The Resource of Faith (v. 30)
Peter prayed when all looked hopeless
It was a short, intense prayer
A prayer that recognized the power of Christ to answer
Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and saved Peter
With Jesus, it is safe to be weak and needy
It is so amazing to see how our weaknesses and excuses can be turned into an opportunity for the captain to teach us…this is why it is so important that you each get on board and invest your time into the training of Jesus.