Summary: A sermon from Jesus and Peter walking on the water from Matthew, preached in the weeks leading up to revival services.
In or Out?
Intro: Back on July 16, 2003 the US Coast Guard intercepted a group of Cubans attempting to escape that tropical paradise that was until recently under the dictatorship of Fidel Castro…they had hopes of finding a new home in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
While this is not an unusual situation, nearly 3000 people a year make it on shore in Florida each year…many more are turned away; what made this unusual was their mode of transportation.
Show slide: converted 1951 Chevy pickup truck, the truck’s drive shaft was attached directly to a propeller and the craft could reportedly reach a leisurely 8 mph with 55-gallon oil drums being used for flotation.
They got within 40 miles of the US before being turned back, so over half of the trip that is roughly 100 miles.
Not being content with that, they tried again less than a year later when they once again took to the high seas with hopes of coming ashore in the US of A.
In February 2004 they were once again pulled over, but not in a Chevy pickup again…this time it was a 1959 Buick (show slide).
This time they welded the car shut to make it water proof and rather than replacing the tires with floats, they left them intact along with the rest of the vehicle and added the boat accessories (including the prow).
Their goal was to reach Florida, remove the boat parts and drive off into the sunset.
When you want out of Cuba I guess you REALLY want out of there, no matter what!
Think it about it for a minute, what these people go through to get out of Cuba.
They will build a boat out of what ever they can, and for some a boat is not even necessary.
They will venture out into shark infested waters where they can also face possible heat stroke, storms and who knows what else in hopes of finding freedom here in the United States.
For them the chose is simple, stay in Cuba where there is no hope…or get out and find the freedom they so crave.
This morning we are going to begin a series of messages that I hope will prepare us for what will be taking place on April 20-23.
Pastor James Ross with Faith Baptist in Texarkana will be our guest speaker during that week that we have set aside for revival services.
Revival is a time for us to truly seek God, cry out to Him with all of our being and pray for a fresh touch from Him.
It is a time for us to decide to either stay in the status quo, or to get out and experience Him a new way.
This morning I want us to begin this by looking at another boat trip, this one is found in Scripture.
A group of men found themselves in a storm and then the unexpected took place…and it wasn’t the coast guard who showed up either.
Let’s read it together.
Read Matthew 14:22-36 and pray.
A lot going on at this time in the ministry of Jesus.
In Matt. 13 Jesus had been out and about teaching parables and showing people that the Kingdom of God is at hand and then followed that up by returning home to Nazareth.
It is there He said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown…”
And then we begin this chapter with Jesus hearing the news of his cousin, John the Baptist being murdered…but Jesus continued on in spite of the anguish I’m sure he felt.
In fact he preformed on of His biggest miracles on the heals of this news by feeding 5000 men, plus women and children with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish…a child’s lunch.
And now we see that Jesus sent his disciples out on a boat while He prayed alone.
They saw something or someone…
Must be a ghost…
Jesus spoke in vs. 27.
Peter responded in vs. 28…and we know how that went.
The option for Peter was to stay in or to get out.
He could continue in the status quo, or venture out into the great unknown that Christ called him into.
This morning I want us to consider 4 truths from our passage that I think are vital for us as we prepare for a time of revival in our lives and in the life of our church.
First of all…
1. Know who Calls
ILLUS: I love modern technology…you know what one of the best inventions of the last 15 years or so has been?
Caller ID…especially at dinner time.
When the phone rings and I look and it says “unknown number” or is a toll free number, I know I don’t need to answer it.