Summary: Jesus wants us to get out of the boat (our comfort zones) and walk on the water (extreme discipleship). This message also includes a report of our recent Costa Rica Mission Trip.
IT’S TIME TO GET OUT OF THE BOAT!
Jesus said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15).
• The past nine days, we did that with a team we took to Costa Rica.
COSTA RICA SLIDE SHOW:
• The trip was all about being stretched by God, taking leaps of faith, and growing in Him.
• We want to give a huge thank you and God bless you to everyone who supported us:
• “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your PARTNERSHIP in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Phil. 1:3-5).
• Every salvation, deliverance, healing and life transformed is a credit to your account…
“22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
• The boat represents the journey of our lives. We need to realize that Jesus has called us to go to the other side. We might be in the middle of a storm, we’re not where we once were, and we’re not where we’re going to be. But we know that God who began a good work in us will complete it (Phil. 1:6) and He’ll get us to the other side.
23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
• Sometimes when we’re in the boat, journeying through life’s storms, it seems like Jesus is far away. But we need to remember that even when He’s not in the boat with us, He’s watching us – He sees, He knows, and He cares about what we’re going through.
24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
• Is this where you’re at in life right now? You’re in the middle of a storm, you can’t see the other side yet, and you feel like you’re going to sink?
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.
• Jesus could have come to the disciples at any time: They got into the boat before 6:00 pm. The first watch was from 6-9; the second watch was from 9-midnight; the third watch from midnight to 3 am; the fourth watch from 3-6 am. Jesus didn’t come until after 3 am. Why didn’t He come before the storm, or shortly after it started?
• We need to remember that Jesus may not always be early, but He’s never late.
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.
• Sometimes when we’re having problems, Jesus comes to us, but we may not recognize Him because He’s coming in a new and a different way.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."
• When the disciples were in a storm, Jesus came to bring joy and peace to them.
• Jesus said, “It is I.” In the Greek, He said, “I AM.” The Hebrew name for God!
• The disciples received a revelation of Jesus in the storm that they might not have received on a calm sunshiny day.
• Do you know what the number one commandment in the Bible is? Not loving God (Jesus said that was the greatest commandment). But the commandment repeated more than any other is: “Fear not. Do not be afraid.” 366 times in the Bible – one for every day of the year (including leap year!). Why did God repeat that command? Because He knew that we would be worried and afraid.
28 And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
• I love Peter. He was the wild, reckless and impetuous disciple. He’s the one who, when Jesus said He was going to the Cross to suffer and die, Peter said, “No Lord!” Jesus had to rebuke him and say, “Get behind me Satan.” Peter is the one who cut off a guy’s ear with his sword when they came to arrest Jesus to take Him away to be crucified.
• Here Peter had a little more wisdom and asked Jesus for a command before jumping out of the boat. He knew if Jesus called him to come, Jesus would enable him to do it.
• “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13).
29 So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.