I love this series on the disciples and on The Twelve. It just shows that God can use ordinary people. How many of you enjoyed that message during this series? What I learned through life and what I really like about this series is learning that ordinary people are so messed up. Have you realized that in your life? Maybe you thought you were the only one that was messed up and then you got married and you just realized that it is everybody. They dress up during the week and come in on Sunday. You think everybody is kinda normal and they got it together and you don’t. You come to find out that everybody is messed up in some way. We have all got some kind of junk and some kind of stuff that we don’t think anybody else has, just us, and we are wondering how God can use us.
That is why I love the disciples. As Pastor Dino has gone through this series we have seen the junk that is in all the disciple’s lives. Phillip and Thomas were all the same. They had stuff in their life and they were not twelve blank pieces of paper that God just used. There was some stuff that He had to erase and deal with before he could write the story in their life that he wanted to write for them and it is the same with us. He wants to write a story in our life. There are things he has to deal with.
I am so glad that I was given these two disciples to speak on because I identify with them more than anybody else. Phillip was the ultimate realist. When I was reading about Phillip and Thomas I was seeing myself in them. I am not a loud mouth like Peter and some of the other stuff like James and John. I see my self in Phillip and Thomas because Phillip was a realist. Phillip believed that truth worked and if it didn’t work then it wasn’t true. I mean, if Phillip were to live today, the twenty first century of the United States, he would be an engineer at Exxon. He wants to see that everything adds up. He wants to see all the calculations and he wants to make sure the end result is right before he attempts anything. There is really nothing wrong with that except sometimes when he would start out from what works and then he would extrapolate truth from that. A lot of time he left very little room in his life for the supernatural. That is what God wanted him to see. How the supernatural could work in his life if he would just open up to it.
I love Phillip’s name. Phillip is the only disciple with a Greek name and his name means "lover of horses", which fit him perfectly because in the ancient world horses were a symbol of just getting things done. If you were going to go to war you had to have horses. If you had a field you had to plow then you had to have horses. If you wanted to get from point "A" to point "B" you had to have horses. We do the same thing. Guys, I do this but I have no idea what I am taking about, but when one of my friends gets a new car or a new truck or all that kind of stuff, I ask how much horse power does it have? Horse power is kind of a symbol of power. Now, I have no idea what that means or what I’m looking at when the hood is open. I’m like every guy, if my car breaks down, I open it up and I look inside it and I don’t know what it means and then I call Earl Rentz and he helps me out and that is Phillip. He was all about horse power. He was all about getting it done. None of this pie in the sky stuff for him. He wanted to know what really worked and he built his life on that. This is one of the guys that God chose.
If you have your Bibles, look in John, Chapter 6, because this is a great story. It really shows who Phillip was. John Chapter 6, verse 1. Look at what it says. It says, "Sometime after this Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee and that is the sea of Tiberius and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs that he had performed on the sick. Then Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him". Now you have got to get this picture. Jesus and his disciples had been doing ministry. Jesus pulls the twelve up on a mountainside to get alone, and teach just them for a little bit and then He looks out and sees this crowd coming toward him and this is not just a normal crowd. This is not just a few hundred people. The Bible says that in John 6, verse 10, it says that there were five thousand men. Now you add women and children to that. It is foreseeable that there were 15 to 20 thousand people. Can you imagine sitting with your friends and you look up and all of a sudden 15 to 20 thousand people are coming at you. Look at what Jesus did. He sees a crowd coming at him and he says to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?"
Now, I love this because all the disciples are there and Jesus could have asked any of the disciples that he wanted to but he chose Phillip. He said Phillip, do you see this huge crowd coming at us? Where are we going to get food for them to eat? I think He asked Phillip because he knew that Phillip had already been thinking about it. I mean Phillip is the realist. Phillip is the process person. Phillip is already, he saw it in his eyes, he is fogged out, he is not listening to a word that Jesus is saying while he is teaching because Phillip is trying to figure out how in the world are we going to feed all these people and he started to get it in his mind and you know he is mad because he thinks he is the only one who is thinking about it.
Have you ever done that? You know situations coming up in your day and you start thinking about conversations that you are going to have and I’ll probably say this and they will say this and they are not thinking about this and by the time you play out that thing in your mind you are mad at them, you are mad at the world, you are mad at everybody in their family and they haven’t said anything. I mean nothing has even happened. You have just worked yourself up in a fit and now you know it is going to go terrible.
And that is probably what Phillip has done. I mean, Phillip is standing there and he sees this crowd and he thinks, "Oh, Lord, I’ve told Jesus about this before. I’ve told Him that He keeps teaching and He keeps healing the sick and that is fine but every time He does that, more people follow us and you know it is, just, you know, it is not manageable, I mean we can’t handle the traffic flow. How many of you know what I am talking about? All these people keep coming to Jesus. There is going to be a traffic jam, there is going to be people hungry and he is mad because he thinks nobody else is thinking about it. I mean Peter is not thinking about it, because every since Jesus told him that he is in charge, he thinks he doesn’t have to do a thing except, you know, kinda correct the teaching and you know Bartholomew, bless his heart, he is a great guy, but he just doesn’t have it upstairs enough to think about stuff like this and Jesus is always talking about the kingdom of God and we are getting to the kingdom of God and the kingdom of God is coming and it is going to be great when it gets here, but right now we’ve got these 15,000 people to take care of and I’ve tried to tell Jesus before. You teach and you teach and you go on forever, they get hungry and they get in a bad mood and you wonder why at the end of all your teachings they want to stone you and kill you. It is because they have got hunger pains. If you would just think ahead a little bit.
And so he is running over all this in his mind, trying to figure all that out and then Jesus asks him, "Phillip, how are we gonna feed all these people?" Phillip just explodes. There is no way that we can do it and what Phillip did is what I find myself doing so often. Phillip just got so involved in the immediate situation that he never realizes that God had a chance to do something great through him. He just got so involved in his immediate surroundings.
That is where I see myself. Sometimes I think there is no world that exists outside my calendar and my to-do list. Is there anybody else outside of that? That is just all that you can see. We get so caught up in the moment and what’s going on and everything that is happening that we lose sight that there might be a chance in the middle of this frustration and all this craziness and all of this challenge that is in our life, there just might be a chance for God to do something through us that we never thought that we could do. Jesus is trying to get Phillip to see that and Phillip just doesn’t.
Here is the neat thing. Look at the next verse. Look at verse six. It says he asked this only to test him, talking about Jesus, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. You know Phillip didn’t think Jesus had a plan but Jesus had one. You know faith is not the lack of a plan. Faith is submitting to God’s plan. We can never use our faith as an excuse to not plan for something. That is laziness. We’ve gotta prepare. We’ve gotta be ready. Jesus was always doing that. God wants us to submit to His plan and in this situation there was a huge difference between God’s plan and Phillip’s plan. God’s plan began out of compassion. As soon as He saw this crowd He had compassion on them He knew they would be hungry. He wanted to feed them. He wanted them to keep coming to Him.
Phillip’s plan began out of frustration. Does anybody else kinda begin there? As soon as a situation pops up our first reaction is to get frustrated. That’s me. My first reaction is, oh, we can’t do it. There is no way it is going to work out. Why does Jesus put me in this spot? Why does this crowd show up then? Why are they looking to us to feed them? Why can’t they feed themselves? Why can’t the disciples help me out? Phillip is already just starting out just frustrated, and a lot of times I see myself doing the same way. You know God’s plan starts out with this thought. How could God use me? How can God use me in this situation? Great challenge, huge problem, out of my control, crazy life, there is no way it is going to add up. I wonder what God is going to do in this situation? That is how God’s plan always starts. You know what Phillip’s plan is? How can I get back to my life? How can I get back to this interruption? How can I get away from this interruption? How can I deal with that and then get back to the life that I want to live? It is so interesting when Christians think that way. You know, how can I just, you know, get away from these hurting people and get back to loving Jesus. You can just imagine that probably at this moment Jesus is teaching on compassion, love, and reaching out to other people and Phillip is all into it. He is listening to it and then all of a sudden this crowd just pops up and it is a chance for him to live out everything that he has just been hearing and everything that he says he believes, but his first thought is, OK, how can I take care of this problem and then get back to my real life?
You know the last thing I want to think about is the difference in their plans. God’s plan always makes the world a better place. That is what He is all about. He is all about making the world a better place and Phillip’s plan is all about making his life more manageable and comfortable, because Phillip just couldn’t see what was going on. He was too caught up in his surroundings.
Look at how he answers Jesus. Look in verse 7. It says, "Phillip answered Him and said eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have one bite." I love that verse for a couple of reasons. One is you can see he has done the calculations. He just doesn’t say I don’t think we can do it. He has already known, ok, eight months, one bite, we could break the bread in half, bushels, and no, we can’t do it. He has already done all the calculations. You know what is interesting? He answers this question as if Jesus was not even there. I mean he has seen Jesus raise the dead. He has seen Jesus turn the water into wine. He is following Him because he believes that He is the Messiah that the scriptures promised. He has all the right thoughts in his head but when it really comes down to it -- he answers Him as though Jesus wasn’t really there.
That’s where I see myself in Phillip. I go to church, I am a Christian, I use all the right language and man I’m worshipping, Lord I’ll do anything for you, I’ll go anywhere. Somebody’s preaching on faith and I am writing it down. I can do all things through Christ. Oh, that is good. I am journaling, I got the devotional and all that kind of stuff and then an opportunity comes out of the blue for me to put into practice everything that I say that I believe and then what I really believe comes out. What I found that Phillip did, and I do this a lot to my wife, I just kind of compartmentalize. You know I have Jesus time, but then there is real life. You know I have Jesus in my life and I acknowledge Him and I honor Him but what I find out is that Jesus Christ didn’t really change my schedule much at all or my faith in Christ didn’t really change the way I act whether it is in business dealings or in my social life or around my family. Or He hasn’t changed my priority. That all the things that I thought were important before I gave my life to Christ are really still important to me now. Now, I might give you a different list if you ask me than I used to would give you, but if you look at my commitment, you look at my schedule; you look at the things that are really priority in my life. What I find is that when Jesus came into my life He did not really change my priorities all that much. He didn’t really change the way I think or should I say this. I didn’t allow Him to change the way I think. I kinda give honor to Him and when it is Jesus time, and you know what Jesus time is, Jesus time is before you have dinner, when you bless the food. Jesus time is Sunday morning. Jesus time is when somebody asks you what you believe or you kinda see something on television about how they are taking the Ten Commandments out of the courthouse. Jesus time pops up and we say all the right things, use all the right phrases, and it is weddings and funerals. It is when we see the preacher at a restaurant afterward. I was thinking about this and I do the same thing and just probably in different areas.
When I was in seminary and I wasn’t a pastor or anything and I was real involved in a church and I was talking to this girl one day on a Wednesday night. She was just telling me, man God is showing me this and God is showing me this and God is doing all this kind of stuff in my life and I am like man, that is great. And about three days later I see her at the mall. This was back at a time in my life that I wasn’t scared to death of a mall. I saw her at the mall and I am not kidding you, if you do any of these things -- it was just a funny situation for me. She is sitting with her friend and they are both smoking cigarettes. She sees me walk up, and the first thing she does is put her cigarette behind her back. I kinda walk up and I am like, hey, how are you doing? She was so flustered that she couldn’t even remember my name. She is trying to introduce me to her friend and her friend is talking and cussing the whole time she is talking. It didn’t bother me, but it really bothered her because she is sitting there like this (gesture with eyes flicking) trying to tip her off without tipping me off, because this is not real life and her friend is over here, who doesn’t understand Jesus time, looking at her like why are you saying those things and you are going to burn your shirt. She is trying to figure this stuff out, and it was so funny because she just got busted in talking one way and living another, and hers kinda got brought out to light.
I find in my life that it is the same thing. I mean, sometimes it is more subtle, sometimes God allows me to hide it a little bit from others but I find out that real life, the way I am at work, the way I am at home, the way I am in my social life, doesn’t match up with the things I say I believe. I’m not just talking about, you know, sin and all that kinda stuff and being a hypocrite, but I am talking about speaking faith, speaking possibility, speaking I want to reach the world, I want to make a difference. Then opportunities for me to make a difference pop up and I don’t take them.
You know one of the things I found that causes it in me is because I love to read about heroes. I love to read about people that changed history. I watched a movie this week about Martin Luther and I wanted to change the world. I wanted to go to Germany and change Germany but he already changed it. People on my staff that I talk to are tired of hearing quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. because that is all I pull out. I love to read about people like that. I always felt like, God just prepare me for that day when you use me to change the world.
Have you ever thought about that? You have been watching the news and you think if I ever got to speak to the President this is what I would tell him. If I got to speak to the nation or to the world, I got a message to the nation. All things are possible but you will probably never speak to the President. I will never speak to the President. I don’t ever see that in my future, and you will never get to. Most of us will never be on television in front of millions of people saying this is God’s will for your life. You need to turn or burn and all that kind of stuff. (laughter) That will never happen, so I spend my life (and this is what I think Phillip was doing, I mean Jesus was teaching on the kingdom of God and it is like a mustard seed was planted and a big tree grows and it is expanding) thinking we have got to bring the kingdom of God to earth. Then an ordinary opportunity for him to live the kingdom of God pops up and he doesn’t take advantage of it, because he is waiting for the big opportunity and the truth is most of us never get the big opportunity. Most of us will never speak to thousands. Most of you who are college students will never have the ear of the LSU college campus. You will never have a lot of your work place in one spot where you can tell your testimony and they will just shut down work because they will all get saved. There will never be that one time but there is going to be hundreds of ordinary moments every single day to speak to those that work right next to you, to talk to those that are your friends that you have conversations with every day. There are hundreds and thousands of opportunities right there in my home, in front of my wife, and my children so that the kingdom of God can be real in my life and God can use me to do extraordinary things in ordinary moments. See, it is not just God using ordinary people. God uses ordinary moments and He wants everything that we believe and everything that is inside of us to come out.
If you look at the Bible, that is the way Jesus lived his life. In one of the greatest conversations with the woman at the well happened because Jesus was tired and he just sat down and no one else was there. It wasn’t on His agenda but she showed up and He talked about being a worshipper in spirit and in truth that has changed our lives so much. You think about when Jesus is teaching about the kingdom of God and they are moving toward Jerusalem and then a crowd just shows up, totally unannounced, totally unexpected and that is where we find out if we are going to react out of frustration or are we going to react out of compassion. Are we going to figure out how can I get rid of this interruption and get back to my life or how can God use me to have the Holy Spirit present in this situation to change somebody’s life. How can I make my life more manageable, get my schedule under control, get all this under control or how can God use me to make the world a better place with one single act.
You know what is neat? Out of all the disciples there -- who does God use in this situation? Look in chapter 6, verse 8. It says, "Another of His disciples, Andrew, who was Simon Peter’s brother spoke up and said, ’Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’ and Jesus said, ’Have the people sit down’, and there was plenty of grass in that place and the men sat down about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish and when they had all had enough to eat, He said to the disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over and let nothing be wasted" Isn’t it interesting that you can plan and have faith at the same time? "So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with pieces of the five barley loaves left over and by those who had eaten."
You know it is so interesting? Here is all the disciples and Phillip can’t be done; Andrew, hey, this is what we got and what can you do with that? and one little boy, who you know his mama packed his lunch because he could not think that far ahead. As he was walking out the door, baby have you got lunch? I don’t need lunch mom. She has packed it. Here, take this, you are going to need it. How many of your moms told you to take something with you and you were glad that you had it later on down the road but you would not tell her when you got back home. You would not do that. You know how this little boy was. There came a point when they realized there was no food, there was a huge crowd and this little boy gave his lunch to Jesus.
Now, here is the thing. It is one thing to talk about the faith and it is one thing to say God, how can you use me in this situation and it is another thing when they ask you for your lunch and you are hungry, because if you are like me, you’re in a bad mood when you are hungry. I mean fasting is a huge deal for me because I gotta pray number one, that God will speak to me and number two, that me and my wife do not get divorced in that period of time because I will turn into a bear. I think about this little boy that he not only thought how can God use me, he responded when he had to give up everything that he had knowing that God can take the little bit that he had, feed everybody around him, and return to him more than he started out with and that is the faith that God was trying to get Phillip to have in this situation. To realize that in an ordinary moment, just an ordinary conversation that maybe you won’t even remember or other people will remember later on that God can use that to do just incredible things. That is the key to discipleship.
Then there is Thomas. Thomas is just a doubter. I mean there is no realist; there is no process and all that kind of stuff. Thomas just doesn’t believe. You tell something to Phillip and Phillip is like, I’m not sure we can get that done, we will see and all that kind of stuff. Thomas is just like, no, I don’t believe that. I don’t believe what you are saying. Look in John, chapter 20. A great story. I am sorry, yes, John chapter 20. And of course this is the famous story of Thomas, doubting Thomas. This is after Jesus has died on the cross and he has been resurrected. He appeared to the disciples once but Thomas wasn’t there. There was only ten of them. In verse 24 it says, "Now Thomas, called Didemas, one of the twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came, so the other disciples told him, ’We have seen the Lord’, but he said to them ’Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were and put my hand into his side, I will not believe’. A week later His disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked Jesus came and stood among them and said, ’Peace be with you’ and then He said to Thomas, ’Put your finger here. See my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side.’ Look how direct He is with Thomas. ’Stop doubting and believe.’" And then Thomas said a great line, "My Lord and my God". No explanation; just fell to his knees. "Then Jesus said to him, ’Because you have seen me you have believed, but blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe,’ and Jesus did many more miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples which are not recorded in this book."
I want you to look at verse 31, because it is really the key verse in this whole passage. "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in His name." You know the whole reason that John wrote his book and this is why that verse is so important to the whole book, but he ends it with the same thing. John wrote his whole book so that people would believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, that He died for their sins so they could have eternal life in heaven which is John 3:16, and abundant life here on earth which is John 10:10, and that He rose from the dead and that is the only way to have eternal life. That is the whole theme of John’s book.
In fact if you do a little word search on the computer or whatever you will find that the words "believe" and "eternal life" are in the book of John more than Matthew, Mark or Luke all put together.
You know what is interesting? This book that is written all about believing in the Son of God for eternal life is the only book that talks about Phillip and Thomas. Matthew, Mark and Luke just mention their names and keep going, but John, wanted us to believe is the whole reason of the book and you have got to know this. Everything we do at Healing Place Church, all of the services, all of the outreaches, all of the life groups and the classes and the technology, all of that is to get more people to believe that Jesus Christ and His death are the only way to eternal life. Everything we do is for that, but we realize that like Thomas, there are some people that just don’t believe and some of them, you know, don’t believe because they just want to figure it all out. They have got it all in one box and box it up so they can see the big picture.
That is kinda how I am. For a long time in my life I just wanted to know where did Cain get his wife, how did Noah get all those animals into the ark, and I wanted to know how all details fit in the big picture because I wanted to understand God before I obeyed Him and then I finally figured out I don’t even understand my wife. I definitely don’t understand my two year old little son. The culture of America and the twenty first century is less like ordering off the menu and it is more like going to Piccadilly. I mean you just kind of get your tray of philosophy and religion and God and you know I will take some of this and I’ll take one of those and it is just kind of a dilly plate religion. You just pick what you want. They are not against Jesus. They love Jesus. They put Him on the shelf right there with Buddha and Confucius and Mohammed, New Age, or whatever philosophy that they have and they just can’t believe that there is really only one way to heaven, but we know that. because Jesus said that there was. In the book of John He says I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by me.
I love what C.S. Lewis says. C.S. Lewis was one of the great doubters of the twenty first century that became one of the great men of faith and he said that you can’t have this stuff of Jesus being a great human teacher, because either He was the Son of God and is the Son of God or He was a lunatic, on the level of what C.S. Lewis says, that somebody claims to be a poached egg or he was a demon of hell. He says you can worship Him, you can shut Him up as a fool, you can spit on Him and kill Him as a demon or you can fall at your feet and worship Him as Lord of God, but none of this stuff about Him being a great human teacher because Jesus did not leave that option open to us and He never intended to. The Bible tells us that there is only one way.
There are a lot of people....it is not really a philosophical thing at all....some people just don’t trust the messengers because of the messengers that have brought the gospel, they don’t believe the gospel. I have to be honest. Sometimes I am on their side. Sometimes I see people, whether it is a preacher on TV or a preacher in just some church or somebody in their job or somebody in their family that what they say doesn’t line up with what they do and because of that people have rejected the truth and there is no great answer for that, no great explaining all this away except to understand that the counterfeit is only popular when the real thing is valuable. We need to remember that.
You know I thought about sunglasses because I always like to have sunglasses around in my car, but I know that whatever pair that I have my son is going to tear up in a week’s time. He loves to wear them, he loves to bend them, he likes to see if they go the other way and so I am not spending a lot of money on sunglasses because I know they are not going to last, so I go to one of those little stores in the mall, you know what I am talking about, where they are like $7.50 or $10 and they got the sunglasses and underneath they have what those sunglasses look like. You know, Calvin Klein, Nikki, Hugo Boss...all that kind of stuff. And the fake has become popular because the real is so valuable and we need to get people to understand that.
I really believe that there are a lot of people that don’t believe the gospel just because they have been hurt. It has nothing to do with philosophy, nothing with the Bible, nothing with religion; it is just that they have been victimized by nature or a loss in the family.
Maybe it was by somebody that claimed to be a Christian. Maybe it was somebody that was close to them and they can’t understand that a God who could let those things happen to them could promise them true life on the other side. You know when I was in school I looked into the problem with evil and suffering and all that kind of stuff and there is no good answer out there. There is no answer out there that satisfies me except for this. I don’t know why it happened and I don’t know how it all happened, but I do know that God doesn’t sit on the throne far away, very comfortable and sit down and watch all these bad things happen to us. Whatever happened to us happened to Him as well, because He knows what it is like to be beaten and to be abused. He knows what it is like to be rejected by those who are close to Him, even betrayed by His inner circle. He knows what it is like to have those that claim to be the spokes person for God dehumanizes Him as a heretic, and He even knows what it is like to come to the point where you think God has forgotten you and cry out on the cross, "God, why have you forsaken me?" Somehow in the middle of the greatest tragedy, Jesus Christ defeated it and brought a resurrection life and a life that is beyond any other life that we could ever experience. I don’t know how it happens but somehow in the tragedies of our life, Jesus Christ is present there in our darkest, most difficult places and He can bring a life out of that that we could never have imagined.
There is no explaining it and I don’t understand it but I do know this, that doubt is perfectly ok. God does not mind it. There is a lot of doubt in the Bible. People doubted. We have to understand that it is not about the thoughts in our head. It is about the motivation in our hearts and our obedience to His word. Faith is really just about stepping out when we don’t understand and so I could explain this to you but there is somebody that can do it better so why don’t you check out the video and watch Pastor Dino.
(Video-Dino in the LSU Aquatic Center): Hey, this is Dino and I am here at LSU in the amazing Aquatic Center. This is where swimming and diving records are set and broken and I am about to climb the steps to this diving platform. When I was a surfer when I was younger, you would think that diving would not be a big issue for me, but actually there is only two parts of diving that I don’t like. That is going up and then it is coming back down, but remember being a spectator is a whole lot safer, so let’s go dive in. (Climbs pool ladder to the top). Now that is high. My wife knows.... (Unable to distinguish) wouldn’t be good. You know a lot of us are afraid of the climb. I found that it is easier to climb one step at a time. As you take those individual steps you will find that you will get higher and higher just that one step at a time. Sometimes that is the key to faith. Don’t try to take it all at once, just keep trusting one step at a time and before you know it you are there. (Goes out on board and looks down) Oh, man, man, this is something else. This is way up in the air. A few of us have a fear of heights, including myself. It can be scary being up so high and yet feeling all alone. The key is not to look down because when you look down you get scared. On the edge.
This is where Jesus took the twelve. He invited them to come and follow Him to a place of absolute trust and like the twelve most of us are scared of the unknown. The real test of your faith is that leap. The key to the leap is just to do it. See, there comes a time when you just have to believe even when you don’t understand, just take God at His word and then you go for it. We are going to go for it.
(Dino jumps from board into the pool, raises hand in victory and swims to edge of pool and climbs out). Whoo! That was wild. The disciples struggled with their faith also. Thomas is known as doubting Thomas because he was afraid to take the leap of faith, to dive into belief, but after Jesus returned to heaven Thomas was one of the most faith filled of all the apostles. He took the gospel all the way to India and because of that he was martyred. What Thomas was once afraid to believe became the faith he was willing to die for. He took God at His word and He made his life count. Let me put it this way. God is willing and He is able to handle all the issues of your life. You just need to trust Him and obey Him. Dive into discipleship. (Video ends)
You know what I thought about as pastor was doing that video? I am the same way. I am so scared of heights. Just always have been and still am and when I was a kid, mom and dad gave me swimming lessons. So we would take lessons and every week at the end of the lesson, they would want us to jump off the diving board. There were two diving boards. One that was about this high off the pool and then there was one that was way up here. Every week I would tell my mama, my dad and all my friends that this week I am going off the high diving board. This week I am doing it and sometimes I would even get in line but something would always happen right before I got to the edge, I would come over here and get off the little one. In fact one time I didn’t even dive at all. I just kinda snuck around in the bathroom and waited until they were all finished and came out and just pretended like I did something like that. But, what always happened to me is that I would kinda go or whatever and then I would sit on the side and watch all of my friends doing the thing that I always wanted to do. There finally came a point in my life where I decided that I was not going to let anything stop me from living the life that God intended me to live, and I was tired of reading about these people, and I was tired about watching people live the life that I knew God had for me, live the life that I had always wanted but doubt or something inside of me just stops me from doing that.
You know the funny thing is that later on in college, I got a job putting up billboards. I was scared to death the whole time, but I decided I was not going to let this stop me anymore. I thought about diving. There is so much to that. You have got to put the uniform on, you have to climb up the stairs, you have to get in whatever the diver’s position is and do all this stuff. You just there, but there is one thing and if you don’t do it, it is really not diving, and that is taking the leap and how many times have I talked the talk, I’ve thought it, I’ve pumped myself up, I’ve gone ninety nine percent of the way, but when I got right to the edge of what God wanted me to do, I was afraid to jump. I was afraid to take the leap.
You see a lot of times we feel like until we understand God, until we understand what he is doing in our life, until we get all of the answers, then we can’t obey Him. The truth is just the opposite. You will never understand God. You will never understand what He is doing in your life until you obey Him, and faith is a step. Faith is action. You are still going to have doubts, you are still going to have fear, you are still going to have scared, you are still going to be concerned but God wants you , like this little boy to risk having nothing and take what you have and out it in God’s hands and see what He can do with it.
I know every single person here, if you will really listen to your hearts, God has spoken something to you. Maybe it is that you need to give your life to him for the first time. You have been around church, you have been around Christians, you have been around the language and the talk but you have never taken that leap of faith or maybe it is letting God use you in the ordinary moments of your work and you home and your business or maybe God is wanting you to launch out into something and you have always been afraid and you are going to do it tomorrow but you just don’t understand today. God is wanting you to dive in. I want to pray that God will give you strength and courage to step out in everything that God has for you.