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Summary: This sermon encourages people to take the next step necessary in following after God in every area of their lives.

Matt 14:22-33

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.

23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,

24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.

26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It’s a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid."

28 "Lord, if it’s you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

29 "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.

33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

(NIV)

INTRO: WE WANT GOD TO DO SO MUCH FOR US…WE DON’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING, LIKE NAAMAN…

TAKE THE NEXT STEP!!

The United States Women’s Softball team won the gold medal in Atlanta’s 1996 Olympic games. They lost only one game. In the fifth inning against Australia, Danielle Tyler hit a home run over the center-field fence. When she was greeted by a swarm of well-wishing teammates at home plate she let the excitement distract her focus and she did not STEP ON home plate. When all of the yelling subsided, the Australian team quietly appealed to the umpire who dramatically called Tyler out. Rather than scoring a run, Tyler’s blast over the fence netted her team an out. As it ended up,had she stepped on home plate, her team would have won 1-0. Instead, after seven innings of regulation play the game was tied at 0-0. In extra innings, Australia emerged with a 2-1 win and the U.S. team took their only loss of the Olympics. It’s not enough to hit a ball into the seats; you have to touch all of the bases as well.

DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE WALK…WORRY ABOUT THE NEXT STEP!

IN THIS CHRISTIAN WALK WE WANT TO SEE THE WHOLE PATH…

"God acts like a flashlight in our hand in the dark. If we try to shine it too far ahead, we stumble over the rock right at our feet. The best way to use a flashlight is to point it directly ahead, then take one step at a time and not try to see all the path at once."

1) STEP FORWARD

Deut 21:5

5 The priests, the sons of Levi, shall step forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the name of the LORD…

2) THE SEVENTH STEP OF SACRIFICE

2 Sam 6:13

13 When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf.

(NIV)

3) RUN WITH THE GOODS…STEP ASIDE

2 Sam 18:29-31

29 The king asked, "Is the young man Absalom safe?" Ahimaaz answered, "I saw great confusion just as Joab was about to send the king’s servant and me, your servant, but I don’t know what it was."

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