Summary: We may live a life of Christian comfort with friends and fellow church members until one day God calls us from our everyday existance into His extra ordinary service.
Who Needs A Boat? - Mark Aarssen May 2004
My friends I want to talk today about stepping out.
I don’t mean out to dinner or out on the town but stepping out in faith.
Has there been a time when you were a witness to one of God’s miracles?
A time when you stood and watched in absolute amazement as God intervened?
Did that experience inspire you?
Maybe it was the birth of your first child or the miraculous healing of a friend or family member.
Maybe it was something very big in your life or someone who was close to you.
Chances are you have been a witness to such miracles such intervention.
We don’t talk much about miracles today we are so technologically advanced.
We see the miracles of modern science and medical science and are in wonder of just what can be accomplished today.
I want to leave science, medicine and technology aside for now and concentrate on the divine.
There is a heavenly miracle that is produced through divine inspiration.
It is what is known as a calling.
Jesus is calling us to be present and in some cases to be very much a participant during these miracles.
We have countless examples of such miracles in our bibles.
Obviously the greatest example is Jesus upon the cross, who demonstrates His faith through His sacrifice, saying “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.
With unrestrained love Jesus extends forgiveness to his executioners and to a fellow condemned man. Jesus did all this while being unjustly tried and convicted of our sins.
Just what was it that empowered Jesus to demonstrate such miraculous love?
It was His divine love for mankind and love for the Father to see the reunification of man with the Father made possible only through His selfless act.
So we learn that “Divine Love” is the power that equips us to demonstrate and exercise a miraculous faith that leads to answering a calling.
Do you remember when you were last moved by that power?
Maybe the Holy Spirit called you to witness to someone or visit someone.
Maybe you made a personal sacrifice of time or money or personal comfort.
Maybe you were so moved by a spiritual message that it called you to get out of your seat and step forward at a church service or retreat.
Maybe you have never been called by such miraculous faith as to be moved in any direction.
What does it take to call a person to this kind of miraculous faith?
Let’s see what scripture has to say.
14:24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
What does it take to move a person to exercise this kind of miraculous faith?
We see that it takes Christ’s example and calling. It takes a love for God’s calling.
I love this story for I too have shared a walk on the water similar to Peter’s.
Yes it is true, it was many years ago and I was a much younger and more adventurous man. I didn’t do any walking that night but I did experience the boat ride.
I truly know what kind of fear Peter experienced that dark night so long ago. I was a young man on the police force and had gone on vacation with three other buddies. It was a typical spring fishing trip. We were out on an unfamiliar lake and got caught in a fierce storm. There was lightning, thunder and rain. There were also huge white capped waves tossing us like a cork in a bottle. We fought helplessly for about an hour and then destruction came. Our boat struck the rocky bottom and a massive hole broke through our craft. We sank into the icy water clinging to the submerged boat. By God’s grace we were discovered and saved.
Looking at Peter we find him in the company of his friends and fellow believers much the way we are gathered here today except that they were in a boat and not a building.