Summary: Why Jesus Taught People If They Want To See God Work in New Ways They Must Be Willing to do New Things (Matt 14:29-31)
Why Jesus Taught People If They Want To See God Work in New Ways They Must Be Willing to do New Things (Matt 14:29-31)
Illustration:He was born in Columbus, Ohio, 1890, the third of eight children. At eleven he quit school to help with the family expenses, and got his first full-time job at $3.50 per week. At fifteen he got interested in automobiles and went to work in a garage at $4.50 a week. He knew he would never get anywhere without more schooling, so he subscribed to a correspondence home study course on automobiles. Night after night, following long days at the garage, he worked at the kitchen table by the light of the kerosene lamp. His next step was already planned in his mind--a job with Frayer-Miller Automobile Company of Columbus.
One day when he felt ready, he walked into the plant. Lee Frayer was bent over the hood of a car. The boy waited. Finally, Frayer noticed him. "Well," he said, "what do you want?" "I just thought I’d tell you I’m coming to work here tomorrow morning," the boy replied. "Oh! Who hired you?" "Nobody yet, but I’ll be on the job in the morning. If I’m not worth anything, you can fire me." Early the next morning the young man returned to the garage. Frayer was not yet there. Noticing that the floor was thick with metal shavings and accumulated dirt and grease, the boy got a broom and shovel and set to work cleaning the place.
The rest of the boy’s future was predictable. He went on to a national reputation as a racing car driver and automotive expert. In World War I he was America’s leading flying ace. Later he founded Eastern Airlines. His name--Eddie Rickenbacker.
Bits & Pieces, December, 1989, p. 22ff.
1. Jesus knew that faith and obedience must be expressed in new actions for maturing believers. When the Lord Jesus invited Peter to walk on the water He said, "Come." Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus said, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matt. 14:29-31) Often new experiences require a higher level of faith and obedience.
Let the Lord show you greater things as you express a new willingness to venture in uncharted waters of relationships, ministries and obedience.
Illustration:Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again -- until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other.
William Booth in The Founder’s Messages to Soldiers, Christianity Today, October 5, 1992, p. 48.
2. Jesus honored people who risked shame, frustration and disappointment in coming to Him by faith. A Canaanite woman came crying to Jesus, "Lord, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession. The disciples said, ’Send her away’. The came and knelt before Jesus and said, "Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted. And her daughter was healed was healed from that very hour." (Matt. 15:22-28) Be willing to risk in order to see God work great things for you and your people.
Illustration:God our Father has made all things depend on faith so that whoever has faith will have everything, and whoever does not have faith will have nothing.
3. Jesus knew that people who are not willing to change risk losing everything. A rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor. And you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth." (Matt. 19:16,21)
Do not let your unwillingness to change cheat you out of the great things God wants to do in and through your life.
Illustration:Faith in God makes great optimists. Over in Burma, Judson was lying in a foul jail with 32 lbs. of chains on his ankles, his feet bound to a bamboo pole. A fellow prisoner said, "Dr. Judson, what about the prospect of the conversion of the heathen?", with a sneer on his face. His instant reply was, "The prospects are just as bright as the promises of God."
The Presbyterian Advance.
4. Jesus remembered how His Father in heaven told Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing." (Gen. 12:1,2) The Lord Jesus realized that all people are tempted to stay with what is familiar and secure, but God calls them to greater places throughout life.