God has, at times, called me to risky things, how do you know if it’s God? What do you do if you feel that way? Tune in to get some insight and see how God is calling us all to something risky! Help us advance the Kingdom, support our online ministry (harmonychurch.cc/give). Got kids? Check out Harmony Kids online (updated weekly) https://www.harmonychurch.cc/harmony-kids-online/!
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OPENING ILLUSTRATION: I have a really good buddy who used to work in a coffee shop. He said, he was working one day and Weird Al came into his coffee shop, you all know who Weird Al is, right? Only the most prolific musician of the past 30 years. If you don’t know, look him up. But he’s famous, right? My buddy is a HUGE Weird Al fan. So, Weird Al comes into the coffee shop and my buddy is star-struck! As he walks up to the counter, my buddy gets all nervous and he’s like, “Weird Al, what can I get you?”Weird Al says, “Do you have soy milk?”My buddies like, “anything for you Weird Al…” and he goes to work looking for the soy milk…He comes back to the counter and says, “Here ya go, Weird Al…” Weird Al looks at him and says, “I said do you have a phone book…” Ha…They didn’t have one and so my buddy said, “No, we don’t have one…” and weird Al walked out the door…My friend said he wanted to yell after him, “I’m sorry for failing you weird Al!” ha…
We’ve all been there, right? So worried about getting it right, that we end up getting it wrong…
I’ve had presentations that I’ve worked overtime on, know the material inside and out and get up there and just blow it
Have you ever felt this with God?
Felt like He’s asking you to do something, only to do it and feel like it’s all falling apart?
Or maybe you felt like you were supposed to do something but you were too afraid to take the step?
Today, I want us to look at learning to walk into risk with God…
Because, here’s the deal, I’m up here talking all the time about our mission advancing the Kingdom by living for God and loving people all the time, I know you are thinking about how to live that out in your life…
but I’m also aware that means you are going to feel some uncomfortable moments by choosing to live out that mission
-You are going to come against moments at work where you feel compelled to Advance the Kingdom but are worried it could put your job in danger-You are going to be coaching a little league team and have a kid ask you a question that you want to answer with the Gospel and be worried about the implications-You are going to feel like God is calling you to start inviting your neighbors over for a meal once a week and you’re worried about a million different things – will they come, will they think we’re weird, what will we do?
Living on mission means learning to live outside of what’s comfortable, so how do you do that?
I want us to look at a moment from the life of Jesus and Peter- Jesus’ cousin, John B has just been put to death by Herod-Jesus has gone away to be by himself with His boys-but the crowds know where He is, and they get to where He’s going ahead of time…-A huge crowd forms – 5,000 men (likely over 10,000 people or more with women and children – Rupp Arena can seat 23,500)-Jesus feeds the crowd with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish…-Finally, Jesus is able to dismiss the crowd, He puts his disciples in a boat and he goes up on a mountain to be by Himself and pray…This is the story as Matthew tells it:
Matthew 14:22-3322 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. Later that night, he was there alone, 24, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.25 Shortly before dawn 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.”
ILLUSTRATION: A few years ago, a few of my kids and I went Kayaking on a lake. It was super windy and we had overshot the alcove we were supposed to turn into for our campsite. We had gone clear to the other end of the lake with the wind at our back when I saw the boat dock and realized we were in the wrong place. We turned around and were paddling against the wind – 3-foot waves buffeting us, I tied a rope onto one of the kids’ kayaks and was pulling them with mine. My kids are saying, “Dad, can we just stop and go to shore?” I was like, “If we stop we die!” Literally, we had been out there for hours and they were telling me they were so tired they just wanted to fall asleep. Finally, we see this pontoon boat with Jenni waving her arms – she had tracked someone down to get her out on the water to look for us because we had been gone so long…
The disciples are out on this lake and it’s a battle, they are getting nowhere… they know this water, they know these storms. They know what’s at stake.
Mark saysMark 6:48a [DEAN – notice I’m not showing the entire verse here]48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn, he went out to them, walking on the lake.
Jesus has gone out to them because He realizes they are in trouble, they’ve been at this all night, something that should have taken them only a few hours or so…
What I’m about to read to you is only recorded in Matthew…I actually picture Matthew reading Mark’s account and being like, “dude, you missed some of the best parts…”
and so, Matthew, who is an eyewitness of this event tells us something that neither Mark nor John chooses to put in there…
They see Jesus walking up to them, feel like it’s a ghost they are seeing and Peter says this…
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
Ever said something you immediately regretted?Lol?I don’t know what Peter was thinking but I love his bravery
Tell me to come and I’ll come
and Jesus says…29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus.
Now, before I read the next part, can we just stop here for a moment and camp out?
Peter is in the middle of a terrifying situation. He opens the door for Jesus to call him. Jesus calls and Peter steps…
Think about this for a moment…
Think about those places where you are worried about walking into the riskiness of following Jesus…
Jesus, are you calling me to share with my coworker? Are you calling me to talk to the kids on my ball team? Are you wanting me to invite my neighbors over?
Peter doesn’t step out of the boat first, his first step was to ask Jesus if He was calling him…
I firmly believe that God rewards risk-takers, but not dumb risk.
Peter walking on the water wasn’t dumb because Jesus called him to walk…
Start saying to God, “are you calling me? Cause I’ll walk if you tell me to walk”
A few things to mention here:
- God will never call you to do something that contradicts scripture
- If you are struggling to hear God in “this,” ask for counsel from Christians who have exhibited the ability to walk in faith through risky things with God
- When in doubt, take a step – NOTHING has been done for God that did not feel risky at the outset
listen to what happened when Peter took that step 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.”
Some of you are thinking, “well, Kent, that’s not very encouraging, Peter fell in… you just told us to take a step…”
Don’t let the fact that Peter sunk keep you from the realization that he walked on water!
Do you know which of the other disciples did this? None of them!
The guy with the story is always the guy willing to step
Can I say that again? The guy with the story is always the guy willing to step
I think this is why Matthew tells us – It’s not a story of Peter failing, it’s a story of Peter trying
It reminds me of the parable of the talents – a King gave money to several of his stewards… two of them invest the money and double it. But the third guy buries it and the money so he can give back exactly what the king gave him. The King says, “at least put it in a bank and get some interest…”
It was those who had that are rewarded, the guy who doesn’t have, even what he has is taken from him….
Because God would rather you risk something for the Kingdom
What is it God is calling you to? Who is He calling you to?
We are about to celebrate the riskiest thing I’ve ever heard of
– Jesus coming out of Heaven to risk his life to rescue yours…
Someone out there today has felt like Peter sinking into the water, you need Jesus to reach out and catch you. Today is your day.
He has been waiting to pull you out of the water of life and set you on firm ground… Come to Him, come!