Saturday, June 9, 2012

Letting Go Of The Boat


Here's a sermon outline I really enjoyed sharing with folks!


Letting Go Of The Boat

22  Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matt 14:22-33 (ESV)

Thesis: To learn how to “walk on water” in order to live the life that Jesus desires.

Introduction:

(1) One week a bulletin listed next week’s sermon titles as:
A.M. – Jesus walks on water
P.M. – Searching for Jesus
(2) We know the story about this miracle of Jesus, but I want us to focus in on Peter as we make modern-day application:

Discussion:

I. WE MUST WAIT FOR THE LORD TO SAY "COME".

A. Peter asked the Lord to command him to come.
B. We must learn to discern between faith and foolishness.

II. WE MUST GET OUT AND LET GO OF THE BOAT.


A. The boat was Peter’s security blanket & comfort zone, but he had to leave it if he wanted to walk on water. He had to let go of it!

B. What is your security blanket? A Job? A Relationship? A Lifestyle? Etc.

C. The first step is the hardest. Illustration – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (3 tests along the way with the 3rd being the “Path of God”)

D. Consider this quote about the common cold of the soul according to Gregg Levoy:

To sinful patterns of behavior that never get confronted and changed,
Abilities and gifts that never get cultivated and deployed –
Until weeks become months
And months turn into years,
And one day you’re looking back on a life of
Deep intimate gut-wrenchingly honest conversations you never had;
Great bold prayers you never prayed,
Exhilarating risks you never took,
Sacrificial gifts you never offered
Lives you never touched,
And you’re sitting in a recliner with a shriveled soul,
And forgotten dreams,
And you realize there was a world of desperate need,
And a great God calling you to be part of something bigger than yourself –
You see the person you could have become but did not;
You never followed your calling.
You never got out of the boat.

III. WE MUST EXPECT THE STORMS OF LIFE.

A. Peter had to endure a storm.

B. The storms of life will come our way despite our being a Christian
(cf. 2 Tim. 3.12).
1. Think of the prophets and of Jesus Himself.
2. Eileen Guider wrote:
“You can live on bland food so as to avoid an ulcer, drink no tea, coffee, or other stimulants in the name of health, go to bed early, stay away from night life, avoid all controversial subjects so as never to give offense, mind your own business, avoid involvement in other people’s problems, spend money only on necessities and save all you can. You can still break your neck in the bath tub […]”

IV. WE MUST KNOW THAT JESUS IS STILL WITH US WHEN WE SINK.

A. Peter cried out to Jesus and Jesus rescued him.

B. Jesus is always there to deliver us.

V. WE MUST TRY AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.

A. Theodore Roosevelt once said:
It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena …who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. So that his place will never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

B. Examples:
1. Hank Aaron – leader in homeruns as well as strikeouts
2. Jonas Salk – failed 200 times before he found the polio vaccine
3. Abraham Lincoln – failed at public office 15 times before presidency

C. We must never quit trying.

VI. WE MUST REMAIN FOCUSED ON JESUS.

A. Peter sank when he shifted his focus from the Savior to the storm.

B. We must be continually “fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12.2a.).

CONCLUSION:

 (1) We are to be a people who walk by faith (2 Cor. 5.7).
(2) Dare to dream … take a chance. Get out and let go of the boat when Jesus calls you.