Monday, February 20, 2017

February 21, 2017

"And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." Matthew 14:32-33

These disciples had devoted their lives to Jesus and had followed Him 24/7 for the last few years. They knew that He was the Son of God and yet only after they were delivered from the storm did they cry out in worship "Truly you are the Son of God!"

What was that about?

It is our final Lake Lesson - You worship God better after you weather the storm.

Faith is a collaboration between the head and the heart. To have faith you must gain knowledge in your mind, but you also have to apply that knowledge to daily living. You encounter God in the Scriptures to understand His will and His ways, but you also must prove Him in the everyday issues and experiences of living. If His truth doesn't provide solutions for daily life then why believe it?

These water-logged disciples knew Who He was. Who He was was the very reason they were following Him. They had heard the teachings and seen the miracles watched His life and felt His touch. Just prior to getting into the boat on the other side of the lake they had witnessed a miraculous feeding of thousands. BUT, when He came to them and rescued them in midst of a terrible storm, they came to know Him in a new way. What they had known in their heart worked in the need of their life.

It was in the throes of one of the fiercest storms of a stormy life that I came to a new understanding of Who Jesus is. I have worshiped Him better since. While the waves were tossing me and the winds had turned against me I challenged God, "If these things I have been teaching about and preaching about for years don't work for me, I am out!" When they did work for me, I got in like never before! When I cried out to God, "I have lost everything that matters to me, all I have is You." God responded, "What else do you need?"

Are you in the middle of a storm? Are you struggling to stay afloat? Is your mind wanting to doubt what you heart wants to believe? Is the storm inside you greater than the storm around you?

You are ripe for a Lake Lesson! You are about to know God in new ways as Jesus proves He is beyond belief, He is bigger than life! He knows where you are in the storm, He knows about the storm within you, He knows how to get to you, He is probably on the way right now, and when He gets there He will calm the storms. After He calms the storm you will believe stronger and worship better!

We worship better after we weather storm!

February 20, 2017

"When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus." Matthew 14:26-29

Storms have a way of getting our attention. I guess that is why we ave these lessons on the lake. So far we have learned:

Lake Lesson #1 - During the storm it helps to know that Jesus put you in the boat.

Lake Lesson #2 - Jesus prayed for you while you are steering the boat.

Lake Lesson #3 - Jesus knows where we are in the storm.

Lake Lesson #4 - Jesus know the perfect time to come to us in the storm.

Lake Lesson #5 - Jesus led them safely to their destination on the other side.

This morning I have another lesson for you. It is this: When In A Storm, Think Outside the Boat.

Because Jesus knew exactly where the disciples were and because He knew how to get there and because nothing could keep Him away, He came walking to them on the water! That's right! On the water through the storm!

If you were in a boat in a storm being blown by the wind and tossed by the waves, who would you most want to see? Jesus! Me too!

Well, He came walking on the waves through the wind and in the darkness. Apparently they weren't looking for Him because when He got in eyesight they thought they were seeing a ghost! They cried out in fear. What would you do?

Jesus called out to them so they would recognize Him. Peter did.

This is one of the points I want to make, we need to learn to look for Jesus in new ways. He is always doing new things and He loves to do them in new ways. Our tendency is to look for Jesus in the last place where He appeared to us. He rarely does that!

When you are in a storm things that work in calm weather don't always work. So, a storm can force you to think outside the boat and look for God in new ways and allow Him to come to you like He hasn't before.

If you are in a storm and the old things aren't working, think outside the boat! If you are looking for Jesus to move in the way He did last time, think outside the boat!

Also, thinking outside the boat will cause you to take some risks you have never taken before. Peter had never walked on water before. It had never occurred to him. Why would it?

But when he saw Jesus coming to them in the storm, he took a risk. He thought outside the boat and so he got outside the boat. Risky? Yes, but you know what? The boat was going to sink anyway as things were going! So maybe, getting out of the boat to go to Jesus wasn't that risky after all!

You may be just one big risk away from finding help in your storm.