January 19

Bible Reading: Matthew 14

Matthew 14:28-33, “And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’.”

I’ve come close to drowning a couple of times in my life.  Once, as a child when I fell into the Little Deschutes River and was being swept downstream by the current.  My Mom cried out and my dad rushed into the waters to save me.  On a future occasion, my drift boat flipped and tossed my friend and I into the cold November waters of the Necanicum River.  I remember looking up to the surface, wondering how long I’d be underwater.  Fortunately, I survived that ordeal as well.  Peter had his own near-drowning experience.  What can we learn from his experience?

Mere men cannot walk on water.  The laws of gravity and surface tension prohibit such a thing.  But Jesus, the Son of God, is not bound by such laws.  The Disciples saw Jesus walking on water and were frightened.  But bold and impetuous Peter ventured by faith to do the impossible.  At the Lord’s command, he got out of the boat and walked on water to His Lord.  By faith, he did what is not possible for a man to do.  Of course, it was not his own doing, for it was Jesus who worked that miracle. 

But then Peter looked away from the Lord to the wind and the threat it posed.  He began to sink.  At this point many might suppose that Peter had made a mistake in ever getting out of the boat. But it is as Adrian Rogers noted, “Now listen to me, I’d rather walk a little way on the water with Jesus than not to get out of the boat at all. You may have a sinking spell, but you will not drown.”  And Peter didn’t drown.  He once again looked to Jesus and cried out, “Lord save me.”  And Jesus saved him.  What are we to make of all this?  We are elsewhere exhorted to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.  Amidst the storms of life that threaten to sometimes sink us, there’s One who can work to keep us above water.  We’ve a choice to make.  To be tossed here and there by the winds of circumstances and doubt, or to live by faith in the One who not only walked on water but rose victorious over death.  He is able!  And, as Charles Spurgeon, our great need is to look to Him:

“Remember Christian, it is not your hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ (though that is the instrument)—it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not to thy hope, but to Christ, the source of they hope; look not to thy faith, but to Christ, the author and finisher of thy faith. And if thou doest that, ten thousand devils cannot throw thee down. There is one thing which all of us too much becloud in our preaching, though I believe we do it very unintentionally; namely, the great truth that it is not prayer, it is not faith, it is not our doings, it is not our feelings upon which we must rest, but upon Christ and on Christ alone!  Let me beseech thee, look only to Christ; never expect deliverance from self, from ministers, nor from any means of any kind apart from Christ; keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His merits, His glories, His intercession be fresh upon thy mind. When thou wakest in the morning, look for Him; when thou liest down at night, look for Him.”

Charles Spurgeon

The key to faith is looking to Jesus.  Peter saw that everything that threatened to be over his head was already under Jesus’ feet. — Adrian Rogers

May this be our trusting prayer today.
Above the tempest’s roar, faith hears His voice;
And with its hand in His, it can rejoice.
It fears no cloud, or wind that it can bring;
Faith looks across the storm, and still can sing!

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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