Sermon Notes…’STEP OUT’

**I’m trying a new thing. But, I write so many sermons and then they’re done. So, I’m going to start posting a portion of my notes. This is an edited down version.

“When God speaks, oftentimes His voice will call for an act of courage on our part.”

– Charles Stanley

  • That’s so true!
  • Jesus is our example of sacrifice. He lived his life to give it. We live our lives as followers of Jesus to help others find Jesus.
  • But, the reality is…

Big Idea: If you’re going to Step Out. The Key is to Keep Your Eyes on Jesus.

Matthew 14:22-24

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.

 

  • Mountains were places of prayer for Moses and Elijah. Jesus went up on a mountain to find solitude.
  • All throughout the gospels we see Jesus finding time to be alone. To be quiet. Maybe there’s something to that!

 

Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

 

  • This is still normal in the Sea of Galilee that harsh storms rise up quick.

 

  • If you’re going to step out, learn this from Jesus.

Jesus is always getting alone to PRAY

  • What if we really put our life into prayer? What if instead of worrying, we prayed? What if instead of gossiping, we prayed? What if instead of facebook, we prayed? What if instead of talking, we prayed?
  • I love this quote by John Ortberg…

“At it’s heart, solitude is primarily about not doing something” ~ John Ortberg

  • If we’re going to step out and keep our eyes on Jesus, we have to pray. We have to seek God. We have to talk to Him. We have to listen for His voice.

Matthew 14:25-26

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.

When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,”they said, and cried out in fear.

 

  • When Jesus walked on the water, it was to get to his disciples and to bring a reality of His presence to them. He wasn’t showing off, or just going for a stroll. They needed to know He was legit.
  • No matter what the difficulties in our lives, Jesus comes to us in the stress. His presence is our assurance.
  • So, stop pushing Him away.

 

Big Idea: If you’re going to Step Out. The Key is to Keep Your Eyes on Jesus.

  • The disciples missed what was going on here and they didn’t comprehend the reality of Jesus presence in their distress. They didn’t recognize him and thought he was a ghost.

 

Jesus takes our fears seriously. Because fear creates a form of spiritual amnesia. It dulls our miracle memory. It makes us forget what Jesus has done and how good God is. ~Max Lucado (Fearless)

So, what do you fear?

  • Not having enough money. Paying your bills. Going Broke. The car breaking down. Finishing last, being wrong, losing control. Sickness. This election. A fear of public failure, unemployment, heights. The wrong person being elected?
  • According to psychiatric reference books, there are approximately two thousand classified fears.
  • Those documented fears run the gamut—everything from:
    • Photophobia:  the fear of never looking good in pictures
    • Arachibutyrophobia: the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth
    • Cacophobia- Fear of ugliness
    • Omphalophobia- Fear of belly buttons
    • Decidophobia- Fear of making decisions
    • Phobiaphobia:  the fear of phobias
  • According to Mark Batterson, Author of one of my favorite books…In a Pit with a lion on snowy day and Cirlce Maker.

 

  • He says, what’s interesting is that psychiatrists say that we’re born with only two innate fears:  the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises.
  • That means that every other fear is learned.
  • Fear, it seems, has set up shop in our lives.
  • It’s oversized and rude and it is unwilling to share our heart with Peace and happiness.
  • Fear is the big bully in the high school hallway: brash, loud and unproductive.
  • For all the noise fear makes and room it takes, fear does little good.
  • Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry.
  • Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that.
  • Fear herds us into a prison and slams the doors.

How do we get a point where we Master our fears and our fears don’t Master us?

  • And fear feels dreadful. It sucks the life out of the soul, curls us into an embryonic state and drains us dry of contentment.
  • When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our god.  When safety becomes our god, we worship the risk-free life.
  • Can the safety lover do anything great?
  • NO. The fear-filled cannot love deeply. Love is risky. They cannot give to the poor. The fear filled cannot dream wildly. What if their dreams sputter and fall from the sky? The worship of safety emasculates greatness.
  • His most common command was FEAR NOT.
  • If quantity is any indicator, Jesus takes our fears seriously.

 

  • The one statement he made more than any was this: “don’t be afraid”.

 

Picture of Plactha

  • To be really, really honest, our move to CMU scares me a little. Not a lot. I’ve known since this time last year, that CMU was our new home.
  • It’s huge, God reminds me that there are 80000
  • But, change is hard for some. Its going to take a lot of sacrifice to get there. We still have $23,000 dollars to raise. We have 681 Seats Sponsored! HOW GREAT is THAT!?!
  • Here’s why this is so exciting? Because each of those seats represents someone’s life who desperately needs Jesus and who desperately needs a Church home!

Matthew 14:27

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

 

  • The Greek for ‘It is I’, reminds us of God’s word to Moses, “I am”. This is a bold reminder that He is the Son of God.
  • Just a reminder, Jesus is the Only WAY, the ONLY TRUTH and the LIFE.

 

Matthew 14:28-29

“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.

 

  • Seeing Jesus walking, Peter the realist cries out…”Lord, if it’s you”, see he wanted to make sure, for he knew the sea; he was a veteran fisherman and no storm had ever made him lose this senses
  • Something to remember, Peter is not putting Jesus to the test, instead he was reacting in faith.
  • Peter had his answer and now it was all about taking the BRAVE step of faith.
  • It was Peter’s move. All Peter had in order to act was one simple word…come.
  • This is the ultimate test of faith, to move on Jesus’ word alone.

 

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

 

  • And HE DID IT! He stepped over the side of the boat to go to Jesus.
  • Faith gives its entire attention solely to the Master.

 

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”

– Billy Graham

Take the Step

Slide # 15…The more you’re willing to risk, the more God can use you. And if you’re willing to risk everything, then there is nothing God can’t do in you and through you. ~Mark Batterson

Matthew 14:30-32

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”he said, “why did you doubt?”

 

  • He took his eyes off Jesus
  • But, don’t lose sight of this, even though he didn’t follow through, he had done something that not ever the greatest prophets of the OT had done.
  • Back to the OT for a second, there is a great Psalm in 18:16 that says…
  • “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters, He rescued me”
  • This story probably reminded people of Israel passing through the Red Sea.

 

Ask for Help

  • We often wish we could escape the storms or troubles or pain or sorrow or even the small daily frustrations that wear us down.
  • But, God promises to be close to the broken hearted, to be our source of power, courage and wisdom and help us through them.
  • Ask Him for help. Cry out to Him.

Psalm 34:17-19 (the message)

17 Is anyone crying for help? God is listening,

ready to rescue you.

18 If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;

if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

19 Disciples so often get into trouble;

still, God is there every time.

Matthew 14:33

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.”

Remember your Source

Colossians 3:1-2 (the message)

1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

What’s your Boat?

Want to know what your boat is? Your fear will tell you. Just ask yourself this: What is it that most produces fear in me – especially when I think of leaving it behind and stepping out in faith? ~ John Ortberg

One more quote by Mark Batterson

 

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.

Mark Batterson

 

 

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