The Men in Christ's Life: Peter
- Thursday, November 05, 2009
1. Jesus allowed Peter (and us) to get into situations that seemed hopeless.
Peter and the disciples were lost in the sea. Their boat was directionless, adrift and at the mercy of the storm. Sometimes God allows us to fall into situations that seem directionless. Situations that scare us. He does this because he wants us to choose him over our situation. To trust in him and not ourselves.
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. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it (Matthew 14:24).
2. Peter knew Jesus' voice brought safety.
Peter, like the other disciples, knew Jesus' voice because he spent time with him. In order to grow as a Christian, we have to hear, listen and know Jesus' voice. How are we ever going to grow or know God's direction if we don't recognize his voice?
At first Peter and the other disciples were afraid in the storm. On top of that they saw Jesus walking on the water and he appeared like a ghost. Wouldn't you think the same way? But when Jesus spoke, they became calm, trusting in who He is, trusting in their safety. Sometimes in the midst of the storm, we need to be calm enough to hear his voice. Only his presence will calm us.
During the fourth watch of the night 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. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid" (Matthew 14:25-27).
3. Peter followed Jesus, even when it led him into a storm.
Sometimes we have to make choices to do what God wants us to do even when we know it will be hard. Maybe we have to break up with someone, dissolve a friendship, move to a new city or change jobs. We might have to confront someone who has hurt us or face a life-threatening disease. No matter what it is that God has allowed to happen, he reminds us that he is with us in and through the storm. Going through a storm, trusting the Lord makes us stronger. It also helps our witness to others as they watch us go through it.
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said (Matthew 14:28-29).
4. Peter used his assertiveness (mouth) for good.
I love Peter because I really do see myself being just like him. Hey, Jesus, I want to walk on water, too. I mean if Jesus can do it and I have His power in me, then I should be able to do it, too. Right? Yo, Jesus!
Being assertive can be used to bring glory to God because we are willing to step out of our comfort zone. We are willing to say something when no one else will. God gave some of us the gift of assertiveness to be used to bring others to Christ. Maybe God has called you to speak up for your rights as a citizen, or for protection of those you love, support of a cause or maybe what you believe as a Christian. Use your gift of gab for the right reasons.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalms 19:14).
5. Peter trusted and believed what Jesus said.
Now I know we have all heard a hundred sermons on Peter getting out of the boat. Of how at least he did get out when others didn't. But there is so much more here than Peter just getting out of the boat. Peter believed he would be safe because he trusted the Lord. You can't build trust in Jesus without spending time with him. Just like you can't trust people without spending time with them. Peter didn't have to doubt; he knew who Jesus was. Do you spend enough time with Jesus to totally trust him in all things? Can't you just see Peter, so excited? I would be like woo hoo; I get to walk on the water in this storm, just like Jesus.
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