Friday, August 30, 2019

God is in Control

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Have you ever wondered if God is in control? Scripture certainly is clear that God is sovereign, good, all-powerful, all-knowing, unchanging, always present, holy, eternal  and yet personal amongst many traits. He therefore has control over all things including evil.  Even though illnesses and losses of many kinds may happen, He promises to "Never leave us or foresake us. So we can say with confidence, '"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'" (Hebrews 13:5-6). This should give us confidence if we know Him, even though our world seems to be out of control at times and our faith might be shaken.

I certainly have experienced many troubles that God promised would happen. One scary trial occured a couple of years ago when our personal computer was hacked by a fraudulent software support company. Perhaps that has happened to you. They came in slowly and even helped us with software issues. They had been recommended by a major “big box” computer store, but they were stealthy. Well today I can still recall feeling violated. Fear and overwhelm described us over that weekend as we struggled to cancel accounts and contact vendors, starting our lives over again. We felt out of control.

Most of the Bible where “control” is used speaks of evil men having control of people and kingdoms and resources. But God created all and is in all, “One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all(Ephesians 4:6).  Since Genesis and His creation of the heavens and the earth God has been in control. “Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?” (Job 37:15). Job felt that things were out of control when he lost everything, but God. The author of the universe who made us in His image and likeness spoke to Job out of the storm to tell him who He was. He was and is there, controlling all for His glory and our good for those who love Him.He restored Job double.  It is just very hard to remember that when your world seems to be crashing around you with illness, death or loss of some kind that, "In Him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17).

There are many stories, particularly in the Old Testament of God intervening in dire circumstances to bring miraculous results. But it does not always happen because the earth is a mess and has been since free will brought sin into the Garden of Eden. The earth is becoming morally more out of control every day in a society that is "practically atheistic" without God. But God in Christ Jesus will make all things right again soon when He returns to rule and reign. For those who know Him there will be eternal salvation and light, “In His presence is fullness of joy, at His right hand pleasures forever more” (Psalm 16:11). However, for those who have not yet received Him as Savior and Lord it will be too late and they will live in darkness, not light in God's presence for eternity. 


Back to the computer scam. God sent good people to help right our listing ship.  The loss of control is over  as we praise God and give thanks for His goodness in this now sadly common hack.We really don’t control anything, but God wants us as the Apostle Peter said, to "Cast our anxiety on Him because He cares for us. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen! (1 Peter 5:7-11). God is in control!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Bright Morning Star

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Bright Morning Star
I ride my bike down the River Road before dawn each morning until snow or ice stops my path. This seems like the ancient paths that Jeremiah 6:16 describes, where the good way is; and walk in it.”  I say this because as the first light of the sun begins to brighten the sky with pinks, purples and gold, the lake I pass begins reflects His dawn light like precious jewels. My morning devotion time led me to a study of the Morning Star, which is Christ Jesus our Lord. 

I first opened nearly the last verse of the Old Testament Malachi 4:2 saying, “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing on its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, say the Lord of hosts” (ESV). 
What an amazingly powerful personification of the rising Son of God prophesied nearly 400 years  before the New Testament was penned. I saw it this morning and sang a new song to Him who made it, a song of praise to my God. 

Then I remembered Numbers 24:17 saying, I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel. It shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.”  Moses is talking about Messiah. 

Next I read from Isaiah 9, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they were glad when they divide the spoil.”  He is prophesying as he began in chapter 7 the Son of God being born of a virgin who shall be called Immanuel, our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Faith and Prince of Peace (v.6). 

Onward into the New Testament references we start in 2 Corinthians 4:6, “For God who said, “‘Let light shine out of the darkness,’” has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” This passage connects to Isaiah’s prophecy and goes beyond bringing His light into the hearts of believers. 

In 2 Peter 1:19 we can read, “And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”  Oh, I am so glad the Morning Star has risen and is shining in my heart.

 Revelation 22:16 we can hear, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.’”In case we didn’t get it before out of prophetic words, Jesus is proclaiming that He is the Bright Morning Star, there is no other. And just three verses later He says, “‘Surely, I am coming soon.”’  Yes, come quickly Jesus, we need you to rule and reign in this dark world where you have come to shine brightly. 


Monday, August 26, 2019

Full Moon

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Full Moon

This morning on my pre-dawn River Road ride the moon was full. Its light was silver-yellow with a tinge of orange. Scripture mentions moons 68 times, but only five for full moon. Those references are for the New Moon Festival that begins a the time of the full moon. Then new moon marked the 1stof the month. It was also the time to bring sacrifices for burning at the altar. There was a New Moon Festival was held then, but is no longer required. This festival is for those who love the Lord. So when pagans or non-believers celebrated it brought anger from the Lord.

God made the moon and the stars and sailors have navigated by them for millennia. 

The special monthly names for the full moons go back to ancient cultures, who tied the full moons to hunting, weather, planting and harvesting cycles of the year. 
January – Wolf Moon
February – Snow Moon
March – Worm Moon
April – Pink Moon
May – Flower Moon
June – Strawberry Moon
July – Buck Moon
August – Sturgeon Moon
September – Harvest Moon
October – Hunter's Moon
November – Beaver Moon
December – Cold Moon
A Blue Moon is when there are two full moons in a month, or simply when dust gives is a blue hue. But a Red Moon you notice is not on the list occurs when the moon is low on the horizon and particularly as it reflects the suns rays through dust particles. Moreover, Scripture gives Red Moons special recognition.
“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls”(Joel 2:31-32). 
This is an ominous time, great and terrible depending upon whether you are the Lord’s. If you have given your life to God, this is a time of celebration as Jesus is returning to rule and reign and He would have already taken His faithful home to heaven. However, if you are not a believer, Jesus will be judging you to give you what you have chosen, hell and hades. Fascinatingly recently four Red Moons occurred and many religious people went crazy predicting the End-of-Times and God’s return. They occur in total eclipse of the moon. There are a series of prophecies in the Bible preached by Christian preachers John Hagee and Mark Biltz, which state that a tetrad which began with the April 2014 lunar eclipse is the beginning of the end times as described in the Bible.  The tetrad ended with the lunar eclipse on September 27–28, 2015. 

The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord(Joel 2:31).

The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord(Acts 2:20).

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red(Revelation 6:12). 

Many believe that the beginning of birth pains or pre-tribulation has come. Therefore these red moons may occur again soon. There was a “Super Blue Blood Moon in January, 2019, the first in 150 years. I am not predicting when the four will occur again.  Jesus said regarding His return, ‘“But about that day or hour no one knowsnot even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’” (Matthew 24:36). 






Friday, August 23, 2019

Take Action II

I wrote last week about God asking us to take action and offer what we have through the parable of the woman ready to die from debt in 2 Kings 4. When she obeyed and did, God filled them with oil overflowing. There are many such stories in Scripture to inspire us to action. I also recognized that God responded when I obeyed or stayed or prayed in His will even when I did not feel like it.

Think of Jesus’s first miracle of turning water to wine as the wedding at Cana in Galilee told in John 2. In this story Jesus is at a wedding when the party runs out of wine. We read how His mother asks Him to do something and Jesus tells the “dear woman” that it is not His time yet. He wasn’t thinking it was time to let the world know that He was God. Are we ever ready for action? Do we find ourselves in times of trial or temptation when we do not expect it? Yes, I believe that is just the way life goes. We need to be ready always. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). Jesus told the servers to fill the empty jars with water just at Elisha told the woman to go and find jars to pour her little bit of oil into. You need to obey and always be prepared to ‘Do whatever He tells you’ (John 2:5). There is the key to taking action. Be careful Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:15 saying, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”  So how do we do it? I believe that the faith chapter in Hebrews 11 gives us words of action from the many that have gone before in faith. Everyone from Abraham, Rahab the prostitute, to Samuel and the prophets all took action or had it done to them as we read words like; brought, built, obeyed, enabled, embraced, reasoned, blessed, refused, persevered, conquered, administered, gained, quenched, escaped, were tortured, persecuted, mistreated, yet ALL were commended for their faith.  Would you have built the ark in the desert over 120 years of labor? I sincerely doubt that I would have. But God calls us and through the still small voice of His Holy Spirit He tells us to take action through His strength even in very tough places. Often God says to wait while He is working. But keep trusting in His guidance.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Pre-Dawn Light


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Pre-dawn Light

Is there light in the pre-dawn hour? The cardinals and robins certainly see it and gratefully, joyfully greet the new day. It is God’s way of saying all is well with the world. Yes, if you trust God as sovereign and Almighty Creator, Redeemer, Healer and Lord, all is right with the world and this new day. “This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Soon the sun’s rays will begin to brighten the sky in glorious hues of red, purple and pink with gold and silver gilding. These colors are beyond human making, splendor to remind us of His presence and powerful peace. 

I am listening to the silence, broken only by the birds singing. There is no wind. Isaiah the Prophet would say of these moments, “In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and confidence is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). Will you have any of it or not? Will you hear His voice calling from behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). 

Silence, solitude, serenity in the sacred presence of God is a privilege He alone gives to each of us who would bow our knee and pride and surrender ourselves to the loving and forgiving guidance of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

When I start the day with God in silence and solitude in His Sacred word I am given supernatural power for the day whatever it brings. Seek the Lord while He may be found.  


Monday, August 19, 2019

Comfort Consultant

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Comfort Consultant

Recently our air conditioner broke down during a hot and humid spell. One company did not answer our phone call during that day. The other immediately sent out a worker and fixed it. Later we asked for quotes on a new one as we were informed that ours had reached its expiration date. One company sent their Comfort Consultant out to talk about the amazing qualities of their air conditioners. I liked the sound, but didn’t need the amazing detail on the load requirements and efficiency. It took quite a while to get to the point as my wife told him we had to meet our children’s plane at the airport. Then we heard the price, which was not comforting. 

So that’s one kind of Comfort Consultant. Barnabas, which means son of encouragement (Acts 4:36)sold a field and put the money at the apostles’ feet. He put his money where his mouth was. This Levite was not able to hold property so he had gone to great length to pull off this gift.

He was the one who presented the once feared enemy of  “the Way,” that is Paul to the apostles. He took risks for the sake of Christ and His gospel. He was indeed a Comfort Consultant. He was a Holy Spirit filled man called of God to missionary journeys with Paul. Even when Paul cast out John Mark because of his fear of danger, Barnabas took him as a travel mate to encourage and build up the young man who would eventually become vital to even Paul. Yes, He took great risks disagreeing with the mighty apostle Paul. In Antioch Barnabas saw evidence of the grace of God. “He was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord” (Acts 11:23-24). His grace was recognizedbefore James and the other pillars of the church in Jerusalem. 

Barnabas was a disciple who clearly was courageous yet Spirit led to be comforting and encouraging in the face of challenges. This I believe is what disciples are called to emulate. Joseph was named Barnabas because of his character, that I believe all believers and especially those who wish to be chaplains or working in pastoral care should possess. Encouragement is a gift of the Spirit. It is one for a counselor full of grace and mercy. Barnabas is certainly a disciple from whom I find a model for my calling as a chaplain

Smile


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Smile

Do you smile easily? Some think smiling can be disingenuous and can’t be trusted. I had a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Supervisor for chaplain training who would admonish people for smiling too much. She had been a nun for 27 years and perhaps was angry at life and others who really were positive about it. I could tell much more about my journey for two years with her as boss. She felt that I was very tentative as a candidate because I had been an executive for 30 years before I was led by God to enter into full-time ministry. Trusting others was very difficult for her. I agree, sometimes we can laugh or smile too easily perhaps hiding a frightened or even dark heart. I think you need to know someone quite well to judge if they are cheery to hide something.

I just read a Pastor Charles Swindoll devotional speaking of “Smiling Faces.” He was talking about a can-do kind of confidence that is visible on a person’s face. In his story about then President Jefferson, people saw a confident face that earnestly smiled and therefore could be trusted. We all make quick reads in first impressions about people, sometimes way off base. 

God wants His people to be filled with the Holy Spirit and it’s fruit, which includes, “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faith, goodness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle of Philippians often called the Book of Joy. Bible commentator Warren Wiersbe wrote on it, Be Joyful. Some 20 times Paul, who was in prison, wrote sentiments like, “Rejoice, I say it again, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). He “rejoiced greatly” when at last someone came to visit him. He wants believers to “shine like lights in the universe.” I like that admonition that we should hold fast to hope with joy in our hearts and on our face as we await Christ’s soon return. Some 242 times the word “joy”appears in Scripture with “joyful”another 30 times. God love’s a cheerful heart and giver that smiles with a heart of joy. 

If your smile is one of integrity, don’t let the joy stealers or aura suckers get you down, keep smiling. We live in a disgruntled world of general incivility and lack of trust toward one another. God is very clear about one another. We are to love, honor, accept, live in harmony and stop passing judgment on one another. This requires a person joyfully submitted to God’s commandments of obedience. The actual word “smile” only occurs three times in Scripture and those in the Book of Job as he grumbles about how fast life is speeding by. If I say, “‘I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile’” (Job 9:27). Take this thought from a man who suffered much and consider smiling at one another. It takes fewer muscles to smile than frown. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Comforter-Counselor-Convictor

What kind of person comforts us and counsels us then might convict us? What kind of friend do you want? Do you want one who always comforts you, but never tells you the truth about all your behavior or ways? Well, I want a friend who has the courage to tell me when I am off base or not behaving well. Do you want a friend who counsels you in times of need? I do. But do you want a friend who convicts you of your trespasses, transgressions or sin? You might say maybe. However, as Christians we have a friend and we have more than that, we have a God who does all of these things through His Holy Spirit.

“If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you”  (John 14:15-17).  These are the words of Jesus to His disciples, perhaps some of the most encouraging words ever spoken. The Lord is telling His disciples and by extension us today that He is sending us and has sent someone like Himself as Advocate, Counselor, Helper, the Spirit of truth. Not only is God sending help, He is sending Himself in His Holy Spirit to be with us and even to live in us. This is both encouraging and scary to me. Why? You might ask my use of contradictory terms. Having God with us, Immanuel, is an awesome promise and reality for those who believe in the Gospel truths given through and in Christ. Having the perfect, holy and righteous One in us is the ultimate gift extending beyond the cross. But we are not looking for God in the natural. “All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one  (Romans 3:12). How can a good and even perfect God live in us when we are not? Even more as we look at Isaiah 64:6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”  These are ugly and yet descriptions of us as unredeemed people. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them”  (Ephesians 5:8-11).  Paul is telling us about unredeemed and redeemed people. After we chose to follow Jesus Christ a Savior and Lord we become new, even transformed and renewed.  He tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). Paul is telling the Romans and again us today to be different, even transformed and renewed by the Lord through His Holy Spirit. How do we do that?

 “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.  When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because am going to the Father…But when the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth…He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you” (John 16:8-11; 13; 14-15).  Isn’t it amazing that God is providing all things in Him for us? “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you(John 14:26).  The Spirit is teaching us all things. And if the Holy Spirit is really within us we should be living a life that is different from the world and filled with the power and wisdom of the Spirit. What we will look like if we are really abiding or living in Him is good fruit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”  (Galatians 5:22-23).

Paul tells the Corinthians that when Christ’s Spirit is within them, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Are you new or old? Well, you have a choice to be new even though you are getting older every day. We should be ripening as good fruit, not rotting on the vine. God is at work within us making us more like Him if we have Him within us. This is sanctification after we find salvation by believing in Him. This is a process that will go on until we die and see God face to face. We should be getting better and better every day through the indwelling Holy Spirit.




Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Restore the Wonder

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Restore the Wonder
This morning the sky was filled with precious colors straight from the throne of God. The pinks and reds were encircled with gold and silver. The sapphire sky was over the top with giant pearls surrounding it all. The reflection of all of this splendor fell on the diamond glass lake as I road with my bike watching all the precious gems sparkle as they were thrown across.
“‘After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven.’” And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘“Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne’”(Revelation 4:1-3). As if more needed to be said of the beauty of God’s throne, verse 6 completed my vision saying, “‘Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.’”

Have you seen the wonder and splendor of the Lord rising in His creation. For me this morning as I brought my praise to the Lord, He responded in His magnificent light. For we need to be reminded that, “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Have you seen the wonder?

Ravi Zacharias in his book Recapture the Wonder, somewhere over the rainbow and right here in God’s palette spread for us every day in different hues and views. It is His continuous way of showing His ultimate hope as “most of us can go back to a time in our lives when dreams of a life filled with wonder throbbed within our souls.” (Zacharias).  He says, “Wonder is that possession of the mind that enchants the emotions while never surrendering reason.” 

Some ask me why I get up way before the dawn? It is for this morning and every morning as God displays His thoughts and ways to me in speech and in picture. There are those that ask me, “Do you see God in everything?” And to this I respond, Yes! Of course, everything is not God, but He is in everything, “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17). This truth helps me worship in His presence as I go, preparing myself for a day in this broken world not quite as disappointed by it. I try to retain the sacred in silence and solitude even in the madding crowds.  Our souls must be rooted and established in His love to walk in His way without being cynical. For we don’t find enchantment in life through some thing, “It must ultimately culminate in a person” (Zacharias). We must be filled with His Holy Spirit. 

So can you journey through life with gratitude for His gifts seen and unseen? At the cross Jesus gave His final and ultimate gift we do not deserve. Can we grasp the reality of that even if we were not there physically? Is it in Holy Communion or His Word, or His promises for you? 
The heavens declare the glory of God. And the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard”  (Psalm 19:1-3 ESV). 

Only God is humble and declares His love for you and me who are not. So it leads me to a longing for His beauty and majesty in serenity and simplicity that is in heaven. It makes me bow my head and clap my hands at the same time. He wants to make our hearts ring. He wants to restore the wonder as we joyfully worship our God and King. 



Friday, August 9, 2019

Walking on Water

Last year I published my two volume book, This is The Way, Walk in It, based on Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or the left you will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” It is a compendium of essays on how to walk with and in the Lord. I have since been writing and posting on my blog www.greatisgodsfaithfulness.com many essays that I would categorize as how to “Keep Walking.” This is the admonition to stand firm and keep walking in God’s strength and ways.  It is to trust in Him with all your heart and He will direct your paths Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us. But are you just walking the same old worn path of security and familiarity? In this world that seems to indeed be falling apart are you finding it more comfortable to stay on your own known route? Well, I think God may be calling us to do more, to rise higher, to take a risk and join Him where He is working.

Last Sunday my pastor preached from the familiar passage Matthew 14:22-33 of Jesus walking on water. But we heard it differently this time.

“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. 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. 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.
 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.  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?”
 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.”

This is one of the key passages in Scripture about taking action. Once I took fleshly action and walked on white-hot coals as part of a Tony Robbins seminar. He had inspired us that we could do anything we wanted. I did it with a friend and now am amazed as I read of many being burned doing the same. But this was not about “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”  (Philippians 4:12). Often I have heard of Peter in his impulsive manner getting out of the boat to go to Jesus. The sermon reminded us of how often we have also heard that Peter failed when he saw the waves. He also was the only one who got out of the boat. He not only did not fall into the water; or swim, but he walked on the water. This is a miracle of physics and courage. This is the courage that we should have as believers to “take a risk” to follow God wherever He is going. Pretty scary stuff to follow God like the 12 disciples did originally. But to this He calls and equips us.

Our sermon clearly pointed out the wind and the waves of life. Yes, the perils of life will always be there to trip us up and take us down. They did Peter as well. When he saw the waves he started to sink. In other words, when he took his eyes off Jesus he started to sink. There it is, the key to walking on water.  Yes, Philippians 4:12 is correct, it is by the power of the Spirit of God in us that we can do anything. “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory(Colossians 1:27). By His power that is at work within us, we can do anything. My Pastor calls this a “faith-based leap” or walk.

We must turn to “Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). There is no other way by which we should walk and keep walking.