Getting out of the Boat {a.k.a. Comfort Zone}

Jesus walking on the water
Jesus walking on the water

Jesus walks with us on the chaos of our lives.  Oswald ChambersLast time we talked about what faith really is.  One tender (and biblical) thought is that faith is responding to Jesus' COME...His grace-filled invitation.

Often times, coming to Jesus when the storms of life are raging is the last thing we do.  That is, until all else has failed.

We rather go to friends, addictions (like social media, exercise, food), withdrawal, and one of my personal favorites, Christian self-help books.  All of these feel comfortable (and "safe") to us...at least for the time.  But eventually, we realize we need HIM!

Or sometimes the Lord may be calling us to something new and scarey.  Maybe a new job, a new home, a new stage of life, a new challenge.  We avoid the issue for as long as we can -- it's too uncomfortable and risky!  But if we want to grow, eventually we must get "out of our boat" and come to Him.  And that's faith.

That's what Peter did in the familiar and captivating story in Matthew 14 (Other parts of the story are in John 6 and Mark 6).  Let's pick up the story...

Jesus reaching out to Peter
Jesus reaching out to Peter

22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." 28 Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." 29 And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, " O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God's Son!" Matthew 14: 27 - 33

Here are some questions to explore as you read through this passage.  Next time we'll share some thoughts about these questions:

1.  Why didn’t Peter just jump out of the boat?  Why did he ask Jesus to command him “Come to Him”? (vs 27-29a)

2.  What decision did Peter face once he heard Jesus' come?  Do we face the same decision at times? (vs 29)

3.  What ultimately happened to Peter and why?  What did he do in the midst of his dilemma?  How readily do we do the same in the midst of our doubt and fear? (vs 30-31a)

4.  What did Peter learn as a result of the storm? (vs 31-33)

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PART THE WATERS/ I NEED THEE Selah

When I think I'm going under, part the waters, Lord When I feel the waves around me, calm the sea When I cry for help, oh, hear meLord and hold out Your hand Touch my life Still the raging storm in me

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord No tender voice like Thine can peace afford I need Thee, O I need Thee Every hour I need Thee O bless me now, my Savior I come to Thee

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain Come quickly and abide, or life is vain