We are still in launch mode and as we continue to launch forth, we return this week to the passage we read last week. How can we read Matthew 14:22-36 NLT and side step the part where Peter walk on water? That would be an injustice to Peter and we wouldn't have mined the scriptures well enough. The sermon topic is Come, lets walk on water! Church, to walk on water is to take Jesus at his word. It requires boldness, courage and complete trust in Jesus. That was exactly what Peter did.
Passage - Matthew 14:22-36 NLT
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed. Matthew 14:22-36 NLT
Last week, we focused on Jesus and his habit of prayer and solitude. After Jesus spent some time alone praying, he returned in the power of the Holy Spirit walking on water to meet the disciples fighting the waves and I made the point that you have to keep fighting. Paul declared that the fought the good fight of faith - 2 Tim. 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Matthew 14:26-27 NLT
Fear & Phobia
The bible said that they were afraid and furthermore terrified but quickly Jesus spoke to assuage their fears. He said - Don’t be afraid, take courage. Church fear can be paralysing. Fear can make one freeze and become frozen.
Some people are afraid of failure, for fear of what people would say, they are afraid of failure to the point that they never start anything.
Some people are afraid of success for fear of losing their salvation because of the vices that success can afford you.
Some people are afraid of dying, for the fear of the unknown, for they think no one has been to heaven and back to tell, the rich man in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Luke 16:19-31 wasn't allowed back to tell us about his experience.
Some people are afraid of sharing the gospel for fear of persecution forgetting that the bible said in Matt. 5:1-11 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me
Some people are afraid of rejection for fear of being left alone. Note one with God is majority.
An extreme case of fear is called phobia. Phobia is an extreme and irrational fear. The response is also extreme and irrational or exergerated. It causes anxiety resulting in irrational behaviour! Here is a list of some of the more common phobia.
● Agoraphobia is a fear of places or situations that you can’t escape from. The word itself refers to “fear of open spaces.” People with agoraphobia fear being in large crowds or trapped outside the home. They often avoid social situations altogether and stay inside their homes.
● Social phobia is also referred to as social anxiety disorder. It’s extreme worry about social situations and it can lead to self-isolation.
● Glossophobia: This is known as performance anxiety, or the fear of speaking in front of an audience. People with this phobia have severe physical symptoms when they even think about being in front of a group of people.
● Acrophobia: This is the fear of heights. People with this phobia avoid mountains, bridges, or the higher floors of buildings. Symptoms include vertigo, dizziness, sweating, and feeling as if they’ll pass out or lose consciousness.
● Claustrophobia: This is a fear of enclosed or tight spaces.
● Arachnophobia: This means fear of spiders.
● Cynophobia: This is a fear of dogs.
Jesus spoke to assuage their fears. He said - Don’t be afraid, take courage. Church, courage is not the absence of fear but acting in spite of it. Nelson Mandela said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Jesus understands that fear is a natural emotional response to certain things but he's asking us to act regardless. When God announced the death of Moses to Joshua and called him into leadership, in three verses God repeatedly said be strong and courageous.
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:6-9 NLT.
The question is this… Why must we be courageous in the presence of fear. Do you know why? The reason is that as a believer, you are never alone. God told Joshua - … For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NLT. Jesus told the disciples - “Take courage. I am here!” - Matt. 14:27. Please play preacher with me and tell your neighbour, Take courage because Jesus is with you.
7 reasons why you must be courageous and walk on water..
1. Failure is not final
2. Failure is the acquisition of "how not to knowledge" that's deployable as a consultant.
3. Failure is evidence of bravery. At least you tried and ventured out - launched forth.
4. Failure is success in progress if you keep going
5. Failure is a bruise and not a tattoo if you learn from it. Jon Sinclar
6. You must be courageous because everything you really really want is on the other side of failure. Everything the 10 spies really wanted was on the other side of fear. If only they were as courageous as Joshua and Caleb. The land was flowing with Milk and honey meaning abundant fertility.
7. Be very courageous because with the presence of God,
Furthermore, alone me share at least 7 things about the presence of God
Fullness of joy.
Ps. 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore
Nothing shall be impossible.
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. In the presence of God nothing shall be impossible.
All things are possible.
Matt. 19: 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
There shall be performance
Luke 1:45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
There is liberty
2 Cor. 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
In the presence of God, there is rest.
The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” Exodus 33:14 NLT
Matt. 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
In the presence, there is grace and mercy.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16 NLT
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. Matthew 14:28-29 NLT
Peter was courageous, Peter stepped out in the presence of fear but in the presence of God and he was literally standing upon the word of God. Church, Peter's faith rose at the word of Jesus. Faith comes by hearing, hearing the word of God. The word of God will make you very courageous and you would be able to make a move, able to launch out in the presence of fear. That's why God gave Joshua a condition for being courageous - The Word.
Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. Joshua 1:7-8 NLT
The word of God develops our faith which is the antidote of fear and makes you courageous in the presence of fear. Let me finish with the kinds of faith that we have.
Faith is complete trust in God that he will do what he say he will do. Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the [b]evidence of things not seen. But note that any kind of faith that puts the entire responsibility on God is an irresponsible faith. Faith requires your active participation as we see Peter did. Peter stepped out of the boat.
1. Dead faith. Dead faith is empty words. This is when you say...let do this, let's do that but you aren't prepared to put the necessary work to get it done. James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
2. Little faith. Little faith is when you're following Jesus but not engaged in when Jesus expects you to do as his followers. You haven’t yet put your total trust in him to the point that you would totally depend on him, to the point where you would trust and obey. These are people who attend Church but are not engaged because they dont completely trust.
- They come to church but they don't pray except in church.
- They come to Church but they don't engage in Christian discilpline such as fasting.
- They come to church but don't give. They enjoy the contributions of other people but always have an excuse for not giving. Look at the car that the Pastor is driving…blah blah.
- They come to church but they don't evangelise. They don't engage with the church to go out as a body to evangelise nor do they tell people about the church. They don't engage in any Christian disciplines and so they have very little faith. Little faith benefits no one.
3. Small Faith. Guess what small faith is good. It may be small but it’s potent enough to move mountain. Christian disciplines will help you develop from little to small faith
4. Great faith. Great faith is the complete faith in God that's demonstrable by your actions. Two times when Jesus acknowledged great faith.
● Matthew 8:10, Jesus was impressed by the great faith of a Gentile. He said, “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! InMatt. 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Jesus identified only two people in His earthly ministry who He said had great faith; a Roman centurion (Matthew 8:5–13) and a Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:21–28).
I want to close this service by inviting someone to start their relationship with Jesus.