Monday, July 28, 2008

Listen only to Jesus’ voice

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: Matthew 14:30 (The Message) Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”

When my son was an infant, I took him to swimming lessons in the summertime. The instructor had us place or children on the deck of the pool, with us standing in the water a few feet away. Then he told us to tell our children to jump into our arms. “Come on, Son, you can do this. Jump into Daddy’s arms.” And what’s the first thing our children say? “Will you catch me?” “Yes, Son, I’ll catch you.” Then he would jump into my arms, and laugh and giggle. “Again,” he’d say.

That’s how our faith life is, too. Peter first asks Jesus if it is really him on the water. When Jesus assures him it is he, Peter “jumps out of the boat” with exuberance. At first, Peter’s faith is rewarded. He is the only one of the disciples to get out of the boat and walk on water. Only Peter had that special experience of knowing Jesus right then. It’s the same way with the swimming lesson above. Afterward, my son and I had a special bond, because he knew he could trust me and jump and I would catch him.

That’s what Jesus was doing with Peter. Peter was fine at first. His excitement got him out of the boat and surfing onto the water. But as soon as he looked around, he realized there was still a storm going on around him. These were white-cap waves churning around him, not just water lapping onto the side of the boat. Peter had reason to fear, at least in his own mind. Then, scripture says “he lost his nerve and started to sink.” That’s what happens with us and our faith. Note that it doesn’t say “he sank.” Jesus was still there for him, whether Peter realized it or not.

Peter’s faith got him out of the boat as no other. But when he took his eyes of Jesus, he began to sink. And just like us when we panic, we first cry out to God to save us. It’s instinct. “Hey, I’m sinking here, God. Are you watching.” Yes, God is watching, but he gave us instructions, and he wants us to follow them. Keep with the program and we’ll be fine. That’s what faith is about. Peter’s troubles began when he started looking at the storm around him. Thinking like that will always discourage us. Satan’s plan is to discourage us at every turn. We must learn to listen to God’s voice of encouragement in stormy times and not Satan’s.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to listen to your voice only. Help me to stick you’re your program. Amen

Doug Mead

Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Vol. 3, No. 96

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/

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