Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sinking caused by faint-hearts

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 14:31 (The Message) (From yesterday: Peter lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”) Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”

One of the descriptions the Bible uses for Jesus is “comforter.” He comforts us in our struggles because he cares for us. But at one point does Jesus reach his hand out to grab us from treachery? Anybody? Anybody? He reaches out before we sink. The passage says Peter “started to sink,” at which point, Jesus grabbed him. Jesus was right there beside Peter. He knew exactly what was going on. He was watching him, millisecond by millisecond. At just the right moment, he pulled up Peter before his head went below the surface.

Peter didn’t sink. His head didn’t go under water. He wasn’t bobbing up and down in drowning mode, gasping for air when his head rose above the water. We must trust that Jesus knows just when to save us. Somewhere in there in his perfect timing, Jesus wants us to grow in our faith: If we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can walk on water; when we focus on the storm, we start to sink. That’s why Jesus said to Peter, “Faint-heart, what got into you?” Jesus didn’t say “Peter, you sank because you lost faith;” He said, “What got into you?” He wanted Peter to think on his own.

Only Jesus knows when that perfect time is to save us. At that point, he won’t hesitate to save us. What he doesn’t want to happen is for us to try to save ourselves. That is the dilemma we all face in trying times. Instead of relying on God’s strength, we try to do it ourselves. It is human nature, but that is what Jesus is trying to warn us about. Do not lose focus during stormy times. If we lose that focus for even a little while, fear quickly sets in. That fear does not come from God, it comes from Satan.

God can do incredible things through us, but only if we do things his way. Jesus wants us to know it’s OK to acknowledge or fears. Peter doesn’t get out of the boat and walk on water, then tell Jesus, “Master, I’m scared. There’s a storm all around me. I’m afraid of sinking.” Had Peter made such a statement, Jesus would have replied. “I know it’s scary out here, Peter, but keep your eyes on me.” Instead of keeping his focus on Jesus, Peter looks either to his left or to his right. That is his sin. For us, keeping our focus means living out our faith for Christ daily. When things get tough, we can’t suddenly stop going to church, forget to pray or stop reading our Bibles. Seek counsel from a wise friend. Don’t be afraid to cry out “Master, save me!” because Jesus promises to rescue us from the storms of life.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to keep my eyes on you, every day. Help me not to turn to the left or to the right during the storm. Amen

Doug Mead

Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Vol. 3, No. 97

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/www.oneyearbibleonline.com/july.asp?version=51

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