Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 17:40-51
Scripture: Matthew 14:22-32
Sermon: The Voice of Truth
Two stories of fear and faith. In one an army shakes in fear at a giant. In another the waves are buffeting the small boat while something (someone) is coming toward them walking on the water! Yet in the midst of both stories, two persons step out in faith. A little boy stands up to the giant, while Pete gets out of the boat to try this water walking thing.
There are many, many fears. Nearly 20% of USAmericans have an anxiety disorder of some sort. While many of us have fears, some even have phobias, or paralyzing fears that keep them from living life. From the fear of bald people to the fear of mother-in-laws or the fear of paper, there are some very irrational fears. Our challenge is to put fear in perspective.
Peter often gets a bad rap...even in this story. However, I think it's undeserved. Afterall, he's the only one who actually got out of the boat. Everyone else stayed in...Sure he sank in the water, but he didn't let fear get the best of him. He simply asked Jesus to call him out on the water. Peter had the right perspective: If Christ is with me, I can do it!
Yes, he sank. But, in this, we see the distinctive message of our faith: Jesus saves. The book of Isaiah says, "What other God does good for his people?" Our God doesn't want servants to do for him. God doesn't need our worship. God doesn't need our work or our stuff. God is working FOR US! The story of faith within the Biblical text is one of God trying and trying again to show his abundant love and mercy to humanity. In the face of fear, when the waves are looking pretty threatening and the giants are laughing at us, we can remain steadfast knowing that Jesus will save us if we but call on him. Peter cries out, "Lord, save me!" And Jesus grabbed him by the hand and pulled him up.
The Voice of Truth (concept taken from a Casting Crowns song) says:
Don't be afraid.
Don't take your eyes off me.
Grab onto me...
What's your Giant? What's your Wave?
What's laughing at you? What are you really afraid of? Death? Finances? Being alone? Being found out for who you really are/aren't?
What's holding you back? What's keeping you in the boat? What giant is out there keeping you on the sidelines, paralyzed in fear?
The Voice of Truth says, "DO NOT BE AFRRAID!"
The Voice of Truth says, "GOD LOVES YOU. GOD IS WITH YOU. GOD WILL CARRY YOU THROUGH."