The Distractions of Faith

In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

Friday, 2019-02-15

Bible Reference: Matthew 14:29-33
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 29 “Come and join me,” Jesus replied. So Peter stepped out onto the water and began to walk toward Jesus. 30 But when he realized how high the waves were, he became frightened and started to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he cried out. 31 Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and lifted him up and said, “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?” 32 And the very moment they both stepped into the boat, the raging wind ceased. 33 Then all the disciples crouched down before him and worshiped Jesus. They said in adoration, “You are truly the Son of God!”

OBSERVATION: In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

APPLICATION: There are so many things we could learn from this story of Peter. I believe that most of us will share the reflection that this story shows us the faith of a man to attempt something that defies nature, and that he had never thought possible before. To jump out of a boat in the middle of the sea, one could only prepare for the intake of water through the nose and mouth, unless they know how to swim! However, things were a bit different with Peter, for: a). He had already experienced the power of the Almighty, and he knew that Jesus had the same power to do even those things that are impossible in the eyes of the world; b). He paid attention to what Jesus was doing, and knew that if Jesus could walk on the water, He had power and authority to empower him (Peter) to do the same; and c). Peter heard the command by Jesus, and in spite of the yelling from his fellow disciples, he obeyed Jesus. So what happened? Why did Peter’s effort fail? I am convinced that Jesus already knows how quickly Peter would become cocky about being given this special power, so Jesus demonstrated to Peter and to us, that faith requires that we keep our eyes fixed on the author of our faith – Jesus, and His Father God, lest we fall into the trap of bragging about our powers. I had a friend dying of cancer, and she traveled hundreds of miles to be prayed over by a TV evangelist who showed on public television that he had powers to heal. WRONG. Stop right there. Friends, as demonstrated in this story with Peter, and as we already know about healing powers – it is God, through His Son Jesus that spoke the word for Jesus to walk on water and who rescued him as he began to sink; it is God alone who heals a body that He created from dust, and restores it to perfect health so that He may be glorified. Our responsibility is to look to Him for all things and keep our eyes fixed on the author and creator of life itself, knowing that through His power, lives might be healed, souls might be restored to the Kingdom, and that the unsaved may recognize the grace and power of our God. It’s all about ‘God’, my friend. We are just instruments of His love and servants of our majestic King. The Master deserves all the praise for all that He does, for nothing of our own is merited, or worthy of praise, for what He has done. Please be careful of the distractions that Satan will place before us. For Peter, it was the wind and the rough waters that caused him to take his eyes off the Master. For us, unfortunately we live in a world that is totally filled with distractions that Satan places before us. Remember that our distractions are forces that draw us away from God – our primary power source. Don’t let Satan win over you my friend. In verse 31 we are reminded to not let ‘doubt’ win in our battle to ‘believe’. Trust in God, and all of this shall come to pass, child of God!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, You are my God! The same God that created this wonderful world, and also created all of creation. I acknowledge again today that there is nothing that You can’t do. Please forgive me for my doubt and my lack of faith. Thank You for the reminder in today’s Scripture that You had the power to walk on water to get over to Your disciples. I wonder what You must travel over, or through, at times to get to my readers and I, and the trouble we find ourselves in at times. But one thing that I am assured of, is that just as we saw where the water didn’t stop You from getting to Your followers, we need not let anything hinder our requests today, for many things will appear to be impossible to us, but with renewed assurance today, we KNOW that we can come before the throne of God and plead our case for an all-knowing, all-powerful, forever-loving God who says that ALL things are possible with God! You are our King, and we adore You and worship You today oh Lord, not just for what You can do for us, but for who You are! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Impact Of Keeping Our Eyes On Jesus

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-02-15
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 14:29–33 (AMP)

Text:

29 He said, “Come!” So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw [the effects of] the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus extended His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped Him [with awe-inspired reverence], saying, “Truly You are the Son of God!”
OBSERVATION:
Peter was known as the bold one, or the one to speak up first. This was evident the night that he saw, for the first time ever, someone defying nature itself and actually walking on water. Having been around Jesus and witnessed His other miracles, I believe that Peter and his fellow disciples knew that it could only be Jesus who could possibly be capable of such a feat. However, unlike the others, Peter knew that if Jesus could do such a miraculous thing, He could also extend that power to him to also walk on water. And as long as Peter believed on Jesus and followed His instruction, he was fine. However, as soon as Satan put doubt in Peter’s mind and he started looking around at all that could cause trouble for him, he started to sink. Faith is the substance of things hoped for but not seen. Jesus immediately knew that Peter’s faith was failing.
APPLICATION:
I believe it would be good for us to consider the impact we have seen in our own lives when we stay focused on Jesus, vs the evil one:

  • For those of us who were headed down a road that led to Hell and eternal destruction, with absolutely no hope for today or tomorrow, thank God we found the Savior of the world and accepted His call on our lives! Because of this:
    • We were transformed from the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of light;
    • We were filled with gloom and despair, now to be filled with the same miraculous hope that Peter found in asking Jesus to bid him come and walk on the water towards Him;
    • We had no hope, as life was filled with one devastation after the other that led to even worse, after passing from this world, vs being accepted by the King of all kings and the One capable of walking on the water and calming the rough seas;
    • We were headed for eternal damnation, where our life afterwards would have been led by Satan and his army whose sole intent was to harm and destroy us, vs the assurance of a heavenly home with Jesus; His Father and all of the saints that have gone on before us;
    • We found only hate and selfish gain by the world and its leaders, vs love beyond compare by Jesus and His host of angels awaiting our arrival in heaven;
    • We were fatherless and on our own, vs being adopted by the Creator of this universe, and considered royalty in His courts of praise and honor!

Friends, when Peter took his eyes off Jesus, the only One known to ever walk on water or command another to do the same, he started to sink into the water – the pit from which he came that was filled with failure and despair. I love that old hymn that includes the words “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace”. May that be our prayer-song today.

PRAYER:
Lord, may we keep our eyes fixed on You, the author and finisher of our faith. Thank You for providing the way for us to overcome the vile of Satan; the evil of this world, and the despair of having no hope for a brighter tomorrow. Lord Jesus, as we look full into Your wonderful face, may the things of this world grow strangely dim in the light of Your wonderful face, Your glory, and Your grace. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!