Saturday, February 5, 2011

Week 2 - Nothing Personal

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.
Matthew 14:22-32, NLT

Peter was the one disciple who found the courage to go over the side of the boat and walk on top of the water to meet Jesus. Without a doubt, it was one of the more formative moments of his relationship with God and this would influence the rest of His life.
But Jesus and Peter didn’t walk the rest of the way to the shore; they – both of them – climbed back into the boat, rejoining the others who were there. When they climbed aboard, the storm stopped. That’s what the story says. Peter’s leap of faith brought peace and presence to his entire community of disciples. One person’s trust.
Though the journey begins with an individual choice to receive the love of God, Christianity is not a personal or private faith. Whether or not you trust God, or how much you trust Him, is not your own private affair. Your trust in God, or lack of it, always impacts others around you.
Peter’s example shows us that if we are willing to open up in trust to the greater possibilities of God’s presence, we will bring the Savior into places that have become fearful and dangerous, to circumstances that are confused, and to people who are lost and hurting. In sharing our walk with God, we give others the gift of seeing what their faith may not have been ready yet to see on their own. And by this living out loud and together, God will be made recognizable as a saving presence among us.
That is what happened out on the sea that night. God showed up, one person trusted, and everyone was changed. This is the story we are called to live in as well.
The Real Question: Do I live my trust in God out loud? Do others see and experience God’s saving presence more because of the way I live?
Family Talk:  Share with your kids how their faith has encouraged your own faith.  Express to your children how much you love and appreciate them just as they are. 
ONE in Prayer: God, help me to appreciate the significance of my trust in You, not just for myself but also for others. I want to be the one who brings You back into the boat of our world so that all may see God for Who He is. Amen.

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