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3 comments | Sunday, June 10, 2007

HELP! Don’t Let Me Fall

The Pastor of my church began a series this month that I would like to share with you over the next few weeks. The series is based on a very familiar portion of scripture. As we examine this scripture in the coming weeks, we will reiterate truths you already know and hopefully we will discover new meaning in this popular bible story. I would like to start this series a little differently. Instead of me going on and on (as I tend to do) about what I think of the text, I would like to offer the text, ask a few questions and get your take on how this story speaks to you. This format can only work with your participation.

Matthew 14:22-30

22And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.

23And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

24But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.

25And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

26And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

27But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

28And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

29And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

30But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

We have all come to places in our life where we start out toward a goal never to fully achieve it. In this story Peter started the journey toward Jesus walking on water but ended up sinking. How and why did Peter start out so strong but end up crying out to Jesus for help? Do we see the same scenario played out in our own lives? What can we do to avoid replicating Peter’s errors?

I look forward to your responses.

Despite life’s struggles, remember what God can do.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)

Email Albert: albertrlee@hotmail.com


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I assume people have to realize they have fallen first because Christ can lift them up. The problem is how do you know you've fallen?

June 11, 2007 10:15 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

bible issues: is the word "ship" an accurate translation of the original Scriptures? or a Westernization ?? or just in your version of the Bible? (ship vs. boat; ship as symbol of the Church)

Noah of course had a big one and it was called an "Ark". (get your mind outta the gutter Captain)

As John Ruskin reminded his Victorian readers in the chapter on "Torcello" in The Stones of Venice, "in the minds of all early Christians the Church itself was most frequently symbolized under the image of a ship, of which the bishop was the pilot." Ruskin, who is engaged in explaining how Venice had its beginnings on those outlying islands settled by refugees from the mainland, next instructs his reader to 'consider the force which this symbol would assume in the imaginations of men' to whom the spiritual Church had become an ark of refuge in the midst of a destruction hardly less terrible than that

from which the eight souls were saved of old, a destruction in which the wrath of man had become as broad as the earth and as merciless as the sea, and who saw the actual and literal edifice of the Church raised up, itself like an ark in the midst of the waters.

However.. the Venetians came many centuries later.

Accurate history relies on accurate translations. Right?

June 11, 2007 10:28 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

First of all, I find it interesting that the sea did not become troubled until after Jesus had constrained them to get into the ship. In my life and the life of many believers, I have found that trouble or problems don't arise until we start on the journey that the Great Creator has prepared for us.When we start focusing and driving towards our destiny, this is when road blocks really begin to occur. In the scriptures, Peter began to walk towards Jesus, who was his goal at the time. Interestingly in verse 28, Peter asked the Lord "If it be thy will..." Peter was in the Creator's will when he began to walk to him, as many off us are when we start to move towards our destiny. As long as Peter stayed focus, he was able to do the unthinkable, walk on water. Notice that as soon as Peter took his eyes of his goal, Jesus, and noticed how strong the wind was, he began to sink and needed help.

So often, when the Creator calls us to to complete a work, we begin focused and with purpose. The problem is that we often take our eyes off the goal and give into distractions. In Peter's case, his distraction was the wind. In today's times, distractions can be money, time, family friends, etc. If Peter had focused on his goal, and not paid attention to the things around hi, he would have never been distracted. This scripture is so relevant for us today, as we move forward in the Creator's will for our lives, we must constantly remind ourselves to focus on our goal and not our distractions. Notice that as soon as the water became troubled, Jesus was there in the midst of the storm. And so it is with believers, the things we consider distractions, are nothing to the Creator. He knows what we need, and has made provisions for us. With that being said, the greatest thing we can learn form these scriptures is to Stay focused, and know that God is in control.

E-mail me when you can, I am always looking fro great dialogue around the scriptures. I am also starting to do some research and work around Black Gay Liberation Theology, and welcome your feedback and input.

June 12, 2007 7:20 PM


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