Week 11: The following takes place between 5/10/09 and 5/16/09 Walking on Faith Matthew 14:22-33 This passage immediately follows the Christ’s day of ministering, healing and feeding of the 5,000.
MONDAY: Matthew 14:22-23
Solitude: Jesus had just ministered to and fed the 5,000. Initially, He had sought a moment to Himself so He could mourn the passing of John the Baptist. He wanted to get away to pray and be with the Father – His Father. Jesus had spent the day seemingly doing the unexpected. Not only did He literally change the lives of hundreds and thousands of people in a single day, He spent time building the faith of His disciples and expanding their vision of Christ’s potential. Christ now has sent His disciples ahead in a boat. Jesus personally dismissed the crowd. I’m sure He just didn’t say “thanks for coming and have a safe trip home”. There was probably a lot of thank-you’s and handshakes and hugs. Now everyone is gone. Jesus is alone. And He went up on a mountainside to pray. Jesus was full of sorrow, tired and needed this time to rest in the presence of the Lord.
Today’s Assignment: Ask God to help you find time to rest in Him. You have many demands on your time. Some are expected and some are not. You get stretched and pulled and worn out in life. Jesus sets the example for you that you need time with the Father for rest, reflection and renewal. Make time each day to spend alone with the Lord. Allow Him to renew your soul as you pause before Him each day.
TUESDAY: Matthew 14:24
Waves: While Jesus was spending time with the Father, the disciples were out at sea. They must have been travelling for a while because this verse says the boat was a considerable distance from the land. While they were on the water, the boat was being battered by the wind. What we should notice about this passage is they were exactly where Jesus wanted them. We can be in the center of God’s will and storms will come. Following Christ does not eliminate problems. Following Christ brings a resource to our lives that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
Today’s Assignment: There are many reasons for storms in life. Ask God to show you if you are the cause of a storm from sin in your life – if so, let God deal with your heart with the issue. The storm may be a consequence to our choices. But that is not always the case. Storms may come regardless. Seek the Lord when the winds come. Keep your feet firmly planted in the Word and in prayer. Build on the foundation of your faith when the winds are still. Ask God to help you understand your storm and know that He is near.
WEDNESDAY: Matthew 14:25-27
His Presence: While the winds were howling, Jesus arrived. Jesus had just performed a miracle. In fact, He had done many the day before. The disciples were first-hand witnesses to many of His miracles. And the feeding of the 5,000 was icing on the cake. I guess the disciples saw Him do the miraculous so often, they grew numb to it. If they could have seen all they had just witnessed and then didn’t think to call on Jesus when the winds beat their boat all over the sea… wait, that’s us, isn’t it? We see the Lord provide for us in so many ways, yet we often forget He is right there when the next problem arises. Just like the children of Israel, God’s presence was defined in literal ways – a pillar of cloud and fire to guide them day and night, the parting of a sea, the provision of manna each day – yet they forgot and complained and feared the unknown. That’s where these disciples are now. In the boat, winds beating it to pieces, their expertise in handling the situation was exceeded by the circumstances and they never called out to Jesus. So Jesus walks out to them – just as with the Israelites – literally walks out on the water to them and tells them not to fear. He is here.
Today’s Assignment: As you experience difficulties, stress and problems… know that God is there. He waits for us to call out to Him. He wants to help you, but He won’t do everything FOR us. He wants us to ask because He wants us to place our trust in Him. This draws us close to Him. Ask God today to help you in your storms of life.
THURSDAY: Matthew 14:28-29
An Act of Faith: Peter wasn’t sure that it was really Jesus. Peter must have hit his head in the boat to think that it could have been anyone BUT Jesus that walked ON water in a storm to assure them that they were ok. But Peter tells Jesus that if it is really Him, Jesus should tell him to get out of the boat and walk on water, too. Most of the time, Jesus has to come up with a life lesson for His disciples – but Peter was making Jesus’ life a little easier. Peter got out of the boat, fixed his eyes on Jesus and walked toward Jesus. Peter was able to do the impossible.
Today’s Assignment: Jesus may ask you to do the impossible in life. You may ask Jesus for the impossible. In either case, we are to keep our focus on Him. Ask God to help you focus on Him in your life. Ask Him to show you what divides your heart and attention. Give Him your full devotion and He may do the impossible through you.
FRIDAY: Matthew 14:30-33
Peace: As Peter walked towards Jesus on the water – doing the impossible – Peter did what we often do. He took His eyes off of Jesus and put them on the circumstances. Circumstances make problems larger than life. Christ puts things in perspective. We can focus on one or the other. Jesus was right there in front of Peter, but Peter looked away and fell into the water. As with us, Christ is right there. Just because He is present and near doesn’t mean He will keep our focus on Him. We must do that. If we don’t, we will fall. Jesus caught Peter. They got into the boat. Jesus calmed the wind. Jesus has the power to do anything. We must realize this. If He can stop a wind or walk on water or feed 5,000 with very little or heal the sick, He can do anything. Especially in your life.
Today’s Assignment: Ask God to help you in your storms in life. Ask Him to help you discipline yourself to have a firm foundation during the quiet times in life. Get in the Word. Memorize Scripture. Spend time in prayer. Daily. And when the storms come – and this passage teaches they will, even when we are in the center of God’s will – we will know how to trust and have the faith to rest in Him.
Memorize Scripture: Ephesians 4:29