Sink or Stand (part 2) Sermon Preview

In the spring of 1995, I pulled into the circle drive in front of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority house at OU to drop my girlfriend off after a date.  After she exited my 1986 Prelude, I continued to watch her walk toward the side entrance to the house, simultaneous to my car rolling forward through the circle drive.  Oblivious to my surroundings, I was rocked back to reality with a crunching sound . . . I had rolled my driver’s side door into the rear bumper of a car parked on the inside of the circle drive.  Thankfully, the car I hit was just fine and after talking it over with that car’s owner, no signs of damage were present.  However, the ’86 Prelude was a different story.  My door was bent, rendering it inoperable.  From then on, my only entrance to the car was Bo and Luke Duke style (through the window).  As cool as that sounds, it was actually kind of annoying – and left my car broken and in need of repair.  All that because my eyes were not where they should be.

Now, in the story mentioned above, though my car ended up darkened, my future turned out bright.  The young woman my eyes followed turned out to be my wife (Kimberly) 16 months later.  However, the story illustrates an important point:  what we look at and focus on matters.

In Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus approaches His disciples while walking on top of the water.  Upon seeing Jesus, Peter calls out to Jesus and asks if he can join Jesus riding the waves.  Jesus invites Peter out of the boat, and momentarily, Peter is a walking miracle!  However, Peter soon takes his eyes off Jesus to look at the circles of waves swirling around him, and begins to sink – denting his pride in the process.  When Peter was focused on Jesus, he did the impossible.  When Peter focused on the circumstances around him, he sunk like a rock.

This story serves as a helpful encouragement for you and me.  What we focus on in our world matters.  But even MORE importantly, WHO we focus on in the world matters.  This Sunday at Wildwood we will welcome back the college students, as we continue our “Sink or Stand” series by looking at Matthew 14:22-33 and learning to keep our eyes on Him this year.  See you Sunday in our 9:45 or 11:00 service.

Sink or Stand (part 1) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, August 12, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Matthew 14:13-21.  This message was part 1 of the “Sink or Stand” sermon series.  Below you will find the audio from this sermon to listen to online, download or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link below to download:

Sink or Stand #1 08.12.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

Sink or Stand (part 1) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, August 12, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Matthew 14:13-21.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 14:13-21
  3. How would you answer the question, “I don’t have enough _________” ?
  4. Where in your life do you sense God inviting you to be a part of His work?  What is your response to that calling?
  5. When was the last time you were reminded that you are inadequate for the ministry God might be leading you towards?  How does this passage encourage you in light of that discouraging realization?
  6. What would it look like in your life to dynamically depend on Jesus (like the disciples did in Matthew 14:13-21)?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Sink or Stand (part 1) Sermon Preview

There are several schools of thought regarding teaching someone to swim.  Some are taught to swim by taking classes with an instructor.  Others are taught to swim by gradually weaning off of the aids of flotation devices as more comfort is developed in the water.  Still for others, a more radical approach is taken . . .

Sometimes people just throw a non-swimmer into the water and then watch as they either “sink” or “swim.”  The idea being that survival instincts and motivation will align and require someone to figure out a way to stay afloat. 

While this kind of radical process may be antiquated in today’s day and age, it was somewhat employed by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, during His earthly ministry.  Jesus was not so much concerned with people’s ability to swim, as He was in people developing a radical trust in HIM to do great things through THEM.  What do I mean? 

  • When Jesus sent His disciples on a short term mission trip, He did not give them an easily attainable goal (i.e. “be nice to people.”)  Instead He told them to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons (Matthew 10:8).”
  • When Jesus found a group of 10,000+ people on a secluded beach, He did not ask the disciples to sing some songs to entertain the crowds.  Instead He told them, “You give them something to eat (Matthew 14:16).” 
  • When Jesus goes for a walk ON TOP OF the Sea of Galilee, and Peter recognizes Him, He does not tell Peter to take a “selfie” with Jesus in the background.  Instead He invites Peter to walk on the water as well.
  • And many other examples could be given.

How did Jesus teach His disciples how to serve Him?  By calling them onto the water, and asking them to stand NOT swim.  Swimming is something they could do . . . or could learn to do in their own strength.  But STANDING ON THE WATER?  This is a task that would require divine intervention. 

Jesus was preparing His disciples to change the world- something that would take not just Divine inspiration, but Divine participation.  And, He is still in the business of training His followers (you and I) to do the same.  By calling us into situations where we either “Sink or Stand” we learn the awesome truth that Jesus can do more through us than we ever thought imaginable.

Over the next 5 weeks at Wildwood Community Church, in our 9:45 and 11:00 worship services, we will be looking at Matthew 14-15 to see how Jesus taught His followers to stand on the water in a new series called “Sink or Stand.”  We hope you join us this week as we begin the series by looking at Matthew 14:13-21, and the Feeding of the 5,000.  See you Sunday!

NOTE #1:  This Sunday is Promotion Sunday at Wildwood for our Children’s and Student Ministry.  Several fun things are planned as your kids check out their new classrooms.

NOTE #2:  We will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper as a part of this week’s worship service as well.