June 29, 2014 – Pastor Tim – “Looking Beyond Yourself”
Matthew 14:27-31, But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
- Should the Church be able to walk on water? Yes
- What diminishes our ability to walk on water? Doubt, sin
- Who decides what doubt and sin is? God and His Word
Doubt is to question His choose to have us walk on water. To compromise His Word to suit our lives, to loss the focus of Him. As long as Peter looked at himself and at the waves around him, he started sinking. Only when he looked at Jesus, did he walk firmly on the waters.
Look at yourself, circumstances or at others, and you will sink; look at Jesus Christ, and you can walk on anything. As someone has suggested, “Say to yourself, ‘Salivate’ and the possibilities are that no water will come into your mouth; on the contrary, it will probably dry up. But think of a savory dish, and without your saying anything the water will flow.” (note from Shari: LOL I had to stop typing and get a drink.) We must not think of ourselves to cultivate ourselves; but think of Christ, and we will be cultivated.
Glance at yourself in God, but gaze at God. The best possible me, is all of Christ in me.
Galatians 5:24-25, And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Romans 13:14, But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
This law of losing ones life to find it runs through everything. Jesus said in
Matthew 6:28, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow…”
How do they grow? By being self-conscious, and fussily trying to grow and to look beautiful? No. They look at the sun, and in their sun-centeredness they themselves grow beautiful. When the darkness of winter ends and sunshine of spring begins to break forth, the flower blooms. Only in looking into the face of our Lord Jesus will the best of us come out.
Whatever gets our attention gets us, and we must not be the center of attention…even when we are in God. Our faith is God-centered, not us-centered. We must look away from our sins, disease and doubt; look away from ourselves—look away to God.
Why look away from our sin, disease and doubt? Because if our gaze is on—our sin-centered, disease-centered, self-centered, self—we will never get well.
Numbers 21:4-8, Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.” 6 So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died. 7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”
The Israelites did not get well until they turned their attention from themselves to God.
Luke 9:62, But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Philippians 3:13-16, Paul said, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.”
Left unchecked we can become negative, discouraged, depressed, bitter, angry, lost people. We must force our minds, discipline our minds, renew our minds, beat our minds, forward toward things from above.
Philippians 4:8-9, Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
In closing, I would like to read what I posted on Facebook about a week ago.
Job 42:10, And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Oswald Chambers said, “If you are not getting the hundred-fold more, not getting insight into God’s Word, then start praying for your friends, enter into the ministry of the interior. ‘The Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends.’ The real business of your life as a saved soul is intercessory prayer.”
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