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by John Ortberg
It is obvious really but there was much to learn about ourselves and the faith God wants us to exercise in a series of short films and questions based on John Ortberg's book which we studied and discussed in our Midweek Meetings at Church recently
Just looking now at the main points:
If You Want To Walk On Water
Do you want to walk on water? Do you want to be involved in the miracles of God or just watch them from the side-lines or even worse not see the miracles of God that are taking place?
One person who wanted to walk on water was the disciple Peter as recorded in the Bible
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’
‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’
‘Come,’ he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’
Matthew 14:22-33 Read the whole of Chapter 14 of Matthew's Gospel on Biblegateway.com
You've Got to Get Out of the Boat
Peter was up for it, are you? Are you prepared to go outside your comfort zone, where you feel safe and do something you are not really sure will work?
John Ortberg gave an example from the Parable of the Talents (also termed Bags of Gold in newer translations) Matthew 25:14-30
Three servants were pushed well out of their comfort zone when they were entrusted with the stewardship of a vast sum of money equivalent to millions of pounds. They were not given specific instructions what to do with the money but two of the servants put it to good use for the benefit of the absent master. One however ignored the opportunities, with risks... he could have lost all the money and stayed within his comfort zone achieving nothing and ultimately losing what he had.
We are on a mission from God
John went on to say that all Christians are called to leave their comfort zone and do what God wants them to do. What he requires one person to do can be quite different to what he wants someone else to do. He mentioned a small "bit-player" in the Bible... Ananias who was called by God to restore the eyesight of Saul, the chief persecutor of Christians in the country at that time. In spite of fear of Saul, his reputation had preceeded him, Ananias knew that it was God's mission for him to do this. Ananias knew God's power was with him, God wanted him to do this, God had prepared Saul for this and Ananias had been told what the results would be of his involvement in God's plans. Acts 9:1-19
John talks about recognising what God has called us to do with our lives, what our "mission from God" is. This is an exerpt from his book
"John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd once starred in a movie called The Blues Brothers. They played a couple of ex-convict-wanna-be musicians who were trying to raise money for an orphanage. Anytime they were asked about their work they had a standard response: "We're on a mission from God". They always said it as if they believed it. The very idea that two inept, unworthy human beings could be on a mission from God was, of course, the central joke of the whole story." (If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg)
Do come and join us in our mid-week meetings, contact us to find out what our current programme is. In the meantime watch John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd tell all and sundry "We're on a mission from God".