Matthew 14:29 NIV
Matthew records, “Then Peter got…out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” Today, ask yourself these three questions: (1) What’s my boat? It’s whatever gives you your greatest sense of security. It’s what you’re tempted to put your trust in when life gets stormy. To know what your boat is, ask yourself, “What is it that produces the most fear in me, especially when I think of leaving it behind and stepping out in faith?” (2) What’s keeping me from getting out of my boat? Fear. Fear of people, fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear of lack. In order to grow, you must go into new territory, and each time you do, you’ll experience fear. It never goes away. But each time you get out of your boat, you become a little more able to do it the next time, and you begin to realize that fear doesn’t have the power to destroy you. So when Jesus says to you, “Come,” start walking, He won’t let you drown. (3) What will I forfeit by staying in my boat? Your destiny. To achieve what you have not yet achieved, you must attempt what you have not yet attempted. Will there be risks? Yes. Baseball’s greatest hitters fail two times out of every three. But they know that if they don’t step up to the plate, they’ll never experience the joy of hitting a home run. Understand this: If you stay in your boat, you’ll eventually die there, and end up wondering what your life might have been if only you’d been willing to get out of your boat.
Soul food: Jer 10-13; Luke 3:21-38; Ps 95; Prov 14:29-33
Matthew 14:29 ESV
Comfort zones can be challenging to leave. We like things as they are; we don’t want change. It can feel risky to do something different. The Bible tells us that ‘Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.’ He took a risk and left his comfort zone. Will we do the same? Here are some questions to help us think about it: 1) What’s my boat? Our boat is whatever gives us our sense of security. It’s what we’re tempted to put our trust in when life gets stormy. If we’re not sure what our boat is, we can ask ourselves, ‘What would cause me fear if I had to leave it behind and step into something new?’ 2) What’s keeping me from getting out of my boat? The thing that often stops us is fear. That might be fear of people, fear of failure, fear of criticism, or fear of not having enough. In order to grow, we have to step out into new territory, and each time we do that, we’ll experience fear. But each time we get out of our boat, we become a little more able to do it the next time, and we begin to realise that fear doesn’t have the power to control us. 3) What will I lose by staying in my boat? If we stay in our comfort zones, we won’t reach our full potential and we won’t be able to achieve everything that God has called us to do. It might feel like a risk, but if we don’t take the risk then we might spend our lives wondering what would have happened if we’d stepped out of the boat.
Jer 10-13; Luke 3:21-38; Ps 95; Prov 14:29-33
Isaiah 54:13 NKJV
Few things in life can break your heart like a child on drugs, or running with the wrong crowd and being involved in activities you know can destroy their lives. As a parent, what can you do? First and foremost, pray for them and speak God’s promises over them. You may not be able to change them, but God can. His Word says, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” What if your child is out of control and living at home? Then you have a big challenge that requires God’s help. Sometimes your “problem child” is a child of destiny with a great future, and Satan knows that. God has a calling on their life, and that’s what the battle is all about! As a parent, you need God’s wisdom when it comes to: (1) Setting clear boundaries with appropriate and consistent consequences. The Bible says, “Young people are prone to foolishness and fads; the cure comes through tough-minded discipline” (Proverbs 22:15 MSG). (2) Overcoming the fear that your child will reject you when you make an unpopular, but wise decision. Satan will try to convince you that you’ll lose them if you discipline them. The truth is that you’ll lose them if you don’t! Remember: “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT). Prayer and standing firmly on His Word are two of the greatest weapons God has provided when it comes to engaging Satan over your child’s future. And if you stay true to God – you’ll win.
Soul food: Rev 5-9; Mark 14:53-65; Ps 48; Prov 13:2-3
1 Samuel 10:1 NIV
Here’s how Saul became Israel’s first king. He was out in the countryside looking for his father’s lost donkeys when he met the prophet Samuel. ‘Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us…but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.” Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance?”‘ (1 Samuel 9:27-10:1 NIV). Saul went out looking for donkeys and instead discovered his calling in life. And it can happen like that for us too. God has a habit of calling people who are busy doing other things. James and John were mending their fishing nets, Matthew was collecting taxes, Elisha was farming, and Saul was out looking for his father’s lost donkeys. It was just another day for them. We can spend a lot of time worrying and stressing about what we should be doing with our lives. But sometimes God’s purpose for our lives become apparent when we least expect it. When the call comes, we can struggle to accept it. We doubt whether we’re really the right person. Saul did that too. He had said: ‘But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin?’ (1 Samuel 9:21 NIV). Our social status and education levels don’t limit God. Neither does our fear. When He has a plan in mind for us, He’ll let us know and equip us to be able to do it. So if we’re stressing about what our purpose is, let’s stay faithful, keep serving Him, and believe that our time will come.
1 Kings 12-13; Mark 13:12-23; Ps 117; Prov 12:20-22
Ecclesiastes 8:1 MSG
When we ask God to give us wisdom, what sort of changes can happen in our lives? Firstly, we become prepared for the future. None of us know what tomorrow will bring. The Bible says: ‘Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring’ (Proverbs 27:1 NIV). But when we have wisdom, we’re able to face the future without fear, because we know that God’s with us and will help us. Wisdom also gives us a better understanding of the possible consequences of our actions. Secondly, wisdom helps us to move in the right direction. God’s wisdom helps us to make decisions, and keeps us walking on the right path. If we lack wisdom, we can find ourselves walking down the wrong paths and stalling when we reach a crossroads. God says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls’ (Jeremiah 6:16 NIV). If we ask God for wisdom, He’ll show us which way to go. Thirdly, God’s wisdom helps us to deal with difficult situations and challenging people. Having wisdom changes how we handle things. In The Message, Ecclesiastes 8:1 says: ‘Wisdom puts light in the eyes, and gives gentleness to words and manners.’ Wisdom changes our responses to others. We become more gentle, which helps us to deal well with frustrations. In Proverbs 29, we’re told: ‘Foolish people lose their tempers, but wise people control theirs’ (v.11 NCV). Having wisdom helps us to understand people and their situations. We can see the other side of the story, and we can react in a calm, controlled way.
Matt 5:9; Rom 12:17-21; Jam 3:17-18; Prov 16:7