Friday, July 23, 2010

This accomplished

You will never know what you could have accomplished if you hadn't stepped out. At least while failing you experienced it.

"It's not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena... who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. So that his place will never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeats" - Theodore Roosevelt.

This learning of stepping out of the boat

The lady's bible study at church is doing this study entitled, "If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat." The book takes a closer look at Jesus and Paul walking on water. It goes deeper than just reading the verses and asking questions that other people know the answers to. This study has captivated me.

It's about trusting God enough to actually get out of the boat.

The New Testamnet is a collection of some amazing things that Jesus did. The one thing that Jesus did those 33 years is walk on water. To me, I just can't picture it. The whole walking on water is big enough for God. He does the impossible. Walking on water sure is impossible. I have to make a confession. I've tried to walk on water. If you watch me after a storm, I like to walk through all of the puddles. And it's not the whole walking on water thing that intrigues me really. It's how unsteady water is. Jesus walked on unsteadiness.

I don't know if you're familiar with the story but if not you can find it in Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52. Pretty much, Jesus sends his disciples in a boat ahead of him while he prays. The winds and water is extremely rough. The disciples are afraid of dieing. They're in mortal danger. When Jesus sees how battled the boat is, he goes out to them. When the disciples see him, they are scared. Jesus tells them not to be afraid. Peter says if it's you tell me to come to you. Jesus tells him to come. Peter walks out on the water. Something happens and Peter starts sinking. Jesus reaches down and picks him out of the water. He says something profound and the disciples believe. Jesus and Peter get into the boat and go to land.

Jesus says, "Don't be afraid. It is I."

I don't know about you, but if the storm is strong, the boat swaying, and I see a figure on the water. I'm going to be freaking out. No wonder the disciples thought Jesus was a ghost. They were so focused on the storm; they didn't think beyond it.

I realized from the boat and walking on water thing that the boat symbolizes comfort. It can be comfortable but not safe for you. Not what you need. The walking on water symbolizes growth. Peter choose to get out of his comfort zone and go where Jesus wanted him or where He was. Walking on water isn't something you can do on your own. I've tried walking on water puddles and nothing. Cement is still under my feet and my flip flop become slippery. It's no good. Even when Peter looked away, Jesus still reached out for him. When Peter sunk, he realized Jesus was still there. It takes a God who is paying attention to save you while you're sinking.

It's not easy to trust God, but after awhile you have to choose. You have to do more than just trust yourself. You're going to let yourself down too. And what's going to happen when you do? Only trusting yourself isn't safe. You're in the boat. God's on the water. I know it looking frightening and unclear. I'm there now wondering if I really should be doing this. He just wants you focused on Him. Because before you know'll be walking on water because you stepped out of the boat.

Monday, July 12, 2010

This righteousness

So, I've been trying to wrap my mind around something...righteousness.

I'm sure you've heard it before. Righteousness. I've always known it as living right in the eyes of God. My whole thought on the subject changed when I started listening to a podcast series found on iTunes by Pastor Willie George called "Why Worry." It's a pretty lengthy series but it's so good. When I first started listening, I thought it would be about worrying and why you shouldn' know the normal stuff.

But the series is not the normal stuff, it's about why we worry. It's because we can't accept the righteousness God gave us. Which is problematic. The definition of righteousness says nothing about God giving it to us.


Righteousness according to my Bible's glossary:

The state of being in right relationship with God, particularly through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to God's Word, a positive evaluation of character, actions and attitudes in relation to God's perfect standard with God's help, doing what is right according to his standard.

Righteousness according to

The quality or state of being righteous

Righteous conduct

The quality or state of being just or rightful.

Righteous is...

characterized by uprightness or morality

morally right or justifiable

acting in an upright, moral way

Is it possible that we define righteousness differently than what God has intended? I'm doing a bible study to figure out what righteousness is as it is displayed in the Bible.

I'll keep you updated.