Daily Devotional for Saturday November 16, 2013
Walking on Water - Part One of Two
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I am confused, please help me. The Bible says if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth 'Jesus is your Lord and Savior' you will be saved. Then is there a second condition, that you must also surrender your life 100% in addition to believing to be saved?
ANSWER: NO! Salvation is by faith and God's grace..plus NOTHING! Ephesians 2:8,9. The fact is you surrender your life to Christ when you make that decision by faith. That is what you are doing, giving your heart and life to Jesus. The Bible says we have been bought with a price. Surrendering to Christ is what happens when a person makes the choice to accept Jesus.
PART ONE OF TWO (PART TWO TOMORROW)
When you focus on Jesus, you can walk on water. This week, the Lord has been helping me grow in my own personal relationship with Him. Our life from the moment we accept Christ into our hearts becomes a journey of growing and maturing to become more like our Lord. That process continues right up until the moment we take our last breath. It is like climbing a ladder that has an infinite number of rungs on it. No matter how high you get, there is always another rung to work towards. That is why we can never become complacent or apathetic in our relationship with Christ. It should be the desire of every Believer to become more like our Savior each day.
God has helped me learn over these past 14 years of serving Him, to not allow the distractions of this life to keep me from doing my best at what He has called me to do that day. Between the time I spend with the Lord, overseeing the daily operations of Liveprayer, the 4-5 hours I commit each day to ministering to people personally, doing the TV program "live" 5 nights a week, trying my best to be a Godly husband to my wife, keeping my physical body in shape, and simply having a bit of "down time," each day is very full.
You can only imagine the number of distractions that come from every conceivable direction each day. Satan is a master at using distractions to keep our focus off of the Lord. This week has been a difficult one for me. This morning as I finished up my time in the Word, the Holy Sprit had me in the 14th Chapter of Matthew. I was looking for a passage, and after finding it, my eyes were drawn to the anchor verses for this Devotional today. It is that wonderful story of Peter wanting to walk on the water like Jesus did.
Peter, a man of incredible faith one moment, and no faith the next. I have read and studied this passage of Scripture scores of times, preached on it over the years. But today as I read it, the Holy Spirit said to me, "Bill, there you are. Like Peter, you are a man of great faith one minute, and of no faith the next. When you keep your eyes on Jesus, you can walk on water. When you take your eyes off of Jesus, you will sink."
I closed my Bible, got on my knees, and asked God to forgive me for allowing the distractions of this life to take my eyes off of Jesus. I asked the Lord to give me His strength, that no matter what may be going on around me, I will never take my eyes off of Jesus. I cried out for Him to increase my faith so that I would never lose sight of the Lord again. As I got up, I felt a renewed sense of strength. My mind was crystal clear. My spiritual eyes were locked in on Jesus and I knew that through Him, ALL things were possible.
My friend, let me share this word with you today. YOU CAN WALK ON WATER LIKE PETER. Please, listen to this again and let the words sink into your Spirit. YOU CAN WALK ON WATER LIKE PETER. The only thing stopping you is your lack of faith. Peter was just a man of flesh and blood like you and I. He had the same problems, the same struggles we do. The Bible says that Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water. How? His faith! Why did Peter walk on the water and you haven't? Peter had the faith in Jesus to believe he could walk on the water when the Lord said, "come."
Please take note that Peter only began to sink when he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused instead on the storm around him. When he allowed the storm around him to distract him, that is when he began to sink. As long as you stay focused on Jesus and don't allow the storms in your life to distract you, YOU CAN WALK ON WATER LIKE PETER!!!
I love you and care about you so much. This will be a difficult word for many people today because they do not even have the goal of walking on water. They have set their spiritual goals so low, they are simply satisfied being saved and knowing they will get to Heaven. But for those reading this today that are looking for a challenge, here it is. Don't be satisfied with anything less than walking on water! It is not a matter of is it possible. We already know that it is because Peter did it. God is no respecter of persons. If Peter did it, you can as well. Set your goal to walk on water.
God has called each one of His children to serve Him. Everyone has a different calling on their life and serves God in different ways. Whatever way God has called you to serve Him, set your goal to walk on water, meaning have the faith to serve God to the best of your ability, knowing that as long as you are keeping your focus on Jesus you will walk on the water. Can you serve the Lord sitting in the boat? Sure. But if you are going to serve the Lord, why not get out of the boat and walk on the water? Sitting in the boat doesn't require much faith at all, walking on the water requires great faith. If you want to be the best for the Lord, you have to give your best to the Lord.
I am praying for you today. Praying that you will hear, and respond to this word of encouragement from God today. He loves you, cares about you, and wants the best for your life. We will always have storms in our life. That is never going to change. We can either spend our life focusing on the storms, or spend our life focusing on the One who can calm the storms. The fact is, you will never be all God has called you to be as long as you are focusing on the storms. Keep your eyes on Jesus and YOU can walk on the water!!!
*DON'T MISS PART TWO TOMORROW!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,