May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity

among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth

you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 15:5-6

(NIV)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and

follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. -

Matthew 16:24 - 25 (CSBBible)

Have you ever considered that the moment the disciples accepted the call to follow Jesus, their lives were forever changed? We are also changed forever if we accept the call to follow Christ. That said, there are many, many, many (get the point), Christians who have answered the call, but are living as if they haven’t responded to Christ at all. Why is that? Some would suggest those people just need to have more faith. There are multiple scriptures where Jesus spoke to His disciples regarding their lack of, or “little” faith. When we respond to God’s call to follow Him, our first act of obedience is one of faith. By faith we believe that Christ took our sin upon Himself while on the cross, and through His shed blood and death, our sin has been washed away. By faith we believe that God the Father raised Christ from the dead and in doing so, we too will be raised up to be with Him in heaven. As scripture points out, faith is the conviction of things not seen. In Matthew 14:25-31 Jesus comes to the disciples who are in a boat, in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, in the wee hours of the morning. It’s still dark and they are in the middle of a ferocious storm. When they see Jesus approaching, walking on the water, they are terrified. Jesus tells them not to be afraid. Peter says, “Lord, if it’s You, command me to come to You on the water.” Jesus bids him to come, and Peter steps out of the boat, and begins walking on the water toward Jesus. Peter does what is humanly impossible, getting out of a boat and beginning to walk on water! Even amid darkness, waves crashing over the boat and wind whipping the sea to a frenzy, Peter did the impossible. How? Peter was gazing at God (Jesus), and glancing at his problem (the storm, the waves, the wind and the water under his feet). But Peter’s water walk was short lived why? Peter took his gaze off Jesus, and started to gaze at his problem, and the impossibility of it. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”- (HCSB) In the same way, when we gaze upon the Lord and glance at our problems, we can overcome seemingly impossible tasks. If we take our eyes off Jesus, we will sink into the depths of the problems we face. Even still, when we sink, all we need to do is call out to God, and He is faithful to meet our need. Does that mean we will be taken out of the difficulty? Usually not. God uses these challenges in our life to teach us, strengthen our faith, and build within us a hope for the future. We need to remember that when we become a Christian, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit as God’s child. This seal is a promise, and guarantee of His protection during any situation.
© 2018-2021 Greenwood Systems

May the God who gives endurance

and encouragement give you a spirit

of unity among yourselves as you

follow Christ Jesus, so that with one

heart and mouth you may glorify the

God and Father of our Lord Jesus

Christ. - Romans 15:5-6 (NIV)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone wants to

follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his

cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his

life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of

me will find it. - Matthew 16:24 - 25 (CSBBible)

Have you ever considered that the moment the disciples accepted the call to follow Jesus, their lives were forever changed? We are also changed forever if we accept the call to follow Christ. That said, there are many, many, many (get the point), Christians who have answered the call, but are living as if they haven’t responded to Christ at all. Why is that? Some would suggest those people just need to have more faith. There are multiple scriptures where Jesus spoke to His disciples regarding their lack of, or “little” faith. When we respond to God’s call to follow Him, our first act of obedience is one of faith. By faith we believe that Christ took our sin upon Himself while on the cross, and through His shed blood and death, our sin has been washed away. By faith we believe that God the Father raised Christ from the dead and in doing so, we too will be raised up to be with Him in heaven. As scripture points out, faith is the conviction of things not seen. In Matthew 14:25-31 Jesus comes to the disciples who are in a boat, in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, in the wee hours of the morning. It’s still dark and they are in the middle of a ferocious storm. When they see Jesus approaching, walking on the water, they are terrified. Jesus tells them not to be afraid. Peter says, “Lord, if it’s You, command me to come to You on the water.” Jesus bids him to come, and Peter steps out of the boat, and begins walking on the water toward Jesus. Peter does what is humanly impossible, getting out of a boat and beginning to walk on water! Even amid darkness, waves crashing over the boat and wind whipping the sea to a frenzy, Peter did the impossible. How? Peter was gazing at God (Jesus), and glancing at his problem (the storm, the waves, the wind and the water under his feet). But Peter’s water walk was short lived why? Peter took his gaze off Jesus, and started to gaze at his problem, and the impossibility of it. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”- (HCSB) In the same way, when we gaze upon the Lord and glance at our problems, we can overcome seemingly impossible tasks. If we take our eyes off Jesus, we will sink into the depths of the problems we face. Even still, when we sink, all we need to do is call out to God, and He is faithful to meet our need. Does that mean we will be taken out of the difficulty? Usually not. God uses these challenges in our life to teach us, strengthen our faith, and build within us a hope for the future. We need to remember that when we become a Christian, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit as God’s child. This seal is a promise, and guarantee of His protection during any situation.
© 2018-2021 Greenwood Systems

How can we follow

Jesus?