An Amazing Fact: During the mid-1800s, there was a great religious awakening all over the world. The coming of Jesus, and preparation for that coming, was being agitated in many different countries. In the Scandinavian countries, this message was opposed by the state church, and a law was passed forbidding anyone over a certain age to preach except priests of the official church. Because of this, God moved upon children to be preachers of the message of the coming of Jesus, and children too young to read or write presented with power the prophecies of scripture. These children rebuked the worldliness and backsliding of the people and condemned the immorality of the day, calling all to repentance. God’s spirit moved upon the people and many forsook their wicked ways and a reformation was wrought in their lives. Even the ministers of the state church had to acknowledge the power of God through these children.
The God who worked through those Scandinavian children is still able to move upon our children today. For this reason, the Ava SDA Church invests in their youth. This past Sabbath, the Adventurers (ages 5-9) and the Pathfinders (ages 10-16) were given the opportunity to lead out in the church service. They led out in song service, praises and prayer request time, special music, and even in the sermon.
The sermon was presented by the Pathfinders—Sam Esquilla, Sarah Esquilla, Shayla Simon, Aiden Gilliam, and Mathew Watson. The title of the sermon was “Dare to Leave the Boat” by J.D. Davis, based on Matthew 14:22-33. The sermon dared each person to trust Jesus completely by leaving the boat like Peter.
The first key in trusting Jesus is to dispel any disillusionment. In verse 26, the disciples, who just spent time with Jesus feeding the five thousand, were not able to recognize Jesus in the midst of the storm, thinking He was a ghost. Rather than trusting their Master, whom they had just witnessed performing a great miracle, they allowed fear to rule them.
That sounds just like us most of the time. We let our fear blind our spiritual eyes that we do not recognize Jesus. This ought not to be. We need to be so familiar with Jesus that during the storms in life, we recognize our True Helper. It is only through a consistent personal relationship, and only as we grow to know Christ deeper, that we recognize Him.
The second key is if we let things distract us, it can break our trust in Jesus. Peter did step out of the boat by faith. However, he did not hold on to that faith. Instead, he let himself become distracted by focusing on the obvious stuff, such as the thunder, the lightning, and the waves, resulting in taking his eyes off Jesus.
Often we do the same. We get scared by the things that look like they will overtake us, and we let go our hold on Jesus. We focus on the problems more than on the power that can help us. We also get distracted and take our eyes off Jesus by little things, even in doing good. We get too busy doing things for ourselves, our family, and even for Jesus.
The third key to a lasting trust in Jesus is that we need to destroy doubt. Before this incident, in Matthew 8, the disciples had a similar experience involving a boat and a storm. The only difference was that Jesus was sleeping in the boat rather than walking on the water to the boat.
At the end of that story, the men that were in the boat exclaimed, “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!” Surely, the disciples heard that and may even thought that themselves.
In Matthew 14, after the storm was calmed, the disciples worshiped Jesus saying, “Of a truth thou art the Son Of God.” They were able to see Jesus not just as an amazing man but as the Son Of God. They witnessed Jesus’ ability to calm storms.
How do we see Jesus as who He really is? After we witness His power, what do we do when the next storm comes? Do we react the same way or with a faith that has grown stronger from the past storm?
To know who Jesus really is, once again, we must spend time with Him, whether it is through personal study of His word or personal prayers. Through a personal relationship with Him, we get familiar with Him so that when a storm comes in our lives, we know exactly how Jesus will handle it for us. If we hold on to our faith, we will come out of the storm victoriously. When another storm comes, we do not need to doubt Jesus’ ability to help us because we have seen it proved from the previous experience that He can take us through the storm. So, why doubt?
Is there something in your life right now that is preventing you from trusting Jesus completely? Is there anything that takes your time away from personal devotion and prayer? The time of peace is the best time to get to know Him. Then when the storm comes, you can have peace in Jesus. So, start today. He is waiting for you.
The Community Services Center, located on the church property, is open every Tuesday from 10:00 to 2:00. We will have February stats next week. We appreciate your support and donations to enable us to serve our community. You can reach us at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343. Please visit us at www.avaadventistchurch.org or follow us on Facebook!
May God bless and keep you!