Life or Death Choices

Life or Death Choices

Following Jesus is a learning process.  God puts life and death challenges in our path and waits to see what we will do.  At first we choose to save our life only to soon learning that we aren’t saving our life at all, but rather dying.  Only when we realize that choosing death to self is really the way of life, do we begin to choose Christ.

 

Outline

PROBLEM

  • Too many of us, whenever we face difficulties in life, try to find out what caused the storm in our lives. We have been conditioned to associate difficulties with disobedience.
  • Fear keeps you from seeing what God is already doing.
  • He will bring you to an intersection of faith and fear.  He will say trust me. Whether you grow or not all depends on how you respond to this intersection.
  • “If you have a God great enough and powerful enough to be mad at because he doesn’t stop your suffering, you also have a God who’s great enough and powerful enough to have reasons that you can’t understand. You can’t have it both ways.

GOD

  • Picture in your mind the size of the waves, the strength of the wind, and the darkness of the night. Picture this little boat struggling to avoid being capsized. boat was “tormented” by the waves. Cold, wet, exhausted, terrified. conditions under which Peter is going to get out of the boat.
  • So Peter says, “All right, Lord. If it’s really you, what do you want me to do? Command me.” Jesus says, “All right, Peter, out of the boat.” Peter lifts one leg over the side. He puts his foot on the water, and then he lifts his other leg over the side of the boat and puts that foot on the water. And then he lets go.
  • Imagine doing it when the waves are crashing, and the wind is at gale force, and it’s three in the morning, and the night is black. Peter gets out, and he falls. He doesn’t make it. It’s a story of failure. Or is it?
  • Question: Did Peter fail?
  • Faith is intimately connected to risk— there can be no faith without risk. And risk is intimately connected to fear—there can be no faith without risk. And sometimes failure.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve ever failed a test, if you’ve ever been cut from a team, if you ever did not get a job or a promotion you wanted, if you’ve ever been impatient with a three-year-old, if you’ve ever said the wrong thing or eaten with the wrong fork or worn synthetic fibers—if you’ve ever experienced failure of any kind.
  • “What if the people whom I’m close to, the people important to me, see me fail?”
  • After he sends them into the storm he went away to pray for hours. Why does he do this? Why does Jesus send his disciples into a dangerous situation just to leave them there for hours and not come rescue them? The answer is simple; Jesus was trying to teach them something.
  • There is no failure that can place you beyond the loving care of the hand of God.

TASK

  • In a real sense, every day is hurricane season in the life of the believer
  • When people get out of the boat, the power of God is put into play and remarkable things happen.
  • “If I never had a problem, I wouldn’t know that God could solve them.”
  • You will never do anything great to the glory of God if you’re not willing to get out of the boat.

VISION

  • To follow Jesus is to say, “It is my ultimate goal to live the way that Jesus would live if he were in my body.” Anybody who has any other goal, is not following Jesus.
  • Following Jesus is always a choice between comfort and fear. To be a disciple is to renounce comfort.
  • Here is the amazing thing about following Jesus: Fear will never go away.
  • Faithful, available, teachable