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 Issue #87 Sun, 25 Jun 2006

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seeker of truth

Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #87 Sun, 25 Jun 2006   March 11th 2007, 23:59

Walking on Water

Dear Youth,

Last week we looked at part 1 of the story about Peter walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33). You might like to browse last week's devotional (#86 "Walking on Water, Part 1") to refresh your memory about where we left off. Why did Peter begin to fall? We will look at the reasons today.

The first reason is found in Matthew 14:30: "But when he [Peter] saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." For a moment, Peter took his eyes off the Saviour and noticing how tempestuous the sea was, he lost faith, became afraid, and began to sink. "When trouble comes upon us, how often we are like Peter! We look upon the waves, instead of keeping our eyes fixed upon the Saviour." (The Desire of Ages, p. 382)

Every day, we are exposed to some kind of trial. The life of a Christian is not a bed of roses, Jesus never promised us this, in fact He told us that the way was narrow and strait. But we are told: "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him." (James 1:12) The reward is well worth it, friends!

Satan will do anything he can to make the sea billows roll in order to divert our attention to the waves instead of to Jesus. In the beautiful book Steps to Christ, p. 71, we read: "When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan's constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life's cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections-to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind."

The second factor that caused Peter to sink was self-sufficiency and pride. In The Desire of Ages, we are told that Peter turned, in self-sufficiency, to look at his companions in the boat. "There is nothing so offensive to God or so dangerous to the human soul as pride and self-sufficiency. Of all the sins it is the most hopeless, the most incurable." (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 154) So many Christian's think they are invincible. They say with firm conviction that they are saved. A lot of people take it for granted that because they are professing Christian's they will automatically be saved. Youth, a profession will not save us, and we cannot for a moment feel that we are saved because salvation is a day by day process.

"Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or feel that they are saved. This is misleading. Every one should be taught to cherish hope and faith; but even when we give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not beyond the reach of temptation. . . .Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to themselves." (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 155) We are admonished: "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." (1 Corinthians 10:12) "We are never to rest in a satisfied condition, and cease to make advancement, saying, "I am saved." When this idea is entertained, the motives for watchfulness, for prayer, for earnest endeavour to press onward to higher attainments, cease to exist. No sanctified tongue will be found uttering these words till Christ shall come." (Maranatha, p. 236)

"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write. . . .Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." (Revelation 3:14, 16-17) Laodiceans think they have it all, but don't realize who they really are. I really think that it's quite dangerous for the people of Laodicea to claim that they are saved, when their very problem is that they can't see just how wretched they really are! We need to be very careful not to fall into the trap of self-sufficiency, self-confidence and pride because these things WILL cause us to sink and drown.

"In this incident on the sea He [Jesus] desired to reveal to Peter his own weakness,--to show that his safety was in the constant dependence upon divine power. Amid the storms of temptation he could walk safely only as in utter self-distrust he should rely upon the Saviour. It was on the point where he thought himself strong that Peter was weak; and not until he discerned his weakness could he realize his need of dependence upon Christ. . . .Day by day God instructs His children. By the circumstances of the daily life He is preparing them to act their part upon that wider stage to where His providence has appointed them. It is the issue of the daily test that determines their victory or defeat in life's great crisis. Those who fail to realize their constant dependence upon God will be overcome by temptation." (The Desire of Ages, p. 382)

We all live in a world reeking with every sinful thing imaginable. Things are getting worse and worse as the morality rapidly declines. Millions of people question God and blame Him for all the catastrophes and disasters. But, it is really God's fault? "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2) Young people, sin separates us from God, and it is only when He cleanses us from all our filthiness, our idols and all our unrighteousness and creates in us a clean heart that communion with Him is restored.

Christ is the only one who can save us from our sins, only He can draw us up out of the pit of sin. When we look to ourselves, we are doomed to fall and fail, but if we would do as Peter did, we would find sure victory! Fix your eyes to Jesus, stretch out a hand of faith and cry out: "Lord, save me." (Matthew 14:30) The only way we can walk on water is to realize our nothingness and turn our eyes to Jesus. "Only through realizing our own weakness and looking steadfastly unto Jesus can we walk securely." (The Desire of Ages, p. 382)

Jesus WILL see us through the storm young people, He WILL enable us to do the impossible, but only if we are willing to do our part!

--Stephanie Fox

PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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Issue #87 Sun, 25 Jun 2006
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