Good Morning Beloved,
Lord, on this glorious day, we rejoice!
Lord, we praise you and thank you for all that we have and all that we are today, as it is all because of Your sacrificial love for us. We pray for those who are sick, battling life threatening illnesses or undergoing treatment, those feeling defeated, broken and hopeless. We ask You gracious and loving Father to restore their health, overall well-being, mentally & physically, take their pain, ease the burdens they’re facing and their worries. Restore them financially, their families. Fill them with a Spirit of Love and Hope. Reveal those to us, You want us to bless in Your name, that You alone would receive the glory.
Father, open the eyes of the blind, open the ears of the deaf, that they may come to hear Your Word for them today
Speak hope to the hearts of those discouraged, speak restoration to the broken, speak salvation to the lost
O precious Lord, speak to the needs of those gathered today, wherever they may be hearing this message..
Lord do the impossible in and through us, Your willing servants
In Jesus name,
may it be so,
"Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!"
Today's Message: Time For A Change
It has been said, that on this same day, the day that the storm occurred in the life of Jesus was perhaps the most difficult day that Jesus had to live through, excluding Calvary.
It was on this day that Jesus:
Had to deal with the death of John the Baptist, his own cousin.
He had hoped to go to the desert place for a time of solitude but the people appeared and began to clamor for his attention.
He taught them.
He had to meet the demands of their hunger and multiplied the fish and the loaves.
He had to contend with the doubt of his closest friends, the disciples, people who should have trusted Him without question.
And some of you think you have your hands full?
Yet, I do not want to focus the attention on the actions of Jesus but rather the steps that Peter took toward the Savior. So that we will see in the steps that Peter took the great rewards of reaching for a Savior.
Great acts of faith are seldom born out of calm calculation.
Most often, faith is the child of fear.
The storm has surrounded Peter, the waves have the boat rocking from side-to-side, a number of the disciples are bailing water out of the boat. The sails are whipping in the wind and the mast is groaning with the pressure of the storm. The rudder has lost its ability to guide the fishing craft. It seems as if all hope is gone.
According to the Gospel of John, chapter 6:19, we realize that the disciples were several miles out into the Sea of Galilee. The normal trip across the northern end of the Sea of Galilee would not have been more than a mile or two from shore at any point. The storm had obviously carried the boat several miles south, out into the middle of the lake. The disciples and their little craft were being beaten and battered by the waves and the wind was pushing them further and further away from their destination and nearer and nearer to ultimate disaster. Whether or not the boat had a sail, it does not matter, as it would have been useless in contrast to the high winds and waves.
How many of you have experience a delay in God's response to your prayers or need?
The delays of God come with a purpose.
Just as there was in the storm in our text, there is an apparent delay in deliverance.
So why does God delay?
To try our faith for it is by trying of faith that patience is invested in us.
To bring humility to us. Humility is never more embraced than during suffering.
To intensify the desire in our hearts toward God.
To enhance the joy that comes once the answer arrives.
Beloved, let me make this plain...
the delays of God always, always turn out right. No matter how long that He waits, no matter how grim the situation looks, God is always right on time. And it turns out.
Let's recall others in Scripture, who experienced a delay...
Consider the love of Jarius, whose daughter was dying, as he tried to get the Lord to his house.
Consider the cries of Mary and Martha as the Lord waited two days before ever starting for Bethany.
Consider the three days that Jonah spent in the belly of the fish before God let him out.
Consider the Apostle Paul who spent a night and a day in the deep.
Consider Peter in the jail cell having slept much of the night before being released by the angel.
Consider the Syrophoenician woman who reasoned with the Christ before finally gaining healing for her daughter.
Consider Abraham’s twenty-five years before Isaac was born.
Therefore, we must learn to be content, content to live within the confines of God’s timing and not our own.
Now the disciples momentarily lose their focus on the storm and it looks as if a ghost has come to visit them in the wee hours of the morning. However, it turns out that it is Jesus.
If you don't know Him...
He is the One who has the power to calm even the deepest, darkest storm of your life!
No matter what your storm is, no matter how bad it may seem, God is exceedingly able to deliver you and set your feet on a safe rock to stay.
"For who in the skies is comparable to the Lord?
Who among the sons of the mighty is like the Lord,
A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones,
And awesome above all those who are around Him?
O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord?
Your faithfulness also surrounds You.
You rule the swelling of the sea;
When its waves rise, You still them."
In looking fully at the storm situation, one may see the steps of Peter as he walked on toward victory and the place of renewal in the storm.
It is what occurs next, Peter's request, that is what placed him in harms way.
"Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!"
There are both Privileges and Perils of serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Spiritual relationships are often born out of some deep wound, they are born out of the painfulness of heart, but we never hear of that. The backs of Paul and Silas were exposed to the cat of nine-tails before they experienced the earthquake in a jail cell in Philippi.
In Ephesians 3:8, we find there are unsearchable riches to be gained from the Kingdom of God, high privileges that every person may partake of. However, more often than not, to gain the privileges of the Kingdom, you must walk through the perils. Peter wanted to reach Jesus but he had to navigate the stormy seas to get to Him.
Peter was not working to create a spectacular or sensational show for the disciples who stayed behind. It was his love for Jesus that caused him to venture out of the boat.
Beloved, the quest is not to make men superstars or spiritual giants who hold the attention of men. . . . the quest for spiritual things is motivated out of a love for the Savior!
One of the greatest stories ever written was when Paul and Silas were in Philippi, with swollen ankles, bleeding backs, beaten with rods, in a rat infested inner prison.
Do you hear them grumbling?
Do you hear them criticizing everybody else?
Do you hear them running everybody else down?
Do you hear them talking or complaining?
What we do find is Paul saying, "We will not look at our difficulties. We will not measure the height of these walls, neither will we look at any of this." The inner prison was indescribable, but Paul said, "I will remember the Lord God who split the Red Sea and He is the God of the cloud and the fire."
"I know that I cannot curse the darkness, there is only one thing that can take care of the darkness. I will light a little torch. Let’s sing. I know that it is midnight, but I am going to use everything I have. My hands are in stocks. My feet are in bonds. I’m beaten but I can wiggle my fingers and toes. I have a mouth. I am not going to wait for big things. I am not going to wait for the moment."
Beloved, he turned a place, what many of us today would still be complaining about, still posting photo's on Instagram, showing the world, just how bad things are.. He took a place of torture and turned into a cathedral of triumph and praise! He set the city and continent ablaze. The man responsible was handcuffed, chained, but he pushed back the horizon. Bound, contemptible, weak physically, yet they shook the whole Roman Empire. It was this bound, beaten, imprisoned and tortured man that said, "None of these things move me!"
Is it possible that the very desires of our own hearts is what may be placing us in less than prospective circumstances?
It was at the very bidding of Jesus Christ that Peter moved out of the fishing vessel, only to take a few steps and began to sink.
Whenever Peter began to look around at the frightening waves around him it was then that he began to slip beneath the waves of the sea.
However, it was a little later in the life of Peter, we learn that he would truly sink! He would be warming himself at a strange fire near the palace of the High Priest and deny that he had anything to do with Jesus. Denying that he even knew Him. Exactly as foretold to him by Jesus...
But here, in the storm on the Sea of Galilee, it was different. His failure was practically in his backyard. We might even say, this sea belonged to Peter. It was here that he learned how to fish, where he learned how to repair his boat, to repair his nets. This was the place that he had fished with Andrew and James and John.
I recall reading some time ago, the story of a woman..
The California coast was shrouded in fog the morning of July 4, 1952. Twenty-one miles to the west, on Catalina Island, a thirty-four year old woman waded into the water and began swimming toward California. She was determined to be the first woman to ever swim the twenty-one mile strait. Her name was Florence Chadwick. She had already finished an accomplished swim in the English Channel in both directions. Perhaps some of you already know the story...
The water was numbing cold that morning and the fog was so thick that Chadwick could hardly see the boats in her own party. . . .there to scare away the sharks. As the hours ticked off, she swam on. Fatigue had never been a serious problem; it was only the bone chilling cold of the water that was threatening. More than fifteen hours later, numbed with the cold, the swimmer asked to be taken out. She couldn't go on any longer. Her mother and her trainer, in a boat alongside her, urged Florence to go on, as they were getting closer to the shore. Yet all she could see was the dense fog. A few minutes later, the swimmer was taken out of the water, and later, realizing she had been within a half-mile of the shore, she blurted out, "I'm not excusing myself, but if I could have seen the shore, I might have made it."
Beloved, Florence Chadwick had become defeated! But, it was not by the cold or even by the fatigue, but by the fog! You see, the fog is what had obscured her goal, it had blinded her purpose, her reason and her vision... Because she couldn't see, what was literally just in front of her, she quit! She gave up, just before obtaining her goal..
Indulge me for a moment, and consider with me, the cost of giving up too early.
Every vision is preceded by a burden.
Crown wearers are usually cross-bearers.
Victory only comes after there has been a battle.
Accomplishment is marked by long, arduous hours of work.
You see, nothing comes easy, whether materially or spiritually.
Too many have given up at the most crucial moment when they were but just a half-mile from the shore. The treasured goal.
Scripture is full of men who quit too early. Whether their life was in the midst of the storm or whether it was a bright sunny day and all was well seemingly, it always is troubling to see men with potential quit too early.
Familiar waters. Friendly waters. Waters he knew well.. has now it has become frightening waters and Peter has lost his hope. We must understand that God will have to save us in familiar waters.
Some of the Church's greatest saints are being made in this Sea of Galilee at this very moment.
Beloved, just STOP!
Stop always looking for greener grass, just START becoming what God wants you to be.
Yet there are some of you here today, who will drown in a sea of pride before they will ever admit they are going to perish. You will be content to sink in familiar waters.
Oftentimes, our greatest failures do not come when we are hundreds of miles from shore, but it is at home, in the hometown that our failures plague us.
Our failure comes as did David's, just with a look over the backyard fence at some forbidden vice that Satan has waiting to cater to the base nature of the flesh.
Beloved, I encourage you today to Stop, Just Stop!
Stop, and reach for the Hand of the Savior, Jesus Christ!
His hand is extended, He is reaching out to you, in the middle of your storm..
still, some of you will refuse.
As though you're content to sink in your storm.
To give up just before reaching the safety of land.
Hell bent on doing things your way...
It's Time For A Change!
Mere association with Christ can be of greater detriment than of good. Understand that Peter felt the waves working to pull the life from him after he had answered the call to discipleship by the Lord.
It was after Peter had followed Him about Palestine.
It was after he had witnessed the miracle of the fishes and loaves.
It was after he had watched the miracles, that he almost drowned.
It is sad to watch men, both biblical and in current times, who have developed such a magnificent relationship with God and then faltered and failed after great service to Him. But every man who is serving in the Kingdom of God must stand the test of time.
It is not so much how today is lived as to how tomorrow holds up.
Men often sink after years of discipleship and devotion to God. There is the weariness in well-doing to contend with. There is a spiritual erosion in their life, into the lower channels of those
secret desires that only God has the knowledge of.
Through the years of faithfulness a certain waxing and waning of emotion may exhibit itself, yet there is the commitment that must be embraced which fuels us as we race toward the rapture.
Faithful man, reach out to God.
Won't you allow Him to pull you from the waters of despair, the Church is moving toward her greatest victory in history!
Often enough, enthusiastic souls that long to do great things for God will expose themselves to great perils. Peter was on the perilous path toward revival, when he started going down, he was not an intruder or trespasser, he was going where Jesus Christ had allowed him to go.
Peter never disobeyed God in this matter. Jesus had not forced him to remain in the boat, Peter came at an invitation, on his own.
But .... Peter began to sink at the invitation of Jesus.
The life of Andrew Urshan is a remarkable one, there is a biography of him, I would encourage everyone to read...
He once wrote that his own disappointments had turned into being God’s appointments.
And there came a song from his own hand that was written during a time of great duress and struggle.
His wife left him and he had to care for five young children. Turning her back on this Pentecostal way, Andrew Urshan, found his days unbearable, but out of that came this song:
Verse 1 – When my life is burdened with sorrow, And it seems all help is gone, Jesus whispers, “Do not falter; I will leave thee not alone.” Then somehow amidst my trials, How it is I cannot see; Still I hear a voice from heaven; Gently saying “Follow me.”
Verse 2 – Sometimes my friends do forsake me, and I’m tempted to despair; Then I think of my dear Jesus –To lay His head He had nowhere. O, it pays to follow Jesus, just to learn of Him each day; And I guarantee, my brother, You’ll have sunshine all the way.
Verse 3 – Let me recommend Him to you; I have found no friend like Him. He is One who’ll ne’er deceive you, But stay with you to the end. If you would have peace and comfort, Let His banner be unfurled. He was lifted upon Calvary, And His name can save the world.
Chorus – There is sunshine in the shadow; There is sunshine in the rain; There is sunshine in our sorrow, When our hearts are filled with pain. There is sunshine when we’re burdened; There is sunshine when we pray; There is sunshine, Heav’nly sunshine, Blessed sunshine all the way.
It is often times that when the greatest of difficulties of our lives, begin to assert themselves when we are in the permitted path. Not a path of sin or lukewarmness and waywardness but a path where we have asked to be placed.. one we've prayed for. However, we didn't realize, that this would be the path in which we'd reach it..
In the journey to victory, Peter went alone, his request was the only one, Peter walked alone, therefore, he sunk alone.
In the wild confusion of the storm, the disciples probably either were focused on the storm or on the Lord. No one was really watching the actions of Peter. If they thought that the Lord had been a ghost, then their vision of Peter was probably obscured also.
When a man seeks to pursue revival or deeper spiritual things, he often will make the trip alone. There are not many who are willing to pay nor pray the price that God demands for apostolic revival.
There are some who sit on these pews of life who are sinking, alone. No one is aware of their own personal burdens and reasons for revival. No one else is aware of the prayer meetings that occur
when no one is watching, or the private fastings, or the private meditations that occur.
Great spiritual strength is gleaned from the private moments we spend with God. When the world has no idea where you are or what you are doing, alone with God.
It was at the place that others were not aware of that Peter was venturing toward revival.
But when Peter began to sink, Jesus Christ was near. How far was Peter from Jesus? Was he fifty yards, a hundred yards, two hundred yards? It really does not matter the distance, God is not bound with space and time. He can reach down to the lowest point and pull us to our feet.
The increased faith comes by the discoveries that only revival can bring. There are some who sit here who can bear out the fact that when you started requesting a new and fresh relationship with God that the storm set in. It was when you began to move toward a place of God’s destiny that it began to cost you.
Beloved, there is a high cost involved in having a deep life changing relationship with God but I can assure you this, it will be worth it all.
Nothing worthwhile comes easily.. we know that, it always requires effort, hard work.
Every mile of each and every trial, will be worth it.
I know that some of you are in the midst of the greatest storm of your life...
waves and winds are attacking from all sides ...
But, you're not far from the shore.
Jesus is reaching out to save you...
It may cost you something... but aren't you already losing it all?
Taking His hand will well be worth the cost....
Right now, this very moment.....in the middle of your storm... the Savior is there ... waiting for YOU!
The time you waste in your delayed response... belongs to the enemy, the one causing the storm.
Are you going to keep sinking?
Today is the day... It's Time For A Change!
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Brian Monzon Ministries