Eyes Up

Matthew 14:25-33

“Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’

‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’
‘Come,’ he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’

And then they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’”

 

This is one of my favorite Bible stories. It is one that shows the truthfulness of human nature.

Peter is such a relateable disciple. Here’s a man who truly believes, and is vocal about his desire to follow Christ. His heart is fully in the Lord. So then, why does he fall?

I find myself coming back to this story for several reasons.

First of all, Peter had good intentions. He had faith that Christ was who he said he was, and could do what he said he could do. There are days when I feel so close to God and so confident about who he is that I can’t find it in myself to worry about anything. I believe in the power of Christ. I believe he will take care of me.

However, as the story continues, we see that Peter started to look around. He took his eyes off Jesus and turned his attention to the wind and the waves. In my life, the wind and the waves look like work, finances, relationships, school, and responsibilities. The wind and the waves look like the future and the unknown. And just like Peter, it is when these things capture my attention that I begin to feel like I’m sinking. My vision is crowded with other things and I struggle to see and hear Jesus through it all. And if we’re honest, it does feel like we’re drowning.

But the most important part is that Peter cried out to the right person. He didn’t turn back and call out to the disciples to save him, and it doesn’t say that he tried to fight the storm on his own. He called out to the one person who could lift him out; “Lord.” Sometimes I struggle with this one. I waste too much time trying to fix the situation on my own before turning to Christ. I have found time and time again that calling out to Christ and refocusing on him will lift me out when I cannot do it on my own.

I love the word that is used when Jesus lifts him out; “immediately.” As soon as Peter called out, Jesus reached down and lifted him out. He didn’t scold him first, he didn’t get angry at Peter for failing. He immediately pulls him out and then reminds Peter of who he is. “Why did you doubt?” Christ does not get tired of us. He doesn’t get angry when we fail. He is excited about our attempts! Like a father teaching his child to ride a bike, he picks us up when we fall and encourages us to try again.

I read this story all the time, and I never get tired of it. This book is not outdated, ancient, or expired. The truths that Peter learned that day in the storm are the same truths that I need to hear today.

As you face the storms in your life – as you are tempted to glance at the wind and the waves – remember; eyes up.

The Kitchen Table #29: Sibling Guilt – Living with a Special Needs Sibling

By far the most raw and emotional episode of The Kitchen Table. Join Shine.FM’s Ministry Director Brian McIntyre Utter and his son Jake as they share their own personal story of the guilt and emotions of siblings in families with special needs children. New songs in Music Matters from Elias Dummer, Ben Rector, and a 1994 oldie, but goldie from Clay Crosse. In Culture Shock, the lessons we can teach of children when sports figures have a major failure. Subscribe today to get all the episodes.

Shine 180: Linette

Shine 180…stories of lives transformed by God because of your faithfulness. We are all on a journey. We are all at different points on our journey….and that’s OK.  The purpose of our journey is simple, but sometimes difficult…keep moving forward becoming more like Jesus. Linette’s demonstrates that the journey to Salvation is not always a smooth one. Don’t give up. God is not giving up on you.

The Kitchen Table #28: Response to the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

On this week’s episode of The Kitchen Table Shine.FM’s Ministry Director Brian McIntyre Utter and his son Jake have a conversation about the Christian response to the legalization of recreational marijuana. New songs in Music Matters from Joel Vaughn, All Sons & Daughters, and a 1993 oldie, but goldie from The Imperials. In Culture Shock, Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas message and what the 2018 Box Office Queen says about God’s blessings. Subscribe today to get all the episodes.

The Kitchen Table #27: It Is OK for Christians to Curse?

On this week’s episode of The Kitchen Table Shine.FM’s Ministry Director Brian McIntyre Utter and his son Jake have a conversation about if it is OK for Christians to use profanity or not. New songs in Music Matters from Ryan Stevenson, Elevation Worship and a 1992 oldie, but goldie from Michael W. Smith. In Culture Shock, what does how we spend money on extravagant things say about of Christian witness. Subscribe today to get all the episodes.

The Kitchen Table #26: As Followers of Christ, How Do We Deal with Divorce?

This week on The Kitchen Table, Shine.FM’s Ministry Director Brian McIntyre Utter and his son Jake welcome around the table, Shine.FM program director, Don Burns, as they look at the issue of divorce, the effects it has on children, and what the Bible has to say. In Music Matters, new music from Lincoln Brewster, a Christmas song from Chris Tomlin & Audrey Assad and an oldie, but goldie from Wayne Watson. In Culture Shock, some important things kids should know about Christmas. Be sure to subscribe for all the latest!

Shine.FM Momcast #5: When Retirement Isn’t What You Thought It Would Be

Join Shine.FM’s midday host, Heather Erbe as she welcomes her guest Joyce Davis for a discussion about retirement.  What if arrive at retirement and realized it wasn’t all you thought it would be? Joyce shares her experience after retirement.

The Kitchen Table #25: Why Does Consistency Matter?

This week on The Kitchen Table Shine.FM’s Ministry Director Brian McIntyre Utter and his son Jake discuss why is it important to have consistency in following Jesus. New songs in Music Matters from 7eventh Time Down, Bryan & Katie Torwalt and Jake is introduced to Ska music with a 1997 classic from The O.C. Supertones. In Culture Shock, they discuss how parents respond to tricky faith questions. Don’t miss an episode. Subscribe today!

Shine.FM Momcast #4: Returning to the Workplace After Having Children with guest Melissa Keeley

Join Shine.FM’s Heather Erbe as she welcomes Melissa Keeley for this episode of the Momcast. Melissa shares her story of returning to the workplace after having her first two children.

Shine 180: Lori

Shine 180…stories of lives transformed by God because of your faithfulness.

We are all on a journey. We are all at different points on our journey….and that’s OK.

The purpose of our journey is simple, but sometimes difficult…keep moving forward becoming more like Jesus. Lori’s journey, like many of ours, is full of twists and turns and periods of hopelessness.

Join Shine.FM Director of Partner Care, Steph Reynolds for this debut episode.