Stones Hill Community Church
Jesus is _______.
Welcome to "Jesus is _______." We invite you to make this journey, which will take us deeper into the life of Jesus. He shows us how to be fully human and alive to God. Would you like to be a fully alive human that is God-responsive, yet earthy and willing to mix it up with others in this messy world? Welcome to "Jesus is _________."
Locations & Times
  • Ligonier, IN
    151 W Stones Hill Rd, Ligonier, IN 46767, USA
    Saturday 4:00 PM
We welcome you to Stone's Hill today!

A typical Stone's Hill service has:

* music (so feel free to sing out);

* some announcements (things that are upcoming that you can be a part of);

* a message out of the Bible (God speaks to us through his Word);

* and an opportunity for you to respond to the message (either immediately in the case of a decision that needs to be made OR in the future as you live out the message in your daily life.)

So relax and enjoy your morning! We're so glad you are here!
Message Text: Matthew 14:22-36
So, last week I spoke to you out of Mark 6:45-52. Well, in the parallel passage of Matthew 14, there’s four interesting verses that Mark leaves out in his rendition of this story and they have to do with something that happened to Peter. One commentator calls our passage today a “story within a story.”
A Test Case
Jesus knew that the weather toward Him was going to be changing. After the feeding of thousands, thousands walked away because Jesus refused to play the role of miracle worker, nor would he be king or liberator. Jesus wasn’t going to be as popular as He used to be with some people.
Also, Jesus knew that the weather was going to be changing for his disciples, both spiritually (following Jesus would get harder) and literally (a storm was brewing). So He promptly put them on a boat. They were going to face a storm – both literally and spiritually. It was a kind of test-case for what was ahead of them.
The disciples experienced two physical storms in their three-and-a-half-year residency with the Savior. In the first storm, Jesus was present, but asleep on the boat. But in the second storm, Jesus had withdrawn to a distant hill. And although He could see them, the blindfold of darkness prevented them from seeing Him.
Message in a Nutshell
Jesus seems to be saying through this, “Boys, when the crowds want you to go in a certain direction and they walk away when you don’t; when you are asked by the Master to get in the boat despite your objections; when you face the scariest situations of your life and you don’t have Me visibly present with you – you must know that I see you at all times and I can walk on the water to reach you if necessary." The disciples came away from this experience with a new conviction: “Jesus, you may be out of my sight, but I am never out of yours.” Even in our sinking moments, when life is heavy and we’re losing buoyancy, you show up with an outstretched hand at just the right time to keep us from going under.
Comfort or Christ
Why the withdrawal during the storm? They went from being part of the miracle of feeding thousands to being stuck in a storm. Why? It was an important chapter in the textbook of walking by faith and not be sight. Within hours, their cloths would be dry, the shivering would stop, they’d have food in their bellies, and the ground would be solid beneath them. Within a few days, they would forget about their sore backs and blistered hands. This is not about comfort, but growth.
Comfort or Christ – it can’t be both. It won’t work. We tend to seek a world of comfort. We try to construct manageable lives with some security and predictability to maintain the illusion that we are in control. The call to get out of the boat involves crisis, occasional failure, generally fear, and sometimes out-right suffering. To be a follower of Jesus, we must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of our life. When we have to adapt and change to new situations, it expands us and grows our capabilities. Here’s what Jesus understands. Comfort softens you. It’s experiences like this that turns boys into men. Pain forges men (disciples). Struggles forge disciples (men). Discomfort forges disciples. Avoid adversity and you stunt your growth. Comfort, playing it safe, avoiding the storm – not only stunts growth, but it kills discipleship. We long for something more.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the storm? Do you feel like you’re going under? The greatest storm of life is the predicament we find ourselves in as "sinners." Sometimes, it feels that the broken is all too much, that we're destined for spiritual shipwreck.
Tony Evans in one of his sermons talks about going on a cruise to Alaska. It was a ministry cruise with many Urban Alternative radio listeners with them. And there was a storm. This was the biggest storm that this ocean liner had ever been in. The waves were thirty-five feet high. The ship was tossing and turning. The food was flying off the table. The stewards were crouching in a corner. People were throwing up all over the floor. It was pandemonium. “We were in the middle of the service when we had to cancel the service because the pianist was getting ready to throw up on the piano. Everything was falling apart.”
Tony Evan’s wife got ticked off. Little quiet Lois went off. Now, she’s since gone to be with the Lord. But she said “Why in the world with all this high-tech equipment would we stay on a course that ran into a storm. Why not anchor somewhere until this thing passed? I am going to give the Captain a piece of my Christian mind.” Lois Evans picked up the telephone and said “I want to speak to the captain.” She was going to call the captain to find out what in the world is going on because it was a really bad storm. The assistant said “I can’t get you to the captain. But let me talk to him.”
After talking to the captain, the assistant sent back a message from the captain. And this was the message that he sent back to Tony Evan’s wife who was concerned about this really dangerous scenario. The captain told her two things in so many words: First, lay down in bed and go to sleep because I’m going to stay up. This is my job as a captain. And I will be at the helm while you sleep. No need for both of us to stay up. You sleep and let me captain the ship. The second thing he told her was that this ship was built with these kinds of storms in mind.
If you’re going through the billows of life and they’re knocking you around, God is saying you lay down I’ll stay up. And he’s also saying this Gospel ship of Christ was built with this trial in mind. This ship can handle the storm that you’re in.
You may think you’ve sinned too greatly. That you’ve sinned too much for Jesus to cover. Jesus is a better Savior than you are a sinner. He was built to handle your storm. When he died and rose again it was with your storm in mind. Peter walked on water. He was participating in the victory of Jesus over the storm. You and I can participate in Jesus’s victory over your sin. Trust the captain. “Lord, save me!”
How did Peter get back into that boat? One of two ways: either he walked back on the water or he came back in the arms of Jesus. Either way sounds pretty good to me. And so, that is faith’s venture. You must get out of the boat of self-reliance.
Charles Spurgeon wrote: If you have any reason for doubting Christ, then doubt him. But how can you doubt him? Is he not able to save? He is the Son of God. Believest thou this? Did he not die, “the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God”? Dost thou doubt the efficacy of his death? Canst thou stand at the foot of the cross, and hear him cry, “It is finished,” and then say, “There is not enough for me”? Dost thou think that to be incomplete which he says is finished? And when he hath entered into his Father’s glory, and sat down because he hath for ever completed the work of atonement, wouldst thou rouse him up? Wouldst thou take him away from his rest, and say, “Thou hast not finished the work, it is still incomplete”? Oh! say not so; if thou shouldst entertain such a thought, thy unbelief would be reckless indeed.
Come to Christ today!

Dismissal Song

What a Friend We Have in Jesus (feat. Hannah Hardin)

The Story of the Bible

The Bible Project

The Entire Gospel in Five Minutes

The Story Film

Online Sermon Archive

Stones Hill Community Church Sermons

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