Stepping Out In Faith

Steve Arterburn

 

The waves crashed, the storm swelled, the wind howled, and the boat creaked and heaved. The apostles saw Him’Jesus approaching on the waves. ‘Lord, if it’s really you,’ Peter cried out, ‘tell me to come to you by walking on the water.’ Jesus bid him to come, so Peter stepped onto the tumultuous sea and began walking to Jesus. Then the apostle’s attention turned to the storm that surrounded him. His heart melted inside his chest, and his feet began sinking beneath the waves.

Men, being a Christian means stepping out in faith’believing that God is able to turn even the most tumultuous seas around you into a pathway toward Himself. You probably took familiar and safe paths in the past and found they didn’t take you where you needed or longed to go.

Please hear me on this: if you wait for all your fear to go away before you follow the call of Christ upon your life, you’ll never make significant spiritual progress. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s that stubbornness born of faith that causes you to move forward despite the fear you feel.

Fix your eyes on Jesus and don’t look at those unknown and untamed things swirling about. Call out to Him and move in faith toward Him ‘ His hands are always extended and open to you. Yes, you’ll feel fear and you’ll need His help. But move forward anyway. He won’t let you drown, and He’ll catch you if you start sinking.

Obstacles To Forgiveness

Steve Arterburn

 

 

Pastor Walter Everett’s twenty-three-year-old son was shot to death in cold blood. After the killer was behind bars, the pastor had a large, impossible task before him’namely, forgiving the person who so callously cut short his son’s life, and tore the pastor’s heart to shreds in the process.

In the court case that followed, the murderer told the judge and those assembled in the courtroom he was sorry, but his voice and manner seemed insincere to all who heard him. This made forgiveness even more difficult for the grieving pastor.

It’s always difficult to give even an inch of grace to someone whose actions have brought enduring pain into your life. It’s especially difficult when the person doesn’t sincerely exhibit sorrow, repentance, and remorse.

But Pastor Everett knew forgiveness wasn’t an option. Eventually, in an act that amounted to nothing short of sheer determination and stubborn obedience, he composed a letter of forgiveness to the killer.

The pastor later learned that the young man, after reading the letter, had fallen to his knees. Sobbing beside his prison bunk, the killer asked Jesus to forgive his sins and come into his heart.

When Pastor Everett mailed his letter he had no idea what the result of his obedience would be. And neither do any of us. Pastor Everett had plenty of so-called ‘good’ reasons not to forgive his son’s killer. But he knew that none of them were quite good enough.

Men, who do you need to forgive?

Savior And Lord

Steve Arterburn

 

 

Trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior makes you a Christian. It’s your access to God and your entrance into the Christian life. But it’s no place to stop. When Jesus Christ becomes your Savior, He also becomes your Lord.

 

What’s the difference? Trusting Christ as Savior means you understand that you’re a sinner and deserve death as a result. It means accepting that Jesus made the unique and ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross to take away your sins.

 

Receiving Christ as Lord means you surrender your will, your desires, your plans, and possessions’everything you have’to Him. He gets all of you to do with as He sees fit. It means you hold nothing back from Him. You don’t give Him part of you and horde the rest to do with as you choose.

 

It means you surrender your life to the One who purchased it with His own blood’and in so doing, receive a new life in Christ. True surrender means admitting you can’t handle life without God. You stop pretending to be God, get off the throne of your life, and let God assume His rightful place there. In short, it means joyful obedience. You come to God on His terms, accepting that He is God and that He is likely to use you in ways you never dreamed; but trusting that because He is loving and wise, whatever He wants to do with you will be ultimately for good.