The Disciple's Faith
The Making of a Disciple • Sermon • Submitted
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Today is our third message in our series entitled “The Making of a Disciple.”
Up to this point we have seen “The Disciple’s Call” which is a call to faith, a call to forsake that which would hinder us, and a call to commit our lives to following Christ.
We have also see “The Disciple’s Priorities.” The disciple of Christ prioritizes commitment to Christ over comfort, the call of God over every conventional responsibility, and also prioritizes what is ahead in following Christ over what has been left behind.
Today we will explore “The Disciple’s Faith” inside the context of a familiar event which 3 out of the 4 gospel writers record.
We will begin in Matthew 8:23-27, but we will also take note of details found in the writings of Mark 4:35-41 and Luke 8:22-25.
In each of these passages we see the same story. Jesus’s disciples follow Him onto a ship to sail across the sea of Galilee, in the midst of their journey Jesus takes the time to sleep in the hold of the ship. While they are sailing a terrible storm arises and begins to batter the ship with wind and waves. The disciples are filled with fear and they go to Jesus to awake Him in hopes that He may save them from certain destruction. Jesus then rises from sleep and with the simple words “Peace, be still.” he calms the storm.
We need not imagine that Jesus was unaware of the coming storm or of his disciples’ reaction to it, rather this was an opportunity to teach them some valuable lessons about faith which you and I can now also benefit from.
First we see the disciple’s faith in...
The fact that the disciples followed Christ’s instructions and boarded the ship to make the crossing to the other side shows they had faith in His plan.
They may not have suspected that the journey would be so fraught with danger but they certainly knew that there was always the possibility that a storm could arise as they sailed across the sea.
They knew that they were to go to the other side, but there is no indication that they knew what exactly it was that awaited them there, yet they trusted that Jesus would lead them once they arrived.
The disciples did not have a detailed itinerary describing the fine details of Jesus plan, they simply trusted His guidance.
This is a valuable lesson for any would-be disciple. We must first learn to trust the will of God for our lives and this will require faith in His plan.
God has a distinct plan for the life of every believer, the details of which may not yet be revealed. Our duty as a disciple is to trust God’s plan and to do what we have been instructed to do.
We must commit to following Christ even when we are not certain where the path may lead us.
In order to be a disciple we must learn to walk by faith and not by sight as our flesh would prefer. Unfortunately, there are many believers who never develop into devoted disciples because they are afraid to trust God’s plan for their lives.
So many have become convinced that the plan which they have for their lives is better than the plan which God has for them.
So much is made of Peter’s willingness to step out of the boat but we could make the same point here when it comes to following Jesus into the boat.
As God instructs us, may we have the faith to follow His instructions, trusting that His plan for our lives is what is best.
The disciple must also have faith in ...
God’s Provision and Protection
God’s Provision and Protection
When the disciples boarded the ship, they probably expected a peaceful and uneventful journey across the sea since they were sailing under Jesus instructions.
The journey turned out to be exactly the opposite when the storm arose and the winds and waves battered the ship to the point that they felt that their lives were in jeopardy.
Yet in these circumstances, the disciples learned a valuable lesson regarding faith in the protection and provision of God.
The disciple who if following the plan of God shall never lack God’s provision and protection to accomplish the task.
God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply- Hudson Taylor
Jesus had already stated that they were to pass over unto the other side.
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
The disciples now learn a valuable lesson in faith. They learn to trust God’s protection and provision for His plan.
The disciples were gripped with fear because their faith was on the verge of failing. They had ceased to believe that they would arrive on the other shore.
We must learn to have faith in God’s protection and provision. When God calls us to a task we can be certain that He will provide for and protect us unto our work is done.
The disciples were convinced that they were on the verge of perishing yet God still had much work for them to do so there was no need to panic.
The tasks that God may ask us to undertake may seem impossible and sometimes dangerous, but we must learn to trust in God provision for the task’s completion and His protection as we labor to finish it.
We may feel at times as though we are going under but our faith in the provision and protection of God will keep us afloat so that we can finish the work that He has called us to do.
Finally the disciple must have faith in...
Up to this point the disciples had witnessed Jesus perform some amazing feats like healing a leper, opening blinded eyes, and making the lame to walk.
Yet now as Jesus simply says “Peace, be still” and immediately the winds and waves are calmed, they marvel at His awesome power.
Only now do they truly begin to grasp the extent of Jesus power.
We can be certain that from this day forward the disciples no longer questioned whether or not Jesus’s power would be sufficient for any task.
As they follow Christ they are each given responsibilities which are beyond their own abilities to perform. The disciples learn that they must have faith in the power of God to perform the task.
There is no task so great that God’s power is unable to perform it. When we feel that we are helpless, insufficient and unqualified, it is then that we shall realize that we must learn to depend upon the power of God.
Every disciple must come to the realization that our sufficiency is not of ourselves but is of God.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
Paul was brought to this realization as he struggled with the thorn in the flesh. What he first saw as a weakness that would make him insufficient, he ultimately recognized as that which would cause him to rely upon God to a greater extent.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
The disciple must come to believe that God’s power is sufficient to strengthen and enable him for whatever the task he is called to perform.
If we attempt to walk the road of a disciple in our own strength we shall fail miserably, but if we put our faith in God and His power, we shall never find ourselves unable to accomplish the task that God has called us to do.
The disciples may have doubted before, but after seeing the power of God in action their faith was strengthened for the task that lay ahead of them.
To be a disciple, we must have faith in God’s plan. We must be willing to follow Christ, by faith, wherever He leads.
To be a disciple, we must have faith in the provision and protection of God. We must trust that God will provide for and protect us as we execute the mission that He has called us to undertake.
To be a disciple, we must have faith in the power of God. We must recognize our own insufficiency ,and then in turn recognize that God’s power is all-sufficient.
Do you have the faith that is required to be a disciple? Are you willing to trust God and follow Him to be a disciple of Christ?