06-30&07-1-18

06-30-18 Bess this Mess
Pastor Dale E. Locke & Rev. Trevor Johnston

Series: Bless this Mess

Week 4 – Peter

  1. What happens to you when you are afraid? Share your physical reactions, as well as how you tend to respond to your fear. You may want to share a story of a time when you felt afraid and what happened as a result.
  2. Recite (or read) Ephesians 5:15-16 –Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Share how learning this passage has impacted you over the past weeks. Has it come to your mind in certain circumstances? Share about it.

  1. We’ve examined personalities in scripture that help us to understand better about making the most of opportunity even in evil days. Today we’ll look at Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. Tell what you already know about the apostle Peter.
  2. Read Matthew 14:22-36 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.  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 when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.  Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

What stands out to you in this passage?

  1. What does this passage show us about Peter and his faith?
  2. Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States, the youngest man to assume the presidency following the assassination of William McKinley in 1901.

Read the following quote from President Theodor Roosevelt: It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…who, at best knows in the end the triumph of great achievement and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.  So that his place will never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

  1. Talk about what you think Theodor Roosevelt was talking about in this quote.
  2. The imperative to “Fear not” or “Do not be afraid” are the most commonly stated commands in scripture. Why do you think it is stated more than even the command to love one another, or to fight against pride, or to avoid evil?

Three things that fear robs us of:

  • My awareness of God
  1. Dale describes different times in scripture where God is inviting his people to have a heightened “awareness” to his presence as a pre-curser that he is indeed up to something and invites us into it. (i.e, when God is saying “I’ve got this, and I’ve got you!”) Have you ever had an experience when you have felt God is ‘passing by’? Share about it.
  2. Have you ever experienced an awareness of God’s presence in a situation even when the situation was less than ideal (as in the Matthew passage where Jesus sends his disciples into the boat and the winds and waves rose)? Share about your experience.
  • My understanding of myself
  1. Re-read the Matthew passage again. Notice the moment at which Peter began to sink into the water. What happened there?
  2. Nineteenth century philosopher & theologian Soren Kierkegaard stated “Now with God’s help, I’ll become myself.” What did he mean by that, in your opinion?
  • My courage to fulfill my calling
  1. Dale talked about how we can easily fall into having ‘passive faith’. What do you think he means by ‘passive faith’?
  2. Read 1 Peter 5:6-7: Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. How can this scripture help you in times when you are gripped with fear and anxiety?

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