The Scripture lessons for August 13 were Job 38:4-18; Romans 10:5-17; and Matthew 14:22-33. The theme of Pastor Roskowic’s message was “Cry Out to the Lord.” Pastor Roskowic felt this was the common or unifying theme between the three Scripture lessons for the day.
In the Gospel lesson Peter cries out to Jesus to save him. (Previously, John the Baptist had been beheaded, Jesus tried to get away by Himself to pray to no avail. The crowds track Him down and Jesus ends up spending the day ministering to them, culminating in His feeding 5000 plus). In the Gospel lesson for Sunday Jesus again seeks to get off by Himself to pray. This time He succeeds.
Pastor Roskowic likened Jesus praying to His Heavenly Father, as Jesus crying out to the Lord. He continued by enumerating a variety of ways we too might cry out to God, along with a variety of reasons – everything from petitions to praise. Pastor Roskowic encouraged us to start everyday crying out to the Lord. And then to continue to cry out throughout the day.
All this talk about prayer caused me to reflect upon my own prayer life and it reminded me of two Bible passages:
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray continually;
Jesus, move me so to pray.
While Jesus was praying the disciple were out sailing across the Sea of Galilee. When Jesus finishes praying, He decides to join His disciples and starts walking to them on the water. As He approaches, His disciples, unaware it is Jesus, become unnerved thinking it must be a ghost. Jesus recognizing their anxiety identifies Himself. Peter then says:
28 “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
Peter, at this point, demonstrates faith and steps out of the boat. However, it is not long before Peter’s attention gets diverted from Jesus to the wind blowing and the waves pounding about Him. He focuses upon the problem. As his attention is diverted, he begins to sink and cries out to Jesus – 30 “Lord, save me!” Jesus responds to his cry by reaching out to Peter and saving him. Peter’s real problem wasn’t the wind and the waves. Peter’s real problem was he took his eyes off Jesus.
Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Most often when we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our problems do not miraculously disappear, but they do lose their power. With our eyes fixed on Jesus we have to power to transcend and overcome our problems
In the Epistle Paul writes 13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” If, as, when we cry out to the Lord, God reaches out to us just as Jesus reached out to Peter in the Gospel lesson.
The Epistle lesson, however, not only encourages us to cries out to Jesus, it also gives us the response-ability as Jesus’ hands, His feet, and His voice, to encourage others to cries out to Jesus. We can do so by sharing with them the grace of God to be found and experienced in Jesus. Paul writes:
Romans 10:14-17 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” … Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Jesus, may each of us daily cries out to You, and through Your gospel of promise encourage others to do so as well.
Amen! So be it!!!
My thoughts, I would like to hear yours.
(All passages are taken from the NIV unless otherwise noted)
Chime in with your thoughts and questions in the comment section!