Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Heart Worship vs Lip Worship 8/14/2011
A Lesson Concerning Defilement

The Pharisees voice an objection
KJV Matthew 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

The Pharisees were getting concerned over the teachings and actions of Jesus, for huge crowds continued to follow Him and simply by touching the hem of His garment some were healed. So the Pharisees enlisted the help of the scribes, the experts in the Law from Jerusalem and came to Him with an objection. They were seeking to discredit Jesus for His carelessness and laxness toward His disciples in not insisting that they keep the regulations of the Jewish elders. Gradually over the years the interpretation or explanation of the Law had grown into a large body of precepts, additional to the books of the Old Testament.

The book of these additional requirements was called the Mishna, and in later years received further additions in the so-called Gamara, all of which was put into the Talmud, the present day relgious book of the Jews. It was expected that the rabbis and elders would teach these precepts and insist that the people obey them rigidly. In light of this understanding, it was the gross act of impiety to eat with unwashed hands that the disciples were guilty of and by not insisting that the disciples follow the traditions of the elders, Jesus was also guilty.

Christ's Reply
3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

As often is the case, Jesus counters their accusatory question with a question of His own and in so doing, He becomes the accuser and the scribes and Pharisees, the defendants. He ask them as to why they are placing their traditions over the Word of God. From Exodus 21:17, we read: And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. And from Leviticus 20:9: For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

In Mark's Gospel, 7:11, the word Corban is used which is defined in this manner. "Undutiful children, under the plea of having consecrated as corban to the Lord whatever help they might otherwise have given to their parents, evaded their filial obligation; this Christ denounced as a "making the commandment of God of none effect by man's traditions" (Mt. 15:5; Mark 7:11,12). The rabbis allowed a youth even to pronounce corban upon his property, and retain it for himself, though withholding it from his own parents. This extreme case however was not immediately referred to by our Lord." (Fausset's Bible Dictionary)

Martin Luther wrote this concerning this annulling of the Word of God, "For the contention with the Pharisees really consisted in this, whether it is better to give presents to the parents or sacrifices to the priests. They said it was better to sacrifice. Thus they taught that the honor due to the parents was a mere ceremony, namely, to bow the head, to rise before them, and in outward behavior be respectful toward them,...Corban, that means a gift or sacrifice to God. As though a child would say: I should gladly give it to thee, but what shall I do? Even now it is not mine anymore, but is given to God. Thus the name of God must be the cover for all shameful blasphemy and wickedness; as though God had taken from the father what the latter should receive from the son."

Christ Substantiates His Attack
7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Jesus now speaks very harshly toward them, quoting from Isaiah 29:13 and in so doing rebukes them for their lip service worship. Their orthodoxy is a sham, and their entire religion is vain. Luther comments on this portion by saying that everything that is done without the Word of God is idolatry; Everything done according to the Word of God is worship; All that is done without faith is sin, and all that is done in faith is a good work, for the Word and faith are indissolubly connected, as in holy marriage.

Christ Appeals to the People
10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Calling to the multitude, Jesus bid them to hear and understand, telling them that physical cleanness or uncleanness does not affect the heart, but that moral pollution will stain both heart and character.

The Pharisees Take Offense
12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

To the offended Pharisees, Jesus did not give much credence as He told his disciples to leave the Pharisees alone, for they were blind and were not capable of leading anyone. In essence, He said, do not fret too much over their anger and hostility. Every doctrine that has been invented by man will fail in the judgment as will every promoter of false doctrine. Those in that state cannot see what they are doing and will lead all those who follow them into the same ditch that they go into.

Christ Explains the Parable
15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.
16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Peter, the spokesperson of the 12, now asks for a declaration of the parable for which he/they receives a rebuke from His Master. "Do ye not understand, after being with me for two years? Don't you understand that the physical body purges itself of all the wastes that are not necessary? They do not have anything to do with your worship of God. But that which comes out of the mouth, which are as a result of one's heart condition, defile a person. He lists evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies, and concludes with His clear teaching: To eat with unwashed hands does not defile a person.

Jesus teaches us here of the importance of keeping traditions in their right place, allowing the Word to guide and regulate the traditions that we do honor and practice and not the other way around. For some strange reason, the older a tradition is, the more it is upheld as worthy of keeping. In reality, it does not matter if a tradition is one year old, 100 years old or 1000 years old, it is still a tradition. In our lesson today, the Pharisees had set aside the Word of God in favor of their interpretation and explanation of the Word. May this lesson be a reminder of the importance of maintaining the separation between that which God has commanded and that which man has invented in relation to the worship of God.

A Lesson on Faith

As Jesus went further away from Jerusalem, a woman whose daughter was vexed with a devil came to Him with a great need. Let us observe the persistence in faith that the women displayed as she sought mercy and help from the Lord.

A Journey To The North
21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

The Woman of Canaan
22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

Jesus Tries/Tests Her Faith
23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

As she came to Jesus, He first did not respond to her request, for He was silent. His disciples even tried to get Him to send her away, but He did not do so, but He then told her that He has come only unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, one of which she was not.
At this she came and worshipped Him, (falling at His feet) and said, Lord, help me. To which He again was not welcoming, but said that it is not right for Him to take the children's bread and to cast it to dogs. Wow! Three requests and three "cold shoulders" or rejections.

How did she now respond to His apparent rejections of her? She acted according to faith and in great humility. She did not get angry at being referred to as a dog by Jesus, but responded with humility in acknowledging that what He said is right, but that yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table. Please note how she referrred to the Jews as her masters. What humility, what brokenness toward herself. She did not show any anger in this whole interchange, but in faith kept her eye on the goal, knowing and trusting that Jesus is her only help. She understood that He was her Messiah, and that according to the prophesies, He had come for her also, a non-Jew. He was her only Helper. Believing this she was not dissuaded from her requests from Him.

Sometime back our daughter-in-law shared of an experience that she had had with her children (our grandchildren) concerning their obeying of their mother. They regularly walk to the park along the street and the distance is over a mile. Her children (4 and 6 years old) had become lax in following their mother's orders and she finally told them that if they continue to disobey her (they were darting out into the street off of the sidewalk to step on the manhole covers in the street and then darting back to the sidewalk), they would turn around and go back home. They did not hear her very well so they went back home. At some point later, they again started for the park, undoubtedly with a reminder from mom about staying on the sidewalk. As they were walking, mom could her the older one telling the younger one, "think about the park, don't think about the s's, just think about the park! (On the manhole covers there was a big S for sewer) By and by they got to the park, and after they got there, their mom heard the older one tell the younger one, "See, I told you it would work, if you kept your mind on the park." I told you if you did not think of the s's, it would work!"

This woman with a great need kept her eyes on Jesus and even though He tried her faith, she kept her mind on Him and that which He could do. May we be counseled by both examples today, so that we would be mindful always that Jesus is the object of our faith and that when we keep our minds fixed on Him, those things that are needful and necessary for our walk in this life will be provided for us.

The Victory of Faith
28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Two Scriptures will amplify our lesson concerning faith today:

KJV John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

ESV 1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whomever has been born of him.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith.
5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Through faith we are overcomers. Let us think of Jesus and that which He has done, but let us not only think of Him, but let us trust in that which He has accomplished and obey Him in all things. In His Great and Powerful Name, Amen.

For additional meditation, I am including the following, which is taken from Nancy Leigh DeMoss' Website. It compares the proud heart with the broken heart. These two opposites can be seen in the hearts and lives of the two examples we considered in our meditation. The outward worship of the Pharisees and the inward worship (which is by faith) of the Syrophenician woman. For application for ourselves, may we consider reading, meditating and praying concerning our own heart so as to be counseled of the condition of our heart today. May we read this with an open, honest and approachable heart by the Holy Spirit.

Proud people focus on the failures of others.
Broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.

Proud people have a critical, fault-finding spirit; they look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope.
Broken people are compassionate; they forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven.

Proud people are self-righteous; they look down on others.
Broken people esteem all others better than themselves.

Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit.
Broken people have a dependent spirit; they recognize their need for others.

Proud people have to prove that they are right.
Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.

Proud people claim rights; they have a demanding spirit.
Broken people yield their rights; they have a meek spirit.

Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation.
Broken people are self-denying.

Proud people desire to be served.
Broken people are motivated to serve others.

Proud people desire to be a success.
Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others a success.

Proud people desire self-advancement.
Broken people desire to promote others.

Proud people have a drive to be recognized and appreciated.
Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness; they are thrilled that God would use them at all.

Proud people are wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked.
Broken people are eager for others to get the credit; they rejoice when others are lifted up.

Proud people have a subconscious feeling, “This ministry/church is privileged to have me and my gifts”; they think of what they can do for God.

Broken people’s heart attitude is, “I don’t deserve to have a part in any ministry”; they know that they have nothing to ffer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.

Proud people feel confident in how much they know.
Broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn.

Proud people are self-conscious.
Broken people are not concerned with self at all.

Proud people keep others at arms’ length.
Broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and to take risks of loving intimately.

Proud people are quick to blame others.
Broken people accept personal responsibility and can see where they are wrong in a situation.

Proud people are unapproachable or defensive when criticized.
Broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit.

Proud people are concerned with being respectable, with what others think; they work to protect their own image and reputation.
Broken people are concerned with being real; what matters to them is not what others think but what God knows; they are willing to die to their own reputation.

Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual need with others.
Broken people are willing to be open and transparent with others as God directs.

Proud people want to be sure that no one finds out when they have sinned; their instinct is to cover up.
Broken people, once broken, don’t care who knows or who finds out; they are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose.

Proud people have a hard time saying, “I was wrong; will you please forgive me?”
Broken people are quick to admit failure and to seek forgiveness when necessary.

Proud people tend to deal in generalities when confessing sin.
Broken people are able to acknowledge specifics when confessing their sin.

Proud people are concerned about the consequences of their sin.
Broken people are grieved over the cause, the root of their sin.

Proud people are remorseful over their sin, sorry that they got found out or caught.
Broken people are truly, genuinely repentant over their sin, evidenced in the fact that they forsake that sin.

Proud people wait for the other to come and ask forgiveness when there is a misunderstanding or conflict in a relationship.
Broken people take the initiative to be reconciled when there is misunderstanding or conflict in relationships; they race to the cross; they see if they can get there first, no matter how wrong the other may have been.

Proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor.
Broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for His mercy.

Proud people are blind to their true heart condition.
Broken people walk in the light.

Proud people don’t think they have anything to repent of.
Broken people realize they have need of a continual heart attitude of repentance.

Proud people don’t think they need revival, but they are sure that everyone else does.
Broken people continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God and for a fresh filling of His Spirit.

May the Lord be glorified in our lives today through the power of Christ who lives in us by His Spirit.

In Him,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 14 Aug 2011 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus Walks On The Water
These two incidents, the feeding of the multitude and His coming to them on water, are to reveal unto us of the power that Jesus has for us, for in Him we are given all the provision and protection that we need.

One of the most notable church Fathers, Augustine, who lived from 354-430 AD, made this oft quoted statement: "God, you have made us for yourself, and we are restless until we find our rest in Thee." A look at the first part of the Bible in the book of Genesis shows us of the original rest that we as humanity enjoyed with our Creator, but is also tells of the breach that came into that relationship through our fall into sin, The first three chapters of the Bible tell of Creation, Fall and Redemption. The rest of the Bible records of how God brought forth His plan of salvation in the midst of a sinful and fallen world through resurrected by Christ but yet sinful and fallen people, such as ourselves.

When we look at the overall theology of the Bible, we could outline it with three statements concerning the nature of God: " He is for us, He is with us and He is in us." From the time that He sought Adam and Eve who were hiding in the garden of Eden because of fear that overcame them due to their spiritual nakedness before their Creator, we as humans have struggled and continue to struggle in our understanding of who God is. One of our greatest tendencies and weaknesses is to make God be somebody who He is not, by creating Him in our own image, not knowing or understanding who He is according to what He has revealed about Himself. Most often this occurs because of our lack of knowledge of who He says He is from the biblical record.

We make Him in our own image when we do not seek Him first and His righteousness, and then trust in His Provision and Protection. Rather, we dictate to Him how our life should go and then seek and follow Him in relation to how He provides for us. That is backwards and living in the understanding will always bring about uncertainty, doubt, fear, mistrust and disillusionment in God and toward His ways.

Therefore, we could conclude that:

When we live in a lack of knowledge of God, we will experience fear and anxiety for this life.
The more we know and experience of who God really is, the greater will be our peace and quietness here in this life, even in the midst of the storms.

Last week Pastor Doug spoke on the account of the feeding of the great mulititude in the desert. As I visited with Doug this week, he recounted the main parts of that which came forth from that message of the Lord.

"Jesus can take a little and make it into a lot. Go to Jesus, trust Him, even as the people ran along the shore to where He was. We trust Him with our souls, but worry too much about our everyday life. Those who have not yet come to experience the grace of God in forgiveness and peace are invited to come and those who live in this grace are invited to come to Him for all their needs."

Moving on to the next section of this Gospel, Matthew 14:22-33, we read that, as the people considered the left overs from the five loaves of bread by which Jesus had fed the great multitude were put into 12 baskets, the Apostle John records in his Gospel: Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. John 6:14-15

The Gospel of John provides important information for us as we read that after the gathering of the leftovers, Jesus sent his disciples away in a ship to go to the other side of the lake while he sent the multitudes away. With John's additional information, it seems as if the people were looking for a deliverer, but they were looking for a king who would be similar to other earthly kings, one who would free them from the slavish rule of the Roman government of whom Caesar was king. Jesus sent his disciples out of that environment, They needed to be instructed away from the earthly impulses of those who were wanting to king Jesus right there. Jesus went into the mountain to pray. So as the night grew on Jesus was yet on the mountain praying and the disciples had gotten caught in a bad storm with winds and waves.

22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Most likely they were puzzled as to why their Master had sent them away in the boat after showing them His ability to provide food in abundance for many people. They may have just began to be excited about their King, but then they then Jesus constrained them to be sent away in a boat. They had not gone right away, for it was evening when they went down to the boat and rowed toward Capernaum for Jesus had not returned to them.

They must have been perplexed, for He was not acting like the king that in their minds He should be acting like. They had witnessed a miracle that day, they knew that the Scribes and Pharisees were against Him, and they perhaps wondered when He was going to break out and take charge of all things. They were yet looking at things through human eyes, not yet realizing the the cross would be his throne, that He came to this world to save those who were lost. They did not realize that He would exhibit His greatest power, not in destruction and rule, but for restoration and servanthood. Yes, He would rule as the King, but not according to human thinking. He would rule His creation by laying down His life for it. They had not yet made the connection between the bread the Moses had given their forefathers in the wilderness and this Man who is the Bread of Life, who came to give His Life for theirs. In the midst of this consternation, we find them in the roaring sea:

24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

Whatever their state of mind was, it was quickly changed as they rowed across the lake toward the other side, for their wondering of who this Jesus was was replaced by a fight for their lives. Where was Jesus now may have been there concern, and even though they were desperate in their thinking that they were alone, we know that they were not, as Mark's Gospel records: And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night (3 a.m.) he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. Mark 6:48

The Lord does not always come to us according to our timetable, but He is aware of our need, is watching and will come when He knows best.

KJV John 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

KJV John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.

In John's Gospel, two instances of the Lord's waiting until the right time are recorded, In the first one it was years and in the second one it was only days, but it was according to the Lord's timetable.

26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

According to the mythology of that day, there was an understanding of ghosts which brought about fear, so to see an apparition walking on the water brought them to a place of fear and mystery.

But then the Voice, which cleared up the mystery, spoke to them, saying: "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid."

Let us think a little on this part of the account. Each of us have a voice that the Lord has given us to use in order to communicate with one another. We do not necessarily need to speak orally in prayer, but sometimes we do and sometimes we do not. But humanly speaking, it is usually necessary to communicate by speaking, esp when one is not able to see another, as on a telephone. For those with whom we are well acquainted, we are able to recognize them by simply hearing them speak. Likewise people are able to recognize us when we speak to them.

In relation to our text, could we say that the disciples recognized Jesus when He spoke to them since they had heard His voice before. But more than that, could we say that the content of the words was more important than the sound of the voice? Yes, I believe we could, for within those three short sentences a powerful message is given to the hearers, in that they are encouraged, the speaker identifies Himself and on this basis he tells them: Be not afraid," with the implication being, "you need not fear anything, for I am here with you."
Let us be counseled at this point that it is more the content of the words we speak than the actual sound of them that indicate what is in our heart. "For out of the abundance of the heart man speaks."

In the midst of all this, Peter, the impulsive, unpredictable and forward one yet in his life, responds:

28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. {boisterous: or, strong}
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

What is all this about? First of all, why did Jesus constrain them to go into the storm? Why does He allow storms into our lives?

Answer: To help us understand that He is Provider and our Protector in all things of life.
1. He protected them from the wrong influences by sending them away from the crowd.
2. They were brought to a need under His watchful eye.
3. He went to them according to His timing.
4. He did not force Himself on them
5. He responded quickly to their cries for help.

What was Peter up to? Why didn't Jesus stop Him from coming to Him instead of calling Him to come to Him? What is the reason? It concerns faith and the exercising of it so that it can be built up. What does the Bible say faith is?

ESV Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

1. Hope has been said to be faith looking backwards. Faith is believing what God says. Faith sees the reality of what God promises. Hope is the expected end that God says is ours already. It applies to any promise that God has given to us.

2.. Hope is a combination of doubt and presumption, but hope is what works towards transformation. We are transformed from trusting self to trusting Jesus.

Doubt: Will not happen

Presumption: I can do this, which is opposite of Hope which is based on the promises of God

KJV Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou,(Doubt) bid me come unto thee on the water. (Presumption)

Jesus called for him come upon the water, to transform his doubt, but left him, unassured from without, to his own feelings as he saw the wind,to transform his presumption; while by stretching out His Hand to save him from sinking, and by the words of correction which He spake,

In our doubts He bears with us, (Lord, if it be thou,) allows to feel the results of our presumptions that we can live without Him, (bid me come unto thee on the water}, and through words of correction, reminds us that we walk by faith. (And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?)

In a sense we could say that Jesus allows us to dream in order to bring us to a deeper and greater realization of our need to trust Him in both provision and protection in our lives. He does not douse our dreams, but allows the exercies of hope to transform our doubts and presumptions toward greater trust in Him. When we were children, our parents allowed us to have our dreams, and they were careful to use these instances to help us to become more aware of the difference between which we we dreamed we could or should do, and that which was in practical and reasonable. When my son Jay was young, he liked to dig tunnels and had dreams of digging a long tunnel. He spent a lot of time digging, and as it went into the ground, I made sure that he had boards to protect him from a cavein, but eventually the day came when he filled it in and left off of that dream.

This seems to be what the Lord is teaching us here in this place, that hope keeps us going forward, and through His careful supervision of our lives, we are led toward greater trust and reliance in and on Him. The experience of the disciples and esp Peter give us valuable counsel as we journey with our Saviour in all seasons and times of life. Again, looking at Peter's experience as it is recorded:

KJV Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou,(Doubt) bid me come unto thee on the water. (Presumption)

Jesus called for him come upon the water, to transform his doubt, but left him, unassured from without, to his own feelings as he saw the wind,to transform his presumption; while by stretching out His Hand to save him from sinking, and by the words of correction which He spake,

In our doubts He bears with us, (Lord, if it be thou,) allows to feel the results of our presumptions that we can live without Him, (bid me come unto thee on the water}, and through words of correction, reminds us that we walk by faith. (And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?)

He points us to faith!! Following are two recent happenings which we will place here for illustrative purposes for further illumination as to the lesson in this text and its meaning for us.They come from two different perspectives, as one is written after the "storm" and the other is written in the "storm."

On February 13, 1993, seven missionaries which included Dave and Barb Anderson, who have relatives in the Cokato area, boarded a plane on the Chukchi Peninsula near the Bering Strait to make a short flight across the Bering Sea back to Alaska. They had been involved in mission outreach to the Russian people who lived on that peninsula. Just before they left, seven empty gas cans had unexpectedly been put into the plane which added to the ten that were already board. As they flew across the Strait, one engine quit and then the other. The pilot began call out on the radio of his emergency, giving their location and made preparations for the landing on the sea, into water that was 36 degrees and in which a person would survive at best 15-20 minutes. As soon as they hit the water, they were told, "Grab a gas can and hold onto it." As they drifted, the youngest in the group began to shout "God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble."

An hour behind schedule, Bering Air pilot Terry was flying at 2000 feet when he saw something out of the corner of his eye, like a white plume of water shooting up. In an instant it was gone. He thought, "A whale spouting."

A minute later, his radio squacked: "Aircraft in difficulty...attempting a landing at Sledge Island...deviate your course..let me know if you spot the aircraft...

The pilot thought, "Could that spout of water been an aircraft hitting the water? He turned back. From there on began an amazing and heroic rescue story that resulted in all being rescued, even though being in the water far longer than was thought humanly possible.

I remember when Dave was telling the story in Plymouth of how when they knew that they were going to be rescued that there in the cold and frigid waters of the Bering Strait, they experienced the Presence of the Lord.

(Dave and his family travel to tell the of the great Provider and Protector, Jesus the Christ)

Monday, July 20, 2009 4:38 PM, CDT (from Natalie Matson's mom)

"The test results were not what we would have liked to hear. The two masses that were found are clusters of AML cells, Natalie's original disease. We went home for the weekend. We are now back at the Children's Hospital. As I am updating this she is having another MRI and an MRV( to look at her veins) done. She will be having another central line placed tomorrow and begin treatment. Natalie will need to have another bone marrow transplant for the best end results. It's a good thing God sees What is beyond today and knows what is best for each of us even when it's hard to understand.. Continuing on in the strength of the Lord. Thank you all for your prayers and words of comfort. Remember to live like today is the only day you have. Don't be afraid to really love the ones you have. God wants us to hve abundant joy each day, and He shows us how to smile through our tears and lets us laugh when it seems there shouldn't be much to laugh about. Our JOY is in JESUS not in the things we have here on earth. Nothing can take that joy unless we choose to let the things of life make us bitter instead of better. Trusting that God will be with each of you through what ever Trials you each may be facing in your own lives. He has been so good to us and we trust that He will continue to give us what we need for each day and show us the blessings in each day. Resting in His love." Rebecca Matson

(At this time, Natalie is free of Leukemia and is enjoying life with her family)

32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Lord, we worship you today, in spirit and in truth.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 07 Aug 2011 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Heart Worship vs Lip Worship 8/14/2011
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns