Hello Ladies, I pray everyone is well and fully recovered from a fantastic festival.
This Sunday, as you know, is the first Sunday of Great Lent also known as the Sunday of Orthodoxy. It is when the Orthodox Church celebrates the Saints in a procession of icons. “The procession of icons represents a victory of the icons, were it was decided on a doctrine by the Ecumenical Council that icons should be venerated but not worshipped. They considered icons to be man’s dynamic way of expressing the divine through art and beauty. The iconoclastic controversy was final ended. The church holds the position of extending veneration and honor to icons but not worship, the last befitting only to God.”
As we gather this Sunday for “A Devoted Heart” we will continue to explore the divine nature of Jesus Christ, who is truly worthy of our highest praise and worship.
Our Bible study will be Matthew 14:22-33, here Jesus displays his divinity and dominion over nature as he walks on the water.
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.”
Jesus says to Peter “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Ouch! Can you imagine how Peter’s heart must have felt in that moment?
Can you see the difference for Peter when he had his eyes fixed on Jesus and when he had his eyes on the storm around him?
When was the last time you measured your faith?
Well exactly how do we do that?
Unfortunately, trials and adversity give us a pretty good gauge at what level are faith is.
When trials come, where do you fix your eyes?
The dialogue and interaction between Jesus and Peter is one that speaks volumes into our own lives.
As we gather to study this scripture, I pray that the Lord would increase our faith beyond measure through the priceless interaction between Peter calling out “Lord, save me” and the Lord, reaching out His hand with reassurance for Peter, as well as for all of us, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”