“Lord, if it’s You,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to You on the water.”
“Come,” He said. Matthew 14:28, 29 NIV
As a little girl growing up with flannel boards,
flower, butter cookies, and juice in a Dixie cup,
I can still feel, see, smell, remember my Jesus times at church. My growing up years as a preschooler and child were in the late 60s and 70s. The 70s brought a movement from the younger generation of God’s love. I still have my Blueprint for Living Bible and treasured my time reading about God’s love for me.
Writings inside of the Bible from when I was a young adolescent girl and young adult are treasured.
The pictures in the Bible are “just so 70s”, but God’s Word has not changed. I’ve been struggling spiritually with how the world around me views Jesus. I find the days of being so excited to tell about Jesus as a little girl has changed. At work, family functions, school, and social circles it’s questionable to say His name, and for some, could be offensive.
In fact, our family was watching a stand up comedian, who typically presents a routine that families can watch, make fun of this scenario. He jokingly laughed about how to make a conversation awkward at work or with your friends, just ask them, “Do they know Jesus?” He then went down the road of making fun of Christians. I asked my girls to cut it off, and I began to weep in my soul. That night as I listened to Joyce Meyer’s podcast, she exclaimed that Jesus is not modern, and we need to stop thinking of Him as someone who changes with the times. We can’t fit Jesus into our culture and rationalize, Jesus never changes. His Word is truth. Ageless. Timeless. The beginning and the end.
After raising one teenager who is now 26 years old and continuing to raise little girls in a changing culture, I’m baffled by the “modern Jesus” we’ve created. I love Jesus and believe His Word is infallible, but I find myself, like Peter, asking, “Lord, if it’s You,”….
Peter knew in his soul it was Jesus.
I know Jesus, but in today’s culture and the pressures of the world (yes adults can experience peer pressure) I find myself asking…IF…it’s You what about ___________.
The teenagers in my sphere of influence struggle with offending and find it difficult to share the love of Jesus. It’s like it’s this thing we only do if all the conditions are right (a structured mission trip), and we know for sure we would not offend someone, or get in trouble. My oldest daughter’s generation certainly struggled with peer pressure, but they did not struggle with their voice. Their voice was strong and confident about Jesus.
I’ve wanted to write on this topic for some time now but did not have the courage. What gave me the courage was a meeting I attended yesterday at work. The meeting is a professional development opportunity provided by my county to improve the presenting and speaking skills of employees. I joined a few months ago. With my children off for the summer, I decided to bring my eleven year old to work with me. I knew that folks would be giving speeches for their work towards receiving a certification.
I was deeply moved by the first speaker who talked about five questions of the heart. She reminded us that we were created in His image for a purpose, and when we know our purpose we encounter success. The second speaker’s title related to the word of the day “power”. Her title?
“There is Power in the Name of Jesus”.
What?! Did you say the name Jesus at work? She went on to share her moving, personal story of calling on the name of Jesus during a difficult time as an adolescent, and how Jesus brought her through–showed her His power when she gave Him the control as a pregnant teenager. She held up her son’s picture. Years later she reflected on the power of Jesus, and how even today, she believes that there is power in the name of Jesus.
God provided a meeting, my daughter to hear the name of Jesus in a public, secular setting, encouragement to believe, trust, and the courage to hold tight to Jesus. I saw the speaker in the parking lot (God ordained), and we had a powerful heart-to-heart.
Jesus answered Peter. He answers us still today using one simple word
“Come,” He said.
As the world embraces simplicity, I desire to go back to the days of Bible in lap, butter, flower cookies on my fingers, flannel boards, and Truth. I grow tired of the pressure to entertain and make Jesus modern so folks will come. Truth and His love are enough. In fact, many of the great missionaries and Christian leaders we read about grew up in this simplicity and truth.
I’m reading a book called, “Truth Matters” with my girls. I bought it months ago, but today picked it up (God’s timing). The authors boldly challenge the culture and bring us back to truth. They acknowledge how hard it is to stand up to the culture who makes fun of, criticizes, or condemns the Bible, especially college students sitting under a professor who challenges them, or condemns their belief with “evidence”.
The verse I shared with you today is from a card my mother gave me,
My dear daughter,
God will give you everything you need to do everything He has called you to do. You are in His hands and in His will, and there is no better place to be.
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” Matthew 14:29
Jesus, I’m walking on water, and I desire to come toward You. Amen