Welcome to ReCreate Ministry. Our mission is making and growing authentic followers of Christ. In the Lord of the Rings, Bilbo Baggins says “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Over the years, this has become one of my favorite quotes, and it’s kind of become a goal of mine to live out my faith this way. As Christians, we are called be adventurers.
This week, we are continuing our series called Love Does by talking about the Great Adventure. Some of you may not understand how adventure plays into your faith, and that’s okay. Matthew 28:19 (NIV) says “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” If you look at it, the command is not just to make disciples of your family, neighbors, the people you work with, or the people you see on a regular basis. Jesus clearly tells us to go and make disciples of ALL nations. Now, today’s message is not just about mission trips or traveling to spread the gospel. We are going to talk this week about radical faith, and what that means.
Our scripture for this week is in Matthew 14:22 – 31 (NIV). It says “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. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, there 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?’” My first point is this:
Think about the first time you ever fell in love. Did you ever think that person would hurt you? Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who is married to the first person you ever fell in love with. If so, that’s awesome. Whether you married your high school sweetheart, or you have had more than your share of heartbreak, you understand that loving someone requires a radical faith. It takes a pretty big leap of faith to put your heart out there, and you’re never guaranteed that it won’t be broken. The thing is, Jesus never said that we should be reserved in the way we love people. John 13:34 – 35 (NLT) says “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Jesus didn’t hold back His love for others. He loved everyone, and He showed them that He loved them. Next week, we will talk more about this as we talk about getting into the mess of people’s lives.
Look back at the story of Peter walking on water towards Jesus again. He had such a radical faith that he was even able to walk on the lake, and it wasn’t until he took his eyes off of Jesus that he began to sink. Mark 11:22 – 24 (NIV) says “’Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. There I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’” Now, I am not trying to start preaching the prosperity gospel or anything, but this is the kind of faith we are called to. That brings me to my next point, which is this:
If you’ve ever read The Hobbit, you know that Bilbo did not start out as an adventurer. In the beginning of the book, when he first meets Gandalf, he tries very hard to shy away from the adventure that Gandalf is trying to send him on.
He is even passionate about how adventures are disturbing, uncomfortable things, and that they make you late for dinner. How many of us have tried to talk ourselves (or succeeded at talking ourselves out of) doing something that we really wanted to do because we were afraid of what it might cost us. It’s the uncertainty that causes us to shy away, just like Bilbo, from the adventures that love brings with it.
Before I came to the church that I go to now, I spent weeks watching online. It wasn’t because of the distance (it was an almost 2 hour drive from where I was living at the time). It was because, every week, I talked myself out of going. I told myself that they wouldn’t care if I was there or not, and that I didn’t need to go and meet people, even though I was longing for community. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” What’s funny is, the moment that I stopped letting my fear and doubt get the best of me, I found all the things I was looking for. I’ve been so blessed by my church, and the friends that I’ve made there, and I have an incredible community group that has become more like family, and I wouldn’t have had any of those things if I had not been willing to go on the adventure. My last point is this:
All of my life, I’ve had a desire to see the world. Maybe it comes from reading books like the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles or The Hobbit as a kid, or maybe it comes from the fact that I have been obsessed with history, geography, and archaeology my entire life, but I have always longed for places outside of the ones that I know. In Matthew 28, Jesus tells the disciples to go, and that’s exactly what they do. Peter starts by going to Antioch, then Corinth, and eventually Rome. Andrew went to Greece. Matthew went to Africa, and Thomas even ended up in India. The disciples spread out all over the world to share the gospel with people.
When he woke up that morning, Bilbo probably had no idea that he would meet a wizard, or that he soon be on his way to the Lonely Mountain, get to go and visit the elves, face off with trolls, battle wits with Gollum, or even come face to face with a dragon. Of course, he also finds the ring of power and almost plunges the world of Middle Earth into a second darkness, but we will discuss that another day. The point is that he didn’t think he would do or see the things he did, but he made the choice to go, and he went. Where is it that God is calling you to go? What adventure has He placed on your heart? I often ask the question, if you could go anywhere in the world, money being no issue, where would you go and what would you do? Maybe that’s a question we should all ask ourselves. Are you willing to go on an adventure?
Thank You that You loved us so much that You were willing to send Your Son on the greatest adventure ever. Lord, I pray that, as we reflect on the callings that You have laid upon each of us, that we would not let our fear keep us from going out and living that calling. Father, I know that I need to include myself in that, but help us all to have the courage to go on whatever adventure You have called us to. Again, we thank You for sending Jesus, and it’s in His Name we pray.
Next week, we will be continuing our Love Does series, and we will be getting a little bit messy as we talk about digging into other people, and what it means to truly love others through the difficult times. If you have never made a decision to follow Christ, it is the greatest adventure of all, and if you’re ready, we would love for you to reach out to us. Maybe you need help discerning what your calling is, or you need someone to pray alongside you. If that’s you, feel free to reach out to us and let us know how we can partner with you. Have a blessed week!!!!!