I love the core value of being Jesus-centered because it’s the anchor of who we are, what we do, and why we do it. This core value simply states who we believe Jesus is, and some spiritual disciplines that can connect us to him. Ways of keeping him at the center. Did you know Jesus incorporated spiritual disciplines into his life as a way of keeping him centered on God the Father?
So as I think about this core value, I think about having a belief versus really believing. What does that mean? We can have a belief that there is a God, that Jesus is God, but do we really believe he is our Lord and Savior?
Let’s talk about the story of Jesus walking on water. Pay attention, this story happened the very night after Jesus performed a miracle by feeding more than 5000 people on a couple of Happy Meals. They were headed to their next stop across the Sea of Galilee, but Jesus was tired, so wanted to go seek some solitude and pray. By the way, those are 2 spiritual disciplines. He sent the disciples ahead of him on a boat, but storms pounded all night long. Jesus waits until almost dawn before deciding to catch up (God’s timing, not ours). He takes a leisurely stroll across the water to join them. The disciples freak out when they see him, Jesus reassures them, and Peter wants to join Jesus on the water. With the storm still pounding, Jesus says “Come”. Peter didn’t say, “Jesus, come join us in the safety of this boat because there’s a storm crashing all around us and you need to stay safe”.
But Jesus did imply “Peter, leave the safety of your boat and come, join me in the waves crashing all around us because if you keep your eyes centered on me, I will be your Lord and Savior in this storm”. And Peter said yes. He left the safety of the boat and joined Jesus in the storm. Until… his eyes left Jesus to focus on the turmoil around him, and He began to sink. “Lord Save Me”, he said. I read Jesus response not as harsh, but as tender and loving when he says “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Here’s my point. Did Peter believe in Jesus? Yes. But did he believe Jesus in that moment, during the storm? This story shouldn’t be discouraging to us about doubts and disbeliefs but actually encouraging. Jesus never promised a storm-free life. He knows us, he knows our doubts. He promised to walk through those storms with us, and he reaches out in tender love to save us from sinking, even in our doubts.
The Well is a place that was created for intentionally inviting storms into our path, as you all know. So I have 4 questions for you…
Why is it important for each of us to be Jesus-centered?
- Why do you think spiritual disciplines are important?
- When the storms of life, storms of work, storms from other people come into your path, how can you stay centered on Jesus in those moments?
- How would you encourage someone who may not have a spiritual discipline, to start one?
Thanks everyone! Sandy