Trust in Jesus

The eternal importance of placing your trust in Jesus.

Rob Wilton
Jul 7, 2019    38m
In this sermon Pastor Rob Wilton explains the eternal importance of placing your trust in Jesus. He teaches us that Jesus has equipped us to do great things, and that it is our responsibility to use what he has given us to fulfill his mission. Video recorded at Columbia, South Carolina.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Rob Wilton: 00:00 Let's look in the scripture, Matthew chapter 14 verse 22 through 33. The context of this, you guys have just gone through a series called Sustained Hope, and we're going to kind of continue with that, in trusting in, and hoping in Jesus.

Rob Wilton: 00:19 As we look here in Matthew chapter 14 the context is, this is right after Jesus feeds the 5,000 people with a catfish Po' boy, I'm sure tabasco sauce was flowing. And here Jesus dials up a moment, church, listen to me because this is really important, Jesus dials up a moment for future moments. This is not just about this moment.

Rob Wilton: 00:49 I think it's crazy, I'm speaking on behalf of pastor George here, and if you've got any issues you can email Scott with what I'm about to say. I think it's absurd that you would choose to not meet every single week with your church at church. Some of you are coming twice a month, once a month, stats are saying, like the new faithfulness is twice a month. If you can get people to come twice a month, man, you're really doing your job. I think it's absurd, because here's the honest truth out of this moment, most moments out of this moment are not going to be moments that inspire you to trust in Jesus. And what this moment does for me, the coming together with the church, being encouraged by believers, hearing the word of God, singing praises to God. These moments, that beautiful moment of singing Great is our Faithfulness this morning, that's a moment I need on Tuesday. And so you're selling yourself way short of you show up once a month, that's just a side note, let's get back in. It's pastor vent time, I need counseling, I know.

Rob Wilton: 02:05 Verse 22, let's look at this, "Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way[b] from the land,[c] beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them." In verse 25 it says, "And in the fourth watch," Underline that, highlight that in your iPad, whatever. "And then the fourth watch of the night he came to them, (Jesus came to them.) walking on the sea." You don't see that every day. Verse 26, " But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” Oz in the Greek. You don't see it, it's in the Greek. "And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, take heart., it is I, do not be afraid." The words of Jesus, He's going to say that to some of you here today, take heart.

Rob Wilton: 03:22 And so Peter, any Peter fans in the house? I love Peter, mainly because he's a dipstick for most of scripture that we read about like, and there's hope for me and Billy. You know Billy reads about Peter, and he's like, God can use anybody, I guess he can use me. And so here Peter, our guy, we love Peter, because God's in the business of using us despite us. Peter doesn't always get it right, but here he has the faith. "And Peter answered, Lord, if it is you command me." He knows he has no power to walk on water. You have the power, Jesus."Command me to come to you on the water." I love that. So Jesus said, "Come. So Peter got out of the boat, he walked on water and he came to Jesus. But (You would too) when he saw the wind, when he saw the storm, when he realized I'm walking on water, he was afraid and beginning to sink. He cried out, Lord, save me." Some of you guys are beginning to sink today, I invite you to cry out to the Lord, save me. And what does Jesus do? In verse 31 it says, "But immediately Jesus reached out his, hand took hold of him saying to him, oh, you of little faith, why did you doubt? And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased, and those in the boat worshiped him saying, truly, (Everybody say truly. Say it again, truly.) truly, you are the son of God."

Rob Wilton: 05:10 I pray for this moment today, that you would recognize that he is truly the son of God. This is the word of the Lord. God is faithful. This text speaks to the faithfulness of God. Listen, I want you to know that what Jesus Christ has done for me, what he's done for so many people here in the house, he can do the same for you. And if you don't know Christ as your Lord and savior, in few moments, I want to invite you to give your life to Jesus.

Rob Wilton: 05:49 God is faithful, and he's especially faithful to his church. God has been so faithful in Pittsburgh, He's being faithful in Pittsburgh, and he continues to be faithful in Pittsburgh. You know that my family and I, after planting this church in New Orleans, and being called out to join with the North American Mission Board, to plant our lives in the city of Pittsburgh. You know that as we stepped into Pittsburgh this past August, I haven't even lived in Pittsburgh a year. We dreamed that we could plant one church by this August in the city of Pittsburgh, and you know that God has been faithful to not just plant one church, we launched our church on Easter Sunday in two locations with almost 300 people showing up. Can we thank God for his faithfulness? Can I tell you, church right now, there's a team under the leadership of Steve Turners, he serves with the North American Mission Board. We have a team called GenSend. Which is, we have 10 college students, they're scattered all over North America. But in Pittsburgh we have 10 college students, 7 of whom are from Shandon Baptist Church, Shandon College. And listen, yeah, y'all give it up for Shandon College. Listen, I've been on vacation, I got to enjoy a little bit of Myrtle Beach glory a couple of weeks ago, and so I haven't been around. But this past week I got to catch up with them, grabbed some lunch, and all this kind of stuff. They're not just like interns, they are world changers already on the streets of Pittsburgh. They are leading people to Jesus left and right, encouraging followers of Jesus to keep pressing on in the name of Jesus. Listen, I'm so thankful for what God's doing.

Rob Wilton: 07:24 I also have a church planter with me here today. As we moved into the city of Pittsburgh, we asked for the Lord to bless us by sending us workers. We believe that Jesus had declared for the city of Pittsburgh, that the harvest was plentiful, but the workers were few. So Jesus told us to pray for workers. Do you know that he's answering those prayers. Do you know that I have a church planter here with me today, his name is Will Cole. Him and his family had been a part of church planting in Alaska, and then Texas, and they did a residency this past year in Florence, South Carolina at Cornerstone Baptist Church. And he is moving his family to be our North Hills multiplying church in the city of Pittsburgh this summer. Can we thank God for that?

Rob Wilton: 08:09 Listen, I believe this is just the beginning. This is just the beginning. So everybody look at me, how can we believe in these great things? We first got to believe in Jesus, who equips us to do these great things. You show me somebody that's not trusting much, and I'll show you somebody that has little faith. Little belief equals little trust, big belief equals big trust. And this moment is a moment that Jesus is dialing up for his disciples for future moments. And guys, as great as things have gone in the city of Pittsburgh, I'm just going to be honest with you, I've been freaking out. People don't know how to talk up there. They had this stuff called snow. My family and I learned Old Navy doesn't work up there. The kids got frostbite the first time it was cold up there. We don't own winter clothes, we don't know, we lived in new Orleans 14 years. This has been hard, but you know, God gives you moments.

Rob Wilton: 09:29 The moment we had, it was an amazing moment, it was a God moment. My family and I went ice skating downtown for the lighting of the Christmas tree. It was so fun watching my four new Orleans kids try and ice skate, and so we're skating and we're having fun. And my wife's like, y'all knock yourself out, I'm not doing that. So I'm trying to chase the kids around and all this kind of stuff, and there's a bunch of these college kids. You college kids are crazy. And these college kids are skating all around, and all of a sudden out of nowhere, one college kid nails Mack, one of my twin boys into the ground. So I hurry up over there, and I told that college kid, if I could get off this ice and get you off this, I'm going know. And he was real sorry, and helped me pick up my son. We went over to the side, made sure everything was still there, not broken. And after a few moments, my son Mack looks up at me, he goes, let's get back out there daddy. And I'm like, yes. So when we got back out on the ice this time there was something different, my son Mack would not let go of my hand. So here we are skating. You see, he had seen how daddy had showed that a little bit of power with that college kid, and he wasn't going to let go of my hand. Well his twin brother had been watching the whole thing, his name is Burke. And as we made one lap around, all of a sudden Burke comes on my left side, and he grabs my hand over here. Well, one of the things I notice is that they're kind of skating, as bad as they were, with a little swagger. As they're holding daddy's hand, they kind of got this swagger, I think they get it from their mama. And Burke looks up at me and he goes, dad, let's go take out some college kids. I wanted to see them try, honestly.

Rob Wilton: 11:23 God spoke to me in that moment as honestly, I might hide it well, I was freaking out in a new city. Any of you guys ever been knocked down, have any of you felt like you were walking on ice, have any of you been asked to take a leap of faith and maybe things not go so well? Has the Father ever been faithful in your life, like he's been in life, to come and care for you? To rebuke the enemy. Make sure everything's okay. Give you time for healing. Have any of you guys after being ministered to by the Lord, ever received that from the Lord, and then look back up at the Lord and said, I want back in the game. But this time you've learned, hey, if I skate alone, a college kid might wipe me out, but if I would hold on the daddy's hand, ain't nobody messing with us. So this time when you get back in the game, you've learned because of the previous moment, I'm never letting go of daddy's hand. And as you get out there, because you realize that man with daddy, man, we got a little bit of power here. You even look up at the father and you say, Hey, let's take out some college kids. We're not going to tackle any of you today, I promise.

Rob Wilton: 12:44 This moment that Jesus dials up for his disciples, listen to me is not about this moment, he is giving them a moment for future moments. And listen to me Shandon Baptist Church, listen, God has moved in and through this church in an amazing way for decades and decades and decades. And as now pastor George leads this church with this amazing team, listen, can I just submit this to you? There is no such thing as glory days, on this side of heaven, there's no such thing as glory days. There's mission days, and then we'll enjoy him in glory. There is no such thing as glory days on this side of heaven we work. And everything that God has done in the life of Shandon Baptist church, all things past, all things present right now, are for a future, and that future sure is a guarantee to advance the kingdom of God to the ends of the earth. How many y'all want to believe that the best is yet to come for Shandon? Anybody in the house? Yes. This moment Jesus dials up for the disciples is for a future moment.

Rob Wilton: 13:59 So let's look at this scripture together, and let's break it down with some points. Write down in your iPad, on your notepad, whatever you got. You want to take notes in church, because when you take notes in church, you look holier than your neighbor and that's the point of church. So let's answer the question, why we should trust in Jesus today? Number one, what we find out here in this text, is we recognize the intention of Jesus. Do you know that Jesus is intentional? He's not random. Oh my goodness, who's that person? How did that happen? He's sovereign ,He's intentional. It's found in verse 22, it says, Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat, go before him to the other side while he dismissed the crowds." A couple of things we need to learn about Jesu, because we are going to trust in Jesus. Number one, that he leads. Number two, that he forces. Number three, that he orchestrates. You see it right here in the text, right? Jesus makes the disciples get into the boat, He didn't ask their opinion. He forced the crowds, He didn't say, is this going to hurt your feeling? Are you going to put on Twitter later that you're mad at me? No, he forced the crowds, and then he goes up to enjoy latte with the Father and the spirit, up on the mountain. He's in charge.

Rob Wilton: 15:28 Do you know that I have a very simple job description as a pastor, you want to hear it? Listen to Jesus, and do what he says, that's it. Because I've actually learned my plans are worthless. I know, especially over the last 10 years in new Orleans, as I got to pastor and plant my first church, as I come up to plant my second church, I still don't know what I'm doing. Don't tell anybody, but I know what not to do. And one of the things that I refuse to do, is to go out and start moving until I hear from Jesus.

Rob Wilton: 16:07 Do you know in the Book of Acts when Jesus sent his church out, what did he tell his disciples to do before he ascended into heaven, and the Holy spirit came down in Acts chapter 2. He told his disciples to wait, pray and then go. We have a problem in my opinion, especially in the church in America, because we're so smart. We have seminary degrees, we have buildings, we have programs with history. We think we know everything, so we're not desperate for the word of the Lord. And I just want you to know that any of our decisions, or our plans, or our, you know, traditions, they're never going to hold up. What's only powerful is the word of the Lord. And so we, instead of doing what Jesus has told us to do, we just go. And when we go, because we don't have any power, we wait. I wonder why nothing is working? Well, you went, you big dummy. And so in the last resort, because now we're finally desperate, what do we do? Oh, nothing else has worked, I guess now we'll pray. What would happen if we flipped the script church? We waited, we prayed, and in that prayer we refused to move until he speaks. And when he speaks, we go. I'm just telling you, we are not seeing what we're seeing in Pittsburgh happen because I went, we're seeing what is happening in Pittsburgh happen because I listened to God who told me to go. There's intention here with Jesus, He's leading, He's forcing, He's orchestrating.

Rob Wilton: 18:02 Number two, we find the intercession of Jesus. I think it's so amazing, he dismissed the crowds, he goes up on the mountain by himself to pray. I think it's amazing. First thing we know about Jesus here is that he prays. Anyone thankful that Jesus prays for us? I know I am. There's been so many times in my life, I don't even know what I'm supposed to pray. Spirit says, that he'll intercede for us with groanings too deep for words, he prays for us. My dad wrote a book called, When God Prays, with the Billy Graham association. It's an amazing book. When I picture, John 17, of the prayer with Jesus, God the father, God the spirit. God prays, you can trust in him even when you don't know what to pray. But secondly, he knows. Here he is up on the mountain enjoying a latte. Where the disciples? In a storm. And some of you are in a storm, and you have come in here today and said, God doesn't know I'm in the storm. He knows, he knows exactly what's going on in your life. He knows your struggles, he knows your doubts, he knows your pains. You can fool church people with, hey brother, hey sister, and say hi to people and all that kind of stuff. You can't fool Jesus, he knows what's going on, the good, the bad and the ugly. He knows everything in this house, and he knew the disciples were in a storm. May I submit this to us? He was the one who led them into the storm. Was this their idea? See, some of you all are like, I can't believe I'm in a storm. Jesus might have led you into this storm, because he's trying to get ahold of your life, he's trying to get your attention. He knows that this storm could be the very thing that aligns you back with his will. Hearm he knows.

Rob Wilton: 20:05 The third thing we see that he doesn't just leave the disciples, does he, in the storm. He shows up. We find the intervention of Jesus here in the text. I think it's amazing as we see this, I don't have time to reread all of verse 25 through verse 32, but there's four major things that I see happen as we trust in Jesus together. The fact that number one, he arrives, number two, he reveals, number three, he answers, and number four, he saves. So here he arrives, right? The disciples are in the middle of the storm, and he shows up. When does he show up? Look at verse 25 there, it says, he shows up in the fourth watch of the night. Not the first watch, the fourth, this is significant. Symbolically, even those of you who are up in the bleachers, some of you guys have come in symbolically and this is you today. Like your life, you are in the middle of the storm, nothing's working out, you're overwhelmed, and you're, you know, treading water. You're in a fight for your life. Do you know that Jesus left the disciples? When you go and look in the book of John, it says, how long they rowed, he let the disciples row for three to four miles. Why? This is not about this moment. Jesus is building in his disciples, spiritual muscles. He's making them tough. He's preparing them for future moments. Because did it get real easy for the disciples once Jesus ascended into heaven? Go read the Book of Acts, this literally cost them their life. And so he's building within them these spiritual muscles in the middle of the storm, even leaving them in the storm a little bit longer, so that they would be prepared for a future moment. Don't be so quick here today to pray out of the storm, because you know it's true, I know it's true in my life, the times where I've grown the most have been some of the hardest times. Because it's when your back's against the wall, when you're in the storm, you find out that Jesus is for real. And here Jesus arrives, and when he arrives, notice something that happens. He reveals, he reveals. What does he say? The disciples freak out, it's a ghost, and Jesus says, take heart, it is I. Now, look there in the scriptures. Has Jesus calmed the storm yet? This is purposeful. For Jesus is teaching his disciples that true peace is not found in the absence of problems, it's found in the presence of Jesus, that peace that passes understanding is for real. This is why you can trust in Jesus. He shows up, and he reveals, and then it's amazing.

Rob Wilton: 23:22 Peter has the faith to now see that it's Jesus, and he's like, command me and I'll come. And so we find Jesus stepping out and answering that, and saying, come. I'm blown away, I'm always blown away that God uses me. I don't understand why I'm standing at Shandon preaching right now. I know how pathetic I am, I know how unworthy I am. I have a wife that I've never been able to impress, and yet God uses me despite me. Here. Peter gets invited by Jesus to come, and he obediently steps out. And as he steps out, takes one leap of faith. Some of you guys, that's your step today, just one leap of faith. I want to encourage you by way of this text, Jesus is not interested in just one leap of faith. He wants you to take a leap of faith daily until he calls you home, or until he returns again, and so you take daily leaps of faith. What does Peter do? He takes one leap of faith, looks at the wind and the waves, I'm walking on water, this is not normal. So are you here today looking at the wind and the waves, or the one who controls the wind and the waves. He begins to sink, and when he begins to sink, he cries out again to Jesus. And Jesus is mighty to save. Jesus reaches out that hand. Do you remember my illustration with my boys, not letting go of daddy's hand? To me, this is a major moment for the disciples. Oh snap, I try and do this on my own, I sink. If I hold onto the father's hand, I don't. He's wanting them to get back on the ice, but never let go of his hand. I've had to remind myself in Pittsburgh to keep grabbing daddy's hand.

Rob Wilton: 25:41 That brings us to this next point, as we see the intervention of Jesus, this is the pinnacle point. We find the inspiration of Jesus. And it says, and those in the boat worshiped him saying, truly you are the son of God. He brings Peter in the boat, he teaches on faith, he calms the wind and the waves, and now they say, truly you are the son of God. Which means what? Before this they weren't convinced. Which on some ends encourages me, because Jesus is not after your ability, he's after your availability. You don't have to know everything to follow Jesus, you don't have to figure out everything. That's religion, Jesus hates religion, he doesn't want anything to do with religion. Religion tells you, you do this, you do this, you do this, you get Jesus. The gospel, a relationship with Jesus is this, come to Jesus just as you are, and he'll do for you what you cannot do for yourself. The gospel is not you can and you will, the gospel is you can't, but Jesus did. And because Jesus did, now you can. And as they've now recognized that Jesus is the son of God, what do they recognize? This is big faith, big trust, they recognize that he is.

Rob Wilton: 27:14 I've been able to now preach a sermon series in two cities. I did it about five years ago in the city of new Orleans, I preached through the "I am" statements that Jesus made about himself. And we called it Big Easy Jesus. My first sermon series in the city of Pittsburgh, we preached through the "I am" statements, because I'm really interested in laying a foundation upon Jesus for our church, it's kind of a good idea. And I'm not interested in what a church says about Jesus, or this seminary says about Jesus, or you know, what I say about...What does Jesus say about himself? And we build our lives on that, and it's such a practical great series for you to go through. Because if Jesus was walking and talking in New Orleans right now, he'd be like enjoying a po' boy, and he'd be like, you think that po' boy's awesome? I'm the bread of life. And so in Pittsburgh we preach a series called Steel City Jesus. And we reminded ourselves about the fact that he is, he is the bread of life, he is the light, he is the door, he is the resurrection, he is the way, he is the vine. Little belief, little trust. Big belief, big trust. Well Pastor Rob, I don't know how I'm going to take this leap of faith. He is. Well I don't know, my marriage is a wreck right now, and I just don't see us ever coming back together. He is. Well Pastor Rob, I feel like God's stirring in my heart right now to move to Pittsburgh this afternoon, and join you to plant a church in Pittsburgh. He is.

Rob Wilton: 28:51 And when we recognize just how amazing Jesus is, it's at that point Jesus says, now you're ready. And he offers to you, this is my last point, write it down, the invitation of Jesus. The disciples were not going to make it if they were like, well, I think he's a son of God. Well, maybe. You know he's got the best thing going on right now. I really love his worship style. I think I'll follow that, because they're cool. What he wanted them to recognize is that he is, and when they recognize that, look at the invitation. It's The Great Commission, Matthew chapter 28 verse 18 through 20, and Jesus came and said to them, remember the moment for future moments. Here's the future moment, and even this moment where he's given The Great Commission is not the only moment, there's future moments after that until their assignment on this side of heaven is over. Here's the moment, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, Jesus says." He is. "Go therefore church, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I've commanded you." And now here's the X factor to The Great Commission. If you want to highlight anything in your Bible, this is what you highlight. This is the promise of God, this is the presence of God, this is what we can trust in Jesus, declares to his church, "Behold I am." He is. He is. He is, "With you always, to the very end of the age."

Rob Wilton: 31:01 Hey, Pastor Rob, I just don't know if I can do this. It ain't about you. In fact, the bigger the dummy, the better chance you've got of a miracle. Y'all need to put that up on a wall somewhere Scott. I mean, I love pastor George. he ain't all that. He'll be the first to admit it, we both laugh, I'm so glad he's getting a taste 40 before me. We laugh how God's put us in positions at our age, and different things like that, we're realists, like we know that. And I'll just tell you, God, if you would say here today, everybody look at me. I can't do this, I don't know how I'm going to do this. Even when it comes to salvation, how am I going to prove myself? How am I ever going to be forgiven? Listen, if you would say here today that you can't, you are actually a perfect recipe for a miracle of God. Because God does not want to share glory with you, because you're not the hope of the world, he is. Shandon, you're failing if people in this city know more about this church than Jesus. Jesus. And when you surrender to that, and you die to that, and you make yourself available to that, he has promised to advance his kingdom through you. He has promised that if you would deny yourself today, take up your cross and follow him, he will save you.

Rob Wilton: 32:59 So every head bowed, and every eye closed, as we close today. We're going to sing a song of response, and I want to invite you today to trust in Jesus. Trust in Jesus. Look, I don't know honestly why I would have the privilege of just flying in for honestly less than 24 hours from Pittsburgh. If y'all can forgive me after this, I've got to go catch a plane, get back up to Pittsburgh for a worship time tonight. But I do believe that God wanted to move in this moment for future moments. And God has spoken to some of you here today. It could be about the area of faithfulness to this church. It could be that, you know, in this story, you're the one that honestly, you're doubting whether he is truly the son of God. Jesus has built up within you a faith in him, give your life to Jesus. He is. For some of you, you've taken one leap of faith, it's been in your career, your business with a family, with relationships. And you stepped into a crazy city like Pittsburgh and you start looking at the wind and the waves, and you're here today and you would confess, I'm looking at the wind and the waves. I took one leap of faith, but I'm starting to sink. And so your statement right now to Jesus in this moment is, Lord save me. And I want you to know that he is. But some of you have gone through all these moments, and you're actually in the boat right now, worshiping Jesus, inspired by Jesus, agreeing with Jesus, truly, you are the son of God.

Rob Wilton: 35:11 No matter where you are, someone here today needs to receive Christ as Lord and savior. Someone is here today needs to answer God's call to be on mission for him. I want you right now, with nobody looking around, head bowed, eyes closed. Just open up your hands right there in your seat, open up your hands to Jesus. Come on everybody do it, put actions to what God's telling you right now. I encourage some of you as we start to sing, if the action is to come down and get on your knees in prayer, just saying, Jesus, I'm yours, I'm available. Do it, don't miss this moment. This moment is not for this moment, it's for future moments. And if you keep this to yourself, the enemy's going to deceive you that you never had this moment, I encourage some of you to not just receive Jesus as Lord and savior, but to step out and come down front and tell somebody you've given your life to Jesus. That public statement is going to jab Satan in the throat later on when he tries to deceive you.

Rob Wilton: 36:23 Jesus, we are here before you. We all in unity, proclaim, truly, you are the son of God. There's no one greater, there is none like you, none but Jesus. So Holy spirit, as you are moving right now in this place, in this moment, Lord, move in this moment and multiply this moment to millions of future moments that advance your kingdom to the ends of the earth. Lord, for those who would come today, and confess you as Lord and savior. Therefore, if anyone confesses you, believes in you, they will be saved. You have come, you've lived, you've died, you defeated sin, death and hell. You promise salvation to all who would repent, and put their faith and trust in you. Lord, unleash salvation to lost souls right now in this moment. Lord Jesus, also, unleash your Holy Spirit, and empowerment of your saints being sent out from this place. For Lord, even as I grabbed dinner last night in town, there's so many in this city who need Jesus. Call us out, Lord, give us a big faith in you our big God. And move in such a way, that you alone get all glory and honor and praise. We love you, Jesus. Thank you for loving us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Let's stand and let's sing and respond to Jesus.

Recorded in Columbia, South Carolina.
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Shandon Baptist Church
5250 Forest Drive
Columbia, South Carolina 29206