GS24-02 Giant Steps

Giant Steps
Bill Giovannetti
Yes, today is the big reveal of our theme for 2024 here at Pathway. It's a good day to be here.

Over these last months, I've been praying and asking God to give us something that will really mean something powerful for our community, for our church, and for you.

Let me set up our theme with Scripture, and then we'll get right into it:

"So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus." (Matthew 14:29)

The disciples are on a boat, out at sea. Early morning, they see the last thing they expect... they see a man walking to them on the water. The disciples freak out. "It's a ghost! It's a ghost!" they say (Matt 14:26).

But it's Jesus, and he says, "Don't worry, guys. It's me, Jesus!"

And there he is, walking on water to them.

And Peter says—Peter, my favorite disciple, the one who has a problem with impulse control—Peter says, Lord if it is You, command me to come to you on the water. And Jesus says, "Come."

That's when you get this verse.

Blustery winds, choppy seas, moonless night, no flashlights. What did it feel like to step out of that boat?
His friends look at him like he's crazy. Peter hitches up his cloak. One leg goes overboard. His foot touches the icy waters. The water pushes back. Whoa! This is awesome!

He tests it; it holds his weight. Peter lifts out his other leg and plants his second foot on aqua firma. Imagine the rise and fall of the waves, the howling winds. He's not walking on some glassy pond... there's a storm at sea! Rising and falling and tilting and swirling. What a wild ride! Peter walked on water!

Okay, so here's the series for the year: GIANT STEPS
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

Giant Steps

I think God has something better for us than we are currently experiencing. He wants us to step into that.

That is going to be a giant step.

There are things in our lives that have been holding us back. We've been held in a kind of prison, a trap. God wants us to step out of all that.

There are blessings and resources and privileges and honors that he has given us. God wants us to step into all of that.

There is a mission and purpose that goes high above and beyond anything we can ask or thing. God wants us to step up to those things.

A year from now, I don't want us to be in the same mud we are stuck in today. I don't want any of us to still be having the same struggles, the same addictions, the same complacency, the same sin patterns that we have today.

In other words, get unstuck and get moving.

When Peter stepped out of that boat, that was life-defining for him. He was the only one with the guts to do it.

Peter was active. The other disciples were passive. They sat in their boat like armchair quarterbacks... sportscasters analyzing Peter's game from their Lazyboy recliners.

"Well, Thomas, I think he looks a little shaky there..."

"I agree, Bartholomew. Too much weight on his back foot..."

They could analyze Peter. They could criticize Peter. They could make fun of Peter.

But none of them could ever say that they walked on water. Because none of them took the giant step out of the safety of the boat.

None of them ever tested the limits of what God could do.

None of them ever risked their necks on the God they said was faithful, but really didn't know for sure.

When Jesus, standing on that sea, said, "Come," only one man went.

Giant Steps.

The picture I have in my mind is Jesus saying, "Come," and four thousand people at Pathway Church getting up and taking a Giant Step out of the boat.

I am believing God for that, for you.
So over the course of this year, I'm going to be preaching on Giant Steps that you can take.

Let me get specific. Giant steps you can take for what?

I will be teaching and preaching on the steps you can take so that FUTURE YOU can experience John 10:10.

What's in John 10:10, you ask?

John 10:10 reports these words of Jesus:
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

I am preaching on GIANT STEPS so that FUTURE YOU can literally experience the promise of John 10:10.

Which is the promise of THE ABUNDANT LIFE.