This is the sermon I preached at Zion Presbyterian Church in August of 2019–the same Sunday I had the privilege of baptizing my grandson.

Title: Fearless!
Text: Matthew 8:23-27 and Mark 4:35-41

Main Point: Jesus keeps you safe so you can be his fearless kingdom agent.

  1. He keeps you safe by getting you involved in his mission.
  2. He keeps you safe by rescuing you from the enemies of his mission.
  3. He keeps you safe by training you for greater effectiveness in his mission.
Title: Fearless!
Text: Mt. 8:23-27 and Mk. 4:35-41

Point 1: He keeps you safe by getting you involved in his mission.

“Let’s go to the other side” Mark 4:35

In God’s kingdom, safety and danger are not antithetical to each other. The mission on which he sends us is often dangerous. But there is no safer place than to be on mission with Jesus. Imagine an adventure movie in which the hero faces no challenges or danger. You would probably watch something else. As God’s people we have been swept up as kingdom agents into the greatest adventure of all time. We should not be surprised to find that this adventure often involves danger. But we are safe on mission with Jesus. Are you engaged as a mission agent or are you playing it safe? Are you on a mission or do you just support “missionaries”?

Point 2: He keeps you safe by fearlessly rescuing you from the enemies of his mission.

“Quiet, be still” (in light of OT view of waters: Ps 93, Ps 65)

In the Old Testament, the sea is a symbol of chaos and threat against God’s people. So when Jesus calmed the sea he was showing himself to be the one who can deal with this threat. The calming of the sea, then, was a foreshadowing of just how he would deal definitively with this threat–it anticipated his victory over his and our enemies through his death and resurrection. Jesus, our fearless leader, has rescued us from the enemies of his mission. He now has all authority, which means we can go and make disciples without fear. Nothing can harm you without God’s permission. We can and should be fearless. What fears are keeping you from being a kingdom agent, using your gifts to serve others? You can be fearless!

Point 3: He keeps you safe by training you for greater effectiveness in his mission.

“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!'” Mark 4:39

Instead of immediately calming the sea, Jesus took advantage of this teachable moment to train his disciples. As water was splashing, as winds were blowing, and as everyone was off-balance, Jesus said in effect, “Let’s take a little time to reflect here…. Why were you so afraid?” There’s a sense in which training us to be more effective kingdom agents–even if it involves danger–is more important to Jesus than keeping us from danger. Are you experiencing challenging situations right now? Are you tempted to doubt Jesus’ love and power? Remember that Jesus is training you–sometimes in the midst of danger–to make you a more effective kingdom agent. Receive the training in faith and move forward fearlessly.

® Copyright 2024 Gary Waldecker