Sermon on the Beach
Actually, that title is a bit incorrect. The Beach IS a sermon.
Were not several of the Disciples fishermen? And, where did they fish? And, where did Jesus frequently meet them, or sail with them? He "even walked to them on the water and commanded the storm be still. Remember that?
"While walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And He said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matt. 3:18-19)
Or, "When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but He was asleep. And they went and woke Him, saying, 'Save us, Lord; we are perishing.' And He said to them, 'Why are you afraid, O yo)u of little faith?' Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm." (Matt. 8:23-26)
"When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But He said to them, 'It is I; do not be afraid.' Then they were glad to take Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. (John 6:19-21
Where is the one place we can be guaranteed of seeing Abba's power on display? Not just now and then. Every day. Any time every day. The ocean!
Abba gives us amazing sunrises every day as reminders of His Power, His Love, and His Omniscience.
Every night, he displays incredible sunsets that assure us, the day is gone and it's time to rest, recharge, and pray for the coming day.
The high tide and the low tide are constant reminders that Abba is consistent and true.
The sand, like sins, are always around us and underfoot. That sand gets everywhere and in everything. Sound like sins that seem to follow you around?
"For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me." (Psalm 51:3
And like Abba's love, the sea can itself wash us clean or, when needed, knock us off our feet. It can lull us into a deep, restful sleep, or deny that peace when it is needed.
"-but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us." (Romans 5:8)
The sea provides us with food. It can also take our lives.
Yet, it is consistent. And powerful. And soothing. And incredibly beautiful, unless a storm turns it into an ugly beast.
Did you know that the word "praise" appears in the Bible more than 340 times. "Love" appears more than 551 times. "Sin" shows it's ugly self more than 474 times. "Faith" is in the Bible more than 270 times. "Light" is written more than 232 times. While "joy" shows 216 times.
The number of ours sins is greater than the grains of sand on the beach. That is a scary, frightening reality, is it not?
Do you notice anything unusual about those word counts? With the exception of the word love, we see sin far more often than the other words. That sounds about right for real life right? But, it's not right. Knowing He gave His life, shed His blood for us, we should hate sin and avoid it. However, we are simple, weak human becomings...
That's why Abba provided us with the ultimate salt bath to cleanse us of and from our sins. Salt air and salt water have known curative powers. For example, who can't breathe easier after spending some time breathing some of Abba's salt therapy? Or, after a dip in the ocean, have not found cuts and bruises healing quicker? Right?
How many of you eat seafood? Not me, for sure, but most people do. As far as I know, the only place to find that is from the ocean/sea. Correct me, please, if I am wrong.
And, as mentioned above, many of the disciples were fisherman, both before and after serving Abba. To the point, they actually became fishers of men.
Shouldn't it be natural, then, that we are drawn to the ocean because it represents His Power, His desire to forgive us our sins, and because that sea can wash away our sins?
Have you ever experienced a hurricane? This believer went through the longest night of her life when Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston, SC in September, 1989. THAT was a full on display of God's power as well as the power that his ocean possesses.
Just as one example, so many yachts and houses were moved. Some intact. Some completely destroyed. Roads washed away. If anyone remembers Hugo and the Atlantic House Restaurant in Folly Beach, it was gone with little trace to mark it's existence. That story was repeated so many times and in so many lives in the aftermath of that mighty storm.
Are you seeing yet why Abba provided us something powerful enough for us to "see" how we can beat sin? Stand up to sin? Survive sin? Or to be used to cleanse ourselves form our sins?
While in the Navy and stationed onboard the USS CANOPUS (AS-34), I experienced some of the most sound sleep ever. Even while underway to GITMO, Cuba in seas that had at least 50% of our crew in sick bay, I slept like a rock.
The ocean can sustain us our break us completely.
It can encourage us through the rising of the sun in the morning and induce a peaceful night's sleep with sunset.
It can make us aware of the agitation we experience when we are not in step with Abba. And, it can provide the cleansing we need from sin when we are out of step.
I know it is difficult to believe, however, there are those who do not care for the beach. Some are drawn more powerfully to the mountains, for example. I daresay, a Sermon on any Mountain is just as realistic as a Sermon on the Beach. And, I don't mean the Sermon on the Mount give by our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
Actually, for those of us who believe in our Abba, we should be able to come up with a sermon any time we cross paths with someone in need, or in trouble because of decisions and choices that have been made.
So, if you happen to be at the beach and encounter someone in need of the Word, just remember you have a very powerful "bible" right in front of you. Listen to the wind and the waves and just share His Word as He gives it to you through them.
An extra special benefit is that the ocean makes a wonderful baptismal pool. Just saying.
If YOU are not sure of Whose you are, may I please share this with you?
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests we have asked of Him." (1) John 5:13-15
Have you asked Him into your heart? Then there's your proof He is there. Embrace it, hold it tight, and never let it go. Know that He has YOU and will never, ever let YOU go!
Be blessed my friends and family. Be the child Abba made you to be.