Sunday School Lessons

He’s Got This, So What Do We Do?

I’m not always a good participant.  I want to “help” the person who is leading a meeting, or I think of ways that I could do more when I’m sitting in church or one of my sons’ programs.  Sitting (or standing) and being part of an event that isn’t my responsibility is a bit of a challenge.  Sometimes, I drift away into other trains of thought, or think about what I might have done in the same situation.  I know that I don’t always need to be in control (especially when it comes to my faith), but let’s consider some healthier alternatives, today.

In Matthew 14, after Jesus walks on the water to His disciples (!), and pulls Peter out as he started to sink (!!), He (with Peter) gets into the boat.

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:32‭-‬33 NIV

The storm calms when Jesus gets in the boat.  Do you ever wonder why Jesus sometimes spoke or did things as part of performing miracles?  Sometimes, he’d even give the person needing healing some activity to do.  I suspect that these steps were for others’ benefit; after all, they definitely weren’t somehow forcing God the Father to act.  Jesus apparently didn’t have to tell the wind and the waves to calm down in this passage, but on at least one other occasion, He did (see Mark 4:35-41).

I think that we human beings are the ones who need to make mental connections in order to recognize God’s power.  God works every single day, both in the world around us that He created, and through His active influence on our lives.  However, sometimes we need to say or do something before He acts, not because He is limited or because we somehow compel Him to act, but so that we – and those around us – can understand clearly that it is Him who is working, and not coincidence, luck, chance, fate, or fortune.

Regardless of the timing, though, what is the disciples’ response to seeing God’s power and goodness?  It is worship to Him.  Worship isn’t something that we just do in order to “check a box”.  It is our heart’s response to the amazing nature and character of God.  God is worthy of being worshiped all the time, but there are times when we see His glory and His work in special ways, and we are inspired to worship Him all the more.

Worship is a great habit when participating in a church service (and many other opportunities where we get to see God’s power).  I realize that those who are leading a church service may worry about doing a good job or getting everything right (although I pray for them to find God’s peace in that, too), but if we’re not leading a service, choosing to worship God throughout the service is a great way to participate.  This is not the same as being idle in the service, or even singing along during the music.  Instead, it is actively giving glory and praise to God for who He is and what He has done.  This might include speaking, singing, or just talking to God in our hearts, but it’s something we choose to do, rather than merely “existing” in the service.

In fact, if you haven’t worshiped God recently as much as you think you should have, a formal “worship service” isn’t the only place to do so (although it’s a good one).  Just think about all of the things that He has done, and the greatness of who He is, and worship Him wherever you are right now.

In addition, no matter the situation that you are in, remember that God can handle it.  He is never surprised, never caught off-guard, and never without a plan.  It certainly helps that He sees all of time at once, but His wisdom, power, and love work together with His knowledge.  God isn’t just able to see what the best path is; He can make it happen, and He does so in a way that expresses His holy nature of both love and justice.  It’s no wonder that Romans 8:28 tells us how God works for good.

So, the next time you’re sitting and watching, take a moment to appreciate what God has done.  That might be in the gifts he’s given to the performers in a musical, play, or concert.  That might be just observing His creation, as the clouds move across the sky, the trees sway in the breeze, or the water laps up against the shore.  Or, maybe it’s just watching the fenceposts go by as you ride along (with someone else driving).

Then, worship God!  Trust me, it’s better than browsing on your phone, and maybe it’s exactly what God is waiting for in order to show you the next amazing thing that He has planned.

From Sunday School lesson prepared for December 11, 2022


  • The Lookout, December 11, 2022, © 2022 Christian Standard Media.
  • Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • The College Press NIV Commentary – Matthew, by Larry Chouinard, pages 342-349.  © 1997 College Press Publishing Co.

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