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SBC v.p. to seminarians: Stand firm in the storm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Those who stand firm on God’s Word will meet Jesus in the midst of life’s problems, Miles Seaborn told Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary students.
Seaborn, first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, told the seminarians when the storms of life come, they should follow the example in Matthew 14:22-33 of the disciples in the storm. For these men, the end result of trusting Christ’s word was worship, as described in verse 33:
“Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” (KJV)
Seaborn, a retired pastor from Fort Worth, Texas, addressed his Oct. 28 chapel message to everyone who will face problems in life, either now or in the future.
“God has a challenge for every one of us in this building today,” Seaborn said at the Kansas City, Mo., seminary. “God wants you to walk on water, because in reality they were not walking on the water — they were walking on the Word of God.”
All Christians are certain to see difficulties, Seaborn said. In fact, in Matthew 14:22 it is Jesus himself who compelled the reluctant fishermen to get into the boat, he said.
“I believe that God allows us in his will and providence to be led through the circumstances of life into difficult, difficult situations,” Seaborn said. “Jesus in his wisdom knew that there were things they would learn in that storm that they would never learn anywhere else.”
He then challenged students to learn from the difficulties.
“Let’s don’t miss the lesson,” Seaborn said. “God has a lesson for you. If you don’t learn it here, you’ll learn it in a bigger storm, in a more devastating storm. Learn what God has for you at this point in your life.”
One problem faced by the disciples in the storm was the darkness of the night, Seaborn said. He went on to describe recent times of darkness in his own ministry in Texas, as members of his congregation had became disgruntled with the worship service, and as he faced harsh opposition as a trustee of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“All of these things came at one time,” Seaborn related. “I want to tell you, life became dark and challenging.”
However, Seaborn noted, it was in the midst of the darkness and difficulty of the storm that Jesus appeared to the disciples in the boat. He said that in Matthew 14:27 Jesus comes walking on the water, admonishing the disciples to stop fearing and take courage on the basis Jesus’ divine identity as the “I Am.”
“I don’t have to know your problem this morning,” Seaborn said. “But I know that in the midst of it, Jesus is saying, ‘Remember, I Am.’
“He was there in the midst of the storm,” Seaborn continued, “and whatever the storm is in your life today, he is here — just as powerful, just as real, just as present, just as precious.”
Seaborn called listeners to respond as the disciples did — seeing, hearing, obeying, proving and worshiping Jesus. Being able to see Jesus requires spending sufficient time in the Word and prayer, Seaborn said.
“Spend enough time with the Lord in prayer and in the Word of God that you can see what they saw,” Seaborn said. “Do not let your presence on this campus lure you or lull you into sleep thinking, ‘Hey, I can be spiritual by being a student at the seminary.’ Wrong — you can get away from God so quickly.”
He also called on students to wait on the word of God before they step out, in contrast to some popular teaching today.
“Here’s the flaw that you hear,” Seaborn related. “‘What do you want? Just name it and claim it.’ But God says to you, ‘Listen, I’ve got to name it before you can claim it for yourself.’ Faith is response to the word of God. You can’t just jump out of any old boat. You can — but you’ll sink right to the bottom.”
Finally, Seaborn challenged students to prove Jesus as Peter did in Matthew 14:29 by stepping out onto the waves.
“You say, ‘Pastor, I came today, and you’re telling me to get out of the boat!'” Seaborn said, imagining the thoughts of his listeners. “‘I mean, it’s secure in here, it’s safe in here. Lord, you’re trying to get me on the mission field.’ Let me tell you: The safest place is not in your front room. It’s in the will of God.”

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  • Clinton Wolf