This is a KJV Bible study guide on “Don’t take your eyes off of Jesus Christ”.
In Matthew 14:22-33 we read the account of Jesus walking across the water to the disciples in a storm. They were frightened and thought he was a spirit. So Peter, being a take-charge kind of guy yelled out, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
So let’s take a quick look at what happened when Peter took a step out of the boat in verses 29-31. When Jesus called him, Peter stepped out into the water. But when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the storm around him, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith, he said, “why did you doubt me?”
Matthew 14:29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
Matthew 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Matthew 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
When some read this passage they so often fixate on Peter’s fear. But it wasn’t the fear that sank Peter. Jesus didn’t say, “why did you fear?” He said, “why did you doubt Me?” Look at verse 30 again: But when Peter saw the wind and storm around him, he became afraid. Peter only began to fear when he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the storm. When we take our eyes off Jesus, we inherit problems; doubt creeps in. When we don’t see him in what’s happening around us in this world today (2022), or don’t understand what is happening around us, that sometimes can cause us to take our eyes off Jesus? Some of us may have a hard time seeing Jesus at all, and fear and doubt are moving into the void. No matter what takes our eyes off Jesus, we’re all going to sink when we take our eyes off Him in the storm of events here in 2022 and beyond.
Two types of fear! Fear/reverence of God and fear of man! Fear of man shows a lack of faith in God.
The Bible mentions two specific types of fear. The first type is beneficial and is to be encouraged. The second type is a detriment and is to be overcome. The first type of fear is fear of the Lord. This type of fear does not necessarily mean to be afraid of something. Rather, it is a reverential awe of God; a reverence for His power and glory. (Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.) However, it is also a proper respect for His wrath and anger. In other words, the fear of the Lord is a total acknowledgment of all that God is capable of, which comes through knowing Him and His attributes.
Fear of the Lord brings with it many blessings and benefits. It is the beginning of wisdom and leads to good understanding. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline. Furthermore, fear of the Lord leads to life, rest, peace, and contentment. It is the fountain of life and provides a security and a place of safety for us. Thus, one can see how fearing God should be encouraged. (Psalm 25:14, 111:10; Proverbs 1:7 [What do fools despise?], Proverbs 8:13, 14:26-27, Proverbs 19:23).
However, the second type of fear mentioned in the Bible is not beneficial at all. This is the “spirit of fear” mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. A spirit of fearfulness and timidity does not come from God. Where does it come from you ask? If it can't come from God, it must come from somewhere else (Satan, man, etc.).
How do you overcome fear and doubt?
Diligent Bible study benefits you for sure. The more you know, the easier it is to spot His truths and to spot something that isn't true; you become able to verify. You also increase your own faith and diminish any doubts you may have had. You’ll be truly amazed at what is actually in the Bible. When one learns truth from God's word, they can share those truths with others; what a concept. No one can share what they don't know. Get busy studying. Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion and doubt that takes the world captive. Studying the Bible ourselves makes it possible for us to detect the deceiver in his disguise. Who deceives the whole world? Read Revelation 12:9 (KJV) for the answer. Pray to God for more wisdom, understanding, comprehension, insight and love of His word [James 1:5-6]. Obey Him, read 2 Timothy 2:15 and 3:16-17, be a diligent student of the scriptures and study on your own; chapter by chapter; verse by verse. Help yourself and get rid of any doubt you may have.
Bible study sites and one TV channel:
Dish Network channel 256 = Shepherds Chapel (Live streaming free on You-Tube and Roku also), highly recommended). Try the videos of Mr. Ravi Zacharias and Mr. John Lennox on You-Tube also.
http://www.coghomeschool.org/site/cog_archives/booklets/How%20To%20Solve%20Bible%20Difficulties.pdf [This article gives us tips on how to and how not to study the Bible]
http://www.theseason.org/home.htm [all of the old and new testament with study notes]
http://www.goodnewsministry.com/books.html (Bible study with explanation notes)
http://americanwisdomseries.com/Plan%20of%20God.html [Plan of God, a little lengthy, but very informative]
http://www.concordant.org/version/CLNT_Intro.htm [true meaning of pertinent words]
http://biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/1-1.htm [Green's Interlinear Bible online = Hebrew and Greek manuscripts by book, chapter and verse with english translation of each word; Remember, Hebrew is written right to left.]