I’m glad to be with you today. I’ve encountered your pastor and his wife at district events since I was a teen in Bible Quiz, Jimmy Hicks and I are good friends and now Ariel Riley is my high speed student worker at SAGU.
It’s a privilege to live in a country where we can worship God as we choose. We didn’t have to check with the government to schedule services today. We can have any amount of Bibles and carry them from state to state. We can pray and schedule prayer meetings because 229 years ago some men decided that we were endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. We assert in our Church that Jesus is the Only way to heaven. That’s true, it’s what the Bible says and we don’t have to check with someone in Austin or Washington if it’s ok for us to share that. It’s true. There is a dynamic that we live between Christians who Love God and also Serve their Country. There is this Great Country Called America that we see and The Eternal Kingdom of God. And we are at war, but you know as I that the Maker of Heaven and Earth is available, Christ is Ready for the Crisis. Turn in Your Bibles to Matt 8:23-27 Let us pray.
Christ In Your Crisis
The disciples trusted Jesus, wherever He went, they went. He got into a boat, they followed Him into the boat, the sky didn’t look particularly bad that day, but over the Sea of Galilee, storms could come without warning. Matthew tells us the disciples got into the boat with Jesus.
There was a Crisis coming to the disciples, little did they know when they got in the boat with Jesus, that a crisis was around the corner. You might not have expected to have a crisis the proportion of which you are facing today, but look close at that passage. As we look closely at this passage, what can be said of Jesus, is there a model of how God is in the middle of a crisis. I believe this passage represents characteristics of Jesus that we can take the assurance and confidence that we need when trouble comes, you might be in a crisis today, you might be coming out of one, or you might not know what is around the corner, but I can tell you, Jesus is going to be right there with you
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.
1. In you crisis, Jesus will be your Companion.
They got into the boat with him. Jesus went with them into the boat knowing there was a storm coming. But he also knew that because of his power, he had what was necessary to calm the storm. When I was in Iraq, many times people ask me, Chaplain, why would God allow me to go through this problem or crisis that I am in, I don’t know the answer to that but I can tell you that Jesus is right there with you in the middle of it. He was there with you before it started, He is there with you in the middle of it, and He will be there when it is over. He may know what’s coming, but He also knows how He is going to deliver you out of it! It wasn’t difficult for Jesus to get in the boat with a storm on the way, because
Ruth in speaking of her love of Boaz, prophesied about Jesus
I know my redeemer lives, …..
What kind of companion will he be? ???has many friends and there is friend that sticks closer than a brother.
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer
With all of our faults and failings, I’m so glad that Christians in America know how to rely on Christ when the Crisis comes. Just a simple glance at the history of our nation will show that Christians don’t get weak when the crisis comes, Christians put their trust in Christ
From the Great Awakening to Independence, From Civil War to the Pentecostal Outpouring, From Depression and World Wars to the Baby Boom, from Civil Unrest to Civil Rights, from the Cold War Pessimism to Wall Street Optimism, and from Sept. 11 to the Present
……In Your Crisis, Jesus will be your companion
Is it a Crisis of Relationship?
Is it a Crisis of Circumstance?
Is it a Crisis of Ministry?
Christians in America know that God is sufficient for all crisis!
Abraham Lincoln commented
I am confident that the Almighty has His plans, and will work them out; and, whether we see it or not, they will be the best for us
When Jesus commissioned his disciples telling them to go into all the world, baptizing them AND TEACHING THEM. He gave them this confidence and SURELY I WILL BE WITH HIM EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE.
That’s why in the ministry of teaching and evangelizing in the Church you can confidently volunteer to teach Sunday School, it might seem like a crisis, “I don’t know enough Bible” “I don’t have enough time” but let me assure you, the God that made heaven and earth knows how to walk with you into that classroom and open up the Wonderful words of life. JESUS WANTS TO BE YOUR COMPANION IN YOUR CRISIS OF MINISTRY
Scott Wesley Brown said it well, there is no problem to big, God cannot solve it, there is not mountain to tall he cannot move it, there is no storm too dark, God cannot calm it, th……if He carries the weight of the world upon His shoulders, I know my brother that He will carry you.
Wasn’t it Jesus who said?
In this world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world
One morning early when we were preparing for a convoy with the 3625th out of Chicago, a National Guard unit, I was walking in and out from vehicle to vehicle speaking to soldiers. They were anxious and excited because it was their first convoy mission to provide guntruck support and lit up the early morning darkness with cigarettes being lit and mini-maglites darting around in the final check of their gear. One soldier ( SPC Wessel) said Chaplain! What kind of a Chaplain are you? I said A Protestant. What kind of Protestant? he challenged, “Assemblies of God” I countered, “OH Man!” he exclaimed, my parents are Assembly of God! They’ve got me on a prayer list, he said bashfully, I said “You need to call your parents and tell them God is answering their prayers” Jesus knows how to find YOU. He wants to be your companion in trial, your help in a storm. Jesus promised to be your companion wherever you are and wherever you go.
But Not just your Companion
2. In your crisis, He will be your Courage
But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"
Notice the distinction between the fear of the disciples and the confidence of the Lord,
26 He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"
He questioned the source of their fear? Why are you afraid? Why when the Savior of the world is in your boat, do you fear for your lives? Why are you just looking at your circumstances and determining the end result? Why won’t you just look up to me and find everything you need. Are you fearful, he comes to bring courage, Are you anxious, Jesus is here to bring peace, Are you angry? Jesus can bring restitution, Are you hurting, Jesus can bring your healing
Why are you afraid indeed.
Daily while in Iraq, we provided guntruck missions to convoys. I had the privilege with praying for soldiers right before they left. After their intelligence briefing, they would say, OK, Chaplain, and I had the privilege of praying for them,
“Lord, thank you for these soldiers, thank you for their skill and experience, tonight as they move out, where their skill and experience meet their limits, provide for them everything that they need, if they have fear, replace it with courage, if they have anxiety, replace it with peace, in every phase, for every part of this operation, watch over each soldier with your divine and mighty hand of protection, protect each and bring them all back to us safe, and re(then this hit me, never prayed this before) remind them that the God of the DAY, is still God! In the night, in Your mighty name! Amen!
In Your Crisis, He will be your Courage.
Then in the midst of a fierce and dangerous storm, Jesus Christ stood up, addressed the rain and the wind
Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"
3. In your crisis, He will be your Christ
The winds and the waves obey Him
(from New International Version)
It looks like He might be big enough BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF MAN IS THIS????
Well, He’s a different kind of man,
The incarnate Son of God who as Philippians declares emptied himself, came out of heaven and took on the form of a servant.
The one Isaiah said would be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everylasting Father, Prince of Peace
What kind of a man is this?
This is the kind of man that Isaiah prophesied about the son of righteousness that would arise with healing in His wings.
It’s the same man, that 30 years after the ascension John looked between the golden lamptstands and golden candlesticks and saw a familiar face!!!!!
I think I’ve seen Him before!!!!!
It’s the same man, who bore our sins on Calvary’s cross, was put in tomb, and 3 days later disabled death, hell and the grave.
It’s the same man, who Ascended to the right hand of the Father, that right now is interceding for us before the throne of God.
I don’t know what situation you find yourself in today, I don’t know what Crisis has caused you to question God\’s existence, His love, His power or His knowledge
I don’t know what kind of crisis is coming in your future, but I know that the One who went before You will be with you, He will stand alongside you and be all that You need Him to be.
He is enough
He is all
He is everything You need
In your Crisis He will be your Companion
In your Crisis He will be your Courage
In your Crisis He will be your Christ
I wonder if there is anyone here this morning, who came into this service and you find yourself in a storm. No circumstantial help seems available, but you need the Christ of heaven to calm your Storm. Would you lift your hand?
I also wonder is there someone here, who doesn’t know the Christ of Calvary? Someone who doesn’t have the assurance that Jesus will be with them when the trials come, Someone who has never known the peace that comes from having sins forgiven and being on your way to heaven.
Christ is calling
Christ is here
Who is in your boat? What does it look like? Are you prepared for the Crisis when it comes.
Wonderful Grace of Jesus
Greater than all my sin
How can my tongue describe it?
Where shall it’s praise begin?
Taking away my burden
Setting my spirit free
O the wonderful Grace of Jesus
PRAYER FOR SALVATION