Faithlife
Faithlife

Master, We Are Sinking

Notes & Transcripts

  SUNDAY  - JUNE 25, 2000

SELMA ORIGINAL FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH – SELMA, NC

 

“MASTER, WE ARE SINKING!”

LESSONS:    

JOB 38:1-11, 16-18

PSALM 9:1-2

2 COR 5: 14-21

MARK 4:35-41

 

READ THE GOSPEL LESSON – MARK 4:35-41

 

WELCOME

 

THANK YOU

 

LET US PRAY:  COME HOLY SPIRIT, FILL THE HEARTS OF YOUR FAITHFUL AND KINDLE IN US THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE.  SEND FORTH YOUR SPIRIT AND WE SHALL BE CREATED AND YOU SHALL RENEW THE FACE OF THE EARTH.  O GOD WHO BE THE LIGHT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT DID INSTRUCT THE HEARTS OF THE FAITHFUL, GRANT THAT BY THE SAME HOLY SPIRIT WE MAY BE TRULY WISE AND EVER ENJOY YOUR CONSOLATIONS, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.  AMEN.

 

“MASTER WE ARE SINKING!  DO YOU NOT CARE?

JESUS AND HIS FRIENDS ARE ON THEIR WAY FROM THE JEWISH SIDE OF LAKE GALILEE TO THE GENTILE SIDE. 

THERE IS A STORM. 

JESUS IS ASLEEP IN THE BOAT.

“MASTER WE ARE SINKING! DO YOU NOT CARE?”

THE FIRST THING JESUS DOES WHEN HE IS AWAKENED IS TO CALM THE STORM, TO INTERVENE ON BEHALF OF HIS FRIENDS.

 

HE THEN ASKS THEM A QUESTION,

“HAVE YOU NO FAITH, EVEN NOW?”

THE VERY FIRST QUESTION THAT GOD ASKS IN THE BIBLE IS,

“WHERE ARE YOU?”

GOD ASKS THIS QUESTION OF ADAM AND EVE AFTER THEIR REBELLION IN THE GARDEN.

AS WE HEARD IN THE LESSON FROM THE BOOK OF JOB EARLIER THIS MORNING, GOD SPEAKS OUT OF THE WHIRLWIND AND ASKS JOB,

“WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I LAID THE EARTH’S FOUNDATION?”

NOW, JESUS ASKS HIS FRIENDS A QUESTION,

“HAVE YOU NO FAITH, EVEN NOW?”

FOR A MOMENT, LET’S TRANSLATE THE WORD FAITH AS RELATIONSHIP AND LISTEN AS JESUS ASKS,

“HAVE YOU NO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, EVEN NOW?”

IN OTHER WORDS,

NOT, “WHERE ARE YOU?”

OR “WHERE WERE YOU”,

BUT “WHERE IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP,

WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?”

ALL OF THE QUESTIONS THAT GOD ASKS US IN THE BIBLE AND IN LIFE ARE IMPORTANT BUT THIS QUESTION THAT JESUS ASKS HIS FRIENDS IN THE BOAT IS CRUCIAL.

LISTEN TO THE QUESTION AS IF IT WERE BEING DIRECTED TO YOU AND TO ME,

HERE AND NOW,

IN THE PRESENT.

 

 

“SELMA CHURCH,

PHIL,

WHERE IS YOUR FAITH,

WHERE IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?

 SELMA CHURCH,

PHIL,

ARE YOU HIDING FROM YOUR FAITH? 

DON’T YOU KNOW THAT YOUR GOD HAS NEVER GIVEN UP ON SELMA CHURCH,

OR PHIL,

OR ANY OF THE OTHER OF GOD’S CHILDREN?

DON’T YOU KNOW THAT YOUR GOD IS TRUSTING SELMA CHURCH AND PHIL WITH THE HOLY GOSPEL,

WITH THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST?

DON’T YOU KNOW THAT IF YOU OPEN YOURSELVES UP TO THE WILL OF GOD AND LIVE INTO THE FAITH,

LIVE INTO THE HOLY RELATIONSHIP,

THAT FEAR IS BANISHED

AND THE STORM IS STILLED?

BELOVED, DOUBT IS NOT THE OPPOSITE OF FAITH.

FEAR IS THE OPPOSITE OF FAITH.

WE ARE CALLED BY JESUS TO LIVE FEARLESSLY IN A HOLY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THE FATHER. 

 

 

 

WE ARE NOT CALLED TO FEAR GOD,

AS WE MIGHT FEAR A VIOLENT STORM;

WE ARE CALLED TO LOVE GOD,

AND TO LIVE IN RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH OTHER AND WITH GOD.

VERNA DOZIER, A WORLD RENOWNED BIBLE TEACHER, SAYS THAT WE ARE NOT CALLED TO WORSHIP JESUS

BUT TO FOLLOW JESUS.

JESUS IS TO BE OUR PERFECT MODEL FOR LEAVING DOUBT AND FEAR BEHIND

AND FOR MOVING TOWARD A PLACE OF FAITH AND NEW RELATIONSHIP.

THE ALMIGHTY GOD,

THE CREATOR AND RULER OF THE UNIVERSE,

THROUGH JESUS THE CHRIST,

HAS CHOSEN TO LOVE US

AND DESIRES THAT WE JOURNEY WITH JESUS TO GOD’S KINGDOM.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD MAY BE MOST UNDERSTOOD

NOT BY THE RIGHTEOUS

BUT BY THE DESPERATE

“MASTER, WE ARE SINKING!”

MANY OF THE MIRACLES OF JESUS FOLLOW AN ENCOUNTER BY SOMEONE WHO APPROACHES JESUS IN DESPERATION.

AND NO ONE WHO APPROACHES JESUS WITH A GENUINE NEED EVER LEAVES DISAPPOINTED.

SCRIPTURE TELLS US THAT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BELONGS TO THE POOR IN SPIRIT AND TO THOSE WHO ACT ON THIS POVERTY OF SPIRIT. 

 

ADMITTING THAT OUR SPIRIT IS LACKING

AND THAT GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT IS NECESSARY TO GET THROUGH LIFE

AND LIFE’S STORMS

IS CALLED ‘HUMILITY’.

1000 YEARS AGO BERNARD OF CLAIRVEAUX SAID,

“HUMILITY IS THE MOTHER OF SALVATION.”

JESUS, IN JOHN’S GOSPEL, TELLS US THAT WE MUST BE BORN FROM ABOVE,

BORN AGAIN.

PERHAPS OUR REBIRTH IN THE SPIRIT,

OUR SALVATION WILL START WITH HUMILITY,

WITH A RECOGNITION THAT WE CANNOT GET THROUGH LIFE ALONE,

AN UNDERSTANDING THAT WE CANNOT TAKE CREDIT FOR OUR OWN SALVATION.

IT IS, AFTER ALL,

GOD WHO FINDS US;

IT IS GOD WHO SAVES US THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS.

DESPERATE?

YES, WE’VE ALL BEEN DESPERATE

OR WILL BE.

WE HAVE ALL CALLED OUT

OR WILL SOON,

“MASTER, WE ARE SINKING!”

BUT IN THAT MOMENT OF FEAR,

ANGER,

FRUSTRATION,

AND TOTAL DESPERATION,

LET’S TRY TO REMEMBER THAT GOD IS NEAR,

AS NEAR AS OUR POUNDING HEART,

AS NEAR AS THE FEARFUL SWEAT ON OUR BROW,

AS AVAILABLE AS THE AIR WE BREATHE IN THOSE SHORTS GASPS OF PANIC,

AS NEAR AND AS AVAILABLE AS JESUS WAS IN THE BOAT WITH HIS FRIENDS.

IF WE WILL TURN TO GOD

AND ACCEPT THE HOLY RELATIONSHIP THAT GOD OFFERS THROUGH JESUS,

WE CAN BEGIN TO LIVE HUMBLY BEFORE GOD

AND TO LIVE FEARLESSLY FOR GOD.

GOD IS FAITHFUL

AND ONLY LONGS FOR OUR REPENTANCE ,

FOR OUR CHANGE OF HEART,

FOR OUR RETURN TO GOD’S ARMS OF MERCY AND LOVE.

WHAT HAS BEEN GOD’S RESPONSE TO OUR REBELLION

AND SINFULNESS

IN SCRIPTURE

AND IN LIFE?

GOD’S RESPONSE HAS BEEN TO CALL US ENDLESSLY TO RETURN,

TO LOVE US,

TO FORGIVE US,

TO SEND JESUS TO DIE FOR US,

TO GIVE US ETERNAL LIFE.

 

 

 

PERHAPS YOU’VE HEARD THE SONG,

‘OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD’?

WELL, YES, GOD IS AWESOME,

BUT MORE THAN AWESOME,

GOD IS OUR CREATOR,

AND WE ARE CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE.

GOD LONGS FOR OUR RETURN,

GOD FORGIVES ALL OUR SINS

AND HEALS ALL OUR WOUNDS.

SOME MIGHT SEE AN APPARENT CONFLICT OR PARADOX IN THIS CALL TO LIVE HUMBLY BEFORE GOD

AND FEARLESSLY FOR GOD.

AS IN ALL THINGS,

SO IN THIS SEEMING PARADOX,

OUR MODEL MUST BE JESUS.

REGARDING THE CALL TO LIVE HUMBLY BEFORE GOD,

ST. PAUL SAYS IN PHIL 2:8, “HE HUMBLED HIMSELF, AND IN OBEDIENCE ACCEPTED EVEN DEATH – DEATH ON A CROSS.”

REGARDING THE CALL TO FOLLOW JESUS AND LIVE FEARLESSLY FOR GOD,

THE GOSPELS ARE CLEAR THAT JESUS WAS WITHOUT FEAR

OR CONCERN FOR HIS OWN SAFETY

AS HE CONFRONTED THE MOST POWERFUL AUTHORITIES OF HIS DAY.

 

 

 

SO WITH JESUS AS OUR MODEL AND SAVIOR,

WE ARE CALLED TO LIVE IN HUMILITY BEFORE GOD

AND FEARLESSLY FOR GOD AS WE CONFRONT SATAN AND THE FORCES OF EVIL WHICH CORRUPT AND DESTROY THE CREATURES OF GOD.

DURING THE HYMN OF COMMITMENT,

YOU MAY COME FORWARD AND MAKE A PERSONAL AND PUBLIC AFFIRMATION OF YOUR INTENTION TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR.

A DEACON WILL GREET YOU AND PRAY WITH YOU.

IF YOU HAVE ALREADY ACCEPTED JESUS AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR,

TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO RECOMMIT YOURSELF

TO LIVE HUMBLY BEFORE GOD

AND FEARLESSLY FOR GOD.

AND NOW UNTO GOD THE FATHER,

GOD THE SON,

AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT,

BE ASCRIBED ALL MIGHT,

MAJESTY,

POWER,

DOMINION,

AND GLORY,

THIS DAY AND FOREVERMORE.  AMEN.

LET US STAND AND SING HYMN # 283, ‘HAVE THINE OWN WAY LORD’.

 

 

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