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Faithlife

Season of Encouragement

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This noisy world tends to suppress the small but very powerful voice of God. Hearing God is just like tuning into a radio station. If you miss the frequency even just by a fraction of a digit, or a hairline twist on your dial knob, you’ll miss it. Distractions in life are like “magnetic fields” that distorts the the clarity of its sound. It takes focus, practice, and consistency until you can truly hear the Lord speaking to you clearly. All of us needs a "Season of Clarity & Encouragement". A time in our lives when we must be silent, when we must be still. Life is like sailing at sea, sometimes it's calm, sometimes it's rough. We can only come out strong when we Stay with the Lord, Align our focus on God and Invite Him into our lives. Let's cross to the other side!..

Notes & Transcripts | Sermon Questions

Opening

From the start of this Series: The “Four Seasons of Life” we learned that:
Seasons of Life are Beyond our control
Seasons of Life are Often Confusing
God has a purpose for every season of life
Seasons of Life Includes both good & bad times
And that You will reap in season, what you sow in another
We learned how to biblically deal with our loneliness
We learned how to biblically deal with our insecurities
We learned how to biblically deal with our financial stress
The past 3 seasons of life that we discussed previously are of “discouraging nature”
But today, I have good news for everybody.
Jesus is alive!
and, He is there in every season of our lives
He is there in every season
Jesus is “Encouraging” you, me, and all of us here today!
I know surely by heart that the words that we are about to hear today are from the Lord
This very noisy world, tends to suppress the small, but very powerful voice of God
And unless we give God our attention, we will miss very important and life changing messages that He has for you, for me, and for all of us here
The other Friday (September the 15th), I had another encounter with the Spirit of God
Today’s original topic is supposed to be about “enjoyment”
However, as we grow, we become more and more sensitive to hearing the Spirit of God
I continue to yield to the Spirit as I grow in my faith with Jesus
The story of my recent encounter with the Lord goes like this....
Story about Pastor Matt Fogle (wife Jen)
Very early on that faithful Friday morning
This fellah was my second call and I picked him up from Coronado and brought him to his destination in PB
It was a good 15 minutes-ish ride
The Lord spoke five words to me through him, and he goes...
“Moments of Clarity and Encouragement”
He was on the phone, so I waited for him to finish before I could thank him for those words
His name is Matt
He is from Illinois
and I was his very first “uber” ride
He is from Illinois
Matt was my second call and I picked him up from Coronado and brought him to his destination in PB
It was a good 15 minutes-ish ride
The Lord spoke five words to me through Matt
Moments of Clarity and Encouragement
He was on the phone, so I waited for him to finish before I could thank him for those words
They’re here in San Diego for a retreat, and with him was 20 young men
The purpose of the retreat is to help boys to grow as young men
Help them get their rhythm in life
In the course of our conversation, I asked.. is this some sort of a ministry?
And boom! It was a christian ministry based in Nebraska, and Matt is a Pastor
God talk to us through the Bible, the people around us, the circumstances that we’re into at that time
Hearing God is just like tuning into a radio station
If you miss the frequency even just by a fraction of a digit, or a hairline twist on your dial knob, you’ll miss it
Distractions in life are like “magnetic fields” that distorts the the clarity of its sound
It takes focus, practice, and consistency until you can truly hear the Lord speaking to you clearly
I said this before, and I’ll say it again.. It’s like those constellations in the universe, so vast that we can hardly comprehend
Connecting those stars in a constellation are unfathomable, we could hardly understand
To hear what the Lord is telling you..
you gotta connect the dots, like the way how those stars are aligned in those constellations
You gotta:
Surrender your life to God
Read the Bible
Spend time in His quiet presence
Seek good counsel
Know your gifts (your abilities)
Know your passion (listen to your heart)
See the opportunities around you
Know your circumstances
Feel God’s timing
When all, or most of these, landed in the right place… Take the initiative
Otherwise, you will be paralyzed
Or on the other hand, you will always end up trying and failing (trial & error, hit and miss)
Job 33:14 NCV
God does speak—sometimes one way and sometimes another— even though people may not understand it.
When I wrote the words on the invitations that we sent out for today’s celebration, what I said was...
“Wherever you are in your journey through life. Wether you’re sailing smooth, or going through the rough seas, God has a Word for you”.
And we invited you to find out what the Lord has to say
For yourself to discover “New Horizons” and meet great & God-fearing friends
I don’t know your situations, I don’t know your circumstances, I don’t know what you’re going through, I don’t really know why you are here... I don’t know!
But, three things I surely know..
God loves you
and He has a great purpose for your life
and He has a great purpose for your life
And today starts the Season of Clarity and Encouragement for you
And today starts the Season of Clarity and Encouragement for you
Turn to your neighbor and say… God loves you… He has a great purpose for your life...

Text:

Is where we can find the accurate accounts of incidents when…

Jesus Calms the Storm

This happened in Galilee
After teaching many parables
Before healing the demon-possessed man (when demons was sent to the pigs and drowned)
By the way, Parables are earthly stories with heavenly meanings
Mark 4:35–41 NLT
35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
Mark 4:35-41
The Disciples were:
Worried
Scared
Fearful
Doubtful
Afraid
Terrified
Frightened
Panicking
But Jesus was at peace
He was sleeping like a baby
When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be Still!”
Jesus used the same words when He responded to the unclean spirit at Capernaum (Mark 1:25)
Jesus shows himself to have power over both spiritual and elemental forces
He demonstrated His divinity
In the Old Testament, God alone is able to control the sea (Exodus Chapter 15)
Jesus Christ said, “Silence and Be Still!”
In times when we are worried, scared, fearful, doubtful, afraid, terrified, frightened...
When we are panicking… We must “be silent… We must “be still”
Short illustration about a man sinking in a “quicksand”
The more he moved, the more he sinked
I had tons of instances when I was worried, scared, fearful and terrified...
But, what stood out was, the “life changing” incident that I had 3 years ago
Story: Mother’s Day (Sunday May 11, 2014)
By the way, I started in ministry in 2012
I lost the 2013 elections
I lost my business
I almost lost my wife and family
I was worried, I was scared, I was fearful, I was doubtful, I was terrified and almost on “panic mode”
Who among you here have been into a “panic mode”?… raise your hands
Exact same words I heard from the Lord… Be still.. Be silent..
So, I went for a 6-day but the Lord cut it down to 3-day retreat to Mountain Province and Ifugao
Show pictures:

Paul’s Voyage and Trial in Rome

Against Paul’s advice, the captain set sail to Rome and they ended up wrecking their ship
14 days without seeing neither the sun or the stars, without any reference, while crossing the Mediterranean sea to transport prisoners to Rome, “They Drifted” ()
They gave way to the storm
Without guidance from God
They gave way to the storm
They went on “panic mode” and started “Discarding” things and threw them overboard ()
A lot of times when people panic they:
Throw away relationships
They gave up their marriages
They abandon matters that are truly valuable in their lives
Then finally, while they let things go south (fall apart), they ended up in “Despair” ()
But hey, Jesus said, “Silence! Be Still!”
In others words:
Don’t Drift
Don’t Discard
Don’t Despair

Sailing Together… Stronger Forever...

How Do We Sail Stronger?
Stay with the Lord
Acts 27:31 NIV
31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.”
We must stay with Jesus or else we drown and die
Don’t jump out of the ship
To those of you who are already with the Lord, stay with Him… stick to Him
Align your focus on God
When Nicodemus came at night to Jesus Christ
Nicodemus could hardly understand
Nicodemos could hardly understand
And Jesus go...
John 3:8 NIV
8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
When Nicodemos came at night to Jesus Christ
Jesus used the metaphor of the wind as a power that is felt but unseen
Jesus used the metaphor of the wind as a power that is felt but unseen
To align our understanding and focus on Jesus, we must be born again, born in spirit
Invite Jesus into your life
Romans 10:13 NIV
13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Accept that you are a sinner
Believe that Jesus has died for you
Confess Him to be your Lord and Savior
Do not Delay
Let’s cross to the other side
Mark 4:35 NLT
35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”
The Israelites crossed the Red Sea to leave behind the bondage to sin and slavery
They crossed the River Jordan into the promise land
Symbolically, we must also cross from our old life with the world, into the new life in Christ

Prayer

To those who are already in Christ, I pray that we will all STAY with Christ
I pray that we will keep our focus ALIGNED with Him
To those who are unsure about their Salvation, I pray that they you will no longer further delay
That today you will decide to INVITE Jesus to come into your life
Jesus is calling… Will you come today?
And for all of us… my encouragement is… LET’s go to the other side
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