Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday Sermon Notes Nov.29 on Trials

John 6:15-21 M.Kelly

Matthew 14:22-33

This event also in Mark 6.

Jesus has sent the disciples to cross the sea and He went up to the Mt. to pray. The disciples end up in a storm...being seasoned fishermen, it must have been a bad storm to make them afraid.

John's goal is in us knowing who Jesus is...the Christ, God Himself. This is the fifth sign that John shows us that points to who Jesus is.

It is actually three signs in one...calms the sea, walks on the water & makes them be immediately at their destination.

7 Lessons

1. Making quiet time for prayer is wise.

Matt. says he made the disciples to get into the boat and go to the other side and he made the crowds go away. Then he went up to the mt. to pray.

People what Jesus to fit into what they want him to be and have little interest is conforming themselves into his likeness.

Jesus sent them all away in order to make time for private prayer. He made time.

If you don't have time alone for prayer then you are too busy and you are not a good steward of your time. We make time for news, books, shopping, surf the net, visit, etc, etc, but do we make time for prayer with God?

When we feel like we need to pray quickly because other things need to be done, it is the flesh fighting against the Spirit. Who are we going to allow to win?

Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation...if you do not pray when you don't feel like praying, then you are in temptation.

Jesus went up to the mt. to pray. It was purposeful.

2. Obeying God does not mean that life will be easy.

Jesus made the disciples to get into the boat. He constrained them to get in it. Then later the boat was being battered, distressed by sudden winds that came up. These experienced fishermen were fearful so it had to be a big storm, yet they were doing what they were told by the Lord. Following Christ is not always smooth or easy and doing His will is not always easy.

Think of Joseph, falsely accused, thrown in jail and he was doing what God wanted him to do. God does bless and do what is good for us but not always according to what we define as good...but according to what He defines as good.

God refines us in the fires of trials and skims the dross off to purify us. If we were in charge of how God deals with us, what would we choose? In our own hands, we would end our sanctification because we would choose easy street over trials.

James 1 consider it all joy when you encounter various trials....

1 not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that comes upon you....

That which is profitable is rarely easy. That which is easy is rarely profitable.

3. The Christian life is an up and down life.

The disciples were "on the mt top" gathering all the fragments from the feeding of the 5000, but not that long later they are fearing the storm and then after that Jesus calms the sea and brings them immediately to their destination and they are worshiping Jesus for what He has done. It is up and down.

So it is in the Christian life...we are up and down.

What brings us up?...Focusing on Christ and what he has done.

How do we end up in the valley? focusing on our circumstances...then we end up in the valley.

Change is good in our lives. We move from one season to another season. We don't stay in the same season. We live in a life of change, but we worship One who is unchangeable.

It's through change that we see our weaknesses, sin and it's through change that our graces are exercised.

Exercise is painful...that which is profitable is rarely easy.

4. Jesus leaves us in a trial until His perfect timing brings deliverance.

He makes the disciples get into the boat. They are battered by the waves. In the 4th watch of the night He came to them. The night is broken up into four three hour blocks of time. Jesus comes to their aid until 3am.

We also learn how long Jesus may have been in prayer.

Not only are they in the storm for a long time, they are there because Jesus sent them there. We are in the trials God puts us in for a reason to learn something that God wants to teach us and reveal to us.

Trials help us encourage others when they are in trials. Trials purify us and help us to see that God is the only place to find contentment. We learn more about ourselves and we learn more about God.

Trials will wean us off the world and anything but Him. Trials may last a long time...maybe a life time but that is because there is so much learn in them if we will view them in this way.

Christ went and helped them in His own perfect time on the sea.

5. Our Lord is near to us in our trials.

The disciples cry out for fear but immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Be not afraid, it is I."

He is nearer to us than our troubles. We are to look to Him in all times, watching and praying. Only the Christian can take courage in this way.

We don't live in a random universe. God is in control of all. We need not fear. Joshua..."be strong and of good courage for I am with you where ever you go."

We must see God in our troubles.

6. Often times we see our blessings as curses.

When they saw him on the sea they were fearful because they thought it was a ghost. The very One coming to calm the storm, save their lives and deliver them to their destination is the One they are afraid of.

How many times do we not recognize God's presence in our trials? How often do we call the things God sends to us a curse when in reality it is a blessing. We fail to see roadblocks as blessings. Who put it there? You? No! God did! It isn't the possibilities that define us, it is our limitations that define us.

God causes all things to work together for the good of His Church. He is building His church.

When we complain about our circumstances, we are really complaining about God's providence in our live and His wisdom.

7. God is often pleased to rescue and bless us in ways beyond what we ever expected.

They are on the sea in the storm and Jesus comes walking on the water to them, He calms the sea and immediately they are at their destination. They worshiped Him, realizing that He is the Son of God.

Would the disciples thought that such a thing could come out of their circumstances? How often do we think our circumstances are the worst thing that ever could happen to us? We need to be trusting Him.

Mostly we are afraid of what will be taken from us. But what is taken from us is that which we can't keep anyway. We need to cling to Christ instead.

God raises up the storm. He has his purposes for what He is doing.

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 comment:

Marsha said...

This sermon has so much meaning for me right now. My post on Life's Changes/God's Faithfulness will help you to see why this sermon holds such meaning and encouragement for me. God is always so faithful to speak to me in the Sunday AM sermons. This was so needed!