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Summary: In Case of Emergency--Have FAITH, not FEAR; PRAY, don’t PANIC; BELIEVE, don’t BLAME; RESPOND, don’t RUN. Link included to free formatted text version, handout, and PowerPoint Presentation.

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911: When Buildings Fall & Waters Rise

Matthew 14:22-33

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We all know where we were and what we were doing 4 years ago today. We remember how we felt because to some degree we have felt that way ever since, and events like Katrina and anniversaries such as this one remind us of the soon return of Christ in the skies and the coming judgment for this earth. Last week we looked at the “why.” This week we need to look at the “what.” What should we do when these cataclysmic events strike?

I. HAVE FAITH - NOT FEAR Vs. 26. “...and they cried out for fear.”

Vs. 27, “...Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”

Vs. 30, “...But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid;”.

Vs. 31, “...O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

I am not suggesting that we should not express normal emotions of concern and uncertainty. I am saying that fear is not the spiritual response.

2 Tim. 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Fear will not comfort anyone. Fear will only bring more anxiety and distress.

As we have observed the horror that is present on gulf coast resident’s faces over the last 2 weeks, we each have related with them, whether we’re related or not! And we Christians should not be naïve to overlook the fact that the worst is yet to come for this planet.

Yet, we must not let fear reign during times of crisis. There are no answers in fear. Only faith will have the answer for us.

Jesus said in Mark 11:22 , “Have faith in God.”

Just Dial 911—

Genesis 9:11

And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

Do you believe God’s promise? Tsunamis and hurricanes are localized. The rainbow is God giving us His word on this…do we believe Him and trust Him?

Then the first 9 vv. of chapter 11 is the Tower of Babel…sinful man continuing to do his thing. But God’s promise has held true and will to the very end…God’s final judgment will be different…not water, but fire next time! And praise God, we Christians won’t be here for that!

So, Have Faith and not Fear.

II. PRAY - DON’T PANIC

When panic takes over prayer ceases. We must continue to pray for those who are homeless or missing loved ones. We should pray today for all ravaged by terrorism 4 years ago, and for the ongoing worldwide war against it!

Just Dial 911—

Neh. 9:11

And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.

The natural man panics…but the supernatural man prays!

Job 9:11

Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not.

Job didn’t see God in some low times, but he knew He was there, and he prayed until he got his answer!

Psalm 91:1

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

It’s hard to see in the shadows, and it can be scary there, until we realized Whose shadow that is!

1 Cor. 9:11

If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

Things are just things, and they pass away, but the devil cannot touch our spiritual things…our salvation is secure as we are in God’s hand. Job said “naked came I out of my mother’s women and naked shall I return.” “the Lord gave and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord!” In eternity material values don’t matter. “only 1 life, twill soon be passed…only what’s done for Christ will last!”

2 Cor. 9:11

Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

Truly, if we have Christ we have it all…we’re rich, we’re blessed, and we should be thankful in all circumstances for this!

III. BELIEVE GOD - DON’T BLAME HIM

This is not God’s fault, though we call it an “act of God.”

Some will blame Him. Some will turn against Him.

Some will suggest that God is punishing certain individuals.

It’s part of our nature to make ourselves feel better by assigning blame.

Some will seek to blame the President, the government, FEMA, CIA, etc. There is a place for this but it shouldn’t be a political tool…this is about saving lives!

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Talk about it...

Jerry Elliott

commented on Sep 9, 2006

Thanks for the excellent thoughts.

Phil Griffith

commented on Sep 9, 2006

Great Sermon, Thanks for your insight.

Jerry Dunn

commented on Sep 9, 2008

Great sermon. Just what many need to hear today in light of the tragedies we face.

Marie Harris

commented on Sep 5, 2011

I like the ideas from the sermon. Lots of food for thought.

Douglas Barnes

commented on Sep 6, 2011

Still appropriate

Susanna Fitch-Slater

commented on Sep 7, 2011

Great food for thought. Thank you

James Brewer

commented on Mar 14, 2015

Great insights. Thank you for sharing. It jump starts my mental batteries!

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