Summary: We should depend on God every day, not just when we are in trouble.
January 11, 2015 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We should depend on God every day, not just when we are in trouble.
Focus Passage: Mark 4:35-41
Supplemental Passage: But Jesus said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62 NASB)
Introduction: This is an email I received from a missionary friend in West Africa:
Dear Praying Friends,
Living with Ebola has changed me. The other night, I woke up shaking. It took just a few moments for the whole thing to crystallize in my mind. I had a fever and no other symptoms. This is how Ebola starts I told myself. My first thoughts were of trying to figure out which of my patients at the hospital had given it to me as I rummaged around for some Tylenol. Paula heard me and instantly was aware of what this meant. "Should I leave the room?" she asked. I do not believe I ever answered that question.
Paula and I prayed together and separately. There was no more sleep for me that night. I prayed as I have seldom prayed before. I reaffirmed my commitment to Him and I felt reassured of His protection and goodness.
Yes, it was a "foxhole" kind of prayer, but it has carried over into and improved my daily prayer life.
Six hours after first awakening with a fever, I had a runny nose and a cough and knew that I did not have Ebola. I praised God for my good health and a cold! I would not want to experience that night again, but I value the closeness to the Lord that I felt. The memory of His reassurance in a foxhole, I will carry with me forever.
The Ebola epidemic has been wonderful for our prayer lives as a whole.
We have a very constant reminder of our dependence on Him and His protection. We are actually very thankful for this aspect of Ebola. It has enabled us to reach a new level in our prayer lives. Possibly we will one day look back at this time and feel that we grew more during the Ebola epidemic than any other time. May it be so for everyone living in the shadow of Ebola. May they wake up shaking with a realization of the seriousness of their sin, a far worse disease than Ebola, and take Jesus as their cure.
In Christ, Steve & Paula
PS No, Paula did not leave the room that night.
I. Fearing the Storm
a. The Disciples we afraid the boat was going to sink
b. The Disciples were overwhelmed with their circumstances and thought they may die
c. We, too, get afraid and overwhelmed with our circumstances
II. Pleading for Help
a. The Disciples were put out that Jesus was sleeping through the storm
b. They even accused Him of not caring about their plight
c. We, too, get put out that God takes so long to answer our prayer to the point of accusing God of not caring
III. Exercising your Faith
a. Jesus saw the need and acted upon it
b. Jesus knew about the storm before He went to sleep
c. God knows about all of our troubles before they happen
d. God wants us to not just become “religious” when something bad happens
i. e.g., 9/11, school shootings, tornados, earthquakes, war, etc
ii. The BBC reports a 20% increase in church and synagogue attendance following 9/11.
e. God wants us to exercise our faith on a daily basis
f. We must make a habit out of trusting God for He is trustworthy