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Summary: This sermon is about what you can experience even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

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STAY ON THE BOAT

MARK 4:35-41

PART 3 – “PEACE IN THE STORM”

FOR THE LAST TWO WEEKS, WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT THE SITUATION WITH JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES AS THEY CROSSED THE SEA OF TIBERIAS, OR BETTER KNOWN AS THE SEA OF GALILEE. WE HAVE SEEN THE PROBLEM THAT AROSE, A STORM OF GREAT MAGNITUDE, AND WE HAVE SEEN THE RESPONSES OF THE DISCIPLES AND OF JESUS. WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN A PEEK INTO WHAT IT IS LIKE TO GO THROUGH THE VARIOUS KINDS OF STORMS IN OUR LIVES, AND WE HAVE FOUND OUT WHAT IS NECESSARY TO GO THROUGH THE STORMS, REMEMBERING THAT JESUS NEVER SAID HE WOULD TAKE US OUT OF THE STORMS, ONLY THAT HE WOULD BE WITH US THROUGH THE STORMS. THE SONG SAYS, “PRECIOUS LORD, TAKE MY HAND, LEAD ME ON, LET ME STAND, I AM TIRED, I AM WEAK, I AM WORN; THRU THE STORM, THRU THE NIGHT, LEAD ME ON TO THE LIGHT, TAKE MY HAND, PRECIOUS LORD, LEAD ME HOME. (#339).

IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL OF THE DIFFICULTIES OF THE RAGING STORMS IN OUR LIVES, WE MUST BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND THE TEMPTATION TO WORRY OR FRET. WE MUST BE ABLE TO FIND A CALMNESS, A PEACE, THAT WILL CARRY US THROUGH THE TIMES OF STORMS. THE SCRIPTURE FOR THIS TEXT SAYS THAT AFTER THE LORD COMMANDED THE STORM TO CEASE, THERE WAS A GREAT CALM THAT OVERTOOK THE AREA; THE STORM WAS NO MORE. IN FACT, WHAT JESUS DID AT THAT TIME, HE IS SHOWING US WHAT WE CAN DO WHEN STORMS ASSAIL AND ASSAULT US. HE CALLED FOR CALM, FOR PEACE, IN THE MIDST OF ALL THE TURMOIL. USUALLY, LONG AFTER THE WINDS CEASE THEIR BOISTEROUS BELLOWS, THE SEA CONTINUES TO SWELL. IS THAT THE WAY IT IS IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU TRY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS WITHOUT DEPENDING ON THE JESUS IN YOUR SHIP?

IT IS THAT PEACE THAT WE WILL DEAL WITH TODAY, AS WE LOOK AT THE SCENE BEFORE US. WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE TO HAVE ABSOLUTE PEACE IN YOUR LIFE TODAY? WOULD YOU GIVE UP YOUR CHILD, YOUR HOME, YOUR JOB, YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, YOUR POSITION IN THE CHURCH OR COMMUNITY, OR YOUR LIFE? IS IT POSSIBLE TO FIND PEACE IN THE WORLD TODAY, WITH ALL THE TURMOIL IN IRAQ AND THE MIDDLE EAST? CAN WE FIND PEACE THROUGH SADDAM HUSSEIN, OSAMA BIN LADEN, OR GEORGE W. BUSH? CAN WE EVEN FIND PEACE IN THE CHURCH? MANY TIMES, THERE IS UPHEAVAL IN THE CHURCH THAT KEEPS PEOPLE AWAY AND CAUSES HARD FEELINGS IF THEY STAY. JESUS CALLED FOR PEACE THEN, AND HE CALLS FOR PEACE NOW. IN JOHN 14:27 JESUS SAID, “PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU; MY PEACE I GIVE TO YOU, NOT AS THE WORLD GIVES, DO I GIVE IT TO YOU.”

SO, WHAT KIND OF PEACE IS JESUS REFERRING TO ANYWAY? IF YOU DON’T CONFRONT SOMEONE IN ANGER, IS THAT PEACE? IF YOU STAY AWAY FROM ARGUMENTS, IS THAT PEACE? IF YOU JUST DON’T GET INVOLVED, IS THAT PEACE? I BELIEVE, AS DO MANY BIBLICAL SCHOLARS, THAT HE IS NOT REFERRING TO THE ABSENCE OF WAR, OR THOSE OTHER ITEMS, BUT A STATE OF MIND, A MIND-SET ON JESUS. “WHEN THE WORLD FROM YOU WITHHOLD OF ITS SILVER AND ITS GOLD, AND YOU HAVE TO GET ALONG WITH MEAGER FARE; JUST REMEMBER IN HIS WORD HOW HE FEEDS THE LITTLE BIRDS; TAKE YOUR BURDEN TO THE LORD AND LEAVE IT THERE” (#216). THAT’S HAVING A MIND THAT IS FREE OF THE WORRY AND FRETTING OF THIS LIFE. JESUS SETS YOU FREE FROM THE WORRYING ABOUT THE PROBLEMS, THE STORMS, OF THIS LIFE.

IN THE GREEK, THE WORD “PEACE” MEANS TO REST AND BE CONTENT. JESUS HAD TO SPEAK REST TO THE STORM, AND WE HAVE TO SPEAK REST TO THE STORMS IN OUR LIVES, IF WE WANT TO EXPERIENCE THE VICTORY THAT GOD WANTS FOR US. YOU JUST CAN’T TELL THE STORM TO GO AWAY, TO BE GONE, OR TO DISAPPEAR. YOU JUST CAN’T SAY TO THE JOB, “I DON’T NEED THE HASSLE, SO GO AWAY.” YOU CAN’T SAY TO CANCER, “I BELIEVE IN GOD, SO GO AWAY.” YOU CAN’T SAY TO THE DRUG PUSHER, “I HAVE JESUS, SO YOU JUST GO AWAY.” IF YOU WANT PEACE IN YOUR LIFE, YOU NEED TO HAVE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN GIVE YOU THAT PEACE, AND HIS NAME IS JESUS, MESSIAH, THE HOLY ONE OF GOD, THE WORD MADE FLESH, IMMANUEL – GOD WITH US. I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT WHEN I GET IN TROUBLE, I WANT SOMEONE WHO CAN EITHER GET ME OUT OF TROUBLE OR GIVE ME ADVICE THAT WILL HELP CALM MY NERVES.

JESUS SPOKE TO THE STORM AND TOLD IT TO “BE STILL,” WHICH IN THE

GREEK IS “PHIMOO” WHICH MEANS TO MUZZLE SOMETHING. IN OTHER WORDS, YOU NEED TO MUZZLE THAT OPPOSITION, THAT HABIT, THAT ADDICTION, THAT ANGER, THAT PAIN, THAT FEAR. WHATEVER IT IS,

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