Sermons

Summary: This is part 1 of a series of sermons on What God is doing in the lives of people at Bethany Church.

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The question I have for you today is this: Why did God choose Noah? When God destroyed the world with a flood, there were approximately one million people living. So Noah was really one in a million.

Why did God choose to work in Noah’s life? Imagine if you were God, what kind of person would you choose to start the human race all over again? Who would you choose if you were God? If God were to make the decision again to destroy the world and start over, would God choose you? Do you believe God can do extraordinary things in your life and the lives of other people here at Bethany? (Discuss)

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The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NLT) "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."

Or another translation states (NIV) :

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"The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth that he may show himself strong in behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward him."

The story of Noah is in Genesis, the very first book of the Bible. Genesis 6, 7, 8, 9. From it we glean characteristics of the type of person God can work in and through—the type of person demonstrated through Noah’s life.

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The first characteristic we find in Genesis 6:5 and following (v. 8). "Then the Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

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And the Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth and His heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said,

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`I’ll wipe out mankind whom I’ve created from the face of the earth. Man and animals, creatures that move along the ground and birds of the air for I am grieved that I have made them.

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But [and that’s the word you need to circle] Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord." God looked down and He found one man’s life that He could work through. Why Noah?

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8:30 Service

In the recent movie, About Schmidt

66-year-old Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) has retired from his job as an insurance actuary. He is miserable, and after his wife (June Squibb) suddenly dies, he is also lost. He travels the country in his RV hoping to stop his daughter’s (Hope Davis) marriage and to find purpose to his life. Throughout the movie he writes his personal thoughts to a 6-year-old African child, Ndugu, that he sponsors for $22 a month.

The movie is drawing to a close and Warren is contemplating the meaninglessness of his life. He arrives home from his travels and sees an international envelope from his foster child.

Show Video clip of Scene -- Start Time: 1:54:50 End Time: 2:00:02:

As Warren is traveling back home in his R.V., he begins contemplating the meaninglessness of his life. (He shares he thoughts in letters to his 6 year old foster child).

Voice Over -

"I know we’re all pretty small in the big scheme of things. I suppose the most you can hope for is to make some kind of difference. But what kind of difference have I made? What in the world is better because of me?"

He briefly explains how he failed in trying to stop his daughter from marrying a loser. Then he says, "I’m weak, and I’m a failure. There’s just no getting around it."

He arrives home and picks up a stack of mail. The voice over continues: "Relatively soon I will die. Maybe twenty years. Maybe tomorrow. It doesn’t matter. Once I am dead and everybody who knew me dies too, it will be as though I never existed. What difference has my life made to anyone? None that I can think of. None at all. Hope things are fine with you. Yours truly, Warren Schmidt."

He sees an international envelope and opens it. The voice over changes to the voice of Sister Nadie Guchier (pronounced Goo-chee-ay).

"Dear Mr. Warren Schmidt. My name is Sister Nadie Guchier of the Order of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. I work in a small village near the town of Enbaya in Tanzania. One of the children I care for is little Ndugu Emu - the boy you sponsor. Ndugu is a very intelligent boy and very loving. He is an orphan. Recently he needed medical attention for an infection of the eye, but he is better now. He loves to eat melon, and he loves to paint. Ndugu and I wanted you to know he receives all your letters. He hopes you are happy in your life and healthy. He thinks of you everyday, and he wants very much your happiness. Ndugu is only six years old and cannot read or write, but he has made for you a painting. He hopes you will like this painting. Yours Sincerely, Sister Nadine Guchier."

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