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December 4, 2020 3:00 am
It can be tempting for us to think that as long as our behavior is good. We will be spared from disappointments or heartache. The fact is, obedience does not insulate us from difficulties today on Truth for Life.
Alistair Begg teaches us six lessons about the importance of knowing Jesus as both Savior and friend in a message titled stilling life's storms. The Lord upholds all those who follow and lifts up all who are bowed down, the Lord is good to all, he is compassion on all he has made the Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. I want to turn our attention this morning to a classic illustration provided for us not only in Mark's gospel, but you find it in the other Gospels. All of this truth of the fact of the Lord upholds those who fall and that he lifts up those who are bowed down, the troubled nature of life that surrounds us and some of the significant factors which some of his deal with this is it individuals makes a study such as this supreme importance, it's possible you see far as to give talks on medicine and yet to have grown cold without patients. It's possible for us to be able to articulate the essentials of marital bliss.
And yet to be distanced from our loved one is possible for us to be able to speak eloquently on the doctrines and principles of Christianity and yet to come to worship on a day like this devoid of a love relationship with Jesus Christ. So as we traced our way through what is being a familiar story for many of us since infancy. I trust that his familiarity will not distance us from it, nor make is immediately assuming the reading of it that we know all that is to discover in it. I make no apology for the simplicity of this study. Indeed, I hope that it will be supremely understandable by all. I want to notice six points in this little scenario described for us here in Mark's record and they are straightforward and I'll give them to you. First of all, we notice that the boat was nearly swamped.
Now it also told how this it come about because as we are told in the beginning of verse 37 a furious squall had come up.
Lesson number one. This incident serves to remind us that following Jesus does not insulate from the storms of life. Now would be may be that this early on in advance. The disciples thought it could, and perhaps they thought it would. Maybe they had begun to imagine since they had seen Jesus already do miraculous things that if they simply stayed close to Jesus. All would be well, and if that was a tall in their thinking than they would've been the forerunners of many who today look for such guarantees on the path of faith. And if you have come to worship.
This morning, believing only in a God who prevents you from being swamped and your swamped explained to me what you're going to do your either going to run you're going to have to find a different God.
Are you going to have to come to a different understanding of God and if you believe in a God who prevents his children from ever knowing difficulty that you don't believe in the God of the Bible you don't believe in the God who is Jesus as his son was forced to experience extreme difficulty in his life, and finally died in ignominious death nailed upon a cruel cross. So that is laid down is axiomatic that you follow Jesus does not provide insulation from difficulties in life.
And indeed, when we look at what we are told here. It was as a result of their obedience that they face the furious squall's. It was a result of saying yes we hardly got themselves in the general theology that can go with that.
In the place of obedience.
Those of us who live the Christian life at any time.
A tall must affirm from the experience of our life's that there will come to our days furious squall's without warning, sudden and unexpected loss of health.
The telephone call which brings word that we have lost a loved one. The invitation into our bosses office and gives us the news that we no longer will be working in the same department, and indeed we may no longer be working the boats was nearly swamped in such as the experience of many a lifeless morning because following Jesus does not insulate against life storms. The second thing we notice is not simply that the boat was only swamped but that the master was sound asleep.
Look at verse 38 Jesus was in the staring and he was sleeping.
Lesson number two Jesus was a real man and therefore he understands the struggles we face. He was asleep and says Markey was asleep on a cushion on a pillow's profoundest, that he who made the universe. He who could have if he had chosen. Turn wound into a special substance fit for his head so that he might rest must've turned around and said to one of the disciples. Anybody that a cushion or a billowing here. I'm going to sleep. The Lord of glory/'s anti-SLAPP's on a pillow.
I don't mean to be facetious in any way but Jesus in the reality of his humanity and a body just like ours that you work that out. Jesus had a body just like us. That's why got thirsty. That's why he was hungry and that's why got tired and that's why he can express sympathy if he did not know the year. If you did not know fatigue.
If you do not know emptiness. How in the world could he ever be the one to whom we run today in the expedience of such eventualities in line so when we look at the simple truth of the master was sound asleep. We are reminded of the fact that in his humanity.
We have one who understands our weaknesses, and one who is no stranger to our predicaments.
Are you here this morning and you feel alone and neglected. Then Jesus knows how you feel. He came to his own and his own received him not. At the end of the day, even his own disciples deserted him and fled. So there is no expedience of neglect or desertion that we might ever know that hasn't wrong the heart of Christ's, are you here this morning and you feel yourself to be misunderstood to be slandered to be misrepresented. Then Jesus knows exactly how you feel, for he was abused he was despised. He was called a glutton. He was called the wind River. He was called a friend of publicans and sinners, which was actually true. It wasn't an insult. He was called so many different things that misrepresented the wonder and beauty of his character. You come here this morning in your mind is in agony and it's in turmoil.
Compared to the agony and turmoil of Christ as he cried from the cross, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me to simple truth, but it's this. There is no one better suited to deal with the predicament. You and I may face than the master whom we find sound asleep on a cushion and was on account of his humanity that he needed to sleep and it was an account of his deity that he could sleep. Thirdly, the disciples were really afraid look at the mean can you imagine the most scurrying around and so they wake him up. Verse 38 and they say teacher.
Don't you care if we drown lesson number three true followers of Jesus Christ still ask dumb questions that are to be an encouragement to some of us have spent a week asking dumb questions right because we may have chided ourselves that if we were a real follower of Jesus Christ, we wouldn't feel this way and we wouldn't ask this question is not how were often made to feel well here they can look them in the eye.
They could eat breakfast with them every day they could observe his miracles firsthand.
They were right by his side and where are they there in panic station there guilty of unbelief. Look at them were going to drown it and believe that he could keep them safe there guilty of distressed don't you care if we drown there guilty of impatience can at least have waited until he wakened up to talent, but because of their distrust in their unbelief that impatience to go over how like us so many times. As long as all is well in plain sailing as long as the flaps of come up. Is there supposed to come up.
All is fine as soon as the turbulence hits soon as the wind and the waves get up and reveals to ourselves, our weaknesses in the thing that I noticed so clearly as I was reading through this is the simple truth that Peter and James and John and the rest of them were not so spiritual that they couldn't be afraid. And as long as you and I live in this body, as long as we live this side of heaven going to be confronted by our own frailty this morning as we look at this passage, no less become super spiritual and safe.
My, my, what a bunch of dogs these disciples were, let's be honest enough to admit that if we had been present. We wouldn't of been any different from the boys in the boat. If I recognize in myself such frailty. Such fear and such faltering and if I want God to tolerate it in me than what right do I have not to tolerate it. You and as you think this through. Recognize that there are flaws in the most priceless diamonds that come from South Africa by the fact that their flawed does not negate their volume on the world market. They may not get as much, but there still very very good Evenflo and seek to follow after Jesus Christ.
Those who are our brothers and sisters this morning and the family of faith and earnestly contending to go on our flawed is that a surprise know why we flawed and we want God to tolerate our flaws and he wants us to tolerate the flaws of one another. And as you look upon these disciples in this panic stricken condition. Let us recognize that while we hold tenaciously to the fact that one is not a true Christian material they become genuinely convicted. We must also recognize that a man or a woman may be converted, and yet liable to doubts and fears. So the boat was nearly swamped the master was sound asleep.
The disciples were really afraid, and fourthly the storm was completely stilled. Verse 39. He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves quiet. Be still, and then the wind died down and it was completely calm with a word, he silenced the issue. Now we shouldn't be surprised of this because as we read in John's prologue that Jesus Christ was the creative agent of the universe we read he was with God in the beginning and through him all things were made without him nothing was made that has been made about that.
He made the sea. So why would the sea ever be a problem to Jesus how he could understand why these disciples would be fearful, but when he addressed the matter. It was simply a matter same. Would you cut that out please and the sealed bid. Now you can explain that away as you choose because you don't like to believe in a God who performs miracles, but if you want to believe in the God of the Bible than you believe in a God who performs miracles.
You believe in a Jesus whom Paul says when he writes to the Colossians is the one who not only created everything, but he is the one in whom everything holds together.
Colossians chapter 1 we read.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created things in heaven under narrative, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and then him all things hold together even the most disparate features of our life's hold together in Christ. That is not to say that the difficulties are removed. That is not to say that the pain is gone. That is not to say that fear has been obliterated, but it is to say that because Christ is all powerful. We may trust in him to give us victory over the storms we face via believe that Jesus Christ is able to deal with the storms in your life and if you do will you not let him do you believe that Jesus Christ is able to remove the clouds of guilt with which Satan comes to tyrannize us to believe that Jesus Christ is able to deal with a broken heart that he is able to touch a weary spirit. It is able to deal with an anxious soul that he is able to bring perspective to an ambitious man. See what I'm really saying, in essence, this morning is that I'm saying at first my own heart and I want you to know that I'm saying this I need a fresh view of who Jesus is. I need to see him as the creator of the universe is the calm water of the sea as the one in whom everything holds together, and then I need to see the troubles and potential perplexities of my existence and lights of the wonder of who he was.
We need a bigger view of the power of Christ. The power that calm the storm fifthly and can ultimately notice the question was then tenderly asked, noticed that his rebuke was far the wind and the waves it was not for his disciples. Now I find that remarkable because no teacher ever had such a slow class as Jesus had in these characters know teachers.
Patients could ever be and have stretched to the limits of insurance that he experienced with this group and Carl actively no spoilers ever had such a patient and forgiving teacher. Let us not be so quick to rebuke those who do not believe all that the prophets have spoken to rebuke those who are slow in heart. He did not reject them for their unbelief. He did not dismiss them or their cowardice. Instead, he displayed compassion and kindness and gentleness patients. I say again no teacher ever had such a slow class and yet no class ever had such a patient teacher and when it was all over coming through the crucifixion arriving on the other side, you might've gathered them together and given them a real talking to said to them here Diane you didn't expect me. Why did you run away. Why did you go in height.
What are group of characters you are, couldn't one of you have stated what was that slumber party you had in the garden of Gethsemane, for goodness sake. Call that a prayer meeting. You are all asleep and all I said was your watch for one hour, but none of that. None of that instead of breakfast on the shoreline. He prepares us and calls them to it.
I walk in the sand with Peter. Hey Peter, let me ask you to love me Peter Lord you know you know hate messy again. Peter you love me and when it was all said and done and he takes his leave of this scattered group. He lifts up his hands on blessing upon the is taken up into heaven, where the word to those of us who have responsibilities for people to remind ourselves that Jesus cares for the least as well as for the greatest and that he never desserts. Those who are in his care.
Finally, you will notice that their reaction was hardly surprising. Why are you so afraid, he said, do you still of no faith, they were terrified and they asked each other who is this even the wind and the waves obey the manifestation of the power of Jesus created fear and wonder that fear and that wonder is missing in our horizontal world, that fear and wonder is missing the element of transcendence. The wonder of the psalmists cry, what is man that thou art mindful often of the son of man, that thou should visit him while God would you leave me to this day. Why would you give me draft of this they didn't go on a television program, then write a book. They fell down and wonder, and in fear as your question this morning. Have you ever once in your life ever fallen before Christ in fear and in one Jesus Christ as our friend, but God is transcendent and is the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom.
The fear which these men knew which didn't distance them from the master but drew the man I say to you, in conclusion this morning that the gospel is not ultimately a collection of doctrines.
It is a revelation of a person in Jesus. We can talk about salvation and that's fine.
But let's talk about our Savior. We can talk about redemption. But let's talk about our Redeemer.
We can talk about justification. But let's talk about our Jesus here in this little incident nestled at the beginning of Mark's gospel is the reminder that Jesus is a living Christ. He is a realistic Savior. He is a genuine friend and he is an unchanging compound when once we get a site of that but other response could ever be accurate and real enough to say you know what Lord I want you to take my life and I want you to let it be consecrated, Lord, to the eye when you take all my moments in all my days I will you take my money. I want you to take my family. I want you to take my future. I want you to take it all. The boat was nearly swamped the master was sound asleep. The disciples were really scared storm was completely still, the question was tenderly asked in the reaction was hardly surprising finding peace by letting go and giving it all to Jesus blessed them and trusting God's promises from a message titled stilling life's storm on Truth for Life with Alistair Begg as Alister pointed out in today's message. Humans are frail. We all struggle from time to time with believing the promises God has made to us, particularly when were in the middle of life's storms, the famous preacher Charles Spurgeon wrote a devotional on this topic titled checkbook of the bank of faith in it he compares God's promises to bank checks that point to a future reality that is guaranteed. This is a pocket-size book that contains 365 pages of daily reflections that will carry you through the entire year can request your copy when you make a one time gift today.
Simply The image you see on the mobile app or visit Truth for Life.org if you prefer you can call us at 888-588-7884. We also remind you about an outstanding pair of documentary films available exclusively for most of Truth for Life titled American gospel. This investigative double feature explores how our culture has tried to alter the message of the gospel and has in the process created a man-made religion. This documentary duo comes on DVD, but includes links so you can stream the films it's available exclusively for life for just five dollars shipping is free. Don't miss ordering your ship Truth for Life.org/store or click the image of the Truth for Life mobile app Bob Lapine. Hope you have a relaxing and refreshing weekend. If you're looking to supplement the teaching you receive at your local church. Keep in mind that Alister begs teaching at Parkside church is streamed live most weekends find out if Alister is teaching this weekend.
Go to Truth for Life.org/live the Bible teaching of Alister Rick is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living