Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Gather 2015 Igatpuri :Storms| Nigel Periera

This message was preached by Nigel Periera at Gather 2015 Conference at Igatpuri on July 21st 2015

Luke 8:22-25

The disciples are going on a regular day and Jesus said, I’ll take you to the other side. Suddenly even the seasoned fishermen were taken by surprise by the storm. They were in great danger. The amazing thing though is that Jesus is sleeping and when he’s woken up, he simply rebukes it.

There are a few things we need to understand first:

1.       God allows storms: no one likes it. But he allows it. The seasoned fishermen were also taken by surprise. In Jonah 1:4 it says, “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up”.  Job 30:22- You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; you toss me about in the storm.

Even as the disciples are facing the storm, Jesus shows them what they will face later. In Acts we see them facing great external and internal storms. Persecution hits the church, there is severe opposition from religious authorities. Ananias and Saphira are struck down and the whole church was shaken. It’s not one but many storms. As we build God’s church, there will be many storms.

Proverbs 1:27- When calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

Storms come in the form of calamity and disaster. But the Bible says, consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds!! Sometimes, the whole church faces these storms and even the most seasoned ones are taken by surprise.

2.       The storms are not sweet. The disciples were in great danger! We can be in great danger when these storms come- individually and as a church
3.       The furious storm also comes to an end. Psalm 107:29 says, “He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed”. The amazing grace of God is upon God’s people. As leaders, our eyes need to be fixed on him because he stills the storms.
4.       At the end of the storm, there is clarity and freshness. After Jesus calms the storm, the disciples wondered at Jesus. They say, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” Storms bring clear vision and make a way for us to have faith.

Q. why do storms come?

God wants to get our attention. He employs storms but he is in control of it. He gets our attention by the shaking that storms bring. The disciples were shaken outside and inside their hearts. He does this so that he can give us a heart that cannot be shaken.

Sometimes, we tend to blame the outside when the shaking is on the inside. Jesus was fast asleep, he was not disturbed, he was not shaken.

Isaiah 54:11- Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli.  

Storms lash at us, but God rebuilds us.

Job 38:1- Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He gives the storm, and he talks to us. We are able to hear the voice of God.

Proverbs 10:25- When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.

Nahum 1:3- His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.
God gets our attention by the shaking. As we lead churches, God is looking for a people who will not be shaken.

Psalm 16:8; Psalm 21:7; Psalm 30:6; Psalm 55:22
When storms come our way, God is removing what can be shaken.

Q. What is happening when things are shaken? What are you clinging on to when the storms come?
·         The storm is there to save you and deal with what’s shaking on the inside.
·         The storm is an indicator of a wrong belief which has to be set right
·         With wrong belief there is a wrong way of thinking. There are some foundations that need to change.

1 Tim 4:16

Watch your life, watch your doctrine. What you think and believe- watch it. Be sharp about what you believe because it shapes your life and your church. God is very concerned with what we believe- about Him, about ourselves and about the world.

Q. how did the disciples come out of the boat?
As changed men, believing something they did not believe before about Jesus. One of the key things God is settling in our heart is “Who he is!”

God wants a life that cannot be shaken. Storms prove God’s work in us. Peter died as a martyr! When he saw who Jesus is, he was able to give up his life for him.

When storms hit, think- what is it that I’m not thinking right or doing right? There are a few things we need to believe. We are called to do things that we cannot do by ourselves. We are called to cities, to convince people to take on cities, etc. David as a little boy, hearing Goliath and seeing the Israelites tremble, says he’ll fight him, even though he wasn’t a soldier.

1 Samuel 17:37
David knew it had nothing to do with him but with who God is. Jesus asks Peter, “Who do you say I am?”. What you see of God will determine what you do for God.  Paul says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Q. why are there challenges in your life?

It is because he wants you to know him. No matter what happens God wants us to know that he is with us, for us and will act on our behalf. This belief will take us forward. God is there to fortify us.

We need to understand the grace of God- to be strong in his grace. David committed adultery and murdered a leader. His life was gone. But he writes in Psalm 103, as far as the east is from the west, so far have you removed my transgressions form me.
In this period of time, I’ve realized that God is giving us an opportunity to open our hearts to give forgiveness the way David understood it. Church needs to be a place that is accepting.
God was challenging what I believe. So I really believe in grace? Let’s be sharp with what we believe. He is a God who forgives, but he is also holy. The early church after Ananias and Saphira, they lived right.

Storms change beliefs. We can’t organize these things are leaders. It is God, who builds his church.

Steven was stoned and the church was scattered. But wherever they went, the gospel was preached. We must preach the gospel in nations.

We need to be men and women who will not be shaken. Let’s respond to the storms!

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  

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