Sunday, October 2

The Point Beyond The Storm

Luke 8

Jesus Calms the Storm

22One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. 23As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

24The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!"

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25"Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."

The Healing of a Demon-possessed Man

26They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes,[b] which is across the lake from Galilee. 27When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" 29For Jesus had commanded the evil[c] spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

30Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"

"Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

32A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. 33When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

34When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

38The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39"Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

[Base of current issue and today’s report]

Though the latest happening of a storm is a few thousand miles away from us in the costal states of America, however from the news we can see the extensive destruction this hurricane Katrina had caused. The loss of lives, thousands and thousands of homes that are destroyed, possessions gone and having a future that is bleak.

We thank God for the relief efforts that are reaching out to these people then and right now. However the need is great. The need of a home, mass rebuilding efforts and restoring of what was swept away from that disaster is of massive size.

Right here in Singapore, we cannot say that we are truly blessed from natural disasters of such. It is because storm of that magnitude comes practically in each our lives and most of the times it leaves a deep scar.

Our young popular culture today has a way to tell us how to get a life. Where do they find it? In LAN gaming shops, having a gang identity, running away from home, giving birth at the age 17, BGR at age of 12, taking drugs fulfilling the high for those moments. That’s not all, they come in sort of forms, I need to get a straight A otherwise I am jumping off the building, I am not well liked in school, family hates me and I’m receiving no attention, my half brother is bullying me…I am cutting my wrist, my parents are separating, hence I don’t believe in love anymore, might as well be a homo sexual.

[Main Issue]

That’s the popular culture that young people buy in today that result to a destruction that likens to what a storm can do.

Today I am going to introduce an unpopular culture that might seem simple but not many can grasp it. But we have the HS to help us with that.

The gospel that we have read, Jesus crossing the lake to the other side, similarly to the kind of storm that is hitting and paralyzing the destinies of many youths this generation in Singapore.

Most of us think that the urgent focus is the storm. But I want to tell you today that it isn’t the storm that the disciples went through although the bible suggests that it was their main issue. The storm was not the issue. It was the persons on the other side of the storm that needs to be delivered. That is the real issue and that is the focus.

[God’s salvation]

If we have any sense of how God works, thinks, how he operates and we been reading the bible, getting the truths into our lives. We can understand that our God will take whatever evil the enemy means for our lives, something that is so destructive which puts us in some tragic circumstances and He will turn all those things around and make it work for good and even in the process rescue people’s lives.

Before we go any further, we need to picture this. That the life we are in are somewhat our earthly homes, but there is a spiritual home that exist within yourself that enthrones the living God or yourself that governs your every thoughts, principals and your given destiny. Paul explains this rather concisely in 1Cor 3. Then we ask which is more important, someone’s earthly home or someone’s heavenly or rather spiritual home? It is obvious what the answer is.

There are 3 things that we need to understand about what God is up to and what is happening in the passage that we have read, to understand the point beyond the storm.

1) Realize – that He didn’t cause the storm, but He can stop it

· We need to realize that He isn’t to blame for storm and natural disasters. Many times I here people saying why God is allowing this to happen, where’s God in all this, why God didn’t stop this.

· Is the same reason why God didn’t stop you from sinning? You can choose, you can sin all you want to, you can choose to go your own way. People say where was God when all these disasters and storms are happening? Now where was God when you were you sinning? When you were doing something stupid, why didn’t God stop you from ruining your own life?

· It is the fallen nature of man that sin as embedded itself in the DNA of our living being today that throws the whole system of creation into a chaotic situation. Then sin and demonic forces go hand in hand, with no other particular reason but to destroy human lives, particularly before those people can call on the name of the Lord.

· But hey! Our God is so good that He takes whatever the enemy meant for evil, turn it around and make it for good. Our God is the God that in the midst of the storm kicked up by the devil can save those who call on His Name. You know from the tsunami that happened last year, Hurricane Katrina this year, London bombings, the decaying culture of young persons in Singapore today. For a fact many people are calling out. Many people are crying out. They are calling out for the Lord, they may not understand, they may not have the fluent praying words to pray like we do, but they are crying out and I tell you that God is hearing them. He didn’t cause the storm but He can stop it.

· Do you know why Jesus is asleep during the storm, because it didn’t bother Him. He knows that He needs to go to the other side of the lake, I am not sure if He knows that a storm is brewing, I am not sure if He knows that there is a demonic force working in a man over at the other side! What I do know is Jesus knew He has to go there. When the storm came up, Jesus is asleep, He is asleep because He is at peace, He is in the will of God, He is in the middle of it, in the middle lake, in the middle of the storm. The boat got flooded still it didn’t bother Him. He was like sleeping in the bath tub and is disciples have to wake Him up. He wakes up, see what is happening and He talks to the storm “Shhh…be quiet, that’s enough” and all was calm.

· Now you know He didn’t cause that storm and am going to tell you who did it. Storms or disasters always stop or hinders the work of breakthroughs and revivals.

· There is somebody on the other side of that storm that is waiting to be delivered. Help is on the way. And there is a legion of demons working in the body of that man, owning that territory, wrecking havoc, causing distress among the people of that region. And perhaps these demons receive word that the Son of God is coming and they throw a demonic tantrum over that lake. We need to stop Him, kick up the storm, but it was the ultimate fulfillment of God’s will [Jesus] and the epitome of Faith [Jesus] that in that boat, the demons are powerless. He is coming and He is landing on that beach, the shores of hearts that are crying out to Him. If you are crying out today, help is coming.

· Start realizing.

2) Recognize – the Jesus in your boat

· Storms bring out the best and worst in people. For this instance, it brought out the worst in the disciples. Jesus was planning to build His church on these disciples and plus He is going to leave soon. Leaving the purposed jobs in their hands.

· Not only He rebuked the storm, He rebuke His disciples “Where is your faith?”

· The crazy thing is that they forgot that Jesus was in that boat. You know, generally Messiah don’t sink! Do you think I am going to sink or the whole thing with Peter back in Matthew 16, walking on water, you didn’t believe that? I mean they didn’t have that scripture yet but you know. You don’t believe I am who I am, where is your faith? Come on guys I am leaving soon and we have to start a church and you are all I got. I need a little more faith from you.

· Storm brings out the best and worst. This case the worst in the disciples and when Jesus steps foot on that shore, it brought out the worst in the region. Demons came greeted Him. “What have I to do with you? Don’t torment me?”

· You will find out who you really are in the face of obstacles, tragedies, adversities and confused situation.

· Testimony – Blind who saw [Thai Mission trip]

· When the worst comes upon you, you will know what kind of person you are. Prov 24:18 If you faint on the day of adversity your strength is small. It will expose you and leave you for whom you really are, for everyone to see, no way of hiding, no way because storms will come, adversities will come. That’s why God is telling His disciples always to keep their faith.

· Luke22:31 31“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you[a] as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

· And Paul too explains to young timothy 1Tim1:18 18Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, 19holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.

· And our God given youth ministry verse Heb11 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

· There is strength to be found in the faith and I am telling you to keep your faith because help will come in your worst times. How?

· You need to trust and recognize in the God that works everything for your good. He wants to set your feet on the rock, He wants to rescue you and He definitely don’t mean for your destruction. Help is coming.

· Realize and Recognize Young People! Cause if you grasp those two elements…restoration is on the way.

3) Restoration – is coming and somebody is waiting

· As we are sitting here, world organization leaders, youth seminars and conferences held by self help, help agencies are discussing about you. Coming up with good programs, character studies, trying to guess and gauge what is the best for young people today.

· They are discussing, organization representatives are coming up with programs after programs, but I tell you those good looking man made programs will never be answers to the problems of the human heart.

· Why? Because most people think that man is inherently good, hence the programs made by them will be good. But I am your leader, some sort of a pastor and representative of God so I am going to tell you the truth!

· And I am lifting up this book because this book says in Rom3 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

· There is none good, not even one.

· Man made programs and discussion have no answers to the sinful nature of today. Hence sinful nature will manifest itself in a snowballing action to self destruction.

· Alike with the demon possessed man, his people do not know what to do with him, they chain him up, manhandled him for he goes into seizures. They have no clue what so ever? The demon got him.

· But there is an answer to all this confusion and distress. You see the main issue is not the storm that you or the disciples are facing.

· But the focus is that they are getting to somewhere that has got people waiting to be delivered. The main issue is that we have youths in Singapore that is clueless about life and looking for answers in all the wrong places and from which they need to be delivered, that is main issue.

· The organizations are giving their best, setting up youth centers, giving the space they need, give out talks about youth issues, soccer clinics, career opportunities, study funds for those who can’t afford, those are good. It gives them the immediate attention that helps them in their desperate needs. We are believers of good will and doing things in good faith.

· But I am going to tell you what is more significant; I am not trying to say that one thing is more important than the other. But it is something that’s significant because it is eternal!

· It is more important for the people who gone through the storm, the people who are at the other side of the lake, people who are involve in those dire circumstances, it is more important for them to call upon the name of the Lord.

· [Talk bout news paper clippings, students running from home, turning homo for solutions, suicides eg] there are people crying out loud that if God almighty is out there, please come and rescue them, out of their circumstances, get them out of their darkness, out of their plights, problems, they are asking for a deliverer and I am telling you that help is on the way.

· Prophet Isaiah says out from the darkness comes a bright light. Book of James confirms that Jesus is that Light. He is our deliverer. The devil comes to destroy but He is here to do good and restore His people. He is the rescuer and He is the one that chose Brighton Youth Ministry to be the leading young men and women to bring deliverance to this generation.

· And you know what is going to happen? That deliverance is going to bring about faith and people are going to stream in, they will come to this ministry. Some might stay, some might not, but for those stay it will be like a prison door opened for them and they are free. Help is here. Restoration is coming and somebody is waiting to be delivered.

[End-Youth Praise Msg 01/10/05]


Clyo said...

I agree that many people, especially the young, lack purpose and meaning in their lives.

The purpose of life is to alleviate suffering and spread joy - the joy of being - among people.

However, many pursue entertainment and accrual of material goods as a replacement for that purpose.

What I have found is that Christ's message has been greatly misunderstood.

Many call themselves Christians but fail to take Christ's teachings seriously.

It is not considered practical to turn the other cheek, "have no enemies" or pursue love as opposed to power.

And many utilize passages from the Old Testament to justify bigotry or violence.

Being a follower of Christ is not dependent upon dogma. What we say is irrelevant except for how it is a reflection of the way we live and our actions.

What matters is experiencing the Living God in our day-to-day lives and letting our lives grow out of that.

It's a challenge, but as more sincere individuals "follow the still small voice" within us that speaks to love and forgiveness, a shift in the world must occur.

Many blessings to you.


Anonymous said...

hey i learnt something from this!

ur right Jesus does not need to be bothered by the storm. becoz the storm is merely an obstical that is trying to stop us from moving forward. a fear that drives us away from what we need to do. but we should stand firm and know that the storm cannot stop us from getting across. The boat will not sink coz Christ is with us. He is always on our 'boat', so we can always depend on him in our time of need, knowing he is infallible!

Anonymous said...

sorry i forgot to leave my name.
im kelvin lo[thailand mission trip Oct '05,from cos(bt)]
hehe =) great post btw
God bless