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Storm Tossed (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
April 23, 2021 6:00 am

Storm Tossed (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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April 23, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 4:35-41)

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So believers are not exempt from sickness, from poverty, from injustice, from natural disasters, bereavement, death themselves, and the ills of life. Yet he promises, he promises not his protection always, but his presence.

And we have to learn to say that's better. It's better to suffer with Jesus than to not have him with us at all. To hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, Storm Tossed is the title of Pastor Rick's message today. He'll be teaching in Mark Chapter 4. Matthew adds this, the boat was covered with the waves.

They were getting smashed. Now this is a key point from this lesson in the Bible. This is one of those chapters that sticks with you for the rest of your Christianity if you've not faced it before.

At least it did for me. I've read quite a few sermons on this chapter in my Christian walk and love them all. But at this point, it is good to say that the presence of Christ on board does not guarantee smooth passage. Just because Christ is with you does not mean you're not going to get battered. Pentecost, the day the church was born, the first church at large, was followed by persecutions and triumphs.

Proof of that is why we're here now. Peter's sermon in Acts Chapter 3 is a magnificent sermon. You would say to yourself, is this the fisherman of Galilee? How does he know the scripture so well?

How does he have such power and dynamite? And then you come to Acts Chapter 4 and he's imprisoned. And then we come to Acts Chapter 5 and he is useful.

And then the story just keeps the rollercoaster, the up and the down, the up and the down. As great as our salvation is, that salvation may be questionable if we don't go through the storms of life with Christ. Again, the unbeliever can go through the storms of life without him and do very well according to the flesh, not according to the Spirit. It is true that in the end, ultimately, any vessel with Jesus aboard will never sink to the bottom of the sea. In the end, when Jesus says it this way, and whoever lives and believes in me, he shall never die. Do you believe this?

See, that's an abstract concrete. He's talking about your soul. Your spirit will live forever. You will physically die.

He physically died. Charles Spurgeon, a great preacher in the 1800s, he said, I want to taste death. My master tasted it.

I want to taste it. You get that way from being a child of the Lord Jesus Christ filled with the Holy Spirit. So believers are not exempt from sickness, from poverty, from injustice, from natural disasters, bereavement, death themselves, and the ills of life. And yet he promises, he promises not his protection always, but his presence.

And we have to learn to say that's better. It's better to suffer with Jesus than to not have him with us at all or to avoid trouble. He did not avoid trouble. He went looking for it. When the Holy Spirit told Mary she was conceived with a child, that announced from the Godhead that Christ had come looking for trouble. He's the only person ever to ask to come into this world. Verse 38, and when he was in the stern asleep on a pillow, they awoke him and said to him, Rabbi, do you not care that we are perishing?

The witness, in this case Peter, clearly remembered. Here he is on a pillow. It's everyone's storm. I mean, he's a seasoned fisherman and they're panicking. It's red alert.

All hands. This is the only occasion, incidentally, in the scripture where we read of Jesus sleeping, and it's in a storm. Asleep, not dead, not absent, not angry, just apparently inactive. As sleeping itself is a sermon. John's Gospel chapter 14, let your heart not be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. It's so nice when you're a new believer to read that. Until you've faced a lot of struggles in Christ, and have found out that you've got to face the struggles in Christ. And then you read this verse and you say to yourself, where it says, believe also in me, you have to say again, I believe it. I will to believe it.

I choose to believe what I'm told in scripture because I know it's true. And if there are cobwebs here and there, they are outgunned by the things that are crystal clear. And God knows it. These men, they must have been astonished that Jesus could sleep through this. And again, he was physically exhausted. Such imminent danger. And he is, to us, looking at the story, apparently disconnected, as it seems when you struggle in life sometimes.

Is he even listening? Have you ever prayed and felt there was an iron wall there and just your prayers couldn't just not penetrate? Or the dud prayers, they go up so far and then they fall like ashes to the ground as fireworks? But they don't make it to heaven. They make it.

Every single one of them. If you're in a time of struggle and you don't think your prayers are getting through, go ahead and blaspheme. See if you think that'll get through. Because you know it will. Because God is present and he hears and he knows what he's doing. And while their world was being torn apart, he is apparently sleeping, totally at peace. They're thinking, hey, your ministry and all of us is going to just perish right now.

You're going to die with us. And they say, teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? So at some point in this windstorm, however long it lasted, they realized they'd better get him up. Not to.

Do a miracle. That wasn't their intention. They wanted him to help bail water. Keep the ship floating. Because they never saw what was coming. That was fine, you know, healing people on land, but this is the sea. This is the weather. This is an element. This is not spiritual.

This is a physical deal. That's in their heads. So shouldn't you be doing your part rather than napping in the midst of all this? Not a Bible study we need. We need you with a bucket. Jonah chapter one, similar deal, right? Jonah running from the Lord.

It's exhausting running from God. And the devil had a boat conveniently waiting for Jonah. He was called to ministry and he said, nah, I don't think so. And he went down to Joppa. He found the boat. He went down into the boat and he goes to sleep. And the boat, you know, cast off, heads out to the, now this is the Mediterranean Sea, not the little lake of Galilee. And he's sleeping in their same situation.

So the captain came to him and said, what do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God. Perhaps your God will consider us so that we may not perish.

I don't know. I remember being out in the fleet at sea in pretty big storms and I just always felt that, you know, we've got helicopters, we've got rafts everywhere, life jackets. How can we fail?

It was just naivete, but these men didn't feel that way. So while the rest of us are fighting the storm, the seas of life, fighting for our lives, do we ask God the same question? Do you care? Do you even care? What about the mission?

It's in danger. In this age, as in the Bible times, God often appears to be quiet and giddy instead of God is so much with us that if I am such a man of valor, then now come, where's the God of our fathers in all the Bible stories we read about? You know, Joshua and Moses and Jacob.

And here I am thrashing wheat, thrashing wheat in a wine press, hiding from the Midianites. So if God is all that, why are things the way they are? And essentially the answer was, yeah, yeah, that's all fine and good.

Look, this is what I need you to do. That's really what happened to Gideon. And so in this age it is not much different, encouraging us to trust based on the revealed truths from Scripture to force a Christian to say, I believe, thus saith the Lord. I believe my Bible.

I do not believe in Watchtower or any other book or writing or thought contrary to the Scripture, no matter what happens. And so they accused the one who was bent on dying for their souls for not caring. In hindsight, it's almost comical. Peter, of course, knew better. So they thought they knew Christ. They saw the miracles. They were now apostles and the others were followers. That's why they were following. They were so attracted to him. They thought they knew him.

We may have the same problem. You may get so familiar with the Word of God that you think you're exempt from certain things. Mickey Mantle, he's such a simple boy from Oklahoma who always got, you know, his quotes are just pretty good.

And of course, Mickey Mantle's dad worked with him so hard at baseball. And he says this, it's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the Scripture and God, even though you've been serving all your life. And so it always defaults back to trust.

So we have so much to learn about Christ. And when we don't get it, we just are to default to trust. Job said it probably the best, though he slay me, I will trust him.

I don't know what's going on. This is painful. I can die waiting for God. And yet I'm going to trust him nonetheless.

Why? Because I have enough evidence to not go back on. I have enough light so that when I come to those places in life and in Scripture that are shadows and I don't get it, or they seem contradictory or perplexing, yeah, well, I got enough other information to trust this. We exercise this kind of, to some degree, faith.

When you get in your car and you're trusting the other guy who's going to stay in his lane, the oncoming traffic, because you have enough evidence that they usually do. Verse 39, And then he arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. So it was the touch of a human hand, not the storm that woke him up. That's what I was talking about earlier. The touch is so important.

The contact. The storm could not get him up with the voice of a child in need. He slept, but he didn't oversleep. I get courage from those words. I don't get utter satisfaction sometimes, but I get tremendous amount of courage. So much so, if I didn't get that kind of courage without the satisfaction, I would have stopped serving a long time ago.

But you just keep going because you know, yeah, he's maybe sleeping, but he won't oversleep. He says, Peace, be still. In the Greek, it's not the usual word for peace.

It really is silence. It's not, you know, peace like no, or shield from violence or something. It is, as he is saying, the word be still is be muzzled.

He'd used that already in chapter one, and when he was addressing the demonic being. So really he is saying to the wind, to the storm, be silent and be muzzled. I think most translators should not have peace, be still. Some have be silent, be still, or some variation of that.

The New King James and some of the others, the Old King James, even the English Standard versions, they use the peace, be still. It's not wrong. It's just not right.

It just ain't right. Silence. Be mute. Quiet and stay that way. That's what he was saying to the storm. Stop it.

And don't do it again until I get to the other side. Now, I mentioned that in Mark chapter one, verse twenty-five, Jesus rebuked him saying, be quiet and come out of him. It's the same Greek word, be muzzled, and that's what he is saying. So, the question is, was this a spiritual attack granted by the Lord God to Satan to attack this little flotilla? Did Satan think that he could do some damage here? Was he granted this permission, making the link between Mark chapter one where he says be muzzled to the demon, and making the link when he's speaking to the storm and using the same words?

I don't know for sure, but it's an interesting thought. It doesn't matter because Christ prevails over the spiritual and the elements as well. He owns creation. And there's a difference between what he said to the wind and what he said to the sea. He rebuked the wind because the wind was stirring up the waves. He spoke to the waves to be silent and don't do it again. Ephesians chapter two, the prince of power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.

That's a possibility. But Christ has divine power both over again, as I said, the spiritual and the elements as well. Global warmest alarmists are troubled by the fact that God owns. He owns creation. And he's really not interested in their theories. He is interested in what they think about him. And if they can get right their thoughts about him, they won't be so troubled about their thoughts about snow. No kidding.

All right, that corny one. And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. One word from him and nature did what it was told and it stayed there. And so you could say he put it in its place.

That is exactly what he did. Genesis chapter one, the earth was without form and void and darkness was over the face of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And they all knew about this verse and they all believed that God controlled the seas and everything else.

Baal did not control the rain and the weather, nor did Jupiter or Zeus or any of those. It was Yahweh to the Jew and it became Jesus Christ to the Christian. As the lights begin to turn on, this little lake of Galilee, you go to Galilee and you say, this is it?

Well, that's not what makes it great. Looking at the Sea of Galilee does not make it great. It's what happened on this sea.

Who visited it? Jesus calming the storm, walking on the water, telling Peter to go down to the sea of the lake of Galilee and there's a fish with money in his mouth to pay taxes. And then the miraculous catch a fish twice on this Sea of Galilee. And so when, I don't know, when I look at the Sea of Galilee, I just say to myself, wow, Christ was actually here.

And not only him, of course. I'm more interested in Mount Arbel that overlooks the sea from where Christ, I think, all the evidence will show. We'll get to that in coming chapters where he watched them straining and rowing. Verse 40, but he said to them, why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? Two hard-hitting questions. Oh, that's an easy question, Lord. I don't understand why we don't have their answer.

Well, I do and I don't. Let's open it up a little bit. Why are you so fearful? That word so in the Greek, it makes fearful emphatic. He doesn't say, why are you fearful? He says, why are you so fearful? They were panic-stricken. When he woke them up, when he wakes up, he sees their eyes this big.

He knows that there's a big problem with their faith. So they must have been over the top with fear. They had fear because they had no faith, because faith canceled out fear. It's so easy to say that.

Is it not? Perfect love casts out fear. Fear involves torment. God has not given you the spirit of fear but of love and of power and of sound. Those verses are great and we need them.

But there are times where you are scrambling to lay hold of their meaning and apply it in a glorious way. How is it that you have no faith? You want to say, Lord, this is a silly question. The waves were coming in the boat, battering the boat. You remember?

No, no, actually I don't. I was sleeping. Was there maybe a little smugness with these men? We're apostles now and we're expert fishermen.

I don't know. That could have been maybe, maybe not. But when he says, yeah, well, you have no faith. Faith is not abstract. Faith is concrete. It is in a person.

It's not a thing. And anybody who says have faith in faith is not speaking Bible truth. There's no such thing as having faith in faith. Faith is not my God. I do not pray to my faith. Faith is my trusting in a person and his name is Jesus Christ. And he has a Father and there is a Holy Spirit and these three are one and they have always been one and they always will be one. And so that's important that we understand faith is trusting God according to what God has said. But this one question from the Lord is a question that all of us, if coming from him, would not dare answer.

How could you? You have fear and pain, luxury. These are faith killers if we're not careful. G. Campbell Morgan says in a sermon on this section, I would rather weather the storm and miss his rebuke. I would rather come through the storm without disturbing him.

Yeah, me too. But that's probably not going to happen. Not out of a storm of this intensity. So Morgan is saying, you know, if I have my chance knowing what I know about the story, if I was on this boat, I would just let him sleep and just deal with the storm trusting in him.

That is the ideal. The reality is a whole different thing. But it is that combination of having the ideal of our faith and facing reality with the ideals that makes us victorious, that makes us different than everyone else. Verse 41, and they feared exceedingly and said to one another, who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey him? From one fear to another. From fearing the sea to fearing him. This is not the fear of terror.

This is a reverent fear of shock and awe. This was a whole other category of miracle. This was not, again, healing somebody. The other prophets had to heal and, you know, Isaiah told Hezekiah, you know, put a lump of figs on it, you'll be better in the morning and stuff like that. But this was telling the weather to stop it.

This is incredible. And they were afraid because they linked control over the elements directly to Yahweh. As I mentioned, they witnessed hundreds of miracles, if not more.

And this was amazing. So some of the lessons that we get. It's true, we are safer being tossed in the storm with the Lord on board, with us, without trying to change him. We're safer with him than anywhere else, no matter what happens. Judas died without him, as an example.

And Peter continued with him. And so I always, you have to ask yourself, do I believe these things? You never get too old in Christ, too mature to do a check.

Do I still believe these things? Because Satan will hound you. He wanted these fishermen and these followers to trust him through the storms of life, no matter what. He wants this of me, even if he seems inactive and disconnected, disinterested and asleep. He still wants me to trust him. He demanded this from them.

When he says, why are you so fearful? He demands this of us too. Christianity does not work well as a hobby, if you just kind of tinker with it.

I just, you know, do it on Sundays, and the rest of the time I don't need it. That's not Christianity. One has to have a cross to bear, take up your cross every day.

And knowing that we will one day stand before him, and he will say, you did it. You stuck with me, thick, thin. You stuck there. There were times you thought I didn't care. There were times you thought I was asleep. There were times you were terrified of me, and yet you stuck with me.

Well done. So they asked, who can this be? Well, there could only be one answer who this could be. And they knew that. They knew this could only be God the Son.

They didn't maybe word it that way, but they knew that this wasn't a prophet, more than a prophet. The presence of Christ does not guarantee smooth passage in life, as mentioned earlier. But it does call for faith in him always.

That's what it does. To have Christ with you in the boat demands that we look to trust him with all we've got. Satan, on the other hand, is saying, we'll see about that. We will see. And the Spirit of God says, yep, we sure will.

And I will protect them, and they will be mine. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Mark. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, crossreferenceradio.com. Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-26 02:54:47 / 2023-11-26 03:04:01 / 9

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