Ship with no Ocean – God’s promises
- There were a few audio issues in the beginning of the recording.
Hebrews 10:23, Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
– In a wicked world it can be hard to remember what we are doing anything for. (It’s DOOMED!)
– It feels hopeless trying to make a difference in this culture by participating, so why do it?
– But I CAN make a difference, if I believe by faith that God will keep his promises, and Hold on tightly to that hope, and don’t waiver.
– You can have hope for the future, because you have faith in God’s promises in the present.
Hope without faith is like a ship with no ocean.
- Finding Hope through Faith:
Genesis chapter 6: The Story of Noah
– God told Noah to build a boat when he had no ocean.
– Noah was around 500 years old when God spoke this to him, living in the desert (modern-day Iraq). (600 yrs old when the flood came)
– God’s plan was to destroy all people because they were wicked, except Noah, who was righteous.
– Genesis 6:5, The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.
– It took probably 100 years for Noah to build the ship in the desert.
– I’m sure he endured ridicule and intolerance for his mission and his message.
– Noah built the ship, and God brought the ocean!
– Noah had hope for salvation in the future, despite his circumstances, because he knew that God keeps His promises!
– Your life might feel like a drought, so long that you don’t even know what rain is.
– God has always shown himself faithful, and you can build your hope on that.
– Romans 15:13, I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Giving Hope through Serving:
ORH: Bringing hope to families, giving hope to veterans.
– A Short-term mission that builds one house for one family, for the glory of Jesus.
– “The mission of a changed life, is changing lives, because of Jesus.”
Recently I became aware of some criticism of “short term mission trips”:
1st: Why spend so much money bringing white, middle-class, unskilled labor to a foreign country to build something that the people could build themselves. Just send them the money!
– Roughly 2 million short-term missionaries, spent 2 billion dollars on short-term mission trips to build churches, houses, run VBS, medical missions, etc… last year. ($1000 each)
– That could pay for about 200,000 “Homes of Hope” in Mexico. Or double 80,000 struggling Mexican families annual yearly income.
– America spent roughly 35 billion on foreign aid in 2014, and approx. 75% of the world receives some kind of aid from USA.
– The family we built a house for last month had already lost a child because of the poor conditions, and water ran right through their house when it rained.
– Where does all that foreign aid money go then? It wasn’t helping them.
– One article said that the USA has spent 22 trillion dollars in the last 50 years trying to fix poverty here in America, and it has produced “no significant change” in the poverty levels.
* Clearly, you can’t just throw money at the issue. It doesn’t work that way. (That’s like putting a Band-Aid over an infected wound. It won’t heal it, it just covers it up.)
2nd: You can’t possibly build meaningful relationships or understand their culture and needs, in such a short time. You aren’t real missionaries. You’re just “religious tourists”. You can’t fix their problems because you’re not doing enough.
– I would remind you of the starfish story.
– In the case of the 2 houses we have built thus far, they have both been believers.
– We got to show them God’s provision and love through our sacrifice in time, money, and comfort in serve our global Christian family.
– I know that would impact me to receive it. I know we blessed them.
– The missionary receives a blessing too! Our hope and perspective is restored. We get to witness God’s mighty hand as we do His work. Everyone comes out blessed.
– You have to understand and receive the gospel to see this at work. No one understands the cause for Christ until they believe the gospel.
– “Hope through serving” isn’t just on the foreign mission field. It is right here at home too!
– You can serve in your own community, and your brothers in Christ, in the name of Jesus.
– I helped the Wilder’s work on their roof yesterday and I DID NOT WANT TOO!
– I said to myself, “If I am willing to fly all the way to Mexico to work on a house, why won’t I drive up the hill to do it for my Christian brother?” (He really needs the help!)
– Maybe you can’t devote your “whole life” to the mission of Christ, but the time and resources that you do use for Him does make a difference, and it’s worthy endeavor.
– If you are looking for money or institutions to bring you hope, you will always be left wanting.
– Meeting physical needs is powerful, but only temporary if not accompanied by the Gospel:
– The real hope you can give to someone is to teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ.
– “Jesus Christ died to save sinners…” “Believe, repent, and be saved!”
– Why would you sacrifice for others? Because Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for you first!
– 1 Peter 3:15, Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.
– “Christ as Lord” means you live to please him, not yourself.
– You should be able to explain how this “Jesus thing” works to other people. (I always want to know something well enough to explain it to someone who asks: Medical, repairs, NKC, etc)
– Our culture portrays Christian faith as a naive and “poorly thought out” superstition.
– Our ignorance gives them an excuse NOT to believe. (Learn your Word.)
- Keeping Hope through endurance:
Romans 5:3-5a, 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment…
– Whether your “problems and trials” are a penalty of your own bad choices, or simply the product of living in a wicked world, as a Believer, your endurance through these time will restore your hope.
– Noah endured the intolerance of a wicked world for 100 yrs before God fulfilled his promise.
– We can endure with a confident hope because we know that God keeps His promises too!
– No matter how hard our current times are, we have a hope and a future of spending eternity in heaven with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our Lord and Savior.
– If your hope is built on security, comfort, and avoiding hardship, then it is about as valuable as a ship without an ocean to sail in.
– Having faith in our Savior Jesus Christ, and the promises of God found in his Word, is like the ocean that gives the ship meaning and purpose.
– Psalms 78:7, So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.
– PRAYER –