24.6.14

Choppy Water—Leonce Crump

Choppy Water—Leonce Crump

John 6:16-21

“...at all times people are either stepping into, in the midst of, or coming out of some type of trial." —Dr. Mason

1. Practice pursuing the presence of Jesus. 

This is not a sports analogy. I'm not talking about practice making perfect. I'm not talking about trying harder and doing more, motivated by some self-willed understanding of what it means for God to be present in your life. Here's what I mean.

Because of the goodness of the gospel, the good news of the gospel, that God would step down into human history rejecting the perfection of heaven in the person of Jesus, live perfectly, die tragically at the hands of the very people he came to save, rise triumphantly, sit at the right hand of the Father, and intercede for all those who would believe, because of that good news, then we incline our hearts to put him at the center of our reality. Jesus is not an addendum to a life already figured out. He is not an add-on... If we're honest, even for those of us who have been disciples of Jesus for a long time, we spend a lot of our time living as functional atheists. We live that way. What do I mean by that? We live as though God does not exist until we think we need him. We make our decisions. We make our business deals. We live our lives. We raise our children. We go to our gyms. We go on our vacations. We progress through life. As long as we don't hit a bump… "Oh, I'm sure God is up there somewhere, but I have it figured out. I mean, he only created me and the world, but I will consult him on a need-to-know basis." None of us would say that out loud. I would never say that out loud, but I very much live that way in my life... How do we navigate the storms in our life? The first thing we do is practice pursuing the presence of Jesus, meaning we put him at the center of our reality, not as an addendum, not as an afterthought, not as the last resort solution, after we've exhausted all of our resources and all of our talent and all of our money and all of our ability. Not afterfirst. How do we respond to this?

2. Call on God before freaking out.

 I mean, there's nothing deeply theological about that, and yet at the same time, it is. What do we do? Something bad happens. That's what goes on in your mind...

3. Practice a life of frequent repentance

How do you keep Jesus at the center? Practice a life of frequent repentance. Martin Luther said all of life is repentance...

4. Talk about him joyfully in good times and bad

That's how you navigate the storm. That's how you keep Jesus at the center. 
Jesus' presence is a promise of peace. If you're a disciple of Jesus, then you've heard that before, but are you living that way? Are you living that way, or would you, like I have so many times, sit there and arrogantly think, "Well, I've heard this. This is simple gospel. Thank you."

The presence of God is a promise. It's a promise of a peace that can be yours, that can be possessed, that transcends every storm and every circumstance.

14.5.14

Focusing on who God is...



Here is an excerpt from The Overwhelmed Challenge 5 day reading plan by Perry Noble: 

Don’t look at what is wrong, look at who God is! I have found during my most stressful moments it is best if I just stop and focus on who God is. It’s a time when I set my requests aside and just seek HIM. I’ve made a list that helps me when I tend to freak out. 

God is:
  • SOVEREIGN — He reigns over everyone and everything and has never been stressed out. 
  • UNSTOPPABLE and so are those who follow Him. 
  • HOLY— God is perfect, which means everything He wants/desires for my life is far greater than anything I could have thought of. 
  • CONSISTENT — I don’t have to worry about Him being in a bad mood. 
  • GREATER than any temptation the enemy throws my way. 
  • BETTER than anything the world has to offer. 
  • BIGGER than any sin or failure in my life. 
  • GRACIOUS — He knows every stupid, foolish, sinful thing I’ve ever done (or will do), and yet He loves me anyway! 
  • ALWAYS here with me — God has NEVER walked away from me. He doesn’t always deliver me from the fire, but He has ALWAYS walked with me through it! 
  • FAITHFUL — If I fail to see His faithfulness in my past, I will probably not recognize the fruitfulness of my future. 
  • THE ONE WHO PURSUES ME — He pursues me even on the days I tend to walk away from Him. 
  • RELENTLESS — He has NEVER given up on me! 
  • PASSIONATE — His passion and zeal that the scriptures reveal cause me to be in AWE. I could go on and on, but what I want you to see is that when stress comes into our lives it is an awesome opportunity to KNOW GOD. 
So, if you are stressed out, freaked out and feel like you are about to give out, then “check out” for 10 minutes from your busy life, sit down with a piece of paper, make a list of who the scriptures say GOD IS, and focus on that rather than your circumstances.


  • Romans 5:8 
  • Isaiah 43:1-3
  • Philippians 1:6

Perry Noble just released a book on this topic that I want to check out when I get the chance!

9.5.14

Peace– Overcoming Anxiety.

Here is an outline that I made of Tim Keller's sermon Peace—Overcoming Anxiety. I made it as much for myself as I did for the blog. I left some stuff off so if you have time listen to the sermon here! Check out his church's website, his podcast, or his books!
Philippians 4:4-9 (You should be able to over over references to see the verse! I went ahead and put them at the bottom as well!)
  • Expectations are everything...  if I tell you the room you are about to see is a honeymoon suite and you go in and think 'what a dump!' but if instead I told you it is a jail cell you think "not bad." 
  • We are like a cat being rescued from drowning.  Biting and scratching the very one trying to save us.
  • You have more enemies now that you are a Christian. Before you were saved you had only one enemy, God.
  • The minute you make peace with God, His enemies declare war on you.  
  • God's enemies cannot destroy your salvation "my own know me... no one can pluck them.."
  • The only thing they can do is make you ineffective and miserable by destroying your peace and your joy.
  • Some may say this is a somber sermon. No, it's a sobering one. Like smelling salts.
  • Joy is a spiritual buoyancy that comes when you are rejoicing in God.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18
  • The opposite of joy isn't sadness... (you can be joyful when you are sad) happiness comes from the comfort of having things you want.  
  • Joy is a deep kind of rejoicing an assurance, a security, a mirth. A deep mirth of knowing I have the only thing that matters.
  • The opposite of joy is hopelessness.
  • Lewis "A real christian allows his mind to run up the sunbeam to the sun." Don't look at the blessing... follow it up to the blesser and praise.  
  • "We should be experts of joy."
  • "Peace is confidence and trust in God's wise control of your life ... the opposite of peace is anxiety (worry)." 
  • How can you be thankful for something you haven't received?  Thank God before you make the request because You are saying 'Lord whatever you do in response to this request is good. I thank you for it.  If I am asking for something and it's the wrong time and you don't give it to me I thank you for that.  If you give me the opposite of what I ask even though it's very difficult I'm not going to be happy about it, I'm not going to try to force joy, that would be wrong but I know you are a God that knows what He is doing!  
  • Distinct but not separate
    • Peace with God (Romans 5:1)
    • Peace of God (Philippians 4:7) frame of heart that is completely constant stability, calmness  and confident and solid no matter the circumstances. 
    • the fruit of the spirit is one... it's singular... love, joy, peace, patience... 
    • there is a way without the spirit of God to artificially manufacture one or two them so it looks like you have peace... but only at the expense of joy and love.  You can develop a counterfeit of peace–cynicism/apathy/hardening of heart... worldly... it exists by itself.  it isn't loving... you can have joy and humility but don't have peace or stability... 
    • Only the spirit of God can create all of these things - Jonathan Edwards
  • Anxiety=merrimna literally means to be in pieces.
    • Martha and Mary... two sisters... Martha was merimnis. Her mind was divided and distracted. Mary just sitting there listening to Jesus. 'It doesn't matter the house is a wreck and there are a million things to do it doesn't really matter, I'm going to get my time in with Jesus...' Martha troubled (in pieces) by many things but Mary was single minded.
  • You either talk to your heart or listen to your heart.
    • Psalm 42:5 ... why are you cast down? disquieted? hope in God!... don't forgot who made/saved you!  
    • Peace comes from telling your heart about who you are in Christ! 
  • You have three enemies. Don't try to reduce peoples problem to one of these things. It can be any combination of the three. Reasons for depression are complex.
    • Intellectual approach (world)? legalistic approach (flesh)?  superstitious (everything is the devil)? if you think it's just one you are missing it...
  1. The world-secular... nowism... what you see now is all that matters.. the here and the now... the physical the appearance
  2. The flesh- the selfish part of you that wants to be God. not the body... call the shots live for your own glory... different manifestations... person who needs to be in charge... or wants everyone to like them.  power hungry... 
  3. The devil- supernatural intelligence...  don't believe in demons? small percent of total human beings in the world in the history of the world
    1. satan=prosecutor... comes along side and aggravates things... "and you call yourself a christian?"
    2. He tries to get your conscious to go crazy... through accusation... He tries to destroy your joy and peace by destroying the assurance of your salvation. Have you ever noticed something you did a long time ago is incredibly vivid? And it just comes up right as you're going along. Or have you thought why don't I feel more? Remember feelings are the result of salvation they are not the basis of your salvation!
    3. He attacks recurrent sins... 'you should be better by now'
    4. He gets you focusing more on your sins than your savior!  Come along side you and poison your conscious. 
  • To combat this continually remind yourself:
    1. You give yourself too much credit... you don't have the ability to want to be holy... if you feel that then God is working in your life.
    2. What makes me accepted is what Jesus Christ has done for me. Your enemies try to keep you away from the gospel of grace.  I'm not good enough to be saved!  Only through the mercy of Jesus Christ!  I put my faith in him! Lay your deadly doing down... Stand in him and him alone gloriously complete. Don't be upset you are upset... Don't be down you are down...
    3. Keep telling yourself the gospel! Keep preaching it to yourself!  You are feeling bad because you are still locked in works based righteousness (trying to earn your way into God's favor).. still feel I have to be good enough to be saved... I'm not good enough and I never was! 
    4. For every one look at your sin take five looks at your Savior. 
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.5Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4

16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthian 4

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation 6and my God... Psalm 42