DATE: Thursday, August 31, 2017

Preached by Special Guest Missionary & Pastor Noah Kaye

SPECIAL SERMON TITLE: Lessons Learned from Crisis

 

TODAY’S MAIN IDEA: “When life gives you lemons – make lemonade.” Although a cheesy sentiment, it is important to make the best out of life, even in crisis.

 

START THE CONVERSATION – QUESTIONS:

Our service was moved from Sunday to Thursday, in order to be with and to love people over the Labor Day holiday weekend, share ways that you were able to do this.

 

In honor of Noah joining us from Tanzania, Africa, describe the farthest place you have traveled from home and what it was like?

 

BIBLE READING:

Please Read Psalm 90:12

So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.

 

Read James 4:14

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist (vapor) that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

 

Read Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

Please review the following seven insights that Noah shared about lessons he learned from crisis and a brief explanation of each.

LESSONS LEARNED THROUGH CRISIS:

1.) At any minute, our lives can change instantly!

And when it does, our priorities change instantly, and what matters most becomes very clear.

 

2.) We are NEVER alone!! EVER!!

The breath of God is in us, on us, with us, and goes through us. In addition, the people around us also have the Spirit of God on them!!

 

3.) God is NOT in Control!!

God is not some choir director in the sky, controlling all things. God gave us a choice form the very beginning in the Garden of Eden. God is NOT the cause of our suffering – for example, some survive cancer, while others die in a car accident, but God is present in all things.

 

QUESTION: Of all the points, this may be the most challenging to understand or agree with. As a group, discuss what Noah means by “God is NOT in control”, combined with point number four, that although “God does not cause or allow suffering, He joins us in them.” Do you agree with this sentiment? Why or why not? How does your own experience with crisis inform your understanding of this insight?

 

4.) God does not CAUSE or ALLOW crisis, He JOINS us in them.

God meets us and joins us in our suffering, brokenness, and crisis. God shares and understand our pain, although he did not cause our pain – think of Jesus’ journey to the cross – God did not cause it, but experienced the pain of it.

 

5.) We must redefine MIRACLE.

Our concept of ‘miracles’ is too small – it is more than simply when God radically interrupts the natural order, like healing the blind.  Human Life and the Human body are miraculous and how God made them work. There are many subtle miracles we miss.

 

6.) Privilege hurts when you have compassion.

“’He needs good medical care in America.’ – But what about the children in Africa that I am serving – don’t they deserve ‘good medical care’ too?’” Compassion for others who do not have what you have, will hurt your heart.

 

7.) Grieve NOW, or pay later.

Healing is a process that requires ATTENTION and INTENTION.  Otherwise, your grief will continue to effect relationships and interactions in unexpected and unplanned ways.

 

QUESTION: Upon review of the seven lessons, which lesson to do you identify with the most? Are there additional lessons that you have learned from crisis that you would like to add to the list?

 

ACTION ITEMS:

PRAY – PRAY – PRAY. Pray as a group for those who are in the midst of a crisis, including continuing to pray for Noah and his family, especially baby Graceson and his recovery.  Make a list of all those that you can and will pray for.

 

Seek out someone in your life, perhaps a co-worker or neighbor, who is in the midst of crisis, especially those in the middle of an illness, or perhaps someone who has lost a family member in the last year – these people often feel forgotten after the initial event – and bless them in some way. Stop by and visit, drop a note or meal by their house, call and talk (and perhaps even pray) with them. Share with the group about your encounter next week!!