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Location: 6425 Jefferson Rd.
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Storm surge:
Weathering the storms of life

Jerry Varnado, pastor
Gateway Church, Athens GA

June 25, 2006

  • Main Sermon text: Mark 4:35-41

  • In our text, a sudden and violent storm arises on the Sea of Galilee, threatening a small boat containing Jesus and His disciples. The disciples are terrified. Jesus is asleep.

  • When this gospel was written, the church was suffering under persecution. Like the disciples in the boat, surely they were crying out to Jesus: "Lord don't you care?"

  • In this account, Mark is reminding those believers -- and us -- that the One in the boat with you is a greater power than the storm raging around you.

  • Yes, it seems at times that Jesus is asleep somewhere, indifferent to our trouble. But the sleep of Jesus is not a sleep of indifference. It is a sleep of calm assurance of the Father's faithfulness.

  • God allows us to face storms because He wants us to grow up to be mature sons and daughters, who overcome a world of trouble and uncertainty through the power of His Word and Spirit living in us.

  • When we focus on storm and forget about the One in the boat with us, we experience fear. Will you hear the gentle reproach of Jesus? It's for you and me: "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

  • When facing a storm, remember who you are: you're a child of God!

  • Then remember who Jesus is: He is the One who rules the wind and water, who has never lost a battle, who sits at right hand of God the Father Almighty! He is the One who has been given all authority on heaven and in earth! He is the One who has promised to never leave nor forsake us!

  • Jesus, the Lord of all creation, is in the boat with us. Why are we afraid?

Supporting text: Psalm 121:3-4

A mp3 audio file of this sermon is here (25 min.).
(Download to a PC by right clicking on the link and choosing "Save Target As." Mac users: click, hold, and choose "Download Link to Disk." Depending on your connection speed, the file may take several minutes to download.)

An audio tape of the sermon summarized above is available free of charge (U.S. requests only).

Request a tape by
calling or writing the Gateway Church office.
Please specify tape number 060625a: Storm Surge: Weathering the Storms of Life.

© 2006 Gerald R. Varnado

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