How to Survive a Crisis

26 02 2009

I working on a message for Sunday to answer the question “Does God Care?” to try and answer “why is there suffering the world and what is really the character at the heart of God.” It’s been great praying and walking through God’s Word on the subject. I can’t wait to share the message this Sunday. Reading through John 11, led me down another road on how to survive a crisis.

Scripture: John 11:17-44 (Lazarus has just died and Mary and Martha are devastated)

1. Place Your Situation In God’s Hands (v.21,32)
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:1-2

2. Stop Blaming and Start Believing (v.25)

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11

3. Focus on How Significant You Are to Christ (v.35-36)
“You keep track of my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8

4. Face the World Again (v. 43)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

5. Use Your Experiences to Help Others
“God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before your know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard time, so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I found this old poem in some old notes (unfortunately I don’t have the source)
“You may feel that there is no hope.
Broken hearts just cannot mend.
Though you’re torn in many pieces,
God can make you whole again.
Storms of doubt go all directions,
But don’t you be afraid.
God can make all corrections;
He made a body out of clay.
Pick up the broken pieces and bring them to the Lord.
Pick up the broken pieces, trust in his holy Word.
He will put them back together and make your life complete.
Just place the broken pieces at the Savior’s feet”


30/30. Glasses. Sight. Faith is NonSense

17 02 2009

why-i-believe-main-image04We began “Why I Believe” Series last Sunday. It’s a different than our typical series at Epic. Our goal was to discuss some of the tough questions about God and take a more intellectual approach to rethink faith, belief, and most of all the way that God relates to us.

Sometimes people ask me “Why doesn’t god give us tangible evidence for himself? Why doesn’t he give us concrete proof that he is real?” As I thought about it more, it hit me that faith is a non sense. We have five senses – touch, taste, sight, smell, sound. Usually when we sense something with one of those five, we believe that it’s real. The hear music, so we know it’s real. The smell dinner, so we know it’s time to eat. But faith isn’t one of those five. Faith is a NON sense. We can’t sense God with our senses, but that doesn’t mean that He is not real.

In fifth grade, they tested the eyesight of all the kids at my grade. This was an easy test for most of my classmates, but I could barely see the big E and I had no idea about the blurry other letters. I was devastated, until the day I got glasses. I was literally blown away by what I saw. I could now make out the leaves on the trees for the first time. Before that, I seriously thought you were only supposed to see a tree and a big green blob.

Faith is like that. Just because I couldn’t see the leaves didn’t mean that they were not real. They were real all the time. They were there all the time. I just didn’t have the ability to see them. Even though I couldn’t sense them, but that didn’t mean they didn’t exist.

Just because we cannot experience God with our senses doesn’t mean that He’s not real. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived of what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.” I Corinthians 2:9 Paul is talking about things beyond our sensory limits. God bypasses our brain and does an end run around our five senses to make Himself known to us. In other words, the Holy Spirit gives us extra-sensory perception. There are some things that can’t be learned with the mind or perceived with the senses. They can only be revealed by the Spirit of God.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

Lust: 5 Questions Every Man Needs to Ask

11 02 2009

smp-imageOne of the biggest temptations that takes out a man of God is…lust. Often times when it comes to sexual temptation, we say that it’s “no big deal” or “I can handle this.” But if we are going to get the finish line of our faith and stay faithful to our spouse, we need to a make a commitment like Job. “ I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” Job 31:1. We need to get serious about developing a sexual strategy to stay faithful. So stop being a wuss and man up!

Am I Man Enough to…

1. Geographically avoid the wrong environments? Am I willing to avoid those areas that I struggle? Strip clubs, late night on the computer, etc.

2. Relationally avoid being alone with someone of the opposite sex? Am I willing to put boundries up like “no” traveling or lunches alone with somene of the opposite sex?

3. Emotionally have my needs met by no one other than my spouse? Most affairs start with an emotional connection, not a physically connection. Am I willing to only talk about personal marriage issues with my spouse?

4. Technologically put to filter on my computer?

5. Be Accountable to be asked the tough questions? Men we can’t be who God has called us to be alone. Am I willing to develop close friendships with other men who will consistently ask me “How are you doing with God? How’s your thought life? How’s your marriage?”

When the stats are as high as 50% of married men and 43% of married women will end up having an affair, we need to pull out all of the stops to be intentional about sexual purity.

New Series@Epic: Why I Believe

9 02 2009

why-i-believe-main-image04We all know people who declare, “I won’t believe sometthing until I see if for myself!” But is real belief based simply on what we can see, feel touch, taste or smell?

Through real life stories of faith from Epic, you’ll find not only that “real belief” can include doubts, fears and questions, but also you’ll discover a “real God” who desires to ground your life in truth, hope and faith.

February 15: Is Faith Nonsense?

February 22: Is Jesus the Only Way?

March 1: Does God Care?