Monday, June 17, 2013

ALARM BELLS: "I am Overwhelmed"

Here are the notes from the message at New Life Community Church yesterday.  This is the second in the series ALARM BELLS, and is entitled "I am Overwhelmed."  If you would like to listen to this message, you may do so by going to our website at  God bless!

Alarm Bells, Part 2                                                                            Sunday, June 16, 2013
 “I am Overwhelmed”

But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape, just as the Lord has said. These will be among the survivors whom the Lord has called.  Joel 2:32 (NLT)
Life is one successions of challenges in which we constantly feel like “I’m not ready for this.”

1st illustration:  Elementary School.  I remember the first day I walked up those steps to Premont Elementary School in a small south Texas town. 
2nd illustration:  Football Practice.
3rd illustration:  Called to ministry and pasturing a church at 19.
4th illustration:  Getting married and having first child.
Life is a succession of challenges.  It can be overwhelming!
Ø  What do you do the day you find out your job is being eliminated due to downsizing?
Ø  What do you do the day you get the call because you find out your child just went nuts on you?
Ø  What do you do when you find out your top client has just decided to move his business to a competitor?

Last week I asked you three questions:
1.     What signals is God sending you right now?
2.     What signals are you sending?
3.     How is Jesus coming to you now?
You find yourself in a mess, and you ask, “How did I get into a mess like this?”  Fact is, life can be overwhelming at times.  If we’re not careful the devil can step in and make you feel even worse by telling you that you’re unusual or specially disadvantaged.  So, to start, we’re going to look at a few Scriptures that tell you that you are not odd or different.  A lot of other people have felt exactly what you feel.
Psalm 124
1 “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,” let Israel now say— “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, Then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us; Then the waters would have overwhelmed us, the stream would have gone over our soul; Then the swollen waters would have gone over our soul.”  Psalm 124:1-5 (NKJV)

Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth.  Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped.  Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 124:6-8 (NKJV)

Psalm 142
I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord.  I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him.  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path.  In the way where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.  Look to the right and see; for there is no one who regards me; there is no escape for me; no one cares for my soul.  Psalm 142:1-4 (NASB)

I cried out to You, O Lord; I said, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.
“Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.  “Bring my soul out of prison, so that I may give thanks to Your name; the righteous will surround me, for You will deal bountifully with me.”
  Psalm 142:1-7 (NASB)

Psalm 102
For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned like a hearth.  My heart is stricken and withered like grass, so that I forget to eat my bread.  Because of the sound of my groaning my bones cling to my skin.  I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert.  I lie awake, and am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.  Psalm 102:3-7 (NKJV)

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2 (NKJV)

Acts 16
Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.  Acts 16:6-10 (NIV)
13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.  Acts 16:13-15 (NIV)
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”  Acts 16:16-17 (NIV)

She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.  Acts 16:18 (NIV)

19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”  Acts 16:19-21 (NIV)
Seized and Dragged

22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.  Acts 16:22-23 (NIV)

Beaten with Rods
Severely flogged
Thrown in Prison

When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.  Acts 16:24 (NIV)
In Chains
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Acts 16:25 (NIV)
About Midnight
Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.  Acts 16:26 (NIV)

1.     FREEDOM from my circumstances begins when I FOCUS on Jesus.

2.     JESUS is GREATER than what I’m going through.

Three things to note:
1)    What gets God’s attention?
2)    Doors flew open and chains came loose.
3)    Everyone’s chains came loose.

…. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
… Isaiah 43:2-3 (NKJV)

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