TRANSCRIPTION | Sunday, March 14, 2o21 |  Surviving the Storm | Keep Building 

 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Can you give the Lord Praise this morning? Come on, I think you can do better than that. Give him a real good praise. Hallelujah. Anybody glad to be in the house of the Lord on a Sunday morning? Amen. It is so, so good to see you. I do not know who came up with the idea of taking an hour off the clock, but I am convinced that it is an unpardonable sin and that person will never be in heaven. But I can tell you this, the people that show up to church ready to praise God on the morning that the hour goes up, they get those people, all yeah, there's a special spot in heaven. Come on, give God praise one more time. Hallelujah. I've read the back of the book and you win even on time-change Sunday. Come on. I want you to pray with me. Father, we're so grateful for your presence. We're so grateful for your grace. We are so grateful, God, that we get to come together, assemble, and lift you up, give you praise in a public setting and that God as we gather together in your name that even if it was just two or three of us, God you would be in the midst. But here we stand God, with hundreds of people gathered together on a Sunday morning, and we celebrate the fact that you are here, anything is possible, and that Father God hell is pushed back. We are encouraged, our head is lifted. God, we stake claim on salvation, deliverance, and healing that comes in moments such as this one right here. So God, we receive it. We thank you for it. In Jesus’ name, this church said, amen and amen. Hallelujah.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Would you guys help me to welcome church online this morning. And maybe any folks that will be joining us in overflow, come on, just give them a big hand clap of welcome. It's so, so good to have you with us. I’m going to allow those of you that are in the auditorium to be seated. And regardless of where you are, I want you to in some way, shape, form or fashion let somebody know you are in the right place at the right time . This morning, that's a really good thing to be in the right place at the right time, the right time. It is time-change Sunday, as I've already mentioned to those that were in the building here. Thank you to those of you that are in church online for also taking advantage of that hour that you lost and putting God first in your life.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I'm going to be sharing from our series that we're currently in, in just a moment. We've been looking at Noah surviving the storm. And I'm excited about what I get to share this morning. But right before I go into that, I want to let those of you that are in the auditorium aware of something and that is this that right after the service, we're going to have a time for those of you there that are in the campbellsville location, we'll be doing this across all locations. But for those of you that are in this auditorium, right after the meeting, or right after the service concludes, in our warehouse facility, we're going to have some things set up, and you'll be able to help us put together the benevolence kits that we give out to folks who need an extra helping hand with groceries. And here's what I'm so excited to let everybody know, including those of you that are in church online, because of your giving, we have been able to double the number of supplies that we're going to be giving out this month compared to months previous. And so I just want to thank you for being willing to find needs and to meet them. We've shared with you in times past that we have been sensing that there is an increased need for groceries. It seems like some people maybe during this season are doing really well. But there are other people that are struggling tremendously. And it is time for the church to be the church. Your giving has never been more important in the life of this church specifically, because it gives us the chance to seek the lost, make disciples, and meet needs. We are in the business of plundering hell and populating heaven. And we don't intend on stopping anytime soon because this church exists for one reason, and that is because everyone needs Jesus. And ministry, it can be considered expensive, but we just consider it a significant investment. Because we are investing in not just the here and the now, but we are investing in eternity. And it's Kingdom business that we get to do. We deal in the merchandise of eternity. Don't you ever forget that, that when you're giving it's something more than just tossing money towards a bucket or just pushing a button in a digital process. It is a form of your worship. It is a way of letting God know God you own my heart, for where your treasure is, your heart will be also. And so it's so important to just honor God in that way. And I want to thank you for being willing to do that. And so this morning I’m going to pray over your giving. If you choose to give here in the auditorium there are stations that are set up around the room. If you choose to give through online, you can go to 3trees.com, and there's a list of ways there that you can process your giving and worship God in that way. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Would you guys pray with me this morning. Father, I'm so grateful that we get to find needs. I'm so grateful that we get to meet needs. Even as we look towards Easter God, so many cool announcements that we get to make about things we're going to be doing in the community. That God even today, we get to put our hands on the aspect of benevolence. And I believe people are going to be praying over those groceries, they are going to be praying over those bags that will be passed out. And God at the same time, God those that are giving to finance it and make it possible, I just pray, Lord, that as they show bountifully, it will set them up to reap bountifully. And God you will do exceedingly, abundantly above all they could ask or think in Jesus’ name. And this church said, amen and amen. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I'm gonna ask you, if you have a Bible with you to join me in the book of Hebrews, chapter number 11, verse number seven. If you don't have your Bible, that’s totally okay. Or even there if you're online. Just follow along on the screen, I'm going to read just one verse. We are in the middle of a series entitled Noah Surviving the Storm. And one of the things that I've been very transparent about is that I have a very good friend who also lives here in Kentucky, pastors a church in Eastern Kentucky, he wrote a book called Noah Surviving the Storm. When I read it, it really spoke to me. It impacted me greatly, and God began to even speak to me some things about the subject Noah. I called him and I said, hey, do you care if I use some of your content, mix it with some of the things I feel like God's speaking to me, and then when we close out this series at our church, would you come and preach the final message. And so that is our plan, Pastor rich Holmes is going to come and join us the last Sunday in the month of March, and you are going to want to be present for that, whether it's in church online, or in a facility, you're going to want to lean in and receive the word that he has, because he has a ton of revelation on this on this subject. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so, we have been in a storm, amen. And for many the storm still rages. And it's a spiritual storm. It's a physical storm. It's an emotional storm. I mean, it is storming in every way, shape, form and fashion that it can possibly storm. But what we discovered with Noah is despite the fact that the days were incredibly dark, and that there was a lot of spiritual tormal, in his days, the Bible even tells us that one of the reasons that God was bringing destruction through a flood in the days of Noah was because the earth was so wicked, that even their thoughts were wicked. And so we know that Noah was in the middle of a spiritual storm. And no doubt he was wrestling with an emotional storm, but there was also a physical storm that was brewing, and yet he was able to construct an ark, and his family survived that storm and made it to safety. And that is the same thing that every single one of us want. We want to survive every storm and make sure that our family makes it to safety. Can I get a witness from somebody on a Sunday morning? That's what we're striving for. That's what we're believing for. And so what we want to do is we want to look at the life of Noah, and we want to take out some practical things that any of us could apply to our life and make sure that we survive our storm. Hebrews chapter 11, verse number seven, tells us this about Noah by faith, Noah, when warned about the things not yet seen, in holy fear, built an ark to save his family. This is a powerful verse, and I’m going to ask if you would just to read it out loud with me. Ready begin, “By faith, Noah, when warned about the things not yet seen, in holy fear, built an ark to save his family.” You could make that your life verse and do everything that you could to exemplify that to mimic that, and to repeat that, following Noah's example, and it would be a powerful thing in your life. When you think about the fact that Noah built an ark. Our church is located in Kentucky, and we may have a greater familiarity with Noah's Ark than some other states because there is a giant replica of the ark that has been constructed in the state of Kentucky. I'm sure some of you have been there, and you've seen it. But just in general, like how big was the ark. Like when it says that Noah built an ark to save his family. We know that He also took two of each kind of the animal and we know that there were other people that were invited onto the ark, evidently, but chose to not accept that invitation. How big was this thing that he was constructing? Well we know that it was approximately 510 feet long. That's the equivalent to taking one and a half football fields, putting them end to end. NASA could actually land three space shuttles nose to tail on top, or lay them there on top of Noah's Ark; it's that big. The roof was more than 50 feet from the ground. And just as the Bible tells us, there were three extra tall inner decks within the ark. The storage capacity was the same as about 450 semi trailers. It had the capacity to hold 120,000 sheep. There’s a few wooden ships that have ever come close to the size of Noah's Ark. In fact, they believe that there's maybe only two in history that could have even come close to rivaling at one of them of Chinese origin, the other of Greek origin. But what we do know is that Noah’s Ark was the maximum size for which a wooden vessel could be constructed and still function in boat-like form. It's believed that over 3 million board feet of timber were used to construct Noah's Ark. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You know, now that Kentucky has built this replica of Noah's Ark, it is now considered to be the largest timber frame building in the entire world. So it just gives you a little bit of perspective of how big this project was that Noah was taking on and that God had assigned him to and that God had called him to. The reason we want to talk about how big the Ark was is because we want to evaluate how long did it take to build the ark. And the Bible does not tell us that specifically, but many commentators, scholars, theologians believe that it probably took him about 75 years. And to put that in perspective, with modern technology and hundreds of workers, the Hoover Dam took five years, Mount Rushmore took 14 years, the Panama Canal took 34 years. And now here's this one man and his family on this all inclusive project, that they've never even built a boat in their lives, but they have heard the call of God that there's something divine that needs to take place through them. And they dedicate 75 years to building this. It was not a quick job. There was a process. Noah didn't just walk away from his prayer time and then step over in the field. And, oh, there's an ark. Like there was a process associated with it. And here's the thing, as much as God wanted an ark built, he didn't give Noah a ready-built Ark. I'm gonna say that again for somebody because you need to hear it. God really wanted an ark to be built, but he did not give Noah a ready-built Ark. He didn't send angels just to build the boat. Noah had to build the boat himself. It was a process. It took time, and it required blood, sweat, and tears. I just wonder if there's anybody that's ever built a business, and you understand it didn't happen overnight. It was a process, and there was blood, there was sweat, and there was tears. Like, I wonder if there's anybody that's ever built an athletic prowess in your life, and you rose to the top of your game, and you discovered it didn't happen overnight. It took blood, it took sweat, and it took tears. I wonder if anybody's ever built a long-lasting marriage, and you came to realize it didn't happen overnight. It took blood, it took sweat, and it took tears. And that's what you're going to come to learn about God, is God may call you to build a business for his glory. It's not going to happen overnight. It will require blood, it will require sweat, and it will require tears. And I can tell you that if you are married, God is calling you to build an incredible marriage, but it's not going to happen overnight. It's going to take blood, it's going to take sweat, and it's going to take tears. I came to help somebody on a Sunday morning. Like, if God's calling you to do something of greatness, he's not just gonna snap his fingers and make it happen for you. The Bible teaches us that things happen through the process of time. And as they happen through the process of time, like there's blood, there's sweat, and there's tears. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So how do you last 75 years with blood, sweat, and tears? Especially if everybody else thinks you're crazy. And they're mocking you. And they're ridiculing you. And they think you've lost your mind. That's what Noah's going through. Everybody around him is thinking evil. They think that he has no clue what he's doing. They're wanting to insert him into an insane asylum. It doesn't make sense, but for 75 years he gets up and just keeps going to work. And just keeps taking hammer and nail and putting board on board; 75 years of blood, sweat, and tears. How do you last that long? Well, the first thing you gotta do is hear the call. We talked about that last Sunday. You got to hear the calling. I hope if you didn't get a chance to hear it, you'll refresh yourself on that message. And so we've already talked quite a bit about that, you

got to hear the call. And the way that you can primarily hear the call is just by choosing to walk with God regardless of what your surroundings are around you. But here's the thing. Beyond hearing the call, you have to see the vision. I just want you to just to tell somebody that maybe put that in the comments if your church online just say, see the vision. Okay, maybe nobody's heard the call. I don't know...do we need to read... Look, just tell somebody, see the vision. See the vision. Because if you don't know where you're going, you won't know when you get there. So if God is calling you to build a godly family, you need a vision of what that would look like for your household. Here's the way proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” One of the interpretations of that text implies that where there is no vision, people just wander around aimlessly until death. And so it's super important that you not only hear the call, but that you invite God to show you the vision that you see the vision. Because if you don't have a vision for what God is calling you to build, you'll never get past the call. That's important. If you don't have a vision for what God is calling you to build, you'll never get past the call. So many people just settle for being called, and then talk about being called. And they'll celebrate the fact that they're called. But yet, it doesn't seem like that there's ever any intentionality associated with the call. So when you hear the call, you need to know what the win is going to look like. So when you feel like okay, hey, God is calling me to build a godly marriage, what does that look like? I understand you may not be able to fully describe it, you may not be able to fully define it, but maybe God is calling you to build an incredible prayer life. What does that look like? Have you ever thought about what you are seeing when you're hearing the call? Like, I have noticed that words produce images. And so I say Apple, one person sees a green apple and the other person sees a red apple. I say car, I see my car, you see your car. I say house, I see my house, you see your house. And so when you hear the call, typically, there is a vision that God wants to release with that call.


 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I can tell you now that I have the privilege to be the pastor of this church, and it was a church that my wife and I got to plan 21 years ago, and I can take you back to mile marker 82, 18 years old and knowing that I was called into a preaching ministry, but also coming into about the age 20 and knowing without a shadow of a doubt that my wife and I we were supposed to come to Russell springs, Kentucky. And that we were supposed to plant a church. And even back in the day when there was six people, and we were sitting on borrowed funeral home chairs, and we were playing on a little cheap piano, and I was the only musician, and she was the only singer, am I making sense to anybody? That there was a call, but there was also a vision that went beyond the storefront. And there was something that God was showing that we knew it wasn't for that moment, but it was for an appointed time. And I can tell you 21 years later of blood, sweat and tears. I need somebody to help me this morning. Blood, sweat and tears. I'm so glad that there wasn't just the hearing of the call. But there was a seeing of a vision because when you get up in the morning, you realize the vision is not yet fulfilled. And you get up on a Sunday and you realize the vision is not yet fulfilled. There is more to come and I can stand right here on time-change Sunday in March 2021, and I can tell you there is still a call that is ringing in the sound of the heavenlies, and the vision is not yet fulfilled because everyone needs Jesus. And we are going to make it hard to go to hell from every zip code in South Central Kentucky and beyond as God leads and guides. Can I get somebody? Come on. Hear the call, see the vision.
 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And here's what Scripture tells us about seeing a vision. Habakkuk chapter two, verse two. “And the Lord answered me, and he said, write the vision and make it plain up on the tables that he may run who reads it. So you have to hear the call, you have to see the vision, but then you have to write the win. You could go as far as saying write the plan, that's okay, but I want to preach, write the win. I feel like that there has to be an end goal in mind to some degree, to where that at least, it's able to be made a plane. And the thing that I appreciate about Noah is that he hears the call, and he clearly evidently sees a vision associated with this call. And then what Noah begins to do, there are blueprints of sort that are constructed, and there is a writing of the win, of we're gonna know this thing is built and the last board has been put in place when we cross this particular line. And so have you actually, I mean, this is Bible. Like, there are so many things that are practical in Scripture, that if we would just apply the practical aspects, it could change so much of our life. But instead, we just kind of skirt through life, and we don't ever take some of these things with great intentionality. And I think it holds us back from what God really could do in our life, that you don't just hear the call, and you don't just see the vision, but you have to write the win, write the vision, make it plain. Think about a billboard. You're driving down the road, and you're going 85 miles an hour; you're speeding, slow down. But even though you're going at a fast rate, like you don't have to slow down to read the billboard, the billboard is plain. And if the billboard is not plain, it has failed. And so you want your vision, your win, to be so clear that if you were going 80 miles an hour down an interstate, you see it, you keep running, and you know what the win is. Have you written the win for your marriage? Have you written the win for raising godly kids? Have you written the win for the business that God's called you to? Have you written the win for what your prayer life might look like? Because when you write it, it becomes a plan. And here's what proverbs 21:5 says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” I’m trying to help somebody this morning. We all want the shortcut. We all want the easy way, the quick way. But you since that Noah had heard the call, he had seen the vision, and it was so solidified on the inside of him that he wasn't willing to settle for a shortcut. He needed something that was going to survive the storm, and that meant short-cuts couldn't happen. And here's the way it unfolds in Genesis 6:22, It says, “Noah did everything that God commanded him to do.” No shortcuts. Like, he did everything that God called him to do. If God said do it, he did it. 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So I think what that helps me to see is this, this fourth thing, stay focused. Hear the call,

see the vision, write the win, and then stay focused. So pastor Rich actually shares a story similar to this in his book and, and I was like, I had that same thing happened to me. It's real spiritual. He's got squirrels in his backyard, I got squirrels in my backyard. My wife loves to watch squirrels play. She also loves to watch the birds eat at the feeder. There's only one problem, squirrels and birds at the same feeder don't mix. And as cute as those little squirrels are, they can be incredibly destructive. So I saw I came up with a thing. We got a picnic table, little bitty picnic table, screwed it into the tree, and it holds a corn cob. And the squirrels come down, and they sit at the picnic table, and they eat their corn. And it's the cutest thing ever. My wife just squeals. But what should we do about the birds? She needs a bird feeder. I go to Walmart and I go through like all…. I stood my…. My daughter was actually with me. She got so aggravated with me. Like dad, we're looking at bird feeders, can we go? Like 30 minutes later, I'm like, we gotta get this right, Natalie, because those squirrels, their rascals. And so I finally settled on one of the two or three that said squirrel-proof bird feeder. So, we’ve got the little picnic table for the squirrels, right where when Mandy wakes up in the morning, that window can be raised, and she can just look out and watch the squirrel. And so right beside it, but at just the appropriate height, and just out of reach of the squirrels, in a way where they would never be able to wreck my vision for a perfect morning for my wife, I hang the bird feeder. Within two days, within two days, the squirrel is no longer interested in the picnic table. Because that's just got a corncob that's gonna last 10 minutes, over here is a buffet. And so he climbs out on the branch, and I'm watching the squirrel, and he's looking, and he looks this way, then he'll turn around and he  will look that way, and then he tries to hang down with his bottom legs, and he's reaching, and he's grabbing for it. And this goes on for this extended period of time, and then finally, that joker goes for it. He jumps, but it's squirrel proof. And he slid right off. I was like, I got you sucker. That squirrel came right back up that tree, went right back out on that limb, and here he went again, he's tried it another way and jumped the other direction, slid right off. I'm like I told you, bro, when you go learn. Ultimately, I look up and that squirrel is hanging by one foot. Okay, I'm not flexible. Hanging by one foot sideways, and he's like pouring it into his mouth. Pastor Rich shared a story about a squirrel in his book, and he got the same message that I got. I'm like, that is focus. Like, is that not focus? I mean, that dude was not going to quit until he got what he was coming for. He had heard the call. He had seen the vision, that dude wrote it down somewhere, and he was focused. And it didn't matter how many times he fell off, and didn't matter how many times it went away other than what he expected. Like, he was focused and I just think man, what would it be if you got that focused on what the end of the vision that God has given you is supposed to look like. Like, I just feel like Noah probably had some squirrely faith. Like he fell off a few times, he probably broke a few bones a few times, probably had to have some ER runs more than once, probably got some big old splinters, probably a few handles flew off the hammers, but he just kept going back. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And here's the fifth thing I need you to get is keep building. Because when you stay focused, you can keep building. Whether it's a good day, or it's a bad day, we're going to build honey because we got the call of God, we have seen the vision, it is written plainly so everybody gets it, and we are focused on this thing. We keep building, whether it's a pandemic or it's the whole world falling apart, or it's everybody's speaking evil, or it's this person mocking us, or it's that person. We keep building. We keep building. Would you just say that to somebody, keep building. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I'm gonna ask them just to begin to play some music softly, and as they do so I want you to to think about this with me; hear the call, see the vision, write that win. Make it plain when you write it. Stay focused. Get you sum squirly faith. And keep building. Keep building on your marriage. There's going to be days when you get splinters. I cannot get...I need online to help me, because the room...they're struggling with that hour that they've lost. I'm gonna keep build...okay. Keep building.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

It's amazing when you first realize what God is calling you to build, excuse me. It's amazing to realize what God is calling you to build. It'll be mile marker moments in your life, but then you have that second realization, oh, wait a second, I actually have to build it. God's not gonna do it all for me. But when he gives you that plan, and you just keep building, blood, sweat, tears, it doesn't matter the actions or even the inactions of the people around you, you just keep building. Because here's the thing, while Noah was building the ark, God was building Noah. Let me personalize it for a second, something I've lived through that so many mentors say to me, hey, Eric, don't you ever forget, God gives you the privilege of getting to be a part of building a church. He'll build you, as he builds that church. You know what? It’s been the same thing for me as a husband. Seems like regardless of how great you want your marriage to be, it will only become as great as you allow God to build you. Parenting, oh, my goodness is anything harder? But as you're building that child, God is building you. All the other things you can fill in the blank with that you've been called to build. Just know as you keep building, God is building you. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I’m going to ask you this morning, every head bowed, every eye closed, even there in church online, would you just take a minute before you flip off that screen, or you shut that laptop, or you close down your phone? Would you just take a minute and lean in with us? Have you heard the call? Have you seen the vision? Like, have you been able to write the win, have you been able to stay focused? Have you made the decision to keep building? Maybe you're at any number of those, maybe you feel like more than one of those apply in different ways in your life. But as every head’s bowed, every eyes closed, and every person is leaning in, we're just asking for a moment of reverential awe. Because here's what I believe. I believe that there's some of us that need to hear the most important call of all, and that is the call to the cross of Jesus Christ. I can tell you that what Jesus built was to timbers involved blood, sweat, and tears. But it was because he loved you. And he loved you so much that he was willing to say whatever payment is due, whatever wrath is due for the sin of mankind, I'll take it. His body was ripped apart. His joints were pulled out of socket. He bled, he died naked as they pulled the beard from his face and placed the crown of thorns on his head. He was building something for you. It was a living hope. I just wonder, like, do you need a moment where you just finally surrender to the most important call of all of all, and like, hey, Jesus, let's see what you did for me. I'm willing to receive the sacrifice of your blood, your sweat, and your tears. So, right where you're at, in this room or outside of this room, lift up your hand to God and surrender. Go all in. Commit your life to him. Confess your sins to him. Invite him to give you the courage and the ability to walk it out.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

As you pray in your own way, I want to pray with you, I want to pray for you. Father, I believe that there's people that are hearing the call to the cross. They see God, what it is that you built for them on Calvary. And that Father God that heaven can be their home, that, that is the ultimate win. And today, there just needs to be a moment of sacrifice, a moment of consecration, a moment of confession, and just we go all in. And God we're not holding anything back. Like for some people, this is not just their first born-again experience as other people, that they are there right now, they're rededicating their life, and they realize they just drifted from that call to the cross, and that their life has become surrounded with the darkness of the world. God we just thank you that right now through your gospel, you're turning the lights on in them and through them. God we thank you that we'll be able to leave this moment testifying that we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, and what the cross built for us, and we will ride it to safety, Lord. In Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ name. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

If you made that decision today, I want you to go to 3trees.com, in this room or outside of this room, go to 3trees.com. And I want you to let us know because we want to pray with you, we want to help you take those next steps. And I want to ask those that are in this auditorium, would you stand with me to your feet? And we're going to move into a little bit of a different response time in just a minute. But the Bible says that the angels in heaven rejoice over the salvation of one person that gives their life to Jesus. And I believe there was people that gave their life to Jesus just a moment ago, would you celebrate with me this morning? Come on, even if you're there in church online, man, go and give God a hand clap somehow, some way. Bless the Lord. Bless the Lord. Maybe you gave your life to Jesus, and you need to go public with your faith, man, throw it in the comment section and let somebody, let somebody know. I got a feeling that this morning, there's some of you that you're struggling to see the vision. That, that's why it's been hard for you to even contemplate riding the wind. Others of you, like, if you're honest, like you're just really struggling to stay focused, like it feels like everything's squirrel proof, and you've been a little distracted by the fact you keep falling off. You're like, if God wants me to do this, why is it so hard? Why is it so difficult? But God's calling you to keep building. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so today we're going to have a couple people who are going to come and be here at the front of this auditorium. They're going to be available to pray with you if you'd like to pray, or you can come and you can just bow in the altar area and just have your moment with God. But one way or another, we're going to celebrate the fact that Jesus is our living hope. And if you're there in church online, I want you to know, you can communicate in the comment section what you'd like to pray about. Or you can go to 3trees.online.church, there's another platform there where you can actually go into a private prayer time with some of our prayer partners that are online. Listen, God bless you guys. I'm gonna ask the team if they would like to step out here. I want us to begin to sing this. Let's take a moment and just worship the Lord. Come on. Let's take a moment and acknowledge God, celebrate God, He is my living hope.