TRANSCRIPTION | Sunday, March 21, 2021 | Surviving the Storm | Blaming Others or Building Rudders

 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So, I want you guys to pray with me. Father, so grateful for your presence, so thankful that you don't leave us, you don't forsake us. But that God, you just stay right there with us, showing us how to navigate, helping us to maneuver the difficulties of life and the storms of life. And God today we celebrate the fact that even in this room that we sense your nearness and that God, salvation, healing, deliverance, are all available to us, because of your goodness and your grace. Thank you, Jesus, for being our Savior, for being our Lord, and for clearing the path into the presence of God for us. In Jesus’ name, and this church said amen, and amen. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You may be seated this morning. I’m going to invite you just to turn over to a couple of people and let them know you are in the right place at the right time on a Sunday morning. Amen. I get to share the word here in just a minute. But first, I want to give you guys a few opportunities. You guys can see this. This is one of our captivate Easter kits. And if you're new to 3trees, Captivate is the term whereby we identify our Outreach Ministries. And it's a way that we find needs and meet them spiritually, physically, even materially just reaching out and helping folks. And so we got a little video that they're going to show and it's going to give you some insight on what this kit means to you, to our church, to this community, and how you can get one today after service. So turn your attention.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Amen. So after service, you guys, when you're passing through the gathering area, you can pick up those kits, and you can allow the Lord to help you to be creative. I think that all of us should be intentional about sharing our faith, sharing our witness and sharing the Gospel. And what we want to do is just kind of try and help you in a very simple way, sow the seeds in some people's lives, and think about that as you're leaving today. Another thing is Easter Sunday. Obviously, it's near, we're really close. We’re about two weeks out now. And we've got some updates about service times. It doesn't necessarily affect this campus. But I know we have people that kind of drift back and forth across the campuses. And we want to try to spread the information as much as we can. Could you guys put that up for me because I didn't write it down on my page. Thank you. So, Good Friday, it does affect you guys. Good Friday, April 2nd, as many times as I've announced this this morning, you would think I would have it down. I'm slow, but I'm worth waiting on; I promise. Good Friday, April 2nd, alright. So Campbellsville 6:30pm, Eastern Standard Time. And then I'm going to be in person at both of them. So we're creating a little bit of time, I'll be traveling across to deliver the message. And then Russell springs 7pm. So what we're trying to do is to create an Eastern time zone Good Friday service, and a Central time zone Good Friday service and this facility is larger than the Columbia facility, so it gives us the ability to host more people as comfortably as possible. And then on Easter Sunday, we're switching up the times a little bit in that Campbellsville will have their 9:30 Eastern service but we're adding an 11am, and then in Columbia we're adding an 8:30am service. And so the 11am service in Campbellsville will be live streamed and the 8:30 service in Colombia will be live streamed, and I’ll be preaching in person on stage at all the rest of those. So it's going to be a great day for you to invite people to come to church. They say that Easter is one of those days that above all other days, if you invite somebody to come to church, they will come. And so it's going to be a time for you, maybe even somebody you've seen that's kind of drifted away from church, or maybe it's been a long time since you've seen them in a worship service experience, it's a great time to seize the advantage and invite them to join you for one of those services. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So, I'm going to ask you if you would to grab your Bible and join me in the book of Genesis, chapter six, verse 22. I'm going to just read one verse. And I am excited about this evening at 5pm. At our Columbia facility, entrance C, Columbia facility entrance C, we're going to be having a youth service for all campuses, and I get to deliver the message tonight. So these sermons this morning, they're just the warm up for tonight. Because tonight's where we're going to do our best to help that next generation take their next steps in God. So be praying for me this evening. And if you're young, I hope you'll come and hang out with me tonight at 5pm. Next Sunday, we're hosting one of my good friends, Pastor Rich Holmes. He wrote a book called Noah surviving the storm, great content, and he's an incredible communicator. And he's gonna be here to preach next Sunday, and close out this series for us with his content on the subject. And so today, we are talking about Noah surviving the storm. Look with me Genesis, chapter six, verse 22, it says this, “Noah did everything, just as God commanded him. That's a significant verse. And it's one of those that you need to let sink in. Because we're talking about a guy that survived a storm. We're talking about a God that had everything else around him destroyed, but yet he came out on the other side of it totally okay. And I believe it's a direct result of what this verse describes. That it says Noah did everything, just as God commanded him. He survived the storm as a result. I want you to say it with me, ready begin, Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Now I'm gonna tell you I've preached three times today across three locations, and that is the quietest I have heard it all day long. But I believe you guys are the best service of the day, right? Huh? I mean, it's 11am your coffee's kicked in. You've made up for that hour you lost last week. I mean, you guys are ready right? If you're not it's too late because I'm coming, and we can do it one or two ways you can help me or I'll just run over….okay, I'm sorry. That’s what Jesus said; He said put your hand at the plow and not look back. That's all I'm referencing alright. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Genesis chapter six verse 22. Come on, say it out loud with me. “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” You guys just won. You got a, you got a doover, nobody else got, but you won. I like it. I'll take it. Come on, pray with me. Father, I ask you to help me to preach, help me to teach, help me to share your word. I pray, God, that spirits of hindrance, spirits of distraction, would be bound and that God we would be loosed to receive your word today, God. Let the anointing be rich. Let it be real, destroy yokes God, even as I get to share your word today. Let your Holy Spirit provoke people to take their next step in you and bind spirits of hindrance bind spiritual distraction. In Jesus’ name this church said.Amen. 
 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

There is a book known as Isaac's Storm. Within it, it details events that happened in Galveston, Texas, in the year 1900. And what transpired, according to the main plotline of this book, is that there was a hurricane that struck Galveston. The problem was, is that no one actually believed the hurricane was going to actually strike Galveston. They were all convinced that the storm would never affect them. In fact, even as the hurricane began to fully invade that city, and as the storm began to rage, the floodwaters were beginning to rise and the children were playing in those waters in the streets. Old men had went about their daily routine, stopping by the local diner to have their coffee, and even as the floodwaters were rising, and their feet were getting wet, they just kept sitting there. They say one of the reasons that these things happened was because of a well respected man by the name of Isaac Klein. He was a meteorologist. He was the National Weather Service Officer, and he lived in Galveston. And he kept telling everybody, this hurricane is not going to affect you. This storm cannot and will not damage Galveston, Texas; you are fine. I don't care what anyone else says. I don't care what you think. Don't worry, the storm is not going to affect you. The result of that storm that came into Galveston, Texas, on a day in September, year 1900, where 6000 people died. How is it the kids could be playing in the floodwaters? Old men sipping their coffee as the storm began, to the point that no one fled the city. No one made provisions to survive the storm, and 6000 people lost their lives.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You know, Jesus has a really interesting statement. And you can sense when you read it in the gospels that there's a prophetic tone to it. Jesus said that as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. And what Jesus is pointing to is that there is a moment when time will end. And when time ends there is going to be great destruction come to the earth parallel with what Noah's Flood did to the earth. But what Jesus says is that in the same way, that in the days of Noah, people went on marrying, people went on building whatever they desired to build, people went on just playing in the streets and sipping on their coffee. Jesus says so will it be in the last days. It's hard to comprehend that we could be so numb, that we could be so not Eve, that we could be so disconnected from the truth of God's Word. Because here's the thing about Scripture. Scripture tells us that no man will know the day nor the hour when Jesus will return, when time as we know it is going to end. But Scripture does make it clear that you will be able to see some storm clouds forming. And that when you see those storm clouds forming, it should be a sign to you that you should hurry your preparation and you should further ready yourself for whatever destruction is actually going to come to the world. So how is it that a place like Galveston loses 6000 people in one day, even though they were told a hurricane was coming? Maybe they just didn't want to believe it can actually happen to them. Maybe it's because there was a voice giving them contradictory information that they chose to believe, above the truth. But whatever happened, many people experienced destruction that did not necessarily have to experience destruction. And when you read the story of Noah, and scripture gives you his biographical sketch in the book of Genesis, you discover a man who finds out there is a storm coming and he started making preparations. And as he's making this preparation, Genesis 622 tells us clearly, if God said do it, he did it. He just did everything that God commanded him to do. I think that's what you and I have to do. We have to take the Word of God, and we have to do whatever it is that God tells us to do in order to ready ourselves for the storm that is going to make its way through eternity. I wish I could get a witness from somebody on a Sunday morning. We have to do that. But there's also the reality that there is not just a storm brewing for eternity, but we are also going to experience storms here in life. Scripture gives us prophetic unction about that, scripture predicts that as well. Here's the truth of it, we will all encounter life storms. And there is no pill you can swallow that will cause you to prevent the storm. And there is absolutely no silver bullet you can buy that will prevent the storm. There's no book you can read. It's not in the self-help aisle that will cause you to be able to prevent the storm. In fact, it doesn't matter how much money you make, it doesn't matter how much talent you have, it doesn't matter the degree of your education, it doesn't even matter if you follow Jesus. You will never be able to prevent every storm. Here's what Jesus had to say about it. John, Chapter 16, verse 33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace, because in the world you will have tribulation.” Somebody say storms. So, Jesus is saying in me, I do want you to have peace, but I also want you to understand that as long as you are in the world, there is going to be tribulation, there are going to be trials, you are going to experience storms. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Paul said it this way. He said all who live godly shall suffer persecution. What Paul was saying is that if you live for God, there are going to be storms associated with persecution that are going to form against you, but for no other reason than the fact that you profess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, because the enemy hates that. You're going to experience storms. And here's the deal. Like, we all want to prevent the storm. And we all want God himself to prevent the storm. But according to Scripture, and even the words of Jesus that we've just read, further confirmed through Paul, not every storm is going to be prevented. There are going to be storms that take place, and you are going to need to be ready for them. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Here's the thing about Noah. Scripture tells us that Noah was a blameless man. Scripture tells us that Noah was a righteous man. Scripture teaches us that Noah actually walked with God. So what that shows us is that he did not experience the storm because of his own action or because of his own choice. It's one thing when you experience a storm, because like you made a decision, and the storm came as a result of it. You know, like you made a choice, and you're kind of dealing with the consequences of it. And you realize, okay, you know, I made some bad decisions, I done some stuff, maybe I shouldn't have done, and I'm getting a storm as a result. Like that's one kind of storm, and sometimes we can deal with those a little easier than the storms that come as a direct result of someone else's actions and someone else's choices. Like when you're experiencing a storm that is a direct result of other people's actions and other people's choices, those are the worst kind of storms, because the whole time you're in them, the enemy is pointing out to you that it's not your fault you're having to deal with this. Because the enemy is the accuser of brethren. And he loves to like get in your ear and say, if they hadn't have done this, you wouldn't be going through that. And he just starts pointing out to you how that you could blame this person, or you could blame that person, or it's got this to do with your work, or it's got that to do with your family. And he just starts showing you all these things that you could blame. And what happens is in our lives, when we are starting to deal with a storm, and the enemy gets us to focus on who and what we can blame, we totally abort the building process. And the problem with that is God will not anoint blaming, but he can anoint building. And so when you get yourself into that mindset and into that thought process where you're just focused on blaming other people, you make a huge mistake. Because if you're blaming others, you can't build rudders. You're gonna need those rudders. You do understand what a rudder is? It's a flat piece that's hinged vertically on the stern of the boat or the ship, and it is connected to the steering column. And what that means is once the waters begin to rise, and the storm begins to rage, you're going to be able to navigate whatever it is that the enemy has put in front of you to try to steal, to try to kill, and try to destroy. But as long as you're blaming others, you're not building rudders. And I need somebody this morning to get activated in their spirit man, in their spirit woman, and finally, start building some routers and stop blaming others. Because you're going to need to navigate some mess that the enemy is throwing at you. It's not a new thing for humanity to deal with blaming other people. And I know it's a real issue in our culture. Like our family isn't what we want it to be, so we find somebody to blame. Our marriage isn't what we want it to be, so we find somebody to blame. Our businesses and what we want it to be, so we find somebody to blame. Our spiritual life isn't what we want it to be, so we've got somebody we can blame. And so things haven't turned out the way I wanted them to turn out, and so I need to just find somebody to blame. And so we're in this cycle of blaming other people. I've not been able to whip this addiction, but now I can just blame....If we can’t find anything else to blame, we'll blame the generations that came before us. Well, this is why my daddy was, that's why my grandpa was, that's why he had great granddaddy was, just blaming. And, but as long as you're blaming others, you're probably not building effectively. And that puts you in a vulnerable place, but right exactly where the enemy wants you to be.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

We've been blaming people for 1000s of years, the first really big storm that ever came to humanity as a direct result of sin showed up in a place known as Eden. There was this dude named Adam and he was made in God's image. And God said, It's not good for him to be alone, let's make him a wife. And so God gave him Eve. And God let them hang out in this paradise known as the Garden of Eden. And he let them have their way, whatever you want, just partake of it, just that one tree over there, stay away from that. And wouldn't you know that Eve's daily walk always took her right by that tree. And one day, there's a serpent who's possessed by Satan who starts talking to her from that tree. She can't get enough of these conversations. And they are causing her to be curious and inquisitive, and maybe even unbeknownst to her, they're twisting what she understands about God's will and God's purpose and God's plan for her life. So one day, she actually partakes of the fruit of this tree, the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. And it tasted so good, and it was so sweet that she took it back to the house, and she fixed it for supper that night, and she invited Adam to partake as well. And he did. The next morning, they're scheduled for an appointment with God. You see, every morning God showed up in the cool of the day, and he took a little stroll with him. But on this day, Adam and Eve don't show. Instead they're hiding in the bushes. They've wrapped themselves in fig leaves. They're now aware that they're naked. Previously, they have been clothed in the light of God's manifest presence. But now there's shame. There's guilt. There's condemnation. There is sin. And self- righteousness started trying to fix it. But God hollered out at Adam, where are you? Adams like “I'm over here God.” “Well, why?”  “Oh, you know, God, some things kind of went wrong yesterday. But, um….” The Lord’s like “Eve, Adam says there's something you need to talk about.” “Yeah, Lord. You know that creature you made, that snake dude, he's talking like the devil. And it's the snake's fault.”  “Well, Adam, Weren't you supposed to tell Eve what she needed to know, so that this didn't happen?” “Well, Lord, but you gave me the woman. Like I went to sleep one day woke up here she is. Like, God, how is it my fault? You told me she was the one. You put her in my life. Like, I'm doing life with her because of you God.”

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so now, Adam has blamed Eve, Eve has blamed the snake, and now they're both blaming God. And it's a cycle of blame. And I bet if you look around your life and you've not been building effectively lately, you're probably blaming somebody. I bet we could scroll through a lot of people's Facebook feed and find out who you're blaming. I'm preaching better than I can get any help on a Sunday morning. You know it's the truth, because we all hate storms. We hate storms. We don't like storms. So because we don't like storms, we would never want to think that it had anything to do with us. It has to be somebody else's fault. And at the very least, God if….Why could you not have prevented it? I mean, like, seriously, Lord, why did you not prevent the storm? You need to understand something about God. God has a blueprint for everything. Could you just say that to somebody, God has a blueprint for everything. Let me prove it to you. Isaiah chapter 46, verse 10, it says “Declaring the end from the beginning, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” From the very beginning, God has already determined the end. In other words, before the whole thing even gets started, God has already laid out the blueprints, and this is what he says, my counsel will stand, and there is nothing the enemy can make happen that doesn't go along with my pleasure.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You know how that God knew the boat Noah should build, because God knew the storm Noah was going to experience. And so when God starts dealing with you about building something, when God starts dealing with you about purpose in your life, when God starts dealing with you about it's time for a fresh start, when God, you do understand that the Bible when the subject of Noah actually makes the statement that the Spirit of God will not always strive with man. And God then explains that that's why the things transpired in Genesis six that transpired up into chapter 10, is because God had strived with man. God had tried to get man's attention. God had tried to get buy-in from man. But instead, everybody was acting like they were in Galveston, Texas, and the hurricane was coming. And I think sometimes God has been more patient with us than we ever care to imagine. And it doesn't mean that just because a storm has happened, that you've done something bad, don't misunderstand. Yes, there are things we do that could sometimes cause a storm. But at the same time, sometimes just living for God, you're going to face the storm. However, God will never send you into a storm, he could have prevented without taking time to prepare you. He will always prepare you if he's chosen to not prevent it. And you will discover that there is a God who can determine the end all the way from the very beginning. And so it's super important that you walk out the practical aspect of getting God's blueprint. We talked about it last Sunday, you have to hear the call, and you have to see the vision so that you can write the win, stay focused and keep building. Can I get a witness from somebody somewhere? Keep building. Would you just say that with me, keep building. Come on. That's an exciting thing. You got to keep building. So get these blueprints from God for your life, get these blueprints from God for your marriage, get these blueprints from God for your business, and keep building. But don't you ever make the mistake of missing the spiritual side of this, because even though you're building, it's not for you.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I want you to see this Hebrews chapter 12, verse two, “Looking unto Jesus, who is the author and the finisher of our faith. You need to understand that Jesus is the one that is writing the story of your life. And Jesus is the one that is putting together the blueprints for your life. And so if you really want to get this thing straight, even though you're holding a hammer in one hand, and you got the nail bag attached to your waist, and you're going, and you're putting board to board every single day of your life, you gotta keep looking unto Jesus. That's why it's got to be about Jesus, it's got to be all about Jesus, and it's got to always be about Jesus. That's why when you're building that thing, you gotta understand I'm not just building this so I can call myself blessed. I'm building this thing so I can be a blessing, and other people will be blessed. I'm doing this not from my own agenda, my own ambition, or so somebody will think that I'm all of that, I am looking unto Jesus. And I'm trying to point anybody and everybody to the cross of Jesus Christ, because if they can just understand that they gotta look at Jesus, they can survive anything. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Simon Peter is in a boat in the middle of the storm and got out of the boat and was doing fine even without the boat in the middle of a storm. Why because Scripture says he was looking at Jesus, but the moment he started looking at the wind, the moment he started looking at the waves, the moment he started looking at the storm, the next thing you know, he is sinking. And the whole thing's falling apart all because he took his eyes off Jesus. And I don't know what you're trying to build. It can be your marriage, it can be your kids, it can be your business, it can be your ministry, but if you will keep your eyes on Jesus, there is nothing that can come out of the gates of hell that will prevail against you. You will keep building and you will continue to be successful. Why? Because Jesus is the author, Jesus is the finisher, and he determines the end from the very beginning, and he already knows how this thing plays out. He's got a plan for hells plots. Look at somebody, tell them look to Jesus. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Reminds me the story that I heard about this guy named Robert Stevenson. Robert Stevenson. He shares the story that there was these group of people on a boat, and they were sailing from one location to the other when this huge storm come up and got to hold the boat. And it began to just sweep that boat towards the shore. And the problem with that was that there was rocks in the shore. And they were the top of rocks that if they hit them, it was going to completely destroy that boat, and they were all going to be killed in the storm. And so everyone is on edge, everybody is tense. So like, we cannot let the storm get us up against those rocks. The word is sent down from the captain's quarters that everybody is supposed to just hunker down and try to wait out this storm and try to stay as safe as you possibly can. But there's one man who's courageous and brave, and he's like, I have to know what's going on in the pilots house. And so what he does is he braves the wind, and he braves the storm, and he faces the waves, and he pulls himself forward until he's able to look into the pilot's house. And there he sees that there is the Stearman, and he's got a hold of the wheel. And he's holding it with firmness, and just inch by inch, he's moving that ship off the course of those rocks. And as he's watching this, he looks and he comes eye to eye with the captain. And when the captain saw this man, the captain just leaned back and smiled. The man goes running back to the place where everyone is held together. He walks in, he says we're gonna be okay. How do you know we're gonna be okay? Because I have seen the face of the captain. And he is smiling. I came to tell somebody, you better keep your eyes on Jesus. Because when you keep your eyes on Jesus, you will understand that the author and the finisher knows how your story ends, whether you do or not. You may be functioning off of partial blueprints, but he's got a plan that says everything the enemy meant for evil. I'll take it and I'll use it for your good. In fact, I'll just go ahead and tell you that I'll take everything, and I'll work it to your good for those that love the Lord and are called according to their purpose. Somebody just needs to be reminded. Look to Jesus. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You understand that the Bible says in the same passage, Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith,” watch this, “Who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross.” I've seen the captain's face. And even if it's a storm called the cross, he's still got a smile on his face with joy that's unspeakable, because Jesus understood if you could just give him two timberr, he could build a rudder. I’m trying to help somebody. And it is the most significant rudder that has ever been built in the history of mankind. The cross of Jesus Christ navigates the storms of not just this life, but the storms of eternity. Aren't you glad that Jesus didn't just blame others, but he built rudders. Even the men who were crucifying, he didn't blame others. He said, Father, forgive them. They don't even know what they're doing right now. He gives me and you an example, a blueprint, for how to navigate even the most difficult storms of life. And here's the thing I need you to understand about navigating storms, that when God does not prevent the storm, he's taking you through the seasons of preparing for the storm. You will discover that despite the storm, God preserves and promotes his people. God preserves and promotes his people. Look at this verse, Genesis chapter eight, verse three, “And the waters receded continually from the earth at the end of 150 days, the waters decreased. The storm was over the ark arrested on the mountains.” When he started building, he was in a valley. And when the storm was over, he had a brand new view. He was at another level, with a brand new perspective, looking down on the stuff that used to be above him. It's over and over again in Scripture. Daniel, he goes into the lion's den at one level, but on the other side of the storm, he is promoted. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they went into the storm of the fiery furnace at one level, but on the other side of the storm, they were promoted. David, he went into the storm of Saul’s spears at one level, but he came out on the other side promoted by the hand of God. The stories go on and on throughout Scripture. Elijah, he went up against Jezebel at one level, but by the time the chariot of fire had come through, he was promoted to a brand new level. God will preserve you, and he has a way of promoting you. Here's the thing about Old Testament mountains. They were a symbol of the place where the presence of God resided. And that's what you and I get to celebrate is that despite the storm, God protects us in His presence. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So I know you want it. They're gonna play some music softly. I just want you to get this. I know you wanted God to prevent the storm. I get it. Me too. In fact, I'm probably talking to some people today that are actually mad at God, because he did not prevent the storm. And maybe you've blamed other people. But if you're honest, you've probably even blamed God, because you've had to experience the storm. But when you really begin to look back at your life, I'll almost guarantee you that there were places that even if you chose not to, you could have been preparing, maybe even places where the Lord was showing you how to prepare. But irregardless, it's an incredible God we serve who says I can preserve you despite the storm, and I can even use the floodwaters of the storm to promote you. All because in my presence, you're protected. Here's the deal. Whether you ever feel like that you're protected in this lifetime the way you want to be or not, and I think the enemy blinds us to a lot of God's protection that we don't even give God thanks for or appreciation for. The one thing you do you need to know is that there's a storm brewing for eternity that's going to be worse than anything the world has ever seen. And hell is going to rage. It’s coming. The meteorology reports of scriptures prophetic utterance have made it clear, hell will rage.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

In fact, Scripture tells us that hell will pull out things in the last days that the world has never seen before when it comes to the level of perversion, evil, and spiritual wickedness. But Jesus said, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go, I will come again and bring you unto me. Aren't you glad to know there's an ark called heaven, and that Jesus has given you an ability to enter that ark through that cross, that he's prepared away for you and me. And that we have the ability to be protected for all eternity from whatever it is that hell is going to try to storm against our lives with. I'm going to ask you this morning, that every head would be bowed, that every eye would be closed. And if you are disconnected from Jesus, if you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, or if you have drifted from God, and now you feel far from God, and you need a renewal with God, you need a moment to like rededicate your life to the Lord, I want you to think about, have you ever really, or at least recently looked unto Jesus? Like, have you ever looked at the cross and spiritually observed those nails that were taken in the hands and the feet for your sin, for my sin. His beard plucked from his face, his body ripped to shreds, stripes upon his back, a crown of thorns, placed upon his head. Jesus, beaten ruthlessly, he said, I'll look at this as joy, because I'm going to give mankind a rudder to navigate the worst storm that souls will ever have to face. Maybe you need to call upon Jesus as Savior. Maybe you need to confess your sins to him. Maybe you need to acknowledge the power of the cross in your life, that the blood of Jesus right now through the name of Jesus could cause all the sins of your life to be washed away, that old things can pass away, everything could become new again. Maybe it's time to stop playing games with God. For just a minute, quit blaming everybody else, and just admit god, I'm a sinner, and I need a savior. And I thank you God that you would be willing to give me grace I don't deserve.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Years ago, I sat on the other side of this, and there was a preacher who made this statement. He said, “I may be the last preacher you ever hear,” and something about that rattled me to my core. I guess that day, walking in I could have been the kid playing in the floodwaters of Galveston, or the old man getting his feet wet while he was sipping on his coffee. Some part of that finally woke me up, and I realized that dudes right, and I'm done playing games with my eternity. Is this your moment to just lift the hand and finally surrender to God. Go all in with Jesus. Receive your seat into the ark called heaven. I'm gonna give you just a few moments there to pray on your own, and Jaron is just gonna sing a song over you. I’m going to ask every person just to maintain an attitude of reverence towards God. Like it is a moment to see souls escape hell and gain heaven. Don't play with that.