Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: After the Storm
- Share a little about your Hurricane Irma experience with your group
- Read Matthew 8:23-27: “Then Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!“
What thoughts or questions come to your mind as you read this passage?
- When Jesus got into the boat, Matthew simply says that his disciples “followed” him. The word “disciple” means “follower”. Even though the disciples were following Jesus, they ended up in a difficult situation. Following Jesus doesn’t guarantee a problem-free life. If you’ve experienced difficulties while seeking to follow Jesus, tell the group about that.
- Storms come often without warning, and they are no respecter of persons. Pastor Dale and Pastor Trevor read the words of an old hymn, “He leadeth me.” Talk about how you have felt God’s leading in your life, even in the midst of life’s storms.
- Pastor Dale said, “We rarely change when we see the light. We change when we feel the fire.” What did he mean by that?
- If you were to lose most of your possessions like many people in Huston and many people in the Florida Keys did, how do you think that would impact your faith in God?
- K. Chesterton said: “Christianity has not so much been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried.” Explain what Chesterron was getting at with this statement.
Spaghetti Models Aimed at Greater Faith Include:
- A peace that runs deeper than my circumstances
- Read 1 John 4:18a: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear”
Read Philippians 4:12-13: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Talk about what the above verses say to you personally.
- The faith of Christ, not just faith in Christ
- What was Jesus’ faith like? How did He demonstrate His faith?
- Father Anthony warned against “leaving too easily” saying that some people live in a pattern of giving up or running away from problems. What might be the root cause of that tendency?
- Why is it important not to “leave too easily” when we experience problems?
- Read Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
What difference do the truths in this verse make, when you are going through a frightening or stressful situation?
- Pray believing prayers, not just “Save me!” prayers
- What’s difference does it make in your faith journey, if you develop a habit of praying “believing prayers” as opposed to just praying “911 prayers”?
- Gratitude that goes somewhere, and not just moves on
- In the midst of a frightening experience, we ask for God’s help; but then afterward, we often forget to express our gratitude to God for helping us. Instead, we tend to say things like, “We were lucky.” Why is it important to actually express gratitude to God after experiences like this?
- Pastor Dale’s friend in Fort Meade is pastoring a community that was severely damaged from Hurricane Irma, and it’s an area where many people are migrant workers and did not have much to begin with. Pray together as a group for this community and pray about how you personally could help that community as an expression of your gratitude to God.