River Church NOLA
2021 Sept 26 Sunday Sept 26
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        River Kids

        September 19, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
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        River Kids

        September 19, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
        Ask your kids what they learned
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        Tweens Class

        September 19, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
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        Tweens Class

        September 19, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
        5th Grade up
  • Happy Day
  • Trading My Sorrows
  • You Never Let Go
  • Goodness Of God
  • Joke - Priest… Rabbi … Pastor…
    I am preaching some of the messages we have been preaching because as your pastor, I am concerned with how you are handling all the Trauma of the last 18 months as well as the last 2 months.
    Covid has changed the world… the way we travel… requirements to go places… Who would have ever thought we would wear masks all over the place. Then we just went through what should be categorized as a Cat 5 hurricane. A Coast Guard Cutter at Port Fouchon clocked winds at 220 mph.
    That’s a lot going on so Two weeks ago, I began a short series titled Strategies for Stressful times. How to Keep going when you are too tired… How to be happy no matter what…
    People are worn out physically and emotionally. We were already weary before the storm. We learned that happiness is not dependent on what happens to us, but that it’s a choice.
    This week is week 3 of Strategies for Stressful times and we want to learn How to Trust God when during changes you don’t like. One thing for certain is that things will always change. Someone said two things are certain… death and taxes. Add change to that. Things will always change.
    Now, we love some changes but there are changes that we hate. I don’t like everything closing early… having to wear a mask… not having the selection that we used to… Apple Watch 7 not coming out yet...
    Seriously. Life has changed because of COVID and now this storm. Jobs have changed. Living arrangements have changed. Schools and education has changed. And a lot of people feel overwhelmed by it all. It’s difficult and while many people are turning to God, many people are angry at God and falling away.
    Today, I want to give you a practical guidance on How you can Trust God when you don’t like the changes. I believe everyone can learn to trust God by taking the following steps.

    Facts about Change

    1. Change is unavoidable

    Change happens. It doesn’t matter how much I don’t like it, things change. It doesn’t matter how much you like the way things are, they will change. You can blame other people… grumble… whatever, but things will change. It doesn’t matter how much you work out… stuff will change… it falls… it will jiggle...
    Look what God said when he created the world.
    Genesis 8:22 NLT
    22 As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
    On this earth there are seasons. Each season has a different function … nothing stays the same. I would love for Thursday’s weather to never go away but weather changes.
    Even inanimate objects change. I tend to drive a car until it changes… or falls apart.

    There is no growth without change

    There is no change without loss

    There is no loss without grief

    There is no grief without pain

    A person who wants to grow but not go through the pain of change is like a woman wanting to have a baby but not go through the pain of childbirth or being pregnant. It doesn’t work like that. To bring new life into the world, it requires change. If change never happened, you wouldn’t be here because you were a change.

    2. Change is not always good, but God uses it for good

    Change is not always good. COVID is not good. Ida is not good, but God can and will bring good out of both.
    Romans 8:28 NLT
    28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
    Paul is not saying everything is good, but that God will bring good out of everything. Cancer is not good… rape… molestation… prejudice is not good, but God promises that He will bring good out of those. Friend in YFC that was born from a mixed race rape and traveled around speaking to kids about life and living. What happened to he mother was not good, but good came out of it.
    What happened to Jesus wasn’t good, but good came out of it… the salvation of the world including you and I. But that’s what God does. He turns crucifixion into resurrection. The way God works things together is sort of like baking a cake.
    When you bake a cake, none of the individual ingredients tase good. Flour… Baking powder… butter… but when you mix these all up and bake them, it taste really good.
    In your life, there will be elements that are bitter and not pleasant… and it won’t “taste good.” You may not like the change in your life… not like what is happening in the world… or just happened. But God takes it all … the good, the bad the ugly and mixes it all up. Remember all things work together for your good. You might want to circle “everything” on your outline. It means everything you have experienced in the last 19 months or so is working for your good.
    Some people act as if God was caught off guard by COVID… or that they los their job… or a Cat 5 Hurricane, like God is going, wow, I didn’t see that coming. What am I going to do with all my churches?. God is not caught off guard by this pandemic or the storm. Listen, the devil has been trying to take out the church for over 2,000 years. Every dictator, every pandemic, every fire, every flood, every earth quake, every critic… The church is still standing and it always will.
    Remember, change is not always good, but god will bring good through the change.

    3. God’s purpose in every circumstance is to make me more like Jesus

    God’s purpose for everything that comes into our lives is to make us more like Jesus. Romans 8:28 is a great verse but it’s tied to verse 29. Read them together.
    Romans 8:28–29 NLT
    28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
    He works for the good fo those who love Him and are called to his purpose for them.
    God knew in advance who would accept his call and come to him. But here is the key. He chose you to become like his son Jesus. Why? So that Jesus would be first born among many brothers and sisters. He’s your big brother. God doesn’t just want you in the family, He wants you to develop the family characteristics… Like father like son. My mama used to say she could not tell if it was my dad or me walking in… why? Because I had followed him around all my growing up years…
    God’s purpose for us is that we develop his character in our lives through everything that comes into our lives. so what does that look like in our lives? One of the best pictures of the character of God is in Gal 5:22-23
    Galatians 5:22–23 NLT
    22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
    These nine qualities are a pretty good picture of the character God wants us to develop. God produces this kind of fruit in us by putting us in the opposite situations. How can you know that you love like Jesus does, unless you are around people who are difficult to love. How can you experience peace unless you are in a not so peaceful place. What about patience? He would put you behind the slowest driver in the world in a place you cannot pass them…
    Romans 5:4 NLT
    4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
    God uses these circumstances to make us more like Jesus.

    4. God can use use even human error and sin

    I’m not necessarily talking about your sin, but the sin of other people against you… when you are the innocent victim of someone else's decision. Maybe a spouse left you… maybe a drunk driver hit you or a loved one… God can use every sin and human error for the good in your life… He can bring good out of anything.
    How many of you remember the story of Joseph? He was the favorite and because of that, his brothers hated him. They planned to kill him, but ended up selling him into slavery. For the first 40 years of his life, basically everything went wrong. He was sold into slavery… became successful in managing his master’s business but was falsely accused of an attempted rape and thrown into prison. While there, he had the opportunity to meet the baker and wine taster for the King and interpreted a dream each of them had. Then the baker, when he was restored he forgot all about Joseph and so he was in prison a few more years until God raised him up to be the second in command.
    Genesis 50:20 NLT
    20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
    God used the 40 years of hardship to save two nations… Egypt and Israel. There are or will be people in your life who intend bad things for your for your work.

    5. Every change is always a test of my faith

    1 Peter 1:7 GW
    7 The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God. This will happen when Jesus Christ appears again.
    The purpose of these troubles… That’s the ones we are in right now. Your faith being strong is more precious that gold.
    Having Faith in times like this is like a Trapeze artist. Trapeze artist swings out on one bar while the other one does the same. At one point one has to let go and for a few seconds, they are in air not supported by anything having faith that the other one will grab them, and they will swing to the other side.
    Just like the trapeze artist when they let go, we have to let go fo the old and it’s at that point, when nothing is sure … that’s the moment of faith. But when you grab onto it, it will take you to the other side. If you don’t turn lose you will just swing back. If we let fear keep us from stepping out in faith, we are just on a swing going back and forth.
    We have to stop wishing for the good old days… actually they were not as good as we think. Those days had problems too.
    Review and consider how these apply in your life.
    Change is inevitable. We have to stop complaining and wishin it were like it was 19 months ago. That’s not coming back. Looking at the past is like trying to drive looking through the rear view mirror. And of you keep trying, you will be miserable and have a wreck. We need to say, Lord I know you can bring good things out of bad… even the changes I don’t like. God I know you are using all of this to make me stronger… to be more like you. Help me be more more loving, more faithful, more patient, more at peace, living with more self control. That’s what God wants in your life.
    Now let’s look at 5 actions steps that if we will take these, we can grow our faith and trust God even when we don’t like the changes.

    What to do when I am stressed by change

    1. Invest more time alone with God

    If you don’t hear anything else, hear and do this one. Spend more time with the Lord. The moire changes in your life… the greater the changes are on your life, the more you need time with God. Time alone with God is a great stabilizer when you are stressed out. It’s also a great er-energizer when you are worn out. I don’t know if you have noticed, but most people don’t have the same energy they had 19 months ago, or even a month ago before IDA. People constantly tell me when I ask them how they are… tired… exhausted.
    It seems that everything is harder than it was 2 years ago. You are jut trying to get by. Look at the antodote…
    Isaiah 40:28–31 NLT
    28 Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. 29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. 30 Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. 31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
    God doesn’t get tired. He rested on the Sabbath to be a model for us. He doesn’t get tired. He never grows tired or weary so the more time we spend with him, the more it will energize us.
    He gives power to the weak. Young or old… it doesn’t matter. Everyone becomes exhausted and feels like giving up some time. When we trust in the Lord we will find new strength to where we can soar high like and eagle and run and not grow weary.
    We are going through a stressful time. Houses are damaged… some destroyed. People having to work out of town. All of this on top opf COVID issues like places not staying open late enough. I talked to a deputy yesterday who will have his first day off since Aug 28th. I asked him what he was going to do and he said, go to the store. He hasn’t had time to go buy groceries because he gets off after everything is closed. Don’t look for a short cut. Your quite time with God is more important right now than ever before.

    2. Ask God to help me see His perspective

    In your QT, ask God to show you his perspective on what’s going on. When you are reading the WOG, praying and worshipping, ask God to help you see people and situations from His point of view. When you do, you will feel less stressed.
    There is a difference between seeing everything that’s going on the the world right now and seeing what’s going on from God’s viewpoint. We have all sorts of information… too much information. what we need is God’s perspective on what’s happening… not a political view point, but God’s view point. You don’t need more information… some of you need to turn off some of those channels. Ask god to show you His perspective… it will be different than what you see on TV or the internet news sites. Beware of people claiming to be Christian and spewing controversy.
    When Mose led the people of Israel out of Egypt, there was a lot going on. They ran into the Red Sea… had not food… didn’t know where they were going… all sorts of issues. People could see what God did… they say the plagues. They saw the miracles in the wilderness… manna, parting of the sea… water out of a rock. They saw the current events, but only Moses knew God’s perspective.
    Psalm 103:7 NLT
    7 He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.
    Why do you need to know this? Because, as your pastor who loves you, I want us… you to be better than everyone else that’s fighting about everything. I want you to know what’s going on, but I want you to know what’s going on from God’s point of view.
    We have plenty of knowledge… we can see what’s going on, but my prayer is that our church will be full of people of wisdom. You get wisdom from two sources… Ask God Now write this one down. Ask God. You don’t get it from Newsmax, CNN or any of the others. You get it from the Lord.
    James 1:5 NLT
    5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
    He will give you wisdom.
    After you ask, you have to learn from those who teach the WOG. This book is full of wisdom. It does you no good to be on the table, we have to open it and read it.
    2 Peter 1:19 NLT
    19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.
    What’s the message of the prophets? The Bible is. What are you paying attention to? News? TV? Radio? God?

    3. Instead of asking why is this happening? Ask what do you want me to learn?

    Instead of asking why this is happening? Why a hurricane wacked us? Why COVID is not leaving? Why are people so angry? He doesn't owe us an answer to why this is happening.
    We need to ask God to show us what he wants us to learn. So here is what we need to focus on. We need to focus on our own character, not on the changes to our culture.
    Romans 5:3–4 NLT
    3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
    problems and trials - does that feel familiar? He uses these to produce our character and endurance. This race we are in is a marathon and we need endurance.
    Here is an extra. Have you ever noticed that problems are relentless… why they just keep coming? God wants to change us and we don’t want to change, so until we decide to do it God’s way, guess what… problems will keep coming.
    Another thing we see in this passage is that when we become people with the character of God, we will be known as people of hope because we will be full of hope ourselves. But if you just complain about everything that’s going on, you will be full of doubt and unhappiness. Wise, mature people with perspective, people of character are hopeful people. Unwise, immature people are scared and bitter people, and they're ticked off at the world and everybody in it, or at least half of the world. I want River Church to be mature people who don’t get all angry with people who disagree with us.
    I want us to have Paul’s perspective…
    Philippians 4:12–13 NLT
    12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
    That’s maturity and faith in God. We can learn it slow or fast.
    Have you learned it yet? Have you learned to be content? Whatever the circumstance? Have you grown up enough to trust God even in the middle of a pandemic and a Cat 5 hurricane?
    Write this down. Every situation is an education. There is no circumstance you will ever go through that you cannot learn from. Ask God what he wants you to learn.

    4. Focus on what never changes

    There are a lot of changes going on in our world right now and a lot of them we don’t like. I don’t like many of them and you don’t like many of them.
    But there are also many things that will not change. And when we are going through life changing change like we have gone through, we need to focus on what doesn’t change. We have to have an anchor that is stable to keep us from drifting. What’s anchoring you right now? You need it to be something that doesn’t change.
    Let me give you three things that never change.

    God’s love will never change

    Jeremiah 31:3 NLT
    3 Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

    God’s word will never change

    Isaiah 40:8 NLT
    8 The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”

    God’s purpose for your life will never change

    Psalm 33:11 NLT
    11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.
    I don’t claim to be a prophet and I don’t try to predict the future, but I can tell you this, and you can take it to the bank. God will have the last word and it’s going to be good.
    When someone is hopeless, they are not seeing things from God’s perspective.

    5. Keep declaring: God I trust you no matter what

    No matter what is going on… pandemic… hurricane… crazy politics… changing morals and ethic… Tell God you trust him… no matter what. This is what makes us righteous.
    Psalm 112:7 The Living Bible
    7 He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him.
    I will trust you no matter what. I have had to say this thousands of times and I will keep saying it. You may be experiencing the worst time of your life… maybe a loved one is sick… maybe you just lost someone… we need to say, God I trust you. Sometimes it feels like the attacks come from alls sides.
    Psalm 27:3 GNB
    3 Even if a whole army surrounds me, I will not be afraid; even if enemies attack me, I will still trust God.
    Can you say that today? That’s the kind of life I want to live and I am inviting you to live it with me. Even if a whole army surrounds me, I will still trust the Lord.
    God I know change is unavoidable but I thank you that you promise to use it for good in my life. I want you to make me more like Jesus with love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faith and self control in my life. I thank you that you use even human error and the sins of others for good in my life if I give it to you. Help me to realize that all we are going through right now is a test of our faith.
    Lord help me to take these practical steps in my life during these difficult days. Help me to spend more time with you because when I do, you give me strength. Help me to see the events of our world from your point o f view. I want to be wise like you are. Help me be more like Paul who learned to be content in every situation because you are my anchor. Help me to focus on what never changes… your love for me, your word and your purposes for my life.
    God this morning I will say, I trust you no matter what.
    In Jesus name …
      • Genesis 8:22TLB

      • Romans 8:28TLB

      • Romans 8:28–29TLB

      • Galatians 5:22–23TLB

      • Romans 5:4TLB

      • Genesis 50:20TLB

      • 1 Peter 1:7TLB

      • Isaiah 40:28–31TLB

      • Psalm 103:7TLB

      • James 1:5TLB

      • 2 Peter 1:19TLB

      • Romans 5:3–4TLB

      • Philippians 4:12–13TLB

      • Jeremiah 31:3TLB

      • Isaiah 40:8TLB

      • Psalm 33:11TLB

      • Psalm 112:7TLB

      • Psalm 27:3TLB

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