Savior From The Storm
A Devotional Communion Service
Study Guide, October 7, 2018
Pastor Clay Olsen
As we look at these images we might wonder what these storm images have to do with the Lord’s Supper. The thing is, in a very real sense, these images represent the reason for the Lord’s Supper, because they show us more than the condition of people’s homes after a storm…they show us the condition of people’s hearts and souls due to the storm of sin.
The storms of weather hit occasionally around the world, but the storm of sin is continual…and it has been continual ever since the Fall of Man. We could say these images are somewhat similar to what the human condition, the human soul looks like to God. The storm of sin has ravaged the lives of people world-wide. And this storm is just going on and on and on. But thankfully, we have a Savior from the storm of sin. Amen?
Sure, the storms of weather can devastate property and structures, but the reason we are not devastated in our souls is because we have a Savior who saves us from the storm in our soul.
Eph 2:4-10- “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” NASU
Because God is rich in mercy He came into this sin-storm ravaged world in order to restore our souls and rebuild our lives. We often talk about how after storms damage our homes and businesses and such, that our intention is to restore and rebuild them all to be better than before. And that is a noble intention. We intend to do that here at the Chapel. But when Jesus comes into a sin-storm damaged life, His intention and His promise is to renew our soul and to rebuild our life to not only be better than it was, but to be beyond what we can even think or imagine.
Notice again: “…and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” When upon our trusting in Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord, Jesus breathed His eternal life into our soul, He raised our spirit up from the dead. Have you ever thought about the fact that every believer has had a Lazarus type experience in our spirit. Jesus resurrected our spirit and we are united to Christ’s own eternal spirit. But then we are told that He also ‘seated us with Him in the heavenly places’. What’s that all about? The word ‘seated’ means that you have already been given a place of honor in the realms of Heaven.
Have you ever driven into a parking lot where there are reserved places with a sign that has the person’s name on it? Right, it’s reserved for those who already work there and are already known there and valued there. Well, think about this: 1 Peter 1:3-5- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” NASU
You have even way more than a reserved parking place in Heaven; you have a special reserved place at the King’s table. In other words, your name is already known and honored in Heaven as one of the King’s own sons or daughters. In fact, Heaven is now your actual home…you are already a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. Phil 3:20-21- “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” NASU
Just think: In our great salvation, the condition of our soul went from being ravaged and damaged from sin to being resurrected into new life, eternal life with Jesus. And on top of that, you have also been assigned royalty, and granted a royal position in the Kingdom of Heaven, along with an unimaginable inheritance in this coming Kingdom. And all because…because Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
We saw one of the powerful reasons that Jesus came to save us was because of His great love and mercy towards us. And then something else showed up in that passage in Ephesians: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” This is one of the greatest purpose statements for our lives. Not only were we saved because God wanted us to be His children in His forever family. But we were also saved to serve alongside of the ultimate Servant, our Lord Jesus Christ, who said: Mark 10:45- “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” NASU When God saves us He also calls us to come alongside of Him and for the rest of our lives to now work with Him. He calls us to join Him in doing good all the rest of our days on this Earth until we go Home. It was also said of Jesus: Acts 10:38- “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good…” NASU
That’s actually just a really good answer to any question about what we should do each day. Like Jesus, we should just go about doing good. What a great answer for kids who wonder: “Hey Mom”, or “Hey Dad, what is there to do today?” And there you have it: “Well, just go about doing good. That’s what Jesus did each day. He went about doing good!”
If you think about it, it’s revealed to us that we were even created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Or, we were created in God’s image in order to also be like God in His actions, or in His works and ways. And God is a worker. And as we work in doing good on behalf of others, we serve as a reflection of our Creator and Lord.
Even as a result of this storm, part of God’s image of doing good works and serving others has powerfully been on display. God’s people have really been going about doing good and serving others in Jesus’ name. We could go around this sanctuary pointing out people who have been doing amazing things in serving and doing good for others. You should be very encouraged to know that the Lord is saying to you: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” For as you do these works you are being a reflection of Jesus to others around you. Plus, the more good you do the more you will personally experience what serving alongside of our Savior produces…and that is, the fruit of God’s spirit.
Even in the midst of the sadness and frustration from a storm, the more that you do what you were created to do, the more you experience the joy of being who you were created to be. Good works to our spirit is what good fertilizer is to soil. Our good works fertilizes the growth of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. And the fruit of God’s spirit is what satisfies our soul even in the midst of storms. Even when the storms are raging in the world outside of us, Jesus can keep the storms from raging in our world inside of us. For just like He saved us from the overwhelming storm of sin, He saves us from being overwhelmed by the sorrows of storms. And sure, there are some sorrows, naturally. Remember, even Jesus, was called a ‘Man of Sorrows, and well acquainted with grief’.But still, Jesus said to His disciples: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” 15:11- “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”John 14:27 NASU
In a world of storms and struggles there is still a greater power at work. For our God is at work; working to save people from the storm of sin and then working with those He has saved, you and me, to go about doing what we were created to do…to do good to others in Jesus’ name.