Valley View Church

When You Need a Miracle

February 21, 2024 Valley View Church
Valley View Church
When You Need a Miracle
Show Notes Transcript

Sunday Morning | February 18, 2024 | John C. Majors | Louisville, KY

On February 18, 2024, Pastor John delivered a sermon focusing on the theme of "When you need a miracle," prompted by the recent event of Lynn Murray going missing. Despite the challenging circumstances, the community rallied together in a remarkable display of support and love, emphasizing the power of community. The sermon highlighted four sources of power to lean on when in need of a miracle: the power of community, the power of prayer, the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and the power of love. Through anecdotes and reflections, Pastor John conveyed the importance of faith, prayer, and unity in times of crisis, ultimately emphasizing God's goodness and His ability to rescue those who are lost. The sermon concluded with a call to prayer for those in need of a miracle and a reminder to remain steadfast in faith.

At Valley View Church we are currently studying through the entire gospel of John, verse by verse. You can join us on Sunday mornings at 11 AM for worship. We are located at 8911 3rd Street Road, Louisville KY 40272.

Hi, I’m John Majors. I'm the senior pastor at Valley View. This past week in our church, we had what I felt was a pretty significant moment for the church. And so we dedicated the entire Sunday morning service to talking about it, to unpacking it, to relating it to the life of our church. Unfortunately, we had a glitch in our recording system, and so we lost the first few minutes. So I'm going to take just a minute here to give you the context to set up where I was and the message. What happened was a week ago Monday, one of our members, Lynn Murray, he's 79 years old, he has Alzheimer's. Lynn Murray went out for a walk. That was a normal thing for him to do, but he got lost that day and his wife, Brenda, went to look for him and she couldn't find him. She spent hours driving around and she realized, I need help. So she called the police. They came to help. But then the word began to spread through our church that Lynn was missing and that Brenda needed help. And the way our church came together and rallied to serve them and love on them was so powerful. I wanted to make sure that we took the time to realize what happened and to celebrate that. In fact, the main way I thought we would apply that to our lives today was to unpack for sources of power to lean on when you need a miracle. Because Lynn and Brenda desperately needed a miracle in that moment. But I think all of us at times can say, I need a miracle. What our four sources of power you lean on in that moment. And so as the message begins, you'll see that I'm unpacking that first source of power, the power of community. We saw this community step up in a big way to love and serve them. Thanks so much for listening and for being a part of Valley View. So now let's join in the sermon where the recording started. And this was important, especially for Lynn and Brenda, because they didn't have family here, that they don't have children. Parents have passed on. Other family members either have passed on or don't live here. And so what if what if they didn't have a church community to lean on, but they had a life group that they'd worked hard to get connected there? They were involved in helping hands in homeless ministry. Deep connections there. And so they already had a network of connections. And by the way, we talk about this all the time here. Don't wait until you unique community to start building it and it'll be too late. I mean, maybe some people will show up, maybe not get connected into people's lives now so that when difficulties come, you're connected. It's too late at that point to try to build community. And that's not the only reason to build community, by the way, to help you when times are hard. That's but that's a good reason. That's a big reason. And they've done that. They've invested and the church knew about what was happening and we could come along, come alongside them. In that moment. There's a passage that reminded me just a little bit of what was happening here with this. Look at Matthew Chapter five. Turn to Matthew, Chapter five, Matthew chapter five, verse 14 through 16, and that's on page 76 and a church Bible. We have those in the connection corner if you want one of those. If you don't have a Bible page numbers on the screen or tied to that specific Bible to make it easy to find the passages. Matthew Chapter five. This is in the section called the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus is teaching to a large crowd and here's what he says. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on a stand so that it gives light. In all the house, we are called to be a light to the world, to shine the light into darkness. That's part of our calling as believers, as followers of Christ. But there's a reason for that. There's a purpose for that. The end goal is not just so that people talk about what great community value has. That's not the end goal. Here's what it says. Look back at verse 16 in the same way. Let your light shine before others. So that purpose, reason that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven. That's the goal. Yes, we want community. Yes, we want to help out others so that in that moment when people see, in fact, people will know our love for Christ by our love for one another. And I think we saw the power of community at play in a way that said to others around us, because it wasn't just Valley View outlook in emergency workers, neighbors. There were tons of people that came out, but I think a lot of people went, What's up with that church in a good way? What's going on? I want to know more. I think it's important as a church to to just pause and reflect on how many people helped. I'm going to have people stand who helped. Before you stand, though, let me say a couple of things. One, I know some of you are like, I don't want attention drawn to me. That's why I drove around my car by myself. I didn't tell anybody. Don't draw attention to me. It's not about you. This is for all of us to see how many were stirred to help. Just to see how many took part. Also, if you didn't take part, no judgment. We're not going to secretly look over you and judge you. Maybe you didn't know about it. Maybe you were traveling. We don't know what you had going on. It's okay. But if you were involved in any way, maybe you handed out fliers or knocked on the door or made a phone call trying to find him or posted something on social media, drove up and down the roads, whatever. If you were involved in any way to try to help find Lynn Murray, would you stand now? Just I of you stand if you were involved all around the room? Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. So many in the church rallied around this need. And we saw in that moment the power of community. Lean on community. When you need a miracle, lean on community, build community now. That's the first way. The second source of power that I think we saw at play in this and that we can lean on in the midst of crisis, in the midst of needing a miracle, is the power of prayer. It's the power of prayer. And I know we pray as a church without a doubt. We pray. We pray all the time for one another. There was something about this moment, though, in fact, I remember. So Monday night as a last person left Brenda's house at 11. Tuesday, the elders were set to meet for our normal monthly elder meeting. And in fact, I had said to them earlier over the week leading up to it, Guys, I think we really need to focus on prayer. Before we knew about Lynn, I think we need to focus on prayer because if our elders are praying, I think it's going to affect the whole church and we pray. We pray when we meet. But I wanted an extra focus on that time. But Tuesday morning, I thought, we can't meet to pray. Tonight we're going to be out there doing something. And it's funny, I texted Phil, the chairman of the Elders, and he immediately, yes, I was thinking the same thing. A couple of others. Champion. Yes. Thinking the same thing. Feeling the same thing. Let's go put our boots on the ground. And so we go out, walk the road. So many again, we saw dozens, maybe 100 other people out, not just us, EMS workers, all kinds of people out, neighbors searching, searching. I got to be honest, it felt pretty overwhelming. I may not I felt like, how in the world are we going to find him? Brenda kept saying he he doesn't leave the roads when he goes for a walk. There's no way he'd leave the roads. But we've looked over all the roads. How are we going to find him? It felt incredibly overwhelming. And when I sat in her living room Tuesday night, she even acknowledged this is going to be a difficult night. In the first night, the low was 34 and I woke up thinking if he stayed outside, I don't know that I'm surviving that I like. I mean, just being without coffee in the morning would have been hard enough, let alone laying outside in the cold. But going into a second night, she said, this is going to be a harder night. But I know God is in control. And Brenda said that. And so I left there going, I want that kind of faith. But I also left her thinking and she acknowledged, we need a miracle and we need to pray. And she said, pray, pray, pray. And so many were. And we continued to pray, but were called to pray. In fact, James Ford, you can put the reference up on the screen, talks about you have not because you asked not recalled to pray, were called to ask. And there's a huge dynamic to prayer. It's not a formula. I ask you give me. No, no. But we are called to pray. I want to look at a passage in Mark. Turn to Mark Chapter five. There's a couple of stories in Mark Chapter five of Jesus Healing, Delivering Working miracles, doing miraculous things. And there's this one situation in Mark chapter five, verse 21, where we have an unexpected encounter. The person who wasn't supposed to come ask him for help, ask for help. Look at Mark chapter five, verse 21. And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue. These were not his friends. These were not the guys that were looking for wisdom from Jesus. He's the one who had it all wrong. He was the threat. But crisis came and one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jerry, is by name. Seeing him fell at his feet and implored him earnestly, sing My little daughter is at the point of death. Come lay your hands on her so that she may be made well and live. I'm desperate for a miracle. I'm desperate for you to move. I don't know what else to do. Will you just come? Just touch her to show up? He asked. And look what happens. And he went with him immediately. He went with him. Now, one difficulty of scripture is Jesus didn't heal everybody that was sick and hurt and needy. But in this moment, Jerry is asked and he went. Our call is to ask. James five says It's the effective prayer of a righteous man. Can not definitely always will, but can accomplish much. The call is to pray, and I know so many here were praying. And when you need God to show up, turn to prayer, turn to community, turn to prayer. And then the third source of power. I think we saw it play in this that I think especially stood out to me, was just people listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the power of the prompting of the Holy Spirit. And I thought of three specific ways in this situation. So, Lynn, out Monday night, still not back out Tuesday night, still not found. We wake up Wednesday morning and I think probably many of us were thinking we're probably not looking for someone who's still alive at this point in my flesh. That's what I was thinking. Cold nights, 79 years old, Alzheimer's not shown up. Tuesday afternoon, we were wrapping up and a couple of staff members Jim, Andrew, Keith, Keith grew up in that area, Keith said. I know some wooded areas that I think we need to go look at tomorrow. And I thought, well, what are you, a detective? Come on. People looked all over this place. I know some wooded areas. That's all that is out there. What are you going to find? Come on. But no, Andrew in particular was saying, I really feel that we need to be above Pendleton Road. That was one of the last areas he was seen. We need to be looking in that area. More than likely, he didn't go away off. I mean, we heard reports he was out near Centerville. He was out in Ferndale. Okay, Andrew, whatever. Go ahead, please. Listening to the prompting of the spirit, I need to be in that area. I need to be ready. The second one just so happens that last week you may remember right down front we had someone join the church. Tyler Starnes and his family joined the church last Sunday. Just so happened. They joined the church last Sunday. Tyler works in emergency response and a lot of different layers. Just so happens that when we need someone in that field, it just so happens to join the church at Sunday. And so Tyler and Andrew are texting back and forth. We're able to know how when things are happening and keep updated as things go along. Inside communication, connection and who knows, maybe the Lord led Tyler here just for that moment. In fact, I think he said to someone, I joined the church Sunday and you're all new member initiation is pretty intense, right? I'm just going to see if you you're really minted or not. You're going to stay around or not. And that's not normal. By the way, if you're thinking of joining the church, we don't want to put everyone through that. The third way I saw the prompting of the Holy Spirit in that moment. So I got the call Wednesday morning. I looked at my phone 1033 They found him. They found him? Yeah. And. And he's alive. I mean, the first was a miracle. The second, I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it. And I've heard a lady yesterday was trying to tell me how they reacted when they heard and just couldn't even finish the sentence. I couldn't stop thinking about it all day long. They found him. And you know how they found him? There was a tree service in that area cutting the trees around power lines, but they weren't originally scheduled to be in that area. That day. The owner woke up. That's morning. The foreman, whoever the guy that was in charge of people going to cut in different areas, he said, I really feel like we need to be in that area today. We weren't scheduled to be there. I don't know. I don't even know if he knew that at that point that there was a guy that could be in that area. Let's go. And they did know some of the workers knew there could be a guy in this area. We should be looking for him. And lo and behold, they came upon him. And let me tell you, if not for these guys, in fact, just put a picture up on the screen of where they found him, You can kind of see the red dot there. That's where they found him. There's a power line there. It's light up above because that's kind of a flatter area, but then it just drops off into a valley. Look, Andrew, who's one of the fittest people I know had trouble getting there. How in the world did Lynn get there, By the way? We may never know, but this was really difficult terrain. If you if you could have been there, you would not believe it. And again, from man's perspective, I think he may have never been found. It's not for these guys. It was so rugged, so remote, but these guys listened. And whether they realize God use them or not, go go to that area. Back to Tyler and Andrew. Andrew is already in the area. Tyler gets the call through emergency response. Tyler tells Andrew Andrew BS EMS there that he's there already. He's sending them the location. Here's where I am exactly. They're able to maneuver, find a better way to get in there and it still took them a couple of hours to get him out ropes. I mean, it took teams of people pulling him up a hillside, carrying him out. They couldn't get even ATVs in there. It was I'm telling you, you wouldn't if you had gone there, you would not believe that anybody body could found him. It was the only word any of us could use was miracle. It truly a miracle. Listen to the prompting. When you need a miracle, listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Make room for him to move and to do what he wants to. Don't try to do it on your own. And plenty of us were trying to figure it out on our own. In fact, I told Tyler, Tyler, I'm good at three things in life. I have three skills parallel parking. I'm really good at parallel parking. Okay. Not ashamed to admit it. Packing. I can pack a moving truck. Don't invite me. By the way, I should have said that. And then finding stuff. Stuff gets lost in our house. I was like, Tyler, here's where you need to go. Look, because I'm good at finding stuff way off. Way off. For from man's perspective, I could figure it out. Listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Now the fourth source of love, the fourth source of power to lean on when we need a miracle is the power of love is Look back at Mark Chapter five because I wanted you to see Jesus loving heavily on someone in need. Mark Chapter five, verse 18 as he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. This is the whole story of Jesus casting the demons out of the man, casting them into the pigs, who then went into the sea. 2000 pigs. We don't know exactly how many demons that is, but this man was completely overwhelmed. And after the demons had been cast out, the man came to Jesus. Can I go with you, please? And Jesus? He did not permit him, but said to him, Go home. Go home. Go home to your friends. Tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you. And he went away and began to proclaim in the dark capitalist how much Jesus had done for him. And everyone marveled, Lean on the power of love. Jesus showed incredible love to this man by doing for him what he couldn't do on his own. I got to tell you, this church showed incredible love for Lynn and Brenda, loving on them, serving them not just by looking for him, but continue to be in with them in the midst of being at the hospital and just continue to love on them through this. Here's what happens when you love. Well, in the midst of crisis, in the midst of chaos, people take notice. That's what it says here Jesus had done for him. He was talking about this, proclaiming this. And everyone marveled, Man, when someone experiences God's love and grace and kindness like that, people want to see, people want to know, people want to hear about it. They want to celebrate and ultimately that they worship and worship God. Only He could have done this. In fact, I had one emergency worker in particular say to me, I don't know what's going on at your church, but I want to come visit you. Yeah, Yeah. We don't know either, by the way, but come on, come on, Come as you are. So you don't have to stay as you are. Come on. Come as you are. Come on, Come. We don't have it all figured out. We're not perfect. But Brenda said if you get lost, this church will come find you. I don't. By the way, don't get lost. Please stay found. Please. What's the generation is okay, but it points to an important biblical truth. God is in the business of rescuing those who are lost. And you know what I'm talking about. Who's been there? You've been there, and he. He's in the business of rescuing those who are lost. He leaves the 99 to go after the one. And I know many of us have prayed and saw community and listen to the power of the Holy Spirit. There have been times where you thought, Where are you? God? Maybe you hadn't shown up the way you thought. He's still good. He's still the one who pursues. He still rescues. Maybe not the way I thought, maybe not in the timing. I thought there would have been a lot better on Monday afternoon. Lord, he still rescues, in fact, I think as a church today, something powerful we can do. And you need to keep praying for Lynn by the way, he's not out of the woods, so to speak. Okay. He's still in ICU. He still has a long road to recovery. He may not get back to where he was. He endured a lot. I think when he brought him to the hospital, his body temperature was 85 degrees. That's after he got there. The fact that he survived again, miracle, that's the only word we can keep using. But what I want to do today, as I thought about that story, as I thought about the way our church responded, I know that Lynn wasn't the only one who's in need of a miracle this week. He's not the only one who needs rescued. And I know we could go around the room and hear from person after person of someone you know who needs God to show up in their lives. Maybe they've straight off the road when they're not supposed to. Maybe they've wandered off into the woods thinking this shortcut will work. Great. I'll figure it out myself. And they're lost and they're struggling and they need to be rescued. We need to pray for them and not give up. Not just think from man's perspective. Well, God couldn't do that. It's too late. We need to pray. And this morning, that's what I want to do. I want us to spend just the rest of our time together praying. And Andrew's going to lead us in a worship song while he's singing. If there's someone you know needs to be rescued today, and you know what I'm talking about, it desperately need Jesus Christ to show up in their lives. I just want to call you to come down front and pray. Just come down here and pray as we're singing at any point you can pray on your knees. You can pray in groups. You can pray Standing with your arms stretched out. You can pray on your face. You can pray however you want. But I want us to collectively, like we did out in the woods, to just calm and pray and cry out and call. And if you want someone to pray with you, just grab someone near you. Ask him to pray with you If you want to pray alone. That is great. But Andrew, go ahead and lead us. Y'all go ahead and stand. Glenn, stand now. And if you feel called to come for, just come down front. Come down front at any time while we're singing at any moment. And let's just pray and cry out for a rescue. Andrew, would you lead us?