Waynedale United Methodist Church
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Oct 25, 2015 Sermon

“A Hero's Hand: Noah”
Genesis 6:9 – 7:5
Ted Jansen  October 25, 2015  Waynedale UMC
 
1.)        When you think of heroes what comes to mind?  Perhaps a TV show, perhaps some characters from fiction, perhaps a person that you admire.  Heroes can have special powers, abilities, skills, and wisdom. 
            As we think about heroes I want us to create a shield, a coat of arms, for each hero.  You have a copy of a shield in the bulletin that I want you to work on.  I am asking you to create a coat of arms, or shield for each hero. 
            I did a little research on coat of arms and I discovered that when you create and decorate you would use different colors, shapes and symbols for your shield.  They all mean different things. 
            I discovered that shields can be used for protection in a battle.  This metal kept the swords from getting to you.  The shields were also used to identify you and your family.  They were also used to display your achievements, character, and values. 
            A shield or coat of arms can be passed down to each generation and remembered.    
 
2.)        Your job is to discover each hero from the Old Testament and create a shield.  I want to explore the stories of each hero as we answer these questions.  I want you to get something that you can put on the shield.      
            *What made them a hero?  *What can I learn from them so that I can be like them?  Those are things you can write, or symbolize or decorate on you shield. 
 
3.)        Our first hero is Noah that we read about in the book of Genesis.  We will focus on the key moments of his life.  
            In Genesis 6:9 – 12 we read, This is the account of Noah and his family.  Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.  Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.  God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.”
 
4.)        The scripture goes on to tell us that God was going to destroy the world because of the violence and corruption of the people.  The world was a bad place to live in.    
Noah was not a violent or corrupt man, his family was at peace with God and each other. 
God had a special job for Noah, a big job, a job that would express God’s heart to restore the world again to what God desired for people.  God wanted Noah to build an ark, a big ark.  God wanted the ark to be a place of life, a place of rescue, a place of salvation, a place of life. 
God was planning on bringing a flood to destroy the people and all living things.  It must have been a terrible time.    
            In Genesis we read that God promised Noah that he and his family would be safe on this ark when the floodwaters came.   God was concerned for the animals and told Noah to bring them board the ark, two by two, and make sure they had enough food to live on.  
 
5.)        Genesis 6:22 tells us these words.  “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” 
            Noah spent his days building the ark and when it was finished God told Noah to go into the ark and bring the animals.  The time was coming soon when the flood would start.  Genesis 7:5 tells us, “Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.” 
            The waters came and Noah and the animals were safe.  When the waters receded and they all left the ark God made another promise to Noah.  God said that He would never destroy the life on earth through the flood and rain.  Whenever the rain would be in the sky and the sun was shining just right a rainbow would appear.  This was the sign of God’s promise the He would not destrop the world.  When we see a beautiful rainbow we need to remember God.         
            As we explore what made Noah a hero here are a few things that I gleaned from scripture. 
 
6.)        a.)        Noah was a righteous man.  Noah was not a man of violence or corruption.  The way he lived his life is described as right and righteous before God.  
 
            b.)        Noah chose not to live as the people around him was living.  Like Noah we can choose to not live as the people around us are living.  We don’t have to be violent or corrupt.  Instead of looking at the negative examples of people and their wrong relationships let us focus on doing our best to live in a right relationship with God.    
            God said that Noah was righteous.  We know that the way we can be righteous before God is through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We trust Christ that His death on the cross allows us to be in a right relationship with God.  We, though we have sin, are washed clean and can know God personally.  We are made right with God by faith. 
            When we are right with God we have peace in our hearts.  This is one way we can apply a truth from Noah’s life to ours.    
           
7.)        a.)        Noah listened, obeyed and used his hands for God.  Noah spent his time using his hands to build the ark.  This ark was 450 feet long by 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.  It is hard to imagine the size and scope of this ark.      
 
             b.)       Noah had a heart that was open to listening to God and hands that were used to serve the purposes of God.  Like Noah we can have a heart that is open and is willing to trust God.  We can yield our will so that God’s purpose is what is most important.  We can let God use our hands in whatever way God directs us. 
God might want us to build something, call someone, write someone, bake something, and give something.  We choose to be give up something as we follow God’s will.   We desire God’s purposes to be accomplished.  This involves sacrifice and giving of yourself fully to a greater purpose and goal.   
 
8)         Have you heard of the Iditarod?  That is the name of a race that is held every year in Alaska.  It is a 1000-mile dogsled race, run for prize money and prestige that commemorates an original "race" run to save lives.
Back in January of 1926, six-year-old Richard Stanley showed symptoms of diphtheria, signaling the possibility of an outbreak in the small town of Nome. When the boy passed away a day later, Dr. Curtis Welch began immunizing children and adults with an experimental but effective anti-diphtheria serum. But it wasn't long before Dr. Welch's supply ran out, and the nearest serum was in Nenana, Alaska--1000 miles of frozen wilderness away.
Amazingly, a group of trappers and prospectors volunteered to cover the distance with their dog teams! Operating in relays from trading post to trapping station and beyond, one sled started out from Nome while another, carrying the serum, started from Nenana. Oblivious to frostbite, fatigue, and exhaustion, the teamsters mushed relentlessly until, after 144 hours in minus 50-degree winds, the serum was delivered to Nome. As a result, only one other life was lost to the potential epidemic. Their sacrifice had given an entire town the gift of life.
            All the people were using their hands the purpose of saving lives.    
 
9.)        a.)        Noah used his hands for a long time building this ark.  When we understand the size and what he would need to get materials and put it together this was a long term project.   
 
b.)        Noah continued building the ark for a long time and persevered.  Like Noah we need to have a long range perspective of what God needs us to do.  We continue to be faithful.    
            If you invest a little bit of money faithfully for a long time that little amount of money will grow and become a lot of money.  If you save $100 a month for 30 years at 7% interest you will have over $122,000.      
            If you want a marriage to last a long time you have to invest in your marriage.  You can celebrate special times and have a “rich” relationship because you have given time, energy and money to one another over a long time.    
 
10.)      God had a special purpose for Noah.  God has a special purpose for your life.  God wants to use your life and your journey to bring restoration and hope to someone, to some family, to some community, church organization.  
            Will you live in a right relationship with God?  Will you listen and use your hands for God’s purposes?  Will you perseveres for a long time as an obedient servant? 
 
11.)      Can you imagine Noah getting discourage in his life at all?  I believe he did from time to time.  He wondered if his right living was worth it.  He was spending his time building this ark for a long time.  We don’t read this in scripture but he was human.    
            Do you ever get discouraged in your life?  I believe we all do from time to time.  Let us look to Noah as our hero for the way he lives his live and how God used him. 
 
12.)      Do you know that now is the best time to plant flower bulbs?  It is now!  Bulbs must be planted in the fall to get some of their root established before the freezing temperatures.  They won’t grow and bloom but they will begin to be established and ready for Spring.  Have any of you planted any bulbs this fall yet?     
            Do you know when the best time to plant your faith in God so that you will see growth and beauty in your life?  Now is the best time.  Get your heart rooted in God’s word, truth and others.  I hope that somehow you have been inspired as you have thought about Noah to begin today to trust God and plant your heart anew into the soil of God’s purpose.    
 
Prayer – Lord, we thank you for your love for us.  Give us courage to be right with you and use our hands for your purposes today, and the next day, and the next day as you fulfill your purposes and plans.   We glorify you Lord.  Amen.