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Refuge: The Ark of Salvation

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Genesis 6:5-8 (NLT) The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. And the LORD said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” But Noah found favor with the LORD.

Genesis 6:17-22 “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die. But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood. Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive. And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.” So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.

Finding Refuge in the midst of destruction.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death.
James 1:15 Sin gives birth to death.

1. God always has a plan to preserve people for his purpose.
1 John 4:9-10 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

2. You have to go through the door.
Genesis 7:16…Then the LORD closed the door.…
John 10:9
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved…
John 14:6“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

3. But wait, only the righteous can come in.
Righteousness- Right standing w God. It’s the Standard!
Genesis 7:1 When everything was ready, the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the earth, I can see that you alone are righteous.

Noah was Obedient because he was Righteous!
Genesis 6:22 So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.
Genesis 7:5 So Noah did everything as the LORD commanded him.

4. However, righteousness comes by faith.
Noah was Righteous because of his faith!
Hebrews 11:7 It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.

Its not our obedience that saves us, It’s His!
Romans 5:17-19 (NLT) For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

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Refuge: Obedience

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Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

The Righteous Run to him thats what we do…but what about when we don’t?

Jonah 1:1-17 The LORD gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the LORD by sailing to Tarshish. But the LORD hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold. So the captain went down after him. “How can you sleep at a time like this?” he shouted. “Get up and pray to your god! Maybe he will pay attention to us and spare our lives.” Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, the lots identified Jonah as the culprit. “Why has this awful storm come down on us?” they demanded. “Who are you? What is your line of work? What country are you from? What is your nationality?” Jonah answered, “I am a Hebrew, and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.” The sailors were terrified when they heard this, for he had already told them he was running away from the LORD. “Oh, why did you do it?” they groaned. And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, “What should we do to you to stop this storm?” “Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” Instead, the sailors rowed even harder to get the ship to the land. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn’t make it. Then they cried out to the LORD, Jonah’s God. “O LORD,” they pleaded, “don’t make us die for this man’s sin. And don’t hold us responsible for his death. O LORD, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.” Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! The sailors were awestruck by the LORD’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.

The Way the Story Ends:
Jonah 3:4-5 On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.


Why did Jonah Run?
1. Was he rebellious?
2. Was he afraid?
3. He was angry!
Jonah 4:1-3 This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the LORD about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, LORD? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, LORD! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”

Refuge in Obedience.
1- Disobedience is personal.
Verse 3 “But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD.”

I John 5: 3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.

2- Obedience is ALWAYS the best choice.
Luke 12:4-5 “Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear.

>Some difficulty we bring on ourselves.
vs. 12 “I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.”

3- God is patient when we are immature.
“Sometimes God will provide refuge even in our disobedience to preserve us for his purpose.

4- Its not to late to run back to God!
Vs 17 “Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish.”
“Grace doesn’t eliminate the need for obedience it provides the opportunity for it.”


Romans 5:19
For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

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Refuge: Refining Our Stride

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Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

James 1:2-3 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

Daniel 3:1-7 (NLT) King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then he sent messages to the high officers, officials, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the provincial officials to come to the dedication of the statue he had set up. So all these officials came and stood before the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then a herald shouted out, “People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king’s command! When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue. Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” So at the sound of the musical instruments, all the people, whatever their race or nation or language, bowed to the ground and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Daniel 3:12 “But there are some Jews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—whom you have put in charge of the province of Babylon. They pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They refuse to serve your gods and do not worship the gold statue you have set up.”

Daniel 3:14-18 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

Never Bow Down
1. Never compromise the Mission
2. Never compromise the Message
3. Never compromise the
Core Methods

Resisting compromise:
1- Don’t get comfortable
1 Peter 2:11-12 (NIV) Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

2. Embrace your contrast
2 Corinthians 6:14, 17(NLT) Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?…(17)Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things…

3. Expect opposition.
John 15:18-19 (NLT) “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.
“I wonder if we don't see more miracles because we are living at the mercy of our culture and not dependent mercy of our God!”

4. Strengthen your stand-
Ephesians 6:13 (NIV) Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

5. Remember we are Never alone
Daniel 3:24-25 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?” “Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied. “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”

Matthew 28:20 “I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Isaiah 43:2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

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Refuge

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Psalm 91:1-16 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my refuge-- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Refuge: (ref·uge) Shelter or protection from danger or trouble: a place that provides shelter or protection

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

Strong Tower/ Tower of Refuge/ Watchtower.
1-Positioned Strategically
2-Protection

3- Place of Rest
4- Provisions
5- Personnel


The Name of the Lord:
Philippians 2:9-11 God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
John 14:13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it…
Acts 4:12 & 13 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
“Its one thing to know the name…It’s another thing to know the man.
Acts 19:15 “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?”

His Identity = Our Refuge.
Psalm 91:1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

El Shaddai- The almighty,
Genesis 17:1-6 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.” At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them!

“God changes our identity by revealing His!”

El Shaddai- The almighty:

1. Sufficient, All Sufficient.
2. Source of Nourishment.

3. Source Strength

Psalm 121:1-8 I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

Hebrews 4:16
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

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Faith & Faithfulness

Daniel 1:1-4 
"In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom 
there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans."

Daniel 1:5 "And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of 
that time they might serve before the king"

Daniel 1:7 
"To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel 
the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.”

Daniel 1:8 
"But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself."

Psalm 117:2 
"For great is His steadfast love towards us, and the faithfulness of The Lord endures forever."

1) His faithfulness is never changing

 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrew 13:8 

2) He is faithful even when we don't see it

2 Timothy 2:13  "If we are faithless, He remains faithful."

Romans 4:19-21 
"He considered His own body to be already dead (since he was about 100 years old) and also considered the deadness of Sarah's womb, without weakening in the faith. He did not waver in unbelief at God's promise, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to preform."

3) He is faithful even when His children haven't been 

Romans 3:3-4 
"What if some were unfaithful? Does their unfaithfulness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means!"
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