Who is at The Controls?

Perseverance, nicknamed Percy, is an SUV-sized Mars rover designed to explore Jezero Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. It was manufactured by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and launched on 30 July 2020 at 11:50:00 UTC (coordinated universal time). Confirmation that the rover successfully landed on Mars was received on 18 February 2021 at 20:55 UTC. As of 23 February 2021, Perseverance has been on Mars for 5 sols (5 Earth days).
Perseverance has a similar design to its predecessor rover, Curiosity, from which it was moderately upgraded; it carries seven primary payload instruments, 19 cameras, and two microphones. The rover is also carrying the mini-helicopter Ingenuity, an experimental aircraft that will attempt the first powered flight on another planet.
The rover’s goals include looking for past Martian environments capable of supporting life, seeking out possible microbial life in those environments, collecting rock and soil samples to store on the Martian surface, and testing oxygen production from the Martian atmosphere to prepare for future manned missions.
It was amazing to see NASA’s control centers with thousands of scientists and technicians working together to successfully land Perseverance. They were in control of every aspect of the craft. It was beautiful to watch.
Control. What is ‘being in control’ like? Having control over something or in a situation means that we can manipulate the situation and steer it as we wish.
What is ‘being out of control’ like? A woman, who had been involved in an accident, was filling out the police report. “I hit a patch of ice, my car began to spin counterclockwise. I hit the curb at which point my car began to spin clockwise. After that I narrowly avoided getting a house and a telephone pole. And at that point I lost control of my vehicle.”
Let me reassure you. God is in control.
Acts 17:24-29 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.  From one-man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.  God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.
He is in control of creation.
Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
He is in control of our lives
Mark 4:35-41 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
He is in control of the storms and weather (circumstances).
Revelation 21:1-7 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
He is in control of eternity.
Matthew 27: 45-54 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.  About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”  And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
He has control over everything. Job 1: 13-19 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,  a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby,  and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”  While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
The world is out of control. We can see this in the news reports on a daily basis. Have you ever thought,
“My God! What are you doing?”
“My God, what is going on?”
“God, what did I do to deserve this?”
“God, are you still in heaven?”
“Jesus, I thought that you loved me!”
Why do bad things happen to good people? We see it every day. If God is in control, why do these horrible things happen?
Stay tuned. Part 2.
March 21, 2021 SERMON GOD IS IN CONTROL

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