Message From Matt |September 14, 2018

The Process!

I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am for all the ministry opportunities that God has given me in my life!  I have been able to go on mission trips and lead various groups within the church that have expanded my horizons.  I have been able to work with homeless and/or addicted men and see many lives changed through the effects of the gospel of Christ.  Currently, I am extremely honored to be the pastor at IBT and I often think to myself…why did God pick me to do these things?  In my mind, it still doesn’t make sense!  It doesn’t make sense because I still remember my beginnings.  I still remember me as a teenager that was average in certain areas and definitely afraid to speak in front of a group of people!  I remember my shortcomings and how I used to train my mind for failure rather than victory!  But God was working on me…and thankfully still is!  Because of His working in me, I can say that ” I am not what I once was“, but then I must also say “I am still not what I can be!”  
 
This is true because life is a process!  We should be constantly growing!  We live, we make mistakes, we should learn from those mistakes, then we should not make the same mistakes again…it’s a process! This truth works for our spiritual life as well as every aspect of our physical life.  The process is so very important for our long-term success in life and shouldn’t be overlooked or under estimated!  Think about your life!  Have you always lived right?  Probably not!  Are you living right now?  I hope so!  If so, why?  Is it because you have learned in the processes of life what is important and how we should live?  In the process of your experiences and realizing how God hasn’t given up on you, you begin to think about and do things differently!  

God’s work in you!

I love Philippians 1:6!  It states, Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  Never forget that once you become a believer in Jesus Christ, you always have God with you (Hebrews 13:5, John 14:16)!  He is working His process in you to make you of more use to Him!  Think about it this way…maybe you once did not give your tithe to the Lord, but through the process of teachings from God’s Word, hearing the testimony of other believers, and the Holy Spirit’s leading, you are now a giver!  Maybe you couldn’t ever think about praying out loud in church, but through the same process you are now a teacher of God’s Word!  I am always excited to see the fruit of God’s process in people’s lives, because the process is always about change!  Changing us to be more for Him!

Trust the Process….Trust God! 

I know that we oftentimes can try to do too many things on our own power without submitting to the processes of God.  I actually think that is one thing that God uses in His process…our frustration when our process doesn’t work!  So, the thing to do is to TRUST HIM! Even if things aren’t going right today…trust Him and His process!  He is working in you so submit to Him and see what He does!  His process works and works for our good!


Message From Matt | September 7, 2018

It’s a Wonderful Life! 

 

In our fallen world that is often filled with frustration and pain, the idea of having a wonderful life seems to be a far-fetched notion to many people…even Christians.  Sure, there are people that are “living the dream”, but there are far too many people whose lives are much less positive than that!  You probably know that the usual suspects that take the wind out of our sails in regards to living the good life end with the word “problems”: Health problems, marriage problems, money problems, job problems, etc…  We oftentimes talk about the problems in our lives like they are chained to us and we will never break free from their grip!  It is through these “

problems” of life that we are pushed to believe that there is no hope in these situations and we are encouraged to live defeated lives.  NO HOPE ALWAYS LEADS TO DEFEAT!  HOPE LEADS TO VICTORY!

 

Living defeated has never been mistaken for a wonderful life!  But, you know what I am going to say next…God didn’t send Jesus for us to live defeated lives!  Actually, Jesus came so that we can have an abundant life (John 10:10

)!  If Jesus came to do that for us, why is it that we can often feel  that this life isn’t wonderful at all?  Maybe there are a lot of reasons for this, and of course, not every believer is living defeated, but I think this problem is widespread enough throughout all of the family of God for it to be a concern.  

 

The Abundant life 

 

Although it might escape some of us on a daily basis, the abundant life isn’t impossible to have!  The abundant life is directly given by Christ and is available to all believers, but what exactly is it and how do we apply it?  Let’s start with what it is not:

 

  1. It’s not having a spiritual “To Do” list and checking off each box as if we are completing a chore and then waiting for God to bless us.  Have you heard anyone say, ”I have done my part, now it’s God’s turn to do His part!”?  (wrong motive)
  2. It’s not having an abundance of stuff! (wrong desire)
  3. It’s not having a problem free life (wrong thinking)

 

The Abundant life (the wonderful life) is:

 

  1. A deeper personal knowledge of Christ(Philippians 3:8) that leads to living in the confidence of Christ’s work in me (Philippians 1:6) which assures me that my future eternity is set in heaven (John 14:1-6) and that I can face life’s problems because I am more than a conquerer through Christ (Romans 8)!  

 

Today, no matter what battle you are facing, you can have the abundant life!  You might not have the greatest health or the amount of money in your bank account that you want, but those things can’t stop you from having the abundant life!  Those things can influence your thinking but if we focus on the right things (

Philippians 4

) they can not stop you from having the abundant life God has given you! 

 

Commit today to grow your knowledge of Christ and in doing so you will experience the abundant life!

 

See you Sunday!



Message From Matt | August 31, 2018

“That’s Life!”

When I was a kid I remember hearing about something called Murphy’s Law and I specifically remember having a calendar in our home that had different sayings to explain it.  If you are too young to know what Murphy’s Law is, it’s a common phrase used to express the thought that if anything can go wrong, then it will definitely go wrong!   For example, one of these laws states, “Anything that you try to fix will take you longer and cost you more than you thought.”   
I remember laughing at these sayings when I was younger and thinking that Mr. Murphy definitely had a negative outlook on life and viewed everything as “glass half empty” rather than “glass half full”!  

As I have gotten a little older, and wiser I hope, I have come to realize that many of these laws that Murphy gets credit for have some measure of truth to them.  Thinking about any household project that I have ever attempted, I can say for a certainty that the projects always took longer than I wanted them to take and cost me more than I wanted to pay!  Is that Murphy’s Law?  No, not really!  That’s just life!  

I don’t know why this comes as a surprise to so many, but this life isn’t fair!  This life isn’t always easy either and things happen that sometimes we don’t understand why it takes place and you might never know how to explain it, other than saying, “That’s just life!”

The Bible states many things about life that are not fair.  It states…

  • Life is short (like a vapor) – James 4:14
  • You will have troubles – John 16:33
  • People might not like you – Matthew 5:44 
  • There will be pain and tears in this life – Psalm 30:5

At this point can I get an “Amen” on the truth of these verses??!!

While all of this is true about the struggles of this life, there is a way for us to have a joy-filled abundant life here and not just waiting for it in the Kingdom or Heaven!  In the same Bible that talks about all the struggles that are in this world, there are many verses that say that we can still have a victorious life even in the midst of all the problems!  

  • You can have the abundant life – John 10:10
  • You can have peace in this life – Philippians 4
  • You can have joy in this life – Psalm 30:5
  • You can have purpose in this life – 1 Peter 2:9
  • and there is so much more that you can have!!!

If you’re struggling right now you are most assuredly not alone!  BUT, you can have victory!  How do we do it?  How can we have victory?  Come or tune in on Sunday as we begin a September series on LIFE that will show us from God’s Word how to have victory now as well as a look at eternal life after this life!  

See you on Sunday!