Message From Matt | December 7, 2017

 

Hey everyone I have a question for you… 

Have you ever been lost?  For example, have you ever been driving along and then realize that you’re lost and not sure where to go?  Or have you ever been hiking in the woods and gotten confused on how to get back out?  Or forgotten where you parked your car at the mall on the busiest day of the year and can’t find it?  Maybe you are directionally challenged?  If you are or have ever been lost, I think that you will agree that it’s not a great feeling!  After all, no one wants to be lost!   In fact, most people want to know where they’re going and how to get there.  

A couple of thousand years ago there were some Jewish people that I believed felt lost.  They were oppressed, poor and the hope of a bright future seemed impossible.  They were God’s chosen people but they couldn’t have felt blessed!  As a dad myself, I wonder how the Jewish dads had to feel to not be able to provide for their  family as well as they would have liked or to feel like they  gave their  children the very best chance of success in their lives.  I wonder if these dads felt lost?  I wonder if they felt like there was no hope? I wonder about the Jewish moms.  I wonder what they felt like when they couldn’t put enough food on the table, or able to see their children live in true freedom.  I wonder if these moms felt lost?  I wonder if they felt like there was no hope? What about the children?  Were they ever really happy? 

But then something happened…

Luke 2:8-14 states…

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” 
 
Christ’s birth was not  like any other!  It was miraculous given the fact that His mother was a virgin!  It was glorious because God Himself came down as a little baby to be the Saviour of the world!  It was marvelous because now the world had hope and light amidst its darkness!  It was great because it gave a “breath of fresh air” to a people without hope or direction in their lives.  These people, although still under oppression, had something good finally happening in their lives.  What the angel said sums it up best, “…Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
 
Jesus coming to earth is marvelous, glorious, miraculous and great!  His presence brings light into a dark world and hope to a people who are hopeless.  Upon hearing about the birth of Christ, Simeon said this about the baby Jesus, “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:32).  In fact…
  • Jesus is the LIGHT (John 8:12) to enlighten the way to the Father!
  • Jesus is the WAY (John 14:6) to the Father!
  • Jesus is the DOOR (John 10:9) to the Father!
  • and so much more!

Jesus’ birth (and his death and resurrection) gives us HOPE!  The Holy Spirit and Word of God gives us DIRECTION and PEACE so we don’t have to feel lost!  We don’t have to feel like there is no hope!  I know that things can get tough and the world can be a cruel place to live at times, but we can rise above all of this because we have Jesus!  Jesus is the WAY!  Jesus is the TRUTH!  Jesus is the LIFE!  Let’s praise God today for giving us Jesus!  A good question today is, what would we do without Jesus?

On Sunday we will be talking about Treasuring Christ, because He is the WAY – I’ll see you there! 

Matt  | John 10:10



Message from Matt | November 5th, 2017

 

I am sure that all of you remember the old phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” I remember saying that as a little kid to someone as a way of showing them that no matter what they said, it wouldn’t affect me Even though I said that line, the truth is that I would be hurt by the words that were said and I just used that phrase as a way to cover my emotions and anger! Looking back, at times, I would have rather had the sticks or stones!

The truth is that we can do a lot of damage with our mouths, but we can also do a lot of good! Today, we will read again what Paul said to the church in Ephesus about renewing the mind and changing our words/mouth (Ephesians 4). I believe that Paul is telling the church that when they renew their minds, it becomes easier to “speak the truth in love” (15), to put away lying and speak the truth (25), to be angry and sin not (26), and to not have any corrupt communication come out of their mouths (29). These all apply to us and are all very good things, but what is the purpose? In context with this chapter, the purpose is to edify one another and minister grace to those you are speaking to (29)! Are our words, or have our words, been used to edify (build up) others or been used to tear others down? Have we ministered grace to others by our words? What does it even mean to “minister grace”? I hope that after today’s message, we will all have a fresh understanding of how to use our words for good and for God’s purposes!



Message From Matt | November 2nd 2017

 

 
Good afternoon,
Have you read James 3 lately?  If not, read it today and it will remind you just how powerful the tongue (mouth) can be!  In fact, even though the tongue is small, it is powerful enough to cause a lot of problems!  Have you ever said anything that you regret?  Have you ever said something that has caused a lot of pain to others and to yourself?  Of course!  We all have!  And, since we all have said things we shouldn’t have, I’m sure that we have also asked ourselves, “Why did I say that?” or “Where did that come from?” It is here that I refer to Luke 6:45 that says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”  So where does good or bad speaking come from?  Your heart!  Since the heart and mind are synonymous in the Bible (Proverbs 23:7), I believe we can safely  say that what you put in your mind will come out  your mouth!  This is why I spoke on renewing your mind last Sunday!  If we are going to change our mouths we have to renew our minds!
  Does your mouth (your words) need to be changed today?  Have you already said something today that you wished you hadn’t?  Don’t sit on it too long, take care of it as soon as possible!  Here’s what I  think you should do:
  1. Repent 
  2. Ask forgiveness of those you may have offended with your words! 
  3. Don’t get hung up on what you have done or said in the past, rest in the forgiveness of God. 
  4. Renew your mind by focusing on God’s Word and let God change your words.  James 3:8 states, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”  Under your own power, you can do little to stop the effects of the tongue in your life, but when focusing on God, you will have your mind renewed and your mouth changed!

I believe that if you will do this, you might not get the immediate response you desire from the offended party, but you will rest easy knowing that you have done what God has commanded you to do. Be in peace today – don’t let your mind and mouth get in the way of that!