Message From Matt | May 18

The Real Dream Team!

During the 1992 summer Olympics, the world witnessed the greatest basketball team to ever set foot on a basketball court nicknamed the “Dream Team”!  This team was the first group of professionals allowed to play in the Olympics and our country sent our best to compete.  Our team consisted of  Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, David Robinson, 5 other top NBA players and 1 college player.  This team was UNSTOPPABLE!!!  They dominated every team with the average margin of victory in the 8 games that they played being 44 points.  The other teams were no match for this team and there are several stories about how the opposing players were in such awe of just being on the floor with these great players that winning wasn’t even in their plans.  One player, while trying to guard Magic Johnson, was actually caught waving to a teammate on the bench who had a camera ready to take a picture of the two together on the court.  

As a basketball fan I was “into” this team!  I watched the games! I bought the t-shirt!  I got motivated to play basketball better than I did before and I had great pride in the fact that my country had the greatest players in the world!  These guys were so good that they energized the basketball world.  They had great skills that were honed by thousands of hours of hard work to become some of the greatest individual players ever.  Their basketball greatness as a team was off the charts and they could shoot, dunk, pass and play better than any team…after all, they were the Dream Team!

The ability to score points made them the greatest basketball team ever, but there was a limit to their greatness!  While they did give us good entertainment for a few weeks in ‘92, they really didn’t do anything to make our lives better!  They didn’t pay our bills or fix our messes.  They didn’t give us hope in our hopeless situations!  They didn’t die for us because there was no other way of salvation!  They just played great basketball!  

To be fair, these guys couldn’t have done all these things for us even if they wanted to.  Besides, that was already taken care of a couple of thousand  years earlier.  The real Dream Team, as we all know, can be found throughout the Bible.  The Father, who loves us!  The Son, who died for us!  The Spirit, who dwells in us!  They have done everything for us and they really are the greatest!  

But this team is not resting on what they’ve already done but are still acting on our behalf.  Look what Romans 8:26 says about the Holy Spirit, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself taketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered.”  Romans 8:34 says about Jesus, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” 
 
Did you catch that?  The Holy Spirt and Jesus Christ are talking to the Father on your behalf!!!  I guarantee that Bird, Johnson and Jordan are not speaking to God on your behalf, but the greatest to ever walk on the earth is – how cool is that??  It is because of What Christ did (on the cross) and what the Holy Spirit did (in the tomb) that we have any hope in this life!  For them to continue on with us and for us should “blow you away” with how good God is to you!  

Today, know that you are not alone in your daily life!  Know that you have a dream team, the real Dream Team, that is on your side!  Because of Christ, you are more than a conqueror!  Because of the Holy Spirit, you know that once you die you will be with the Lord!  Because God loved you first, you have reasons to live!  Don’t worry today – you have a team of intercessors working on your behalf!

See you Sunday
Matt Roller
 
P.S. Read Romans 8 if you get a chance between now and Sunday morning!


Message From Matt | May 11

Help you to live!
 
Around our house, Bekah has told our kids for years the following statement, “Your dad helps you laugh, but I help you live”.  What she is referring to is that every once in a while I can actually be funny and incite laughter…I know, hard to believe!  However, the last part of that statement is not so hard to believe.  If we didn’t have her taking care of us as well as she does, we would be in a mess!! If you know Bekah, you know that she is humble and says this statement jokingly, but the truth is that she’s right!  She does so much for me and the kids that we would be lost without her.  She cooks, cleans, mends, fixes, teaches, encourages, provides taxi service, promotes God’s Word daily, and loves…she is amazing and I am a better husband, father and Christian because of her influence! 
If the kids only had me to rely on to live, they would most likely be malnourished of good food and filled with junk food!  They would have holes in their clothing and not because it’s fashionable! They probably wouldn’t keep a good schedule and would be disorganized.  Their overall outlook on life would be distorted and they would turn out to be depressed kids…Ok, maybe I’m joking a bit, but the truth is that she really does help us live!! 

Isn’t that what moms do?  

God hard-wired men and women differently and both are extremely important, but the importance of a mother can’t be overstated.  Of course,  there are and have been moms out there that we could define as “bad moms” but that is not the norm.  Most moms are the nurturers and protectors that God has hard-wired them to be and their influence is so great!  How do you influence?  There are probably many ways, but two ways that come to mind are through your words and your actions!  Your words and actions can be life givers to your family.  Let’s  look at these three examples…

Wilma Rudolph’s mother, Blanche, gave birth to her in 1940. She was a sickly child that had double pneumonia, polio and had to wear a leg brace on her left leg at one time.  Wilma was the 20th of 22 kids that her dad had by 2 different women and the doctors told her mother at one point that she would never walk…they were wrong!  Wilma went on to win a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympics at the age of 16 and 3 gold medals in the 1960 Olympics.  Her famous quote about her mother is… “My doctor told me I would never walk again, my mother told me that I would.  I believed my mother.”  Wilma’s mother influenced her to greatness by her words!

Charles and John Wesley’s mother was Susanna Wesley, who was the youngest of 25 children and would give birth to 19 children of which 10 would die in infancy.  She said about her influence on her children,  “I look upon every soul under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust.  I am not a man nor a minister, but I spare every night to discourse with each child apart, strengthening their faith in God our Saviour.”   Susanna influenced her children to greatness by her actions!

 

Timothy’s mother and grandmother are mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:5 as the role models of his faith as his father was not a believer (Acts 16:1).  They taught Timothy to trust in God and follow His ways (2 Timothy 3:14-17).  Mom and grandma shaped the formation of Timothy’s life of faith!  They influenced Timothy to greatness by their teaching and life!
 
Moms,  you have great influence!  Your words and actions can change and influence a life! God has created and shaped you into the person that you are to promote greatness in your family, and He will be there with you to help you!  Moms, you help us live and we thank you for all that you do for us!  We praise and thank God for you!
 
 
Matt Roller


Message From Matt | May 4, 2018

EVERYONE doing this TOGETHER!

Have you ever had something that you needed to do but as you tried to do it, it just seemed extremely hard and impossible to finish?  Well, that’s what writing this week’s message felt like…hard and the ideas were not coming!  After struggling for a while and feeling like I wanted to pull out whatever hair I had left on my head,  I decided to take a break and watch some of the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers game.  The game was a good distraction from my frustration, and after a few minutes, I  found myself getting somewhat caught up in the action on the court.  It was the Celtics that caught my attention the most because they were down by 20+ points in the first half while playing on their home court.  Even though it was too early to tell if they would win or lose,  it definitely looked like they were heading for a blowout loss…then something happened that began to turn the game around! 

Their coach, Brad Stevens, called a timeout and got them all together.   He didn’t draw up any plays!  He didn’t cuss at them and tell them that they weren’t worth all the millions that they get paid!  He didn’t throw his clipboard and act like a mad man on the sideline!  According to the reporter, the coach simply told the guys that to get back into the game and have a shot at winning, they were going to have to play together!  The reporter went on to emphasize that Stephens said over and over the same word during his speech, the word “EVERYONE”!!!  He said to win, everyone had to do their part and work hard and success could happen!  To make a long story short, guess what happened? The Celtics won the game!!  The first half looked miserable for them but the end turned out far better because they listened and believed in what the coach was telling them and went out motivated!

The game got me thinking about our lives.  As individuals, we can have days that nothing is going right!  The days can seem long and hard and make us feel like we are down by 20 + and there is no chance for a comeback!  This can also happen in churches too!  We can go through some long, hard, and dry times and feel that we are not being collectively victorious!

If any of those defeated thoughts seem to be an accurate description of you right now. can I give you a pep talk?  You are not alone and you are part of a much larger family/team (Ephesians 2:19)!  Even though your past looked hopeless, your future is bright and filled with hope (Ephesians 2:11-18)! That together we can be united to serve a greater purpose than we can imagine on our own (Colossians 2:2).  Through Jesus Christ you are complete (Colossians 2:10)!!!  Look at this verse…”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:” – Philippians 1:6.  
That means that what God started in you will be propelled by Him to carry you through this life until Jesus returns…no matter what you are going through!
 
Matt Roller