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!



Thursday Thoughts | 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!



Thursday Thoughts | September 10, 2017

 

Are you risen with Christ? 

I ask that after reading Colossians Chapter 3 this morning in which the first 3 verses state, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”   
 
Of course, as a believer, we are risen with Christ through our faith in Him, but we must also never forget to continually “set our affection” on Him.  To do this, we are going to have to die to ourselves (3:5) on a regular basis.  Dying to ourselves is a process that consists of “putting off” fleshly characteristics and “putting on” godly characteristics.  Remember, in Christ you are a  “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and Paul reiterates this in Colossians 3:9-10 where he says we have put off the old man and have
 put on the new man.  The reality is that you are a new man (or woman) through your faith in Christ!  However, we are still in this world and not in our heavenly home yet and have enemies constantly trying to destroy us!  To combat this we must put off the bad and put on the good.  Put off the works of the flesh and put on the work of the Spirit.  
 
For example, Paul says in Colossians 3:8 to put off anger, wrath, blasphemy and filthy communication out of our mouth.  That makes sense, right?  Obviously those “put off” things are not of God and should not be part of the Christian’s life!  But they will be if we don’t fight against them, with help from God. This is where the “put on’s” come into play.  In Colossians 3:12-14
 Paul says that we are to put on “bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearance, forgiveness, etc…” with charity being the greatest of these things.  In this passage,  I find it interesting that the first thing to put off is anger and the first thing to put on is mercy.  The two are complete opposites, which is exactly the point.  

Do you find it easy to get angry at someone but hard to show them mercy? If so, why? Showing mercy shouldn’t be hard if we realize that we have been given much mercy!  When we stop and think about it, do we deserve God’s mercy?  NO!  Do we deserve God’s grace?  NO!  Should we be thankful that God has given us both?  YES!! Should we show mercy to those that we don’t like or who have hurt us deeply? YES!  I have sometimes found it hard to show mercy to people that have hurt me, then I realize that God has been so merciful to me, why hold onto anger that is only hurting me, not helping me? 

Are you holding onto anger or bitterness?  If so,  let it go and show mercy and grace.  It will be a freeing experience for yourself and a blessing to those that receive it!  If you struggle with a particular person in this regard, please picture them as a teacher once suggested to me…with a sign on them that says “For whom Christ died for!”.  If we see that in every person,  it will definitely change our perspective.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday and we will talk about God’s mercy further!