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!



Message From Matt | 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!



Message From Matt | August 31, 2017

 

I receive email devotionals from numerous sources on a daily basis and sometimes there are ones that really impact my day.  Such is a devotional that I read from Dr. Jack Graham regarding the priorities in our lives.  He included in his thoughts a true story of a man from Russia coming for his first visit to the United States for business.  Some of the men that he was working with wanted to take him to a professional football game to show him some American culture and experience a football game.  He saw the large crowd, the massive stadium and passion of the fans.  After the game, one of his business associates put his arm around him and said, “ What did you think of the game?”  The man paused for a moment and said, 
“I have never seen such first rate enthusiasm wasted on a second rate cause.” 
 
If you know me, you know that the NFL season is my favorite of all the sports genres.  It always has been and probably always will be (by the way, the NFL season starts 
September 7th
).  I love watching the game and can easily get caught up in it and before i realize it, I have spent the last 3 hours on the couch.  Then, after that game is over, I can watch a couple of other games that night and 2 others throughout the week. In all, I could easily watch 15 + hours of football per week for the 16 weeks of the regular season without giving it much thought!    At this point you might be thinking that I am going to tell you to stop watching as much football (or any other sport) as you do!  Actually, that is not my intent. I am still going to watch football and probably be disappointed with the Colts this year, but I am still going to watch because I love it.  
 
My real intent is to talk about the words from the Russian regarding the “first rate enthusiasm on a second rate cause” and what that implication means to me.  I am all for us having a enthusiasm for sports as it is completely biblical to have fun in this life!  I am all for us enjoying the abundant life that Christ gives us.  However, I am oftentimes frustrated with myself that I find more satisfaction with the things of this world rather than with the One who created this world.  I realize that I can easily give my first rate attention to second rate causes and over look the real reason that I am here for.  Are you like that?  If so, why do we do that?  There might be several reasons for this, but I want to give you one that I think is true in my life, maybe it fits yours as well. I that I can overlook how much better the “
taste of God’s goodness” is than anything that this life has to offer.  David wrote in Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord is good:…
”  When we experience God’s goodness and can see it in our lives, it is one of the greatest feelings that you will ever have and you want more of it!  Nothing in this earth can compare to it!  The question is, are you putting too much emphasis on second rate causes or are you focused on the first rate cause of growing closer to the Lord?  
 
  • Football and other sports are not bad things!  Watch it and have fun!  
  • Your show, whatever that is, may or may not be a bad thing!  If it isn’t, watch it and have fun!
  • Being close to your friends and family is a great thing!  Continue to do that!
  • Tasting and seeing the goodness of God in your life is the best thing!  Do that and experience real joy and everything else is just icing on the cake.
 
So how do we taste and see that God is good?  I hope to answer that this Sunday, see you there! Read  
Psalm 34
 to see what I am going to preach out of.