Message From Matt | November 30, 2018

The 3 T’s 
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
When I worked for Wheeler Mission, I had the great opportunity to speak twice a year to Professor Charles William’s class at Butler University about homelessness, addictions and mental health and what we were doing to help individuals that were living in those situations.  The talks were interactive and it was always something that I looked forward to.  At the end of each talk Professor Williams would conclude the class with his plea for the students to use their “Three T’s” (3T’s).  My first visit to the class was the first time that I heard about these and since then it has always stuck with me. The 3T’s are simple: it’s your Time, Talent and Treasury!  
Whether you believe it or not,  here is the truth about the 3T’s….we all have them!  Even if you have a crazy schedule, you still have some time to give!  You might be one of those people who say you don’t have talent, but every single person has at least one talent!  You might have a little money or a lot of money, but we all can give!  Maybe you don’t have a lot of these three things to give, but let me encourage you with this truth….you don’t have to have a great amount of any of the 3T’s to make an impact!  Remember the Bible account of the poor widow who gave all that she had (Luke 21:1-4)?  She probably didn’t have much of the 3T’s either but it didn’t matter, she gave all that she had and is great proof that even the small things that we do can make a big impact!  She lived out 2 Corinthians 9“if you sow bountifully you shall also reap bountifully!” 
It’s a Heart thing!
What you purpose in your heart to do, that’s what you will do!  If you purpose that you can’t give much of your 3T’s, then you won’t give.  If you dopurpose to give, then you will; It’s all a matter of the heart!  When I determine to give and then do it, God has always shown me that He will take care of me (Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 37:25-26).  When He takes care of me, then it builds my faith and makes me want to continue the process!  However, if we don’t want to give of any of the 3T’s, then it shows a poor heart condition!  God wants us to give because we want to!  He wants us to give cheerfully and not begrudgingly!  He doesn’t want you to feel like you have to give…He wants you to desire to give!  He wants us with joy to give just a fraction of what He has given us!  He wants us to sacrifice just a fraction of what He sacrificed!  He wants our hearts more than He wants our money!  He knows that if our heart is right, then giving of the 3T’s will be done  right! 
God will take care of you!
Let me repeat this, God will always take care of you!  He has the amazing ability to take what you have, even if you think it’s a little, and make something big happen with it!  Some think that It’s easy to give when your money situation is good, but what if your money situation won’t be good until you give?  What if you won’t reach your full potential of talent until you start using the talent that you have?  What if you will never have enough time unless you start using your time for Him?  
We can easily misuse our money, time and talent! I have done that a lot in my life but God has given us instruction on how to spend our money…You Obey/Work/Give/Save = Your Needs are taken Care of = You have Greater faith!!
Let me end with this oldie but goodie, you can never out give God!  
Look for ways to give your 3T’s every day!

See you Sunday!

Message From Matt | November 23, 2018

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”  Hebrews 13:15-16
What pleases God?
According to this passage, the things that please God are to 1) Do Good, and 2Communicate Good Continually!  Let’s not overthink what this means because it’s simple…we should “do good” to others and for God!  It pleases Him when His children obey His Word and Spirit…this is doing good!  It pleases Him when we sacrifice of ourselves for the good of others…this is doing good!  It pleases Him when we let go of pride and ask forgiveness of someone that we have offended…this is doing good!  There are many ways that we can “do good” and we should always be looking for ways to do this!  But, the verse says that we should also communicate good things as well!  
Our words are important and they are powerful tools that can be used for destruction or edification!  They can be used to complain or they can be used to show the gratitude in our heart no matter what happens.  Life doesn’t always go the way that we want it to and there are times when the stresses of it can overwhelm us.  It could be finances, relationships, kids going down the wrong path, or feeling like we don’t have much good going on that  causes us to not want to  praise Him but we have to resist that temptation and commit to thank Him!   This might be you right now!  If so, maybe you think, “praising God is a sacrifice!”  Maybe you are in a place that you haven’t been praising God at all!  I think that there are several  reasons for this, here are a few examples:

  1. We get caught up in everyday life and forget!
  2. Things aren’t going our way and we don’t feel joyful!
  3. We have loss and wonder why God allowed it to happen! 
  4. Maybe your Thanksgiving day wasn’t anything to be thankful for and family strife was at an all-time high?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

If any of these are happening now to you then do yourself a favor and just breathe!  Then start thinking about all the good things that God has done for you and I will guarantee you that your reasons to be thankful are greater than the things that drag you down!  Our problem many times is that we focus on what we don’t have (or what is going wrong) and don’t stop to think about all the good that we do have! 
Will you take a moment right now and write down 5 things on paper that God has done for you?

  1. ______________________________________________________

       2.  ______________________________________________________
       3.  ______________________________________________________
       4.  ______________________________________________________
       5.  ______________________________________________________
The last thought for today is that a complaining attitude about the problems in our life is a sign that we might not trust God!  A grateful attitude shows that we trust Him!  God does not like a critical and complaining attitude!  No matter what is happening in your life today, choose to be thankful!  Choose to trust Him!  As Dave Ramsey says, “We have better than what we deserve!” 

God bless you all today!  Bekah and I are grateful to call you friends!

Message From Matt | November 16, 2018

It seems like it’s everywhere!  Tension over money!  Tension over politics!  Tension over religion!  Tension because of crime and the lack of safety!  It is as if we live in a society where you can hear the ticking of a time bomb that is ready to explode at any moment!  
However, tension and chaos seem to be something that our society thrives on. Sitting in the dentist chair waiting for the dentist to arrive, the TV happened to be tuned to the “Maury Show” and I got to see yet again, more chaos and tension.  This trashy show has people come on to air out all their dirty laundry (if it’s even real) and the crowd soaks it up!  The greater the scandal, chaos, and tension, the louder and rowdier the audience gets!  To me, it’s a disgusting show, but to many in our society, it’s entertainment!  That’s why it (and many shows like it) continue to be on the air – because people love chaos and tension!  
Unfortunately, one of the areas that we see the most tension is in relationships!  Just this week, I was walking into a gas station and found myself walking into a sea of tension.  One couple were yelling and cussing about some issue as they were walking out the door and another young couple with their small boys were inside having an argument.  It was during a small break in their tension that one of their young sons yelled loudly to the dad, “Daddy, Mommy said that you two were going to get a divorce” which precipitated another argument!  After paying my bill, I left the gas station with emotions of sadness for these couples (especially for the kids) even though I didn’t know them, because that type of tension (relationships) is disturbing.    
The reality is that the world will always have tension in it!  But, how do we break free from it?  Let the truth about Christ change every aspect of our life!
Paul wrote in Colossians 3:15-17, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”  
These words are following Paul’s admonition to PUT OFF the old man and PUT ON the new man!  When we decide that the “old man” way of life is not worth the effort, we will then start living freer from the tension of this world and our worldly decisions and start living in peace!  Peace is so much better than tension but God knows that we can’t achieve that on our own!  We need Him to help us!  So, He gave us His Spirit!  He gave us His Word!  He gave us His Son!  He gave us each other!  We have all that we need to live free from chaos, but are we using it?  
If you are struggling today with  the tension that this world’s chaos causes, start thinking about God’s Words and “dwell” on that!   If you’re struggling with depressive thoughts, start thinking about all the good that God has done for you and sing His praises…go on, sing out loud about it!!!  Be thankful and go all out for Him!  We can’t stop the chaos and tension around us, but we sure can stop the tension inside of us!  This is what God does for us – gives us peace in the storm!

See you Sunday!