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!