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Message From Matt | June 29, 2018

If you’re broken, don’t fix it!

Most guys that I know are fixers…at least we want to be!  

If there is a problem at work, we want to be the one to solve it!  If our wife or kids are sad we want to cheer them up!   If there is something or someone that needs to be rescued, we want to be the one to do it!  We always want to save the day and be a hero for the ones that we love and what’s wrong with that?  NOTHING!!  

I think that it is a great thing for men to step up to lead, help, and encourage everyone they connect with and there needs to be more of that going on. But what happens when we can’t fix things?  Generally, we get very frustrated!  Frustrated because we don’t like it when things are broken and we often can feel like a failure when we can’t fix it.  

Of course ladies can be “fixers” too, as this desire to fix broken things is universal and transcends genders.  However, whether you’re a man or a woman, there is a reality to accept.  The reality is that there are some things that are meant to be broken!  The question that goes along with that reality is, “What if the things that need to be broken are things that are a part of you?”  What if you are the one that needs to be broken?”
 
When I was younger I heard a phrase that has since stuck with me.  The phrase is, “God cannot fully use a man until He fully breaks a man!”   Although no one initially likes the thought of being broken (especially in our culture that promotes self- reliance and self- ability), I think this phrase is not only Biblical, but  is very practical!   
 
As a seed goes through the process of being broken so it can produce its fruit (see John 12:23-25), there are things that need to be broken in us so that we can produce greater fruit for God!  David knew this after he was confronted with his sins towards Uriah and Bathsheba.   He wrote In Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”  David knew that God wanted him to have a broken spirit and broken heart.  Once he had this brokenness, God was going to use it to mold him into a better man!  Through all of the dumb decisions that David made, the reason that he was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) is that he would become broken and repent of his sins.
 
David was great in many ways, but he also had sin patterns that needed to be broken in him!  Are there sin patterns that need to be broken in you?  The answer is most likely, yes!  The follow up question is, “Are you willing to be broken?” If so, ask God to show you what needs to be broken and ask Him for daily help to overcome these sinful habits and patterns.  He will show you!  He will help you!  Be open to being broken!“

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” – Psalm 34:18



Message From Matt | June 22, 2018

A Good Thing!

The hard reality is that life is not always fun!  Sometimes life can be a pain and you wish that you could go live on an island alone somewhere to get away from problems! There is bad health to deal with, bad crime rates to worry about, bad finances that lead to desperate decisions, and there are bad relationships that can cause a boatload of problems.  You don’t have to look too hard to see that there are bad things all around us and there can be so much bad that it can easily taint our outlook on life.  In fact, focusing too much on the bad can make a person grow cynical and critical towards God and towards others.  

Although we might not think we will ever be critical of God, the reality is that you can easily have this attitude and if you are not careful,  this can lead to bitterness!  Bitterness towards God and towards others!

One of the things that can help us with avoiding this type of attitude is to have a grateful heart rather than an ungrateful heart!  It’s having an attitude that no matter what situation is going on in your life, you are thankful for all that God has done for you!  Is this possible when you are going through tough times?  YES!  Not only is it possible, but it is a good thing to thank the Lord for all that He has done for you… but it becomes difficult to thank Him when we focus on the negative too much!  Here is a simple gauge to determine if you think about the negative too much:

  • When you are low on cash, do you constantly worry about your bills or do you work hard and trust in the Lord?
  • When you are not feeling well or received a bad report from the doctor, are you consumed with the “what if’s” of the diagnosis or do you trust that God’s work in your life will be as He wants it to be?
  • When you have unmet expectations in your marriage, do you assume the worst and give up or do you believe that you can do all things through Christ in you?

If your answers to these questions are the negative answers, maybe you are not focusing enough on what good you have from God because you’re focusing too much on what you don’t have.

When I get in this type of a negative mood, the thing that helps me get out of the funk is to realize all that God has done for me and all that He has in store for me!  I then start singing to God any praise song or hymn that I can think of and after a little while, my negativity is gone and I am left with thanking God for His grace!  When I get into the right frame of mind, I understand even more why the psalmist in Psalm 92:1-2 states, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.  To show forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,”. Because it is good to praise the Lord!  It is good to thank Him for all He does for us!  It is good to tell others about God’s lovingkindness that gave you another morning to praise Him and it’s good to tell others that it is God’s faithfulness that got you through the day!  Really, it’s all about what you focus on!

Paul stresses the right focus in life when writing Colossians.  He states in chapter 3…

  • “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above…” (1)
  • Set your affection on things above not on things of the earth” (2
  • “Mortify (kill) therefore your members which are upon the earth…”(5
  • “put off the old man with his deeds” (9)… put on the new man” (10)
  • Put on mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, forgiveness and charity (love in action) (12-14)

Paul writes…

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye 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.” – Colossians 3:15-17

These verses are a challenge for me to be thankful and to look to the Lord in all things!  I want to challenge you as well to look to God and be thankful for Him!  It is a good thing to give thanks to God!

See you Sunday!


Message from Matt | June 15, 2018

Our greatest need??
 
Have you ever thought about what our greatest need is?  I know that some will state the obvious things like oxygen or beating hearts.  Others might say coffee in the morning!  Still others might say Oreos, but of course that wouldn’t be me.  Although we do need oxygen and beating hearts to live, this is not the need that I am thinking about.  I do believe that forgiveness is mankind’s greatest need, because without accepting God’s forgiveness and free gift of eternal life, this life would be hopeless.  But in the life of the believer, who has already received God’s forgiveness, I believe that a great need, maybe our greatest need, is to continually and constantly hear from God!

I know that I am stating the obvious, but life seems to be more peaceful and filled with purpose and direction when we hear from God…doesn’t it?  Throughout the Scriptures this is proven to be the case and is especially shown in the lives of Saul and David. 

Near the end of Saul’s life (1 Samuel 27-31) we see that Saul was in a desperate situation!  He was foiled in his attempts to kill David.  He was without the Prophet Samuel that would give him direction, and worst of all, God was displeased with Saul for his disobedience and God “departed” from him (see 1 Samuel 28:6, 15-20).  The Lord wasn’t listening to or speaking to Saul…and Saul was lost.  Being as desperate as he was, Saul sought out the advice of a godless woman, the witch at En-dor, and through her sorcery Saul received the word that he didn’t want to hear – Israel would be defeated in battle and he and his sons would die!  
 
Then there is David.  David and his men, who happened to be staying with the Philistines at the time, were sent home from a battle only to find that their town was burned and their families stolen (1 Samuel 30:8)! After a lot of finger pointing and threats on David’s life, David sought the Lord and the Lord heard him and told him what to do!  The results were that David and his men recovered everyone and everything that was stolen from them.  David went into battle knowing that they would have victory because he believed what God told him!  

For David, hearing from God was the difference between him and Saul and that is the same for us today!  If you are a child of God, know that He is on your side!  He is always with you!  He makes you more than a conqueror!  BUT, even with all of those blessings, are we doing the things needed to hear from Him on a daily basis?  I am convinced that hearing from God is my greatest need as your pastor, and when I do hear, it is always an amazing feeling.  When I don’t hear, it is always because I am not spending time with Him or I have unconfessed sin that is hindering my fellowship with God!  

So how can you hear from Him? 

  1. If you are not already, become one of His children! (Romans 10:9,10, 13)
  2. Be in the Word and obey it! (Psalm 119)
  3. Confess your sins to God and repent on a regular basis! 

You don’t have to be perfect to hear from God because David certainly wasn’t, but we do need to place ourselves in the position to hear from Him.  

If you are struggling right now with a life challenge, take a few moments to spend some time praying and reading some Scriptures.  Ask the Lord for direction and follow His leading.  

Remember to believe in Hebrews 13:5! 

 

P.S. 
We do have Sunday School for all ages this Sunday at 9:30 AM and our worship service at 10:30 AM.  Looking forward to worshipping the Lord with you!