Message From Matt – September 6

“They Can’t Eat Me!”
This saying from Don Napier has helped me more than once to have a proper perspective when things seem to go haywire!  
When things go wrong, it seems that other things also begin to pile up on top of the problems that you already have and before you know it, you are feeling overwhelmed!  
Overwhelmed by people!  Overwhelmed by your people…family! Overwhelmed by problems!  Overwhelmed by your “to do” list!  
I think problems are unavoidable!  After all, God didn’t say you would have a problem-free life; in fact, it’s quite the opposite, He says you will have problems (see John 16:33)!  
BUT…we don’t have to live OVERWHELMED!
The 1st step is to step back from your situation and let go of all the crazy thoughts that come to your mind when you are overwhelmed!  You probably can relate to this one!  When you are overwhelmed, you can begin a snowball process in your mind that will have you thinking the craziest things…that most likely will not come true!  Don’t let the devil mess with you!  Just take a step back and breathe!  After all, they (people and problems) can’t eat you!
The 2nd step is to go to the Word!  After all, the Word of God is quick (alive) and powerful!  It is used by the Holy Spirit to speak life, truth and peace into you!  In fact, the best way to prevent being overwhelmed is to pray and read the Word often.  I love the following passages that give me a proper understanding of God’s power in any situation:

  • “”I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my sideI will not fear: What can man do unto me?” – Psalm 118:5-6
  • “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” – Romans 8:35-37

The 3rd step is to keep moving!  Don’t let overwhelmed feelings allow you to be defeated!  Use the things that God has given you to keep moving forward!  Don’t retreat!  Don’t surrender to those unhealthy feelings and begin the snowball of crazy thoughts!  Don’t give up!  
Remember that God is on your side…stay close to Him!

Message From Matt – August 29

Enough already!!!
Do you ever feel emotionally drained?  I know the answer to that question already because we all do from time to time.  With all of the ups and downs that life brings,  we can find ourselves throwing up our hands or wanting to throw in the towel…whatever that might mean!
Life has a way about it that can make you feel like you are on a roller coaster…sometimes you are soaring in the clouds and then other times you might be falling at a rapid descent!  The loops, turns and drops of life aren’t always fun but that’s just LIFE!  
Take for example what has happened in our church over the last few weeks with those who have passed away.  Melvin, Patti, Eva, Sam and Dan are a part of our IBT family and to experience their loss, especially bunched up together, is one of those turns in life that can leave us emotionally exhausted!  It is during these times of life that there are things that God gives us that can help us: 
1. PERSPECTIVE – I love this quote from Tony Evans regarding his wife’s 3rd bout with cancer…”If you’re going to learn to believe God at a deeper level, you are going to have to go through a deeper trial.  Focus on the purpose, not the pain.”  That’s not good perspective; that’s great perspective!  Realizing that our earthly trials, even death, are meant for the purpose of having a deeper level of faith!  To get to the mountaintop, you are first going to have to go through the valley.  Don’t focus on the pain, but put your mind on the goodness of God!
2. PROMISES – You won’t be forsaken or forgotten (Hebrews 13:5)!  You have a Heavenly home (John 14:1-3)!  You have a Great Shepherd that knows you (Psalm 23 and John 10)!  Whenever you are emotionally down or feel defeated, then go back to the Word!  Look at the promises that God gave you and believe them!  
3. PEOPLE – Our church is not filled with perfect people!  In fact, quite the opposite.  We are a group of people that don’t have it all together!  We can mess up, offend one another, and hopefully forgive one another.  We’re also a group that is friendly, loves God and wants to help one another.  We’re not a contradiction…we’re just a family!  In times like these, when our brothers and sisters have passed on, we need each other (Hebrews 10:24-25).
4. PRAYER – Even though this is last on the list, it should always be first in our minds.  We shouldn’t use prayer as a last option but it should be our first option.  Oftentimes we will try and try on our own, before prayer, thinking that we can fix a problem.  Let’s take our cares (1 Peter 5:7) to God before trying to fix it ourselves.  
While we’re on this topic, I want you to know that we are going to do something different on Sunday morning at 9:30 AM.  Instead of a normal lesson, then Q and A, we are going to read Scriptures that will encourage us and then have a time of corporate prayer with several men leading us.  I hope that this time will be  special and uplifting for anyone that might be emotionally and/or physically worn out.

Message From Matt – August 22

When Is He Coming Back?
If you live in Indianapolis you have heard this question asked probably every day, multiple times a day,  for the last month….”When is he coming back?”  
In fact, this question is probably “THE QUESTION” not only in our city but throughout all of the National Football League….when is Andrew Luck going to play football again?  
Listening to the sports radio station this morning, again the talk centered around Andrew  with questions like, “What actually is his injury?”; “When will he be able to practice?”; “Will he play week 1?”  The questions seem never-ending because it’s all that any Colts fan wants to know.
Since I am a Colts fan, and football fan in general, I too am asking these questions.  I question this because I want us to have a winning season and I think that the Colts won’t be as good of a football team without him!   I like how he plays!  I like the fact that he is considered to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league and that he plays for us!  I like that he seems like a genuinely nice guy!  BUT, I’m tired of wondering when he is coming back! I just want to see him back on the field now. The longer that he is not practicing. the more doubts arise in my mind.
Unfortunately, I think Christ followers can grow weary by the same question even though they are referring to a far greater person than Andrew Luck.  The promise of Jesus’ return has been spoken of for centuries, yet He still hasn’t returned!  Because of this ongoing question,  I believe that people get tired of wondering about His return and some, maybe many, start to doubt if it will ever happen!   It could even lead to Christians in Indianapolis wondering more about when Andrew is coming back than when Jesus is coming back!
But, if you believe the Word of God, then take heart…Jesus is coming back again!  I don’t know when, but I know He is coming back!  I know that what He promised will happen!
Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” – John 14:1-3
So don’t ever get tired of asking “When is He coming back?”  Actually, keep watching and waiting for that great day and never lose hope!