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Message From Matt | January 4, 2019

What Satan Attacks!
 
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:10-12
 
Have you ever felt attacked by the devil?  If you are a believer of Jesus Christ,  you most likely have been under attack and you definitely will be under attack in the future.  Or maybe, you might be under attack right now!   Whether you have been, are currently or will be under attack, let me express what you already know…the attacks from Satan are not fun, will cause stress in your life and will “mess” with your mind!  
 
But, how do we know what are attacks of the devil and what are things that might be caused from other sources?  If you asked that, good question!  This is something I have been asking as well.  We know that Satan is a multifaceted being that will use any means necessary to kill, steal and destroy you (John 10:10) but there are some specific areas in which he attacks you:  
 
Satan attacks your…
1. Faith!  Satan wants you to disbelieve God!  If he can get you to disbelieve God, then you are on the way of falling away from God.  Satan wants to put fear into your heart and mind and have you believe that God is not helping you!  If he can get you to focus on your problems more than focusing on the One that help you through your problems, then he counts that as a victory.  Fear and worry are the opposites of faith and devices that he uses to attack!  
2. Peace!  Once Satan attacks your faith, the peace that you have from God starts to erode!  It is an amazing experience to have your faith grow and realize that your peace is growing as well. BUT, it’s a sad thing when your faith decreases and your peace leaves!  One of the great benefits of being a child of God is to have peace!  The world is full of chaos, but abiding with God in prayer and thankfulness increases our faith (Philippians 4:6-9).
3. Purpose!  One of the most troubling things that anyone can go through is to not have purpose in life!  A lack of faith and peace leads to a lack of purpose!  When you are given over to faithlessness and worrying, you can eventually begin to wonder what’s the point of the Christian life?  Our entire perspective on life can be altered when we have little faith and peace and living for God can become not worth the effort.
When Satan attacks…
When does he attack?  Usually, it’s your most vulnerable time(s)!  Maybe it’s in the morning or maybe it’s at night in bed.  It doesn’t matter to Satan, he will use any means necessary.  Again, he attacks with fear!  He attacks your peace!  He attacks your purpose!  Peter calls him a “roaring lion, seeking whom he can devour” (1 Peter 5:8) and he is a master at his craft.  This is why we need to know how to fight against him.  
How to fight Satan’s attacks?
There are several ways to fight off his attacks but let me just give you three!  We fight off the devil by…
1. The Word of God!  As I have recently felt the attacks of Satan, the Word of God has been the greatest source of comfort that I have experienced.  There really is something to how the Holy Spirit works in us while we read, meditate and apply the Word to our lives.  If you aren’t already in the Word, make a plan to be in it.  Use your Bible or smart phone app to keep the Word in your mind.  When the devil attacks, read the Word!  
2. Prayer and 3. People!  Talking with God is great, but when you multiple people praying for you, it’s even greater!  You pray – always!  But, don’t be too prideful to ask others for help as well.  Pray that God will give you greater faith; greater peace; greater purpose!  
 
I am praying for us all that we will have greater faith, peace and purpose in 2019!  
See you Sunday!


Message From Matt | December 28, 2018

Exalt!  Equip!  Engage!

“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” – Mark 16:15

I was sitting at Panera again today working on thoughts for this message when I began to notice the sounds all around me.  Normally I am able to focus on the task at hand even in the middle of restaurant noise, but it was the language that I heard that caught my attention and made me stop and listen.  It wasn’t cursing, but rather, it was different languages that I was hearing. Sitting behind me was a Spanish speaking family that were really enjoying their time together.  A few tables to my left there was a family of middle eastern descent that was speaking in their native language.  Then I also heard a European family conversing over their meal that were sitting in front of me.  Then a few tables over from them was a group from what appeared to be the deep south, which had a different dialect altogether!  As I was listening, but not understanding the people around me, our church motto flashed in my mind!  If you don’t know what that is, it is simple (and written above the doors leading to the auditorium)…

Exalt Jesus Christ, Equip Disciples and Engage Community! 

  
The reason that it flashed to my mind is that for 68 + years our church has lived out the command in Mark 16:15 of going into all the world preaching the gospel of Christ, but now it seems more than ever before that “the world” is here!  Here in Indianapolis!  

By stating this truth that the world is with us here in Indy does not mean that we are going to stop our foreign missions focus!  I actually want to increase it!  What this does mean is that we have been given a great opportunity to reach the world in the “Crossroads of America” with the gospel of Jesus!

How do we do this? 

We prepare – Preparation is needed to be ready to share the gospel!  Spending time in God’s Word is the key!  Prayer is the heartbeat that makes it move!  

We look! –  Then we look for people to share the gospel with!  Ask God to help lead you to someone to talk with!  Don’t start slamming them with their eternal destination right from the get go, but begin a relationship with them so that they want to hear what you have to say!  

We talk! – When you find someone to talk with about the gospel, open your mouth and let God help you!  You won’t say everything perfect, but people will get the point. 

God has already done what He needs to do – it’s up to you now.  Let’s reach Indy for Christ!

Finally, I believe that God will do great things through the Indianapolis Baptist Temple in 2019 and I am strapping my seatbelt on for the ride that God is going to take us on!  

We are stronger together!  We are strongest together with God!

See you Sunday!



Message From Matt | December 21, 2018

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.  Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” – Matthew 2:16-18

 

This part of the Bible has to be one of the saddest that anyone can read!  It is sad because on account of one man’s wrath, insecurity, and pride, many babies were slaughtered so that the threat to his throne would be eliminated.  As a parent, I can’t imagine having one of my kids ripped from my arms and killed by an army that could easily overpower me.  There would literally be very little that I could do to stop it and I imagine  I would be left weeping and mourning and not able to be comforted!  Every time that I read this passage I try to imagine, but can’t fully, the horror that overtook that entire area by the atrocity of the killings.  

Because of this king’s wrath, many were killed, but yet Jesus was saved! 

 

As I have tried to fathom what the parents of the kids that were killed were going through, the thought didn’t escape me of what Joseph and Mary had to be going through as well.  Many kids were killed because of their son’s birth!  They were warned by God to leave so that  Jesus would be safe, but why weren’t the other parents warned?  What did they do to deserve this?  Why did their children have to die?  I wonder if Joseph and Mary thought these things as they had to hear about the slaughter.

 

I know that this event fulfilled prophecy so that  Jesus could be saved when He couldn’t make the choice for Himself, so that one day at age 33 He

could make the choice to die for our redemption (see 1 Timothy 1:15).  He was saved from the wrath of Herod so that He one day would take the wrath of God upon Himself for our sins.   In fact, Jesus became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) that we might receive the promise of the Holy Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:14

).  

 

God flipped the story!  God’s wrath was put on Jesus so that all can be saved!  

Jesus had to be born like He was (to a virgin) so He could die like He did (all God but still all man).  Christ’s birth was the greatest ever and His death was the most amazing act of sacrifice, but the best part of the story is that we now have life, joy, and hope through Jesus!  

 

This Christmas season, I hope that you will live this life to the fullest and appreciate every moment!  We have been given the greatest gift already – enjoy it!  

 

I hope that you have a great Christmas season and don’t forget that we have one morning service at 10:30 AM this Sunday and our Christmas Eve service begins at 6 PM!

 

See you Sunday!