Message From Matt – April 24

Here’s a news flash…you are a created being!  Do you need a moment?  That’s not too hard to handle is it?
Ok, I know that you already know this truth but there is a good reason that I bring it up!  I bring it up to point out that since we are created, then there must  be a reason that we were created.  A creator must have a purpose for his creation or there would be no reason to create it!  
For example…the creator of the automobile created it to transport him farther and faster than the horse or bicycle!  The creators of the airplane created it to do even better than the automobile! The creator of the television created it to be used to entertain us and the creator of the creamy peanut butter and jelly sandwich created it to be the greatest sandwich ever!!!
So what was God’s purpose in creating us?
According to Isaiah, the purpose is clear; “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (Isaiah 43:7).  
First and foremost, we are created for God’s glory!  We are made in His image to glorify (praise and magnify in worship) Him!  In fact, everything that we do, even eating or drinking, we should do for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).  
You were created to glorify God! 
You might be asking yourself, what is it that I can do that will glorify God?  Good question!  Since there are multiple parts of the answer to that question (like obeying Him, loving God and loving others, being thankful to Him, etc..) I want to narrow this to just one answer…We glorify God when we give ourselves to serve Him and others, when we do good works!
Paul wrote about this to the Ephesians, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  (2:10).
You were created to do good works! 
Obeying God is a good work!  Loving God is a good work!  Serving others in the church and community is a good work!  Using the gifts that God gave you is a good work! 
Today, look for ways to glorify God and serve others.  This Sunday, ask our volunteer coordinator, Isabella, what you can do to help in the church and then glorify God with your service!  Let’s do what we were created to do!

Message From Matt – April 17

The Power of Words!
It’s amazing what words can do to us!  
I know that we all have bad days!  We can get in a “funk” at any time over things that are not going our way and that can lead us into a downward spiral of thoughts and emotions that often times are unreasonable.  I have found that when I’m in times like these, I can feel completely overwhelmed by these thoughts.  In the back of my mind I know that those thoughts are wrong!  I know that the devil is using those wrong thoughts to mess with my life!  I know that I need to get out of that rut of the mind, but it seems hard to shake!  The pressure of it all seems so…heavy!
Solomon talked about this in Proverbs 12:25 when he wrote, Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop,…” 
So what’s the fix for a heavy heart?  
Look at the last part of the Proverbs passage, “but a good word maketh it glad.” 
 A good word is the fix!  A good word can come from a spouse, child, neighbor or friend!  But, in my opinion, the best word is a truth from God’s Word and Holy Spirit that can speak into someone’s life.  His word reminds us of God’s love for us!  His word reminds us of what Jesus went through on the cross for us!  His word reminds us of the hope that we have through Jesus’ resurrection!  
During His crucifixion, Jesus said few words but they were very profound!  in His last few words He said, “It is Finished” (John 19:30).  His pre-resurrected life was over but that is not entirely what He was talking about!  What was finished was the fact that His sacrifice was complete!  He died for our sins and became the perfect sacrifice for our sins!  Our redemption was paid for!  In His last breath, His words (and actions) gave us the good word (gospel) that we desperately needed to hear!
So share a good word with someone today!  Share with them that Jesus paid it all on the cross for our redemption and that through His resurrection we have eternal life to look forward to!  
People are hurting and their hearts are “stooping” – give them God’s Word and pray that it will revitalize their heart!  God’s Word will encourage your heart as well.
I’m looking forward to celebrating the resurrection of Jesus this Sunday!  Communion is at 9:30 AM and the main service is at 10:30 AM.

Message From Matt – April 10

Something’s got to give!
I was driving on the interstate last week directly behind a semi that was wanting to get over into the slow lane but was blocked by a large van already there.  The semi was halfway in the lane before he realized that the van was there and had to swerve back into his lane. When the semi moved into the van’s lane, the van swerved onto the shoulder!  When the semi swerved back into his lane, the van moved off the shoulder!   After both the semi and van were in their original lanes,  the semi began to noticeably speed up to get around the van.  The problem then was that the van also sped up  so the semi couldn’t pass.  So, the semi slowed down…then the van slowed down!  The semi sped up…the van sped up.  This seemed to be going on for miles but it was probably only a mile or so before the van pulled off the interstate and onto his exit.  
These guys were both acting silly and their mild form of road rage thankfully ended peacefully but what a great illustration of human stubbornness!
Sometimes people (maybe your spouse, kids, co-workers or neighbors) get in your “lane”!  You are going along, minding your own business, and there they are…creating problems to make you swerve out of your lane!  
Oftentimes we can act like these drivers…wanting to retaliate and get our way!  Not wanting to surrender our right to be right.  But, when we do that, we end up looking as silly as these drivers but more importantly, we end up negatively affecting lives around us!   
It all can be avoided though.  What if we would give up our right to be right sooner rather than later?  What if we decided to surrender our will for the good of the other?  What if we decided not to respond in a negative, retaliatory way?  Wouldn’t that be so much better?
The great news is that we can!  You can swallow your pride and ask God to help you  respond in the appropriate way!  Take your verbal response to a person that has offended you for example.  Look what Solomon says in Proverbs 15:1“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”  Your response doesn’t have to be ungodly!  Your response to harsh words can be directed by God to turn away the anger in someone else…to turn away anger in ourselves too! 
So, something has to give!  When it comes to your response to hard and painful things – your pride should be the first thing to go!  When we do that, you will be amazed how God will bless your good heart attitude and restore fellowship with others!