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Unwrapping the Sovereign

December 16, 2018 | Matthew 2:1-12 | christmas

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When we unwrap Christmas, we see that Jesus is the Sovereign King. Having anyone else on the throne of your heart means that you have not yet understood the gift of Christmas. In the gospel according to Matthew, the child Jesus was revealed to the wise men to be the one truly born king of the Jews. We can recognize that Jesus is truly the one born king, not only of the Jews, but the Sovereign over all.

Heart for Our World

July 15, 2018 | Matthew 28:18-20 | three commitments

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Over the last two weeks, we’ve talked about the first two qualities of disciple-making, namely making disciples who have a heart for God and heart for each other. This week, we will focus on the third quality, Heart for Our World. In the gospel of Matthew, after Christ had been resurrected and just before his ascension, he called his disciples together on a mountain in Galilee to give them His Great Commission which expressed his loving heart for the people of this world. As disciples of Jesus, we have been given this same Great Commission to have Christ’s heart for the world.

Behold the Empty Tomb

April 1, 2018 | Matthew 28:1-10 | exposition, prophecy

The word “behold” is in the text three times. It means to “look upon with understanding, to see with the mind, to see with inward spiritual perception.” What do you see when you “behold the empty tomb?” In the gospel according to Matthew, he recorded the instructions that both the angel and Christ Himself gave to those who rightly beheld the empty tomb. When we rightly behold the empty tomb, we can live without fear, go and tell others about Jesus, and be ready to face Jesus.

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NLT).

February 14, 2018

Of all of the promises of God, the promise that the Spirit of Christ would always be with us is the sweetest. As Moses told the Lord, “We do not want to go if You do not go with us.” I’m so thankful that Jesus is always with us.

“Since David called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” (Matthew 22:45 NLT).

February 3, 2018

The Pharisees expected a Messiah to be born in the lineage of David that would overthrow Rome and restore Israel as a nation. They did not understand the prophecies that foretold the Messiah’s divinity. This was the point that Jesus wanted to make with them, that the Messiah would not only be in the lineage of David, but also the Son of God. He was trying to open their eyes to see that He was in fact, the Messiah, the son of David and the Son of God.

When the Pharisees asked Jesus a question, their motivation was usually to entrap (Matt. 22:35) or otherwise show Him to be in error. However, when Jesus asked them this question about the Messiah, His motive seems to be not to stump them, although that was the apparent outcome, but to reveal His true identity to them.

‘When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, “What do you want me to do for you?”’ (Matthew 20:32 NLT).

February 1, 2018

When Jesus hears, he stops. He makes time for those who cry out to Him. And even though He already knows what we need, He asks us to tell Him.

“What do you want me to do for you?” He asks.

Why does He ask this? I’m not sure, but I think it must be, so that in naming the thing, we are expressing our faith that He can do it. And we are showing our dependence on Him as a child with a parent. So, get specific with Him in your prayers. He wants to know exactly what you need from Him.

Vision Sunday 2018

January 28, 2018 | Matthew 28:18-20 | vision

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission which called them to make disciples of all nations and the Great Commandment which encouraged them to make disciples who had a heart of love. These two great statements give us the guiding vision from Jesus that the Church is to make disciples who have a heart of love. As we consider these two statements from Jesus, they help us understand why we exist as a local church.

“So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:4 NLT).

January 27, 2018

The disciples were constantly debating among themselves the question of who would be the greatest when Jesus came into His kingdom. They finally asked Jesus. He answered by calling a little child over to Him and saying that unless they repented of their sins and became as this child they wouldn’t even get into the kingdom of heaven, much less be great. For the currency of the kingdom isn’t the currency of the world. The currency of the kingdom is asking, not earning; it’s humbling oneself, not seeking glory. It’s welcoming a child on Christ’s behalf and in effect, welcoming Christ Himself.

Applying this to our church, it seems to me that those who willingly serve in our children’s ministries may be on to something…

Be Faithful

January 21, 2018 | Matthew 25:14-30 | faithfulness, goals

Americans love a success story. We love a winner. We may give out participation trophies to our kids, but once they’re grown up, we expect them to see second place as no better than last place.

But God’s economy is different than the world’s. His goal for you is not that you would be successful. God’s goal for you is that you would be faithful!

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them his goal for them to be faithful with the talents he had entrusted to them until his return. We can be faithful with what the Lord has entrusted to us until his return.

“Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.” (Matthew 12:32 NLT).

January 18, 2018

Yes. But it’s not what most people think. It’s not mass murder or some heinous crime. The blood of Christ is sufficient to cover any sin. But it cannot cover the continual, willful rejection of the Holy Spirit’s testimony concerning Jesus Christ. The Pharisees had witnessed Jesus setting a demon-possessed man free, restoring his sight and speech, yet they attributed the miracle to Satan. Even though they had knowledge of the Scriptures, which spoke of Christ, they had evidence of His miraculous power, they had the Spirit bearing witness to His identity… They willfully rejected Jesus. How can God forgive the one who will not recognize and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord? They have rejected the very One who would forgive them by rejecting and even speaking against the Holy Spirit who testifies of Jesus.