Matthew

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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.

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.

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.

Be a Follower

January 7, 2018 | Matthew 16:24 | following, goals

The new year is upon us and with it many of us are setting goals we’d like to accomplish this year. We want to be winners and leaders. We want to achieve greatness in some arena of life. We want self-fulfillment. These are admirable goals, yet the way the world seeks such goals is very different from the way the Lord would have us take. For the Lord teaches us that the way to winning is losing, the way to self-fulfillment is self-denial, the way of greatness is serving. He teaches that in order to become a great leader, you must first learn to be a follower.

The world’s path is very different from the Lord’s. The world’s way may seem to work for a season, but many of us have tried to climb the ladder of success only to find that it was leaning against the wrong building. A man achieves that big promotion, but loses his family in the process. A woman tries to be a super-wife, a super-mom and seek super fulfillment in her career, but all she feels is super-burned-out. A teenager wears the latest fashions, listens to the latest tunes and tries to use all the latest lingo, but still feels alone and unaccepted at school.

Yet, as people of faith, we are not to live as the world lives. We’re supposed to be different. We don’t follow a philosophy, we follow a Person. We don’t follow a system, we follow our Savior. In the book of Matthew, Jesus described what it meant to answer the call to come after Him and be one of His followers. We can answer the call to be a follower of Jesus.

Red Christmas

December 17, 2017 | Matthew 1:18-25 | christmas

Have you noticed how prominent the color red is at Christmas? Red bows and red wrapping, red poinsettias and red holly berries, red striped candy canes, Santa’s suit is red, and even Rudolph’s nose! Red is everywhere this time of year! The color red reminds us of the love of God and the blood of Jesus, which He willing shed for our sins. We can’t really understand the meaning of Christmas without Easter. The cradle points to the cross. God’s “love ran red.”

In the gospel according to Matthew, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to announce that his betrothed, Mary, would give birth to a son who was God’s loving gift of salvation. We can trust in God’s Son as His loving gift of salvation.

White Christmas

December 10, 2017 | Matthew 2:1-12 | christmas

What is it about this song “White Christmas” that stirs us so? Isn’t it the desire to have the perfect Christmas? To experience the wonder and expectation that we once felt as a child? Don’t you desire to have the perfect Christmas? Don’t you feel the pressure to make it happen? To spend more money than you have in order to give your kids everything on their list? You decorate your house. You cook and clean. Because you want a “White,” a “Perfect,” Christmas. This longing for wonder and beauty, this longing for the eternal is in every human heart. It’s what moves us to dream of something perfect and lasting. It’s what moves us to worship.

In the book of Matthew the story of the birth of Jesus was told within the political backdrop of the times. Jesus was the one prophesied to be King, but He came in the most unexpected way. And from the beginning there was a battle between His Kingdom and the false king that usurped His Throne. The challenge for us is to remove our worship from the false king and to put our worship on the true King, Jesus Christ. After all, it’s His birthday we’re celebrating. Not ours.

Three Commitments to A Better Life

August 20, 2017 | Matthew 4:18-22 | three commitments

In the book of Matthew, Jesus challenged the disciples with a simple commitment: “Follow me.” Jesus called them to a relationship with Him. He called them to be Jesus-followers. Of course, this meant leaving everything else behind. It was such a simple commitment, yet it led to a radically better life. We can answer this same simple commitment to follow Jesus and experience the better life He promised.

Lose to Find

May 14, 2017 | Matthew 16:13-26 | identity

How do you answer the question, “Who am I?” For many of you, you’ve tied your identity to your name, “I’m John or I’m Susie.” Others might say, “I’m a father or mother, or I’m a husband or a wife, I’m a son or daughter, I’m a teacher, I’m a nurse, I’m a coach, I’m a dog-lover or cat-lover. How do you answer the question? In Tim Keller’s book, Making Sense of God, he describes two ways that people have found their identity. One, he calls the “traditional path,” where the individual finds identity from the community in which they are born and grow up. The second path, Keller calls the “modern” or “secular” approach. This is the new emphasis on looking “inward” to find the true self, where one’s desires and dreams are to dictate one’s identity.

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus told His followers that they must lose their former sense of self in order to find their true identity in Christ. The only way that we can discover our true, God-given identity is by losing our former one and finding our true identity in Christ. How can we find our true identity in Christ? The text gives three steps to finding your true identity in Christ.