Suit Up

Throughout the summer, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached a series on the Armor of God. The root text for each of these sermons can be found in Ephesians 6:10-18.

this means war

There is a spiritual war that rages on every moment of every day, and believers are called to join the battle. In the book of Daniel, he and his friends face multiple challenges in which their faith is tested and they must make a choice about whether they will engage in battle. They find strength in God's power and refuse to compromise themselves or their beliefs. There is much to be learned from their actions as we consider these questions: What are we battling? Are these battles we should be fighting? And if so, are we prepared?

Tailor made

Through looking at various events of David's life (specifically in 2 Samuel 11), Pastor Brian shows that in life, battles will come. The question is not "if" the battles and trials will come, but "when." The responsibility of believers is to be ready when that day comes. In this second part of the "Suit Up" series, Pastor Brian explains the first two pieces in the armor of God: the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness.

MAster peace

The third piece of the armor of God is for our feet to be "fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." Peace is foundational to adequately engage in battle. In the book of Joshua, we encounter a woman named Rahab who seemed to be at odds with peace. But through a powerful encounter with God and God's people, Rahab finds peace. This can be our story too.

Getting Focused When Life's a Blur

In a world filled with busy schedules, never ending emails, and lives that pull us in multiple directions at once, it is easy to lose focus on what's important. In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus encounters two sisters - one gets caught up in the chaos and one realizes that sitting at the feet of Jesus is the most important thing. Pastor Brian uses this text to encourage and challenge us to adjust our eyes to focus on Jesus.

Celebrating a Movement

This year, Hayworth celebrates 47 years at its' current location after being at the previous location for 47 years. In the weeks leading up to the celebration, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached about the movement of God within the life of the Church.

Movement

On May 6, Pastor launched a new series focused on unpacking the movement of God. In Acts 5:12-16 we learn that the apostles were able to perform miraculous signs and the number of believers increased exponentially. This movement of God was initiated by God. In this passage, everything that happens is directly linked to the prayers of the believers. Our prayer is that God would move and continue to move within our church, our community, our state, our nation, and our world.

Are you in the way?

In John 14:1-6, 10-15 Jesus is seen talking to disciples. It is here that Jesus says that he is THE WAY. Jesus is not one way to eternal life, he is the way. Jesus took our place and paid the price for our sins. In the book of Acts, the early followers of Jesus are called the Way. Being in THE way is a choice - every one of us in the way. The question is...which way? 

What Do I Still Lack?

In Matthew 19:20 a rich man approaches Jesus and asks what he must do to have eternal life. Jesus tells him that he must keep the commandments which the man admits he has done...but his life is still lacking. Accepting Jesus is just the first step, not the end of the journey. The man in Matthew 19 had the opportunity to go deeper, but chose to walk away. What will you choose? 

Engage

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Jesus' last words to his disciples before ascending into heaven reminded them of the importance of going into the world and telling everyone about Jesus. This series focuses on the importance of missions.

Catch and Release

On April 15th, Pastor Brian Matherlee launched a sermon series focusing on the topic of missions. Part 1 of the series entitled centers on Matthew 4:18-22 when Jesus calls/catches his first disciples. Jesus doesn't call/catch the disciples to keep them safely beside him, but instead releases them to go back into the world and make disciples.

Roads and chickens

In the story of the Good Samaritan, three men encounter a man who is in great need and are faced with a choice: go and help, or avoid the problem. In the story, the unlikely hero is the Samaritan man who valued people, specifically the injured man, over his position or title. Jesus has called us to serve and to love people, not to avoid those who are different from us or situations that might cost us something. Through the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37, Pastor Brian unpacks Jesus' words and how they should push us to action.

Tomb Raider

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Easter Sunday is a time of celebration because while Jesus' death was a reality, it did not stay a reality! The stone at the entrance of his tomb was rolled away and life was restored! Romans 4:17 reminds us that God has the ability to give life to things that are dead and call things into existence. God wants to do that in our lives - God wants to call something new into being in our lives. On April 1st, Pastor Brian Matherlee challenged us to pause and think about the "dead" areas of our lives in need of new life!

Paths

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During the weeks leading up to Easter, Pastor Brian preached three sermons revolving around pathways. The first talked about Jesus as a trailblazer overcoming trials. The second focuses on the path of discipleship. The final sermon in the series discusses the path of sin and where it leads.

 

"Trial" Blazer

 

 

 

On March 4th, Pastor Brian Matherlee reminded us that a life following Jesus is not a life free from trial and temptation. In fact, Matthew 4:1-11 reminds us that Jesus faced temptation in the middle of the desert. This story shows us the way to overcome spiritual battles in our lives. We can make it through the difficult times if we follow the trail blazed by Jesus! 

The Disciple's Path

In Matthew 16:21-27, Jesus explains to the disciples that a time is coming when he will suffer and die. The disciples are outraged at the thought of Jesus dying in the future, which leads to a conversation where Jesus begins to explain what it means to truly be a disciple. On March 11th, Pastor Brian Matherlee takes a deeper look at this passage and the steps of discipleship. 

The Path of Sin

On March 18th, Pastor Brian Matherlee spent time looking at many of the final events of Jesus' life. Our sin led to Jesus' death, and through examining the events in Luke 22-23, we see the path of sin and where it leads.

To Be With Jesus

On February 25th, Pastor Mark Wilson was at Hayworth for our Renew weekend. His sermon, rooted in Mark 3:13-16, focused on our calling to be WITH him. When Jesus called the disciples, he first called them to be with him. When we are truly with Jesus, we will desire to go with Jesus, and that will often lead outside our comfort zones. Being with Jesus is an adventure! 

Overcoming Discouragement

On February 18th, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, 10:1-4 on the topic of overcoming discouragement. Throughout our lives, we all face times of discouragement and do not "run" our Christian lives in such a way as to obtain the prize (see 1 Cor. 9:24). In reality, we all play on an equal playing field because we all have access to the grace of Jesus. Our attitudes and outlooks on life will determine how we act in the present, and when we allow discouragement to take root, the results can be detrimental. 

From Messed Up to Blessed

On February 11th, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached a sermon from Genesis 1:26-31. These verses tell the story of the creation of the first people, Adam and Eve. These two humans were blessed, they lived in perfect relationship with God, but they messed up. But there is hope. Have you messed up? You can be changed through God's Son, Jesus, and become the blessing you were always created to be.

Reset

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We don't get "do-overs" in life. While there are often things we wish we could do differently, it is impossible to go back in time and change the past. As we venture into a new year, we should examine our spiritual lives, and when needed, take steps to reset the areas in which we have gotten off track.

 

 

Reset: Part 1

New Years' Eve is a day filled with reflection - we reflect on the previous 365 days and we look forward to the possibilities of the coming year. On December 31st, Pastor Brian launched the Reset series by outlining the three areas of our lives that we have control over and are able to reset: our priorities, our point of view, and our purpose. These three areas that are in need of being rest are rooted in Paul's words in Colossians 3:1-4.

Reset: part 2

Fear can quickly and easily become a governing factor in our lives. On January 7th, Pastor Brian preached the second part of the Reset series and talked about the tension that exists between faith and fear. God does not call us to  be bound in fear, but rather to walk boldly in faith. Mark 5 is filled beautiful examples of the faith and fear tension, and Jesus shows the great power that faith has over fear. 

Reset: part 3 (Who you are)

On January 14th, Pastor Brian continued the Reset series. This sermon seeks to answer the question "Who do you think you are?" We often need to stop and remember that we were created by God for a purpose. Our identities are wrapped up in who we are in Christ. We are part of God's unfolding story. The primary text for this sermon is 1 Peter 2:4-12.

Reset part 4 (Learning to lean)

Pastor Brian Matherlee continued with Part 4 of the Reset series on January 21. Throughout the series, the emphasis has been on looking at how we can reset our point of view, priority, and purpose in different areas of the Christian life. Through the text of Psalm 40:1-8, Pastor Brian focuses on the topic of giving and learning to lean upon the Lord.

Reset: part 5 (What are we Waiting For?)

The book of Acts in the Bible begins with the account of Jesus ascending into heaven. His last words to the disciples were for them to wait for the Holy Spirit. Within just a few chapters in Acts, the Holy Spirit came and the stories that unfold tell about the great power of the Holy Spirit. Why is it that we still seem to be waiting? The gift of the Spirit has been given to believers...the time for waiting has passed! We are missing out on what God has for us because we are waiting. On January 28th, Pastor Brian challenges us to stop and answer the question: What have we been waiting for?