Many times, our perceptions of Jesus and what “Real Life” looks like gets lost in translation. Through looking at 1 John 1, we can uncover what real life truly looks like. Real life is found in Jesus, real life happens in fellowship with God and other believers, and real life life comes when we accept the truth of the Gospel.
In Genesis, God prepared for the storm/flood by reaching out to Noah. In the midst of a world that was far from God, Noah found favor in God’s eyes and became his mouthpiece and speaker of truth. Looking at the world today, it is evident that we are in the midst of a spiritual storm. Pastor Brian examines the Noah account and points out what we can learn about spiritual living from Noah’s actions.
In Matthew 16, Jesus asks his disciples a question. “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” After the disciples answered, Jesus altered the question and asked, “But what about you? Who do you say that I am?” On September 9th, Pastor Brian unpacked the answer that Peter provided and challenged us to think about our own answers to that question.
In 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, Paul addresses a situation that had taken place in the church at Corinth in which the topic of forgiveness arises. Forgiveness can be challenging for many reasons. Forgiveness flies in the face of our humanity, but it can be a beautiful and life-giving process if we are willing to embark on the journey.
Forgiveness, Part 2
Forgiveness is a powerful thing. Holding grudges and past offenses against people can be damaging and emotionally harmful. As Pastor Brian continues to unpack the concept of forgiveness, he identifies those whom we are unable to forgive.
In life, there are many roads and paths to be taken, choices to be made, and courses to be set. Hebrews 11:8-10 points back to the story of Abraham that begins in Genesis 12. Abraham in faith set out on a journey following God without many details. Are you trusting God to lead you on the right path, or are you following an earthly course?
In life, voices consistently tell us that it would be easier to give up, back off, or take it easy. There are voices that push us to doubt, question, and be discouraged. In Hebrews 12, the writer points out that life can be difficult, but we must choose to follow God and persevere. What choices do you need to make?
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?
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.
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.
On July 1st, Pastor Brian continued the “Suit Up” series by examining the shield of faith mentioned in Ephesians 6:16. A shield is used for defense, but a shield also allows a soldier to march forward in battle making it an offensive weapon. The shield of faith is a gift…are you ready to receive it?
Covered in Blood
In part 5 of the “Suit Up” series, Pastor Brian focused on the helmet of salvation. He described the helmet as being an object of deliverance, an object of protection, and a gift from God. In life, sin comes speeding through life seeking to destroy our lives while the helmet serves as protection…if we are willing to receive the helmet of salvation.
The best defense is a good offense. Throughout the sermon series Pastor Brian unpacked the importance and the meaning of the Armor of God. The armor of God has two functions: to defend and to defeat. In part 6 of the “Suit Up” series he focused on the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) and the need to be on offense in the spiritual battle against the enemy.
On August 5th, Pastor Brian concluded the “Suit Up” by focusing on the need for prayer. God hears our prayers. In Ephesians 6:18, we see the need to see every circumstance as an opportunity to pray. No prayer is too small or too big for God, so we must boldly pray in every situation we encounter.
On July 22nd, Pastor Brandon focused on Matthew 22:1-14 which tells a parable about a wedding banquet. The parable ends with a puzzling statement, “Many are invited/called, but few are chosen.” This phrase leads to many questions…Why would God call someone and not chose him/her? What does it mean to be called? What does it mean to be chosen? God is sending an invitation to each of us, but we have a choice.
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.
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.
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?