Focus on God Sermon Series

Which Foundation

In today’s message Pastor Jeremy Peugh preached on Matthew 7:24-27.

Looking at these verses of Matthew 7, the fundamental decision that Christians face is this; if you want to be a disciple, you have to do what Jesus says to do.

Jesus did say he who loves Me will obey my commandments.

Do we see and understand that obeying Jesus is what is best for us? Do we have that eternal perspective?

Storms will happen to all of us at one time or another.

What is the foundation of each of our lives; is it wisdom or foolishness?

What is the cost of discipleship, of obedience, putting His will before ours, of carrying our cross, of laying down our life and will for His?

Conversely, what is the cost of not being a disciple for each of us? How does this cost compare with the cost of being His disciple?

A closing question is this; are we His disciple?

Here is the bulletin for this week.

Inside Out

The passage for this week is Matt 7:15-20.

Who are we allowing to influence us, true teachers or false prophets? Consider also our non spiritual influences

A Christian is a person who encounters a new way of living and is learning to internalize a new value system.

It is sometimes easier to adopt the behaviors associated with a religion than internalizing the message and being transformed from the inside out by faith itself.

We don’t live a life of rule following; we live a life of blessing that flows from personal integration with the values that created the rules.

Here is the bulletin for this week.

Which Gate

The passage for this message is Matthew 7:13-14.

According to 2016 Barna research, most Americans indicate they think it would be difficult to have a natural and normal conversation with minority groups who are different from them.

Jesus now is inviting us to live in a kingdom, a spiritual reality, the sphere of God’s will where the primary law is love, because God is love.

The narrow gate is doing what Jesus said to do.

The broad gate is just doing anything else except seeking to obey Him in all things.

So then, a question to ask is, whose disciple will we be?

Ask

Pigs and Pearls

Looking at Matthew 7:6 specifically:

No one has ever taught or modeled the worth and dignity of every person and the universal command to love all people with the depth, clarity, and urgency of Jesus Christ.

The pig is not ready for the pearl so do not push it on them. Part of love is not just knowing what to say; it’s knowing when to say it and (maybe more importantly) knowing when not to say it.

The idea of pushing pearls on an unreceptive listener can happen in multiple ways; a common way is between or among friends where some believe and some do not.

Now the point of Jesus’ teaching here on the pearl and the pig is not, “Don’t confront.” It’s not, “Don’t set boundaries.” It’s not, “Don’t enforce consequences.” Jesus’ point is don’t force your wisdom on a non-receptive person.

Judge Not

Today’s message was on Matthew 7:1-6.

Judging one another, especially hypocritically, can be a problem for many of us.

Jesus actually got in trouble for His refusal to be judgmental toward people whom everybody else (especially religious leaders) was judging.

We must train ourselves to hold people responsible, discuss their failures, and even assign penalties where that is appropriate, without attacking their worth or forgetting their dignity as human beings.

Our Focus

In today’s message, Pastor Jeremy Peugh preached on Matthew 6:22-24.

The idea is that to live well, to live in God’s Kingdom, we need to see clearly; specifically, we need to see the worth of things clearly.

Money can be a good and useful tool, but it is also a bad treasure.

We are shaped by whatever we desire, focus on, and devote ourselves to.

 

Treasures

Today Pastor Jeremy Peugh preached on treasures, treasures in Heaven specifically, per Matt 6:19-21.

Let us consider treasures in Heaven today. Let us not be overly concerned about things, especially the wrong ones. The only difference between the junk in the junkyard and merchandise at the stores is just time; treasure is junk waiting to happen.

Jesus is very pro-treasure, and He gives the greatest investment tip of all time. “But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven…” One way we can do that is the Great Commandment, love God with your heart, soul, mind, and strength and your neighbor as yourself.

God is so determined to treasure you that He sent His Son Jesus, to live, to teach, and then to die on a cross for you and not just you.

Every human being has an invisible price tag: eternal, image of God, worth the life of God’s Son.

Are we willing to treasure both ourselves and others as God does? Can we see others as He does, as people to love, to tell about our Lord and Savior?

Famine or Feast

The passage for today’s message is Matthew 6:16-18. Jesus is doing some teaching on not being like the hypocrites.

If Jesus fasted, why shouldn’t we? Why don’t we? Both Testaments of Scripture are full of examples of fasting.

Fasting, like athletics, requires training, practice. Will we train to run the race?

The spiritual disciplines are practices or activities that train us or give us power to live in the goodness of the Kingdom.

Our quest is to live in the kingdom, immersed in the power and love of God, not to see how many disciplines we can practice.

  1. Think of fasting as feasting on God.
  2. Think of fasting as caring.

In summary, fasting is in a way the Great Commandment, love God and neighbor.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

In this message Bryant Dougharty preached on the Lord’s Prayer, in Matthew 6:9-13. Here are some keys.

Why do we or should we focus on prayer? One answer is that prayer transforms us. We recognize God’s holiness and power, and get to call Him Father, because of our adoption into His family.

God’s kingdom is already here, so what is meant by Your Kingdom come? We are praying for our part in advancing His Kingdom. May we submit to His will even if the world is leading us otherwise. Do our hearts break for others whose lives are broken by habitual sin?

Do we trust God enough to provide for us, for our daily needs? Do we see Him as the ultimate provider?

Will we forgive others? This is hard, with loving our enemies among the hardest things we are called to do. See also Matthew 6:14-15 and John 20:19-23 about this.

God cannot tempt us but He may allow trials to occur in our lives which can lead to temptation and sin if we do not react in a Christ centered way. Will we love others out of their sin?

Does the rest of Matthew, 6:16-34, help shape the confidence with which we pray? It should. Look at the promises there. Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself.