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Archive for the ‘Next – Weekend Preview’ Category

  1. Because I want to love you like Jesus – and 15% of what he says in the Gospels is about money.
  2. So we can dream about an avalanche of money going out to advance the kingdom of God in church planting and mercy ministries.
  3. Generous people are happier than stingy people.

I love what God’s doing in our life together through this series. We’ve got one more week in the Money series – I can’t wait to dig into Matthew 6:19-34 with you and watch God convince us to take real steps towards radical generosity.

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So I’m working on what I’m going to say on Sunday and I need to tell you something, but…

Well, what I need to say is the kind of thing I don’t like to say for two reasons:
1. Some of you won’t be at the gathering on Sunday; and
2. I am around churches that hype every week as the BIGGEST AND BEST SUNDAY IN THE HISTORY OF SUNDAYS!!!!!! Truth is, life simply doesn’t work that way. Sometimes today was better than yesterday, sometimes yesterday was better than today – and most of the time there’s not a whole lot of difference in our life from day to day.

So having said all of that, I’m looking at what’s coming together from Acts 1:8 and am stunned by what’s waiting for us on Sunday. In God’s timing and grace, we’re coming eyeball-to-page with Jesus’ promise to give us his Spirit who empowers us for his work in this world.

Without preaching to you here and now, I’ll just say this – I’m asking you to pray on your own and to show up on Sunday at 9:30 to pray that God would do Acts 1:8 in our midst: to melt us with his love and to mobilize us to convince the world around us that there’s a God who loves them deeply.

Biblically and historically, this is the language of revival. And because that word is both misunderstood and abused by students and Christians of a different theological flavor, we ignore and sometimes roll our eyes at talk of God doing such a thing.

But here’s the thing – to ignore or blow off what God has providentially set before us would be foolish – I believe he plans to pour out his Spirit on us in a way that convinces us in a new and powerful way that our God is great and good and glorious and gracious.

So if you have people around you who need to see Jesus, invite them to come with you. I know there are reasons to not invite them – you’re risking your relationship, they’re not interested, etc. – I’m giving you permission to roll the dice. Everything they need is something that only Jesus can provide – so bring them to meet Jesus on Sunday morning.

I love y’all and can’t wait to see what God is up to…

Matt

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Always a bit surreal to come back home and preach after a couple of weeks away – but I’m really enjoying the series on prayer and loved what John and Jared did while I was gone.

This Sunday we’re going to talk about praying for what really matters from Philippians 1:9-11. Probably a good idea if you read through it and jotted down some notes.

Aaron’s on vacation this week and next week so Ian Driver’s grabbin’ a guitar and microphone and leading the band this week. Biggest way you can help him is by showing up ready to make much of Jesus by singing like a teenaged girl at a Jonas Brothers concert (OK, that analogy broke down somewhere).

We’re looking for a team of people to help us out with the website, social media (Facebook and Twitter) and other techno-projects. If you want to talk more, you can email Aaron (aslaten@c2pca.org) and let him know you’re interested.

Looking forward to a great party at Bill and Joanne Bath’s pool on July 25th. If you’ve been the last two years, you can verify that chaos will inevitably ensue. Look for more details early next week.

See you Sunday morning at 9:30 to pray before the worship gathering. Kickoff’s at 10:00 – can’t wait to see you!

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Happy Father’s Day to all the dads at Christ Church. We’re cooking up a few things for you – including Fight Club 09 in Atlanta that you need to be at on August 1st.

Two ways you can get ready for our gathering on Sunday – read John 14-16 and figure out what Jesus says about prayer…and then go and do it. If you take what he says seriously, it will turn prayer upside down for you!

Congratulations to Jonathan Mayo and Emily Floyd on their wedding this weekend – I just wrapped up the (short) sermon on Colossians 1:15-22 and it should be a fun night.

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Hope everyone’s well – good to get my feet wet back in the pool of blogging after a two-week study leave and then our staff advance down in Destin. I’ve been working on what it looks like for us as a church to live and lead as missionaries here in our own backyard – looking forward to rolling some things out in front of you in the next month or so. I really think you’ll like it.

Last Sunday, we started a teaching series called Breathe, reminding us that the life we need is one where we breathe in who God is as he reveals himself to us and breathe out through prayer our needs, concerns and joys. We talked about the fact that God is our Father and as his children, we should pray by asking for anything and everything and trusting that he will always bring about what is best.

That picture of prayer – asking and trusting – is generating some great discussion. The next two weeks we’re going to talk about why we struggle to live this out: this Sunday we’ll be talking about why we don’t trust God to always be there for us and to alwasy work for our good. Remember that we pray together at 9:30 before the worship gathering begins at 10:00.

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This Sunday, we’re starting a short three-week teaching series entitled, ‘Who Is Jesus?’ I can’t tell you how thankful I am that the consistent feedback we receive from people who visit and land as part of Christ Church is that we’re a people and place who think that Jesus is a big deal. Truth is, he’s all we’ve got – as the Heidelberg Catechism puts it, our only hope in life and in death is that we belong to Jesus.

Unfortunately, one of the things that can happen when you talk about anything over a long period of time is that the thing that once shined with such luster becomes common and stale. So we need seasons like this where we brush up on what we know about who Jesus is and why that matters to any of us.

If you’ve been looking for a good time to bring someone with you to one of our worship gatherings, this would be a great week to invite them.

See you Sunday at 9:30 to pray before the worship gathering starts at 10:00.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms. This is a weekend that should be filled with gratitude – and the challenge is that we never know the physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological toll of motherhood until we become a parent. And even then, God has wired mamas and daddies differently. The result is that Mother’s Day has great potential for disappointment – even when we bring our A-game and try to serve and love our mothers well.

So here are a few ways I’d encourage you to express all that needs to be expressed to your mom this Sunday – and dads, the way your wife will be treated on Mother’s Day for the next fifty years is shaped by the way you model and train your kids to honor her.

  • Use words and take action. She needs to see and hear that she is loved and appreciated.
  • Think big and small. Find little ways to express your feelings and encourage demonstrative actions that make it impossible for Mom to feel under-appreciated.

If you have other ways to honor and express love and gratitude towards moms, then add them in the comments section below.

As a church, we believe that our primary responsibility is to help train kids to love and honor and bless their mom. That means that we want to recognize this as a special day for mothers but we won’t turn our worship gathering into a mother’s appreciation event. Why? For one reason, it’s not our place – that privilege and responsibility belongs to her children. And second, we have women in our church whose heart breaks every Mother’s Day – they want to be a mother and aren’t yet because of God’s providence; they struggle with infertility and are being told by their doctor that they can’t be a mother; kids have grown up and moved away, they’re growing up and moving away; we have women in our church who have been through abortions and are still wracked with guilt and pain that few of us will ever know.

So we will have some opportunity to express our love and appreciation to the women in our church who are moms – and I’m finding our teaching text (Exodus 40:34-38) has some encouragement and exhortations for mothers. But here’s the best thing I can do for you if you’re a mama – the way I can love you best is by pointing you to Jesus. My prayer for our mothers is that they would be thankful for real reminders of God’s grace to them and through them as mothers, as they cling to Jesus and the cross as their ultimate source of hope and delight.

So I look forward to seeing you in our gathering this Sunday. We have a baptism and I’m doing an interview with Will Henderson, who’s planting an Acts 29 church in Brisbane, Australia. Come early to pray with us at 9:30 and then we’ll get cranking at 10:00 as God gathers us to see and savor him as our ultimate treasure.

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