Which Road Are You On? (Matthew 7:13-29)

Sunday 05/12/2020

How interested are you in Jesus?

Maybe you’re not really interested at all, but you’re here because your family or friends expect you to be.

Perhaps you think of yourself as neutral: not really interested in Jesus, but not really against Him.

Maybe you are interested in Jesus but you’re not ready to commit yourself to Him yet.

Maybe you’ve been coming to church for ages. Everyone probably thinks you’re a Christian, but you haven’t repented from your sins, trusted in Jesus, and committed yourself to serving with His people.

You might be a new Christian, eager to listen and starting to grow.

Or you’re a mature Christian, faithfully and earnestly continuing to follow Jesus.

Wherever you stand with Jesus, He has something to say to you and me today. He says: There are only two ways you can live your life. You are either going one way or the other.

Either, you are following Jesus on the narrow way to life, or you are going down the road to destruction. Which one is it? How would you know?

Jesus says we can know which road we are on. There are only two. They describe two ways of life:

One is a 6-lane highway. It’s easy because it seems everyone is going that way. And it leads to destruction (v13).

The other is a narrow track, with no room to pass or pull over. It might be lonely, but it leads to life (v14).

Are you driving with the traffic or going against the flow?

Jesus warns us that not everyone who looks like a Christian is one. That warning is for our safety, because there are imposters who would take you with them to destruction.

But Jesus says we can know who they are too. It all comes down to whether we listen to Jesus’ words AND do them!

That’s the hard part. So, how do you do? Do you do what Jesus says? Or do you just like to listen?

Here in Matthew 7:13-29, Jesus demands a decision. He warns us that faith cannot be just a hobby. Following Him must be our lifestyle. He gives us three directions to walk on the path to life:

  1. Walk Narrowly! (v13-14)
  2. Beware the Wolves! (v15-23)
  3. Do or Die! (v24-29)

Video Playlist (with songs)

Video (Sermon only)

Audio

*Sermons can be downloaded by clicking on the three dots at top right.

Download the Kids’ Activity Sheets

Click to access 8.-merged-pdf_-discussion-questions-activity-sheets-craft-_-game-ideas-broken-friendships.pdf

Please let us know that you’re joining us for church online today

Other Resources

 

‘Do To Others…” (Matthew 7:1-12)

Sunday 29/11/2020

For a long time, the most quoted verse in the Bible was John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

But in recent years, it’s been overtaken by the opening verse of Matthew 7: “‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

Instead of talking about how God loved us when we were lost in rebellion and sin, people would rather talk about how we treat one another. Now, we should always be telling the good news of salvation and life in Jesus. But often we overlook the difference being God’s people should make to how we live.

‘Oh, but we’re saved by faith, not by works!’ Absolutely! But having been saved by faith, do we live by faith? Do our lives show that we believe God’s promises? Do we live like God’s Word for us is best?

Christian, do you live like the Gospel changes your eternity, but not your present? Or maybe we forget that not everyone is heading to heaven like we are (v6)? At the heart of it is a failure to see God’s goodness, especially in the ways He changes us. Do we really believe that God gives good gifts (v11), including the people around us?

It’s so easy to live like God’s Kingdom is for the life to come, but not for now. That becoming like Jesus will happen in eternity, but is pretty hopeless for now.

But is that how Jesus sees it? Does Jesus believe we’ll just muddle along in life like everyone else until He calls us home? No. Jesus challenges our thinking about our relationships. He calls us not to live like we naturally would. Jesus says the way we treat others must be different because belong to His Kingdom.

Video Playlist (with songs)

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1oW4XTnlZJd1Chults4-ReNcAZ1SKXuW  

Video (Sermon only)

Audio

*Sermons can be downloaded by clicking on the three dots at top right.

Download the Kids’ Activity Sheets

Click to access 8.-merged-pdf-discussion-questions-8.-activity-sheets-craft-_-game-ideas-matthew-6_1-4-being-humble_.pdf

Please let us know that you’re joining us for church online today

Other Resources

 

How to Worry (Matthew 6:19-34)

Sunday 22/11/2020

Are you good at worrying? Do you get much practice?

At first, it seems easy. Instead of thinking about what you should be thinking about, you focus on one thing. You ask yourself questions you don’t know the answer too, like ‘What if this happens?’ Then you guess what will happen, and guarantee yourself that that’s the only way things will turn out. Then, repeat that process until you collapse.

But, have you noticed that no matter how much you worry, it’s never enough? There’s always more worrying you can do!

And worse than that, worrying doesn’t work. No matter how much we worry, it doesn’t change what happens at all. Maybe we’re not doing it right?

Worrying can appear as anxiety, a paralysing fear. But worry can also show up as ambition: the preoccupation with satisfaction and security.

When Jesus diagnoses our worry, He says the cause is a divided loyalty: We seek earthly things, instead of heavenly things; we welcome darkness instead of light; we try to serve money as well as God. Worry is focusing on our bodies, doubting God, and forgetting His Kingdom. It’s the opposite of what Jesus has just said in Matthew 6:1-18 about generosity, prayer and fasting; it’s greed, materialism, and anxiety. That’s the opposite of how we should live if we are seeking His kingdom (v10, 33).

So, let’s see how to worry. I’ve got 6 tips:

  1. Value What’s Temporary (v19-21)
  2. Let Darkness In (v22-23)
  3. Serve Greed Too (v24)
  4. Underestimate Your Value (v25-27)
  5. Disbelieve God (v28-30)
  6. Forget the Kingdom (v31-34)

(Of course, that’s what Jesus is teaching us to avoid, so we’ll see why each of them is not what we should do).

Video Playlist (with songs)

Video (Sermon only)

Audio

*Sermons can be downloaded by clicking on the three dots at top right.

Download the Kids’ Activity Sheets

Click to access 8.-merged-pdf_-discussion-questions-activity-sheets-craft-_-game-ideas-matthew-5_33-37-keeping-your-word.pdf

Please let us know that you’re joining us for church online today

Other Resources

 

‘Pray Like This…’ (Matthew 6:5-15)

Sunday 15/11/2020

The Lord’s Prayer is one of the most famous parts, not only of the Sermon on the Mount, but of all of Jesus’ teaching. It’s so well-known that linguists use it to study differences between languages. But the Lord’s Prayer should be of more than theoretical interest to us.

How we pray says a lot about us and about who we’re praying too.

Have you ever had the impression that someone was praying to make you think well of them? Do you ever do that?

Maybe it’s speaking differently to how they normally speak. Or using lots of fancy words. That says that we actually think the people listening to us pray are more important than the God we’re praying to.

Or can you think of prayers that are working really hard to convince God to answer? They’re full of descriptions of the problems that need to be fixed, or reasons why God should answer in a certainly way. It’s like we think God is stingy, that He doesn’t want to answer and normally wouldn’t. But if we say the right things, He just might.

Or maybe we pray like God is uncaring. Like His plan, His commands, actually aren’t that good for us. What really needs to happen is for God to be convinced to do things our way.

All of those problems with prayer come from our misunderstandings, not just about prayer, but about God Himself. Prayer isn’t a way to impression people, to manipulate God or to get what we want. It’s the expression of our relationship with God. So it shouldn’t come from empty religiosity or habit, but from a personal knowledge of God: the God who listens and who cares.

So, where do we start? Jesus says that faithful praying starts by knowing who God is (v5-9). That’ll change our priorities in prayer (v9-10) but also put our real needs into perspective (v11-15).

Video Playlist (with songs)

Video (Sermon only)

Audio

*Sermons can be downloaded by clicking on the three dots at top right.

Download the Kids’ Activity Sheets

Click to access 8.-merged-pdf_-discussion-questions-activity-sheets-craft-_-game-ideas-matthew-6_25-34-not-worrying.pdf

Please let us know that you’re joining us for church online today

Other Resources

 

Perfect Decoys (Matthew 6:1-18)

Sunday 08/11/2020

Operation Bodyguard was a part of the Allies’ plans to invade Nazi-occupied Europe on D-Day in 1944. Operation Neptune was the overall plan for D-Day, but Operation Bodyguard was a deception plan. It was intended to mislead the German military leadership over the time and place of the invasion.

From December 1943 to March 1944, while German forces were stretched along the European coast expecting an Allied attack, British and American forces deployed decoy boats and aircraft, inflatable tanks, and dummy parachuters to deceive their enemy. The plan worked. When D-Day came, the Germans were taken by surprise and their scramble to redeploy troops allowed the Allies victory.

At the end of Matthew 5, Jesus concludes the first section of the Sermon on the Mount by saying “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (v48). If we are His followers, our character is not measured against the people around us. The standard Jesus gives us is God Himself, who is perfection itself.

We might see others around us and conclude that we’re not so bad. But when we’re compared to God, all but the least self-aware would realise that we cannot be perfect.

But we might be pretty good at fooling others. Like Operation Bodyguard, we can deploy dummy compassion, cardboard prayers, and bogus devotion. It’s decoy perfection. And people might fall for it. Or, even if people do see through it, at least they won’t call our bluff.

And Jesus warns us that this decoy perfection doesn’t work. Instead of receiving the reward our Heavenly Father gives, we’re left with an empty shell: human approval, which is here today and gone tomorrow.

So, what can we do? Jesus takes off our masks. He exposes our decoy perfection, our hypocrisy. But He doesn’t tell us not to worry about giving, or praying, or fasting. And He calls us to act out genuine devotion from a heart that knows the living God.

  1. Take Off The Mask (v1)
  2. Hide Your Giving From Yourself (v2-4)
  3. Pray Simply In Secret (v5-15)
  4. Fast So No One Knows (v16-18)

Video Playlist (with songs)

Video (Sermon only)

Audio

*Sermons can be downloaded by clicking on the three dots at top right.

Download the Kids’ Activity Sheets

Click to access 8.-merged-pdf_-discussion-questions-activity-sheets-craft-_-game-ideas-matthew-5_43-48-loving-your-enemies.pdf

Please let us know that you’re joining us for church online today

Other Resources