Posts with the category “from-our-ministers”
How God Meets Our Greatest Need
by Matthew Allen on November 27th, 2023
God wants to meet our deepest need for salvation, love, and acceptance. No matter how far we stray, the path back to God is always open, illuminated by His word, and marked by His unconditional love and forgiveness.
Sunday Preview: Good Soil
by Matthew Allen on November 24th, 2023
Fruitfulness is the ultimate point of having good soil. It is the evidence of the divine life within us. This fruit can be seen in our attitude, righteous behavior, and soul-winning efforts. The fruit of the Spirit, as described in Galatians 5:22-23, includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It is through bearing fruit in every good work that we display our faith in action.
Sunday Preview: Rocky Soil
by Matthew Allen on November 11th, 2023
Counting the cost of discipleship is essential, as Luke 14:26-27 and Luke 14:33 emphasize. Pressure, as mentioned in Matthew 13.21, comes into play when life events force us to make choices. The depth of our faith will significantly impact the outcomes of these choices. Pressure isn't entirely negative, as James 1:2-4 and James 1:12 illustrate. Testing our faith can lead to endurance, maturity, and a crown of life.
Sunday Preview: The Sower's Message
by Matthew Allen on November 2nd, 2023
The parable of the Sower, drawing parallels between the types of soil and the condition of our hearts. It is the perfect complement to Paul’s teachings in Colossians. Just as seeds need the right conditions to grow, our heart requires self-examination and humility. By understanding this parable, we can cultivate hearts that are receptive to God's Word, allowing gratitude to take root and flourish.
God is Faithful
by Matthew Allen on October 30th, 2023
Remember, if God is concerned with birds, flowers, and grass, Matthew 6.25-34, He most certainly is concerned about you. He is so concerned about you that He knows the number of hairs on your head, Matthew 10.20.
Outreach in the Digital Age
by Matthew Allen on October 21st, 2023
We need to remember that people often make their first impression of a congregation by the quality of the online content that is put out. It has to be professional, modern, and fresh. Didn’t Paul communicate this principle in Colossians 3.23? We need a high standard of excellence in our online outreach, because ultimately, we are representing the Lord.
Sunday Preview: The Power of the Word
by Matthew Allen on October 20th, 2023
We’ll focus on two main things in this lesson. First, we’ll learn how the word contains power … the power to save. Over and over again the words of both Testaments testify to its life changing power to bring salvation and help with personal transformation. Jesus said the one who hears His word and believes in Him will be saved, John 5.24. The Law of the Lord is perfect. It restores the soul. The scriptures have power because they are inspired, 2 Timothy 3.16a.
Valuing Your Connection to the Local Church
by Matthew Allen on October 16th, 2023
A good connection to the church matters little if I am not where I need to be in my relationship with Christ. A strong relationship with Christ equals a strong relationship with the church as the two things go hand in hand. Likewise, a poor relationship with Christ equals a detached reality with the church. The claim so many are making today that I can have Christ without the church is blatantly false and leads to utter spiritual ruin. You cannot have Christ and not be a part of the church.
Be Diligent to be Approved by God
by Matthew Allen on October 9th, 2023
For it is in this devout adherence to God's Word that we find their true north, a compass guiding them toward eternal approval. In the end, the reward for such faithfulness is not just the fleeting praises of man, but the eternal commendation from Christ Himself, beckoning the faithful home with the words, Well done, good and faithful servant, Matthew 25.21.
Sunday Preview: Lost and Found - The Relentless Pursuit of the Spirit
by Matthew Allen on September 15th, 2023
Where in the world would you find a religion that boasts of such a God? A deity who not only retrieves the lost but also rejoices in their recovery? A God who then welcomes them into eternal communion, deriving joy from their return? This is our God Our Savior. Our Revealer. Our guiding light. Our loving Father.
The Focused Mission of the Early Church
by Matthew Allen on September 12th, 2023
The church at Antioch, with its growth, outreach, worship, inclusion, discipleship, and service, is a beacon for churches all over. It beckons us to mold ourselves in its likeness, making Jesus the cornerstone, reaching out selflessly, and being catalysts for divine transformation in the world.
Sunday Preview: The Saving God
by Matthew Allen on September 8th, 2023
In the Parable of the Lost Sheep a shepherd, from among the humblest of society, loses one sheep out of a hundred, he leaves the ninety-nine and tirelessly searches for the lost one. Once found, he joyfully carries the sheep back home. This shepherd's dedication is seen in Jesus, our seeking Savior, who carries us through life's rough patches, always eager to bring us back into the fold.
Sunday Preview: From Seed to Harvest
by Matthew Allen on September 2nd, 2023
Contrary to what we most often hear, this parable centers not on humanity but on God. This is a depiction of a God whose grace, love, and mercy are unbounded, who is indiscriminate in where His seeds—His messages of love and hope—fall. God's perspective doesn’t segregate the world into good or bad soil. Every heart, every condition, is worthy of His love.
Friday First: Parenting on Purpose
by Matthew Allen on August 19th, 2023
Children need to be taught respect and obedience and they need to be disciplined for disobedience and disrespect. All of this is in the context of a home that is under the control of parents who continually make the dominating influence of that home the word of God. A home where a biblical worldview is stressed … life viewed through the eyes of Scripture.
Unity in the Early Church: The Power of One Heart and Soul
by Matthew Allen on August 9th, 2023
What does it mean to be of "one heart and one soul"? It's not just about practicing the same doctrines or simply avoiding conflict. While the absence of disagreement is vital, true unity goes beyond surface-level peace, which can sometimes be mistaken for apathy or stagnation. A genuinely unified church vibrantly moves forward, embodying a collective spirit and purpose.
Embracing God's Unfailing Love: From Brokenness to Redemption
by Matthew Allen on July 29th, 2023
God's love not only saves broken people but also utilizes them to accomplish His purposes. By doing so, He demonstrates that true power lies in Him, not in human strength.
Friday First: When It Doesn't Work Out
by Matthew Allen on July 28th, 2023
Sin disrupts all aspects of our lives, but in Christ, we are united as one family, supporting and caring for each other. Regardless of our individual journeys, we find solace in being connected through our faith in Christ. As we move forward, let us embrace God's plan for our lives, find healing in His love, and trust in His faithfulness.
Friday First: Embracing God's Calling for Husbands
by Matthew Allen on July 22nd, 2023
a husband is encouraged to love his wife completely, as he loves himself. This oneness is underlined in Ephesians 5:31. The last verse in the chapter calls for husbands to out-serve their wife and lead in a way that aligns with God's calling for husbands. It underscores the need to prioritize the marriage covenant, for God himself is highly invested in it.
Restoring Unity: Rediscovering our Essential Bond in Christ
by Matthew Allen on July 20th, 2023
Our study and reflection on these principles will equip us to stand as beacons of unity in a divided world. Just as Jesus prayed for the unity of believers, may we, too, be one, reflecting the love and unity found in the Father and the Son, so that the world may witness the transformative power of our faith.
Are You Really Listening?
by Matthew Allen on July 14th, 2023
Mary's ultimate act of worship came from her ability to listen attentively. By listening, we can worship more deeply and be used by God in powerful ways. To truly listen, we must humble ourselves, acknowledging that we don't know everything, and pay attention to both the words spoken and the meaning behind them. In a world where many hear but few truly listen, we are challenged to examine our own listening habits and ask ourselves, "Are we truly listening?"
The Reverence of Worship
by Matthew Allen on March 24th, 2023
How do you approach worship? Are you prepared? The worship service is a special time each week where we present ourselves to God in respect and honor. It is not a social hour. It is not casual. Worship takes us to a higher level and will be seen in the way we approach God with respect.
Friday First - Why We Love the Church
by Matthew Allen on March 17th, 2023
How should we regard the church of our Lord? Why should we hold it in high regard? For some, it has become popular to engage in criticism of the church. And by the way, every generation in the church criticizes the other. And while there are perspectives and attitudes that need to change, we need to be very careful. Impressions are being made on young hearts. Let’s hold each other accountable in making the needed changes in a positive and encouraging way.
Friday First - What is the Church?
by Matthew Allen on March 3rd, 2023
On Sunday we will stress the importance of the church. God built it. Christ established it, and he also died for it. God has rescued us from the oppression, brutality, and slavery of Satan and sin. He is serious about bringing his people near to Him.
Drawn Together in Fellowship
by Matthew Allen on March 3rd, 2023
Christianity involves your whole life: mental, physical, emotional, and social. Instead of ignoring or talking down the opportunities to be together, we should be encouraging them more and more. Show me a Christian that is strongly connected with other Christians and I'll show you a Christian that is heading toward maturity.
Asbury. Generation Z. Revival.
by Matthew Allen on February 27th, 2023
Going into last weekend, social media and many internet news outlets have been abuzz over a student led revival on the campus of Asbury University, a Wesleyan affiliated school southwest of Lexington, KY. Beginning on February 8, and continuing through last Sunday, the student led revival featured 24/7 prayer, worship, testimony, confession of sin, Scripture reading, silence, and more. People from...
Friday First - Delight in the Word
by Matthew Allen on February 17th, 2023
On Sunday we will discuss another key ingredient in how to deepen our spiritual roots by considering the word of God and our meditation on it. One of the best passages that encapsulates this is Psalm 1. Here we see the importance of delighting in the word of God.
Friday First - Thirst for God
by Matthew Allen on February 3rd, 2023
Over the course of February Kody & I will present some very practical lessons on how to become more established in the faith.
What Are You Looking For?
by Matthew Allen on February 3rd, 2023
What does it say about a person’s heart when they assume the worst? Does it reflect sinful attitudes of jealousy, anger, slander, bitterness, rivalry, and hostility?
Friday First - Confident in Our Faith
by Matthew Allen on January 13th, 2023
Well rooted Christians are confident. Living with constant feelings of guilt does not inspire confidence. Some Christians feel like they are the kid in the principal’s office. Discouragement and doubt are fostered at every failure. This is no way to live. God has called on us to trust in His promises, assurances, and encouragement. The Father, Son, and the Spirit are all working hard to get you to heaven.
How to Strengthen Your Bible Study
by Matthew Allen on January 8th, 2023
How did you do last week on following through on any new resolutions you made? If you've already "fallen off the wagon," hop back on and try again! The key to success is never giving up. Keep on moving forward and toward your personal goals. Progress is never made by remaining in a stationary position. So, get going! What about your personal Bible study and prayer routine? Do you find it hard to maintain consistency?
Friday First - Building Great Habits
by Matthew Allen on December 30th, 2022
What makes a great Christian? A strong Christian? Many might define it as daily dedication that can be seen in the home, at work, in the congregation … everywhere. It’s a wonderful concept … one that we need to be working on. We need to aim for stability, be alert, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong, and do everything in love. To get there means we’ll have to build good habits.
Why Did He Come?
by Matthew Allen on December 25th, 2022
Holidays like this are a great opportunity to share Christ, why He came, and the hope He provides.
Friday First - What God Desires
by Matthew Allen on December 16th, 2022
Theirs is not the only generation to go through the motions. We may have all the mechanics of worship worked out, but what about our heart? Does our relationship and desire for Christ extend beyond the four walls of our church building?
Friday First - Established in the Faith
by Matthew Allen on December 9th, 2022
Our lives need to be characterized by strong hearts, loving unity, and a settled understanding of the Word. This will happen as we walk in Him, having been rooted, built up, and established in the faith. This leads to overflowing gratitude!
Friday First - Reconciled
by Matthew Allen on December 3rd, 2022
The one who trusts in the Lord is blessed. He will continue to bear fruit even during the difficult times of life. This is who we need to desire to be. A person who stands firm in a twisted world. This is why we are focusing this year on being rooted in Christ. We want to learn how to stand firm as everything around us is influencing and affecting our lives and the lives of those we love. Let’s co...
Friday First - A Life Well Lived 2
by Matthew Allen on November 25th, 2022
There is no better passage to illustrate the way we want to encounter Jesus when this life is over. There is no passage that better describes a life well lived. On Sunday, we’ll continue our deep dive into verses 7-8.
When We All Get to Heaven
by Matthew Allen on November 19th, 2022
John sees the glory of heaven, the presence of Jesus, the glory of the new creation, but then like a drumbeat you have this repeated statement of what will not be there: No death; no mourning. No sins to confess; no temptations to overcome. No sickness to suffer; no pain to endure. No crosses to carry; no fears to face.
Friday First - The End of Time
by Matthew Allen on November 5th, 2022
During November we’ll be focusing on seeing Jesus in the future. We absolutely do not want to miss him. Actually, we won’t miss him because every eye will see when He comes again. But we certainly do not want to miss eternity with Him.
Friday First - Looking at the Glory of the Lord 4
by Matthew Allen on October 29th, 2022
On Sunday we’ll talk about what the Christian life is all about, which is about having your eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. The Christian always has Jesus in focus … always, in every situation … looking at the face of Christ and finding the revealed glory of God.
The Ideal Church
by Matthew Allen on October 20th, 2022
What makes the church special is that because of the Spirit’s work inside each believer, Christians become one with God and with each other … as seen in the fruit of sacrificial love, submission to each other, unconditional forgiveness, bearing with one another, patience, compassion, and kindness. What we see in Acts 2.42-47 is an unfolding of the love as it was meant to be inside the church.
Salvation is a Matter of the HeartFriday First: How to Build an Enduring MarriageConflict Resolution In RelationshipsFriday First: Embracing God's Calling for WivesAre You Really Listening?Restoring Unity: Rediscovering our Essential Bond in ChristFriday First: Embracing God's Calling for HusbandsTrust and Obey: The Sacrificial Faith of Hebrews 11Friday First: When It Doesn't Work OutEmbracing God's Unfailing Love: From Brokenness to Redemption