Looking Forward: Rooted and Engaged

Sermon Notes
Looking Forward
Rev. Mat Grover
Hebrews 10:23–25

“Looking Forward: Rooted and Engaged”

The Church is just like High School.

We need to live (make friends, hang out, be real), not only close to each other, but we must also be vulnerable with God and with our neighbors. Our relationships cannot just be horizontal, but also vertical towards God. 

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT)

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted
to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but
encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.”

“You teach a little by what you say. You teach most by what you are.” 
Henrietta C. Mears

Homework:

Where is God calling you to connect with Him and with others?

 

Where is God calling you to fill a need in this congregation?

 

Love To Belong

SERMON NOTES
Rev. Mat Grover
Small But Mighty
3 John

“Love To Belong”

3rd  John is the smallest book in the entire Bible. Although, 2nd John has fewer verses (13), 3rd John contains only 219 words, as compared to 2nd John at 245 words.

In each of the 3 John Letters, the author is reacting to a conflict within a number of house churches. 1st John writes to the group of churches confirming the teachings of Jesus and the truth that Jesus is Israel’s Messiah. 2nd John is a letter to a specific house church warning them about corrupt teachers that might try and infiltrate their community. 3rd John is addressed to a specific person, warning against a particular leader who is perpetuating the lies, and refusing to collaborate with John.

3rd John
I. Opening (verses 1-4)
- Greeting Gaius
- Praying for Health, Rejoicing in Truth

II.  Body (verses 5-12)
- Supporting God’s Missionaries
- Condemning Diotrephes
- Commending Demetrius

III.  Closing (verses 13-15)
- Regrets, Hopes and Greetings

“The Christian family circle should always be wide enough to have a place for strangers, wherever they come from.” – William Barclay

Homework:

What does it mean for us to walk in the light?

What are the ways that we as a church and as individuals are working towards Jesus like hospitality?

 

Forgiveness Is Everything

Sermon Notes
Small but Mighty
Rev. Mat Grover
Philemon

“Forgiveness Is Everything”

Paul’s Epistle to Philemon is the apostle’s shortest writing.  It is only 25 verses containing 335 words. There are only three books in the entire Bible that are smaller. 

Paul’s message to Philemon was a simple one: based on the work of love and forgiveness that had been wrought in Philemon’s heart by God, show the same to the escaped and now believing slave Onesimus.

Outline of Philemon:
Philemon 1-3: Opening greetings
Philemon 4-7: Philemon is commended for his faith and charity
Philemon 8-20: Paul’s request regarding Onesimus
Philemon 21-22: Paul’s expectation to visit
Philemon 23-25: Concluding words and benediction

The letter to Philemon reminds us that God’s revelation to humanity is intensely personal. Philemon stands as one piece of strong evidence revealing that lofty doctrines such as the love of God, forgiveness in Christ, or the inherent dignity of humanity have real and pertinent impact in everyday life. The book of Philemon illustrates that principles like these can and should profoundly affect the lives of believers.

Homework:
In what areas in your life do you need to ask for forgiveness?

Where do you need to seek reconciliation?

 

God Who Is Able

Sermon Notes
Small But Mighty
Rev. Mat Grover
Jude 24-25

“God Who Is Able”

The four smallest books of the New Testament are Jude, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John.  Jude contains 461 words in 25 verses. 

Jude 20-25
“24Now to God Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (NIV)

God who is able: 
Romans 16:25 — God Who is able to strengthen us.

Ephesians 3:20 — God Who is able to do more than we ask or imagine.

Jude — God Who is able to make us sure footed, blameless, bring us into His presence.

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.  “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe.  But he’s good.  He’s the King, I tell you!”

-C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

 

Trust in a Time of Anxiety

SERMON NOTES: 2-19-17
Rev. Mat Grover
Luke: On the Road With Jesus
Luke 11-12

“Trust in a Time of Anxiety”

We live in an age of anxiety and instability. No matter how much material wealth we may or may not have, we all struggle to be at peace with our current situation. We might worry about health, work, family, friends, or a myriad of other things, but if we are consumed with this anxiety, we end up losing our sense of identity as one in Christ.

Jesus calls us to not be anxious and not be afraid.

Do Not Worry

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[a]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? (NIV)

Anxiety, worry and fear will always be a part of our lives.  It is in our response to that we find our hope. That is why Jesus gave us this prayer:

Father, Hallowed be Your Name, Your Kingdom come.

Know that God is in charge. As the creator of the universe, He is sovereign. Because we know His name, we can and should trust in Him. But before we ask anything for ourselves, God is given glory.  Only when we give God His place will other things take their proper place. 

Give us each day our daily bread.

Trust that God will cover our present need.  This goes back to the story of the manna in the wilderness (Exodus 16:11-21).  Don’t worry about the unknown future, but trust that God will take care of us each and every day.

As we live each day and face new trials, anxiety and fear, we are called to trust the sovereignty of God and the power of the Hallowed Name, and the Creator of all things. 

 

Gentleness

SERMON NOTES
Rev. Mat Grover
Galatians 5:22-23
Fruit of the Spirit: Who Am I Becoming

GENTLENESS 

Gentleness: Webster’s dictionary describes gentleness as meekness or mildness in manners of disposition. Although this kind of gets to the point, the Greek word in Galatians 5 (πρᾳΰτης) is better translated as a gentle strength or power with reserve.

St. Francis de Salle said, “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.”

1 Peter 3:15-16
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander

Cultivating the fruit of Gentleness
1. Trusting the will of God
2. Having a teachable spirit
3. Having consideration of others

Gentleness is not weakness! Gentleness is being like Christ.

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

 

Yet, Still

Sermon Notes
Rev. Mat Grover
Habakkuk 2:1-4
Advent Sermon Series: Prepare the Way

YET, STILL

 Today we end our Advent sermon series called Prepare the Way, where we have been looking at Jesus through the Old Testament Prophets. Today we are going to look at Habakkuk. Unlike other Prophets, Habakkuk is not prophesying to a people, but what we read is his conversation and wrestling with the will of God.

Habakkuk is known primarily for one phrase, “the just shall live by faith” (2:4)
which is quoted by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:17 and becomes foundational for his theology of Justification.

The book ends with Habakkuk’s prayer focusing on God’s faithfulness.

Despite everything that Habakkuk was witnessing, he realized that God was still present and ever faithful.

As the Author Phillip Yancey says in his book Disappointment with God, “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse”

As we put away the Christmas decorations, our pause during Advent becomes a distant memory, life gets real again, and we ask “where are you God?” we have no need to fear. For yet still, there we have Jesus lying in the manger, the hope of the world, proof that God is faithful.

HOMEWORK FOR THE NEW YEAR!
Remember that God is faithful.
In the midst of life, sometimes we can forget that God is always there.
Take time and remember the faithfulness of God in your life.

 

Why Community?

Sermon Notes
August, 16, 2015
Mat Grover
Acts 2:42
Why Church?

 Why Community?

Acts 2:42-43

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 

We need community to:

Grow – We grow in Christ’s likeness in community. Jesus modeled to His followers what it meant to love God and neighbor in very specific situations.

Serve – God has given each of us gifts- special abilities and skills – to serve Him in the world and in the church. It is by living in a community of believers where we can discuss our passions, test our gifts and be encouraged, counseled and prayed for by those who know us.

Witness – ”A city on a hill cannot be hidden!“ (Matthew 5:14). Our community together is an outreach to others and a witness of the Gospel of Christ. As Jesus prays in John 17:23, ”May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent Me and have loved them even as you have loved Me.“

Moving forward:

What would it look like if we, like the early church, devoted ourselves to each other, living, learning, eating, praying with and for each other; devoted to our community?

 

Live as Light

SERMON NOTES
11/9/2014
Mat Grover
Ephesians Sermon Series
Ephesians 5:1-14 

“Sleeper, AWAKE! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you”
(Ephesians 5:14)

As you put our new self on, are we living in the light? 

What areas of your life need to be exposed? Need the light of Christ?

Like Henri Nouwen said, how can you “choose” light and keep “choosing” it everyday?