Forerunner Mentoring's Zach Garza uses Matthew 25:31-40 to discuss issues of race and poverty in our Lake Highlands community and how the solution to these issues start with us.
This week Associate Pastor, Justus Murimi, preached on racial reconciliation. The heart of the message was about being a people driven by a Heavenly vision. Ephesians chapter 2 gave us the background where we find in Christ, God has removed the dividing wall that separates us from Himself and from each other (Ephesians 2:1-22).
Jesus ends the Sermon on the Mount with a series of choices - two types of gates, disciples and foundations. He invites people to chose Him and His kingdom and it is something that we must do daily (Deuteronomy 30:18-19; Matthew 7:13-27).
Having taught His disciples to pray, Jesus then teaches them what will keep them (and us) from advancing the kingdom - treasures! We are made to treasure Christ above all, but if we love our treasures and possessions more than Christ, we will be led into anxiety and fear. (Matthew 6:19-44)
In the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His followers how to pray. Each part of the prayer is a hopeful cry that seeks to bring His kingdom on earth (Matthew 6:9-15).
In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus goes after two issues that will keep his followers from seeing His kingdom advance on earth - money and the "religious trap". When Jesus followers start doing things for the approval of man and not God, bondage, criticism, control and disunity are never far behind. Honesty (with God and others) and repentance are the keys to avoiding this trap (Matthew 6:1-6; Matthew 6:16-18; Matthew 16:5-12; Psalm 51:6; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
This week we learned that our God is an enemy-loving God and Jesus asks us to be the same. This is yet another example of how His Kingdom is so different than the kingdom of the world. The difficult task of loving our enemies becomes possible as we receive God's love and surrender to His ways (Matthew 5:38-48; Mark 10:42-45; Mark 15:24-27).
Jerry Williams teaches on oaths and vows out of Matthew 5:33-37. As followers of Jesus, we should never feel the need to manipulate others through how we communicate. Our words to one another should be a representation of how God communicates to us. We can always trust that what God says is true and take Him at His word.
This week we returned to Jesus' magnum opus - The Sermon on the Mount. Pastor John gave us an overarching picture of His teaching when He calls us to be salt and light and to be righteous of heart (and so fulfilling the law). Then Jesus teaches on divorce. His heart is for us to have and create families that display what His kingdom and character is like. (Matthew 4:17; Matthew 4:23-25; Matthew 5:31-32: Mathew 19:3-9)
We concluded the Wired Conference with a pastoral note from Jerry Williams and a great encouragement and teaching on worship from Michael Mauldin.