Matthew 6

The Business of Blessing Others


The Reformation is one of the greatest events in history, in which Martin Luther started a movement, one that is still transforming lives today.  This movement began when Luther rediscovered the Gospel, or Good News, of Jesus Christ in the book of Romans and reread the story of Jesus’s life and his Sermon on the Mount.  Today the whole world, Catholic and Protestant, is impacted by that reformation.  One of the biggest impacts was people beginning to read the Sermon on the Mount for themselves, it was revolutionary! It was beyond religious. This month, we began a series on the Sermon on the Mount, called “What Jesus Meant,” and as we focus on this life-changing sermon we can experience for ourselves what countless people before us have been inspired by. When St. Francis of Assisi first read the Sermon on the Mount it changed his life and how he lived out his faith. The present pope, Francis, is a reformer because of conviction in the Sermon on the Mount.  They are life-altering words.


Last week when I kicked off the series, I focused on the fact that God wants to bless us and that he wants us to cooperate with that blessing.  Even more than being blessed, we are to become a blessing ourselves that is why Jesus called us the salt of the world, the light on a hill. We are called and encouraged to spread blessings into our communities and into the darkness.

One of the dreams we have is to spread God’s blessings by working to end elective homelessness in our area. Let’s be thinking and dreaming about it.  I have some ideas and I am sure that you do too.   But the main thing is: let's get about the business of blessing others. And if you are lacking inspiration or feeling discouraged pick up your Bible and read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5- 7). Soak in the life-changing words and rejoice! Shine with God’s love as you bless others.

May God bless you abundantly.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

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Lent Devotion: Pray


Written by Pastor Becca McCary


God wants to meet with you this Lent. He wants to come into the ordinary times and places in your life in a holy way, transforming your life. This week’s ordinary space transformation challenge is: Prayer.

Scripture Reflection:

Matthew 6:5-7 (NLT)

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words


Write down or paint the word "Pray" on a rock or piece of paper as your holy reminder. Then choose an ordinary space in your life where you are going to focus on prayer. Try to practice prayer one time in that ordinary space your life this week. Then, watch God transform this ordinary space into a holy space for you.


-As a family, put the word "Prayer" on your dinning room table. Take five minutes before dinner to pray together as a family.

-As a parent, you might want to put the word "Prayer" on your fridge. As you prepare meals for your family, take that time to pray to God on their behalf.

-As a child, you might want to put the word "Prayer" on your shoes, so that as you walk to your bus stop you can pray for your friends at school.

-As a single person, put the word "Prayer" on your coffee pot as a reminder to begin your day with prayer.

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The Lord's Prayer of Freedom


Pastor Tim concludes the "Can You Hear Me Now?" series, diving into prayer life and growing closer to God. He looks at the last few verses of the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6 and the importance of forgiveness from God and between ourselves and others.


Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.  As we close the series on the Lord's Prayer, it ends with the issue of forgiveness being a two way street. Resentment is a poison we drink thinking it will impact the person we are struggling against, when in reality, we are the ones to suffer.  Prayer allows us space to get away from the busyness of life and to work on giving and receiving forgiveness.  When we give up resentment that is a big step, because when we do so, we are giving up our fruitless hopes of a perfect past.  Only God can help us in this all important area. Through Jesus' teachings in Matthew 6:5-15, we are able to experience a sense of freedom.  Freedom from our past. Freedom from our mistakes. Freedom from bitterness and resentment. Freedom to joyfully let God work in mighty ways in our lives.

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Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread


Pastor Linda continues the "Can You Hear Me Now?" series, diving into prayer life and growing closer to God. Looking at Matthew 6:11, she looks at God's promise to give us everything we need, even if we don't know exactly what that is in our lives.

I love fresh baked bread.  How about you?  I especially love the smell of it baking in the oven.  My mom was a bread baker and one of my fondest childhood memories was waking up to the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven.

When I was traveling in Israel many years ago our group was touring Cana (where Jesus performed his first recorded miracle of turning water into wine for a wedding reception).  Across the street from the church commemorating this event was a little bakery where they were baking the wonderful flat bread of Israel, in stone ovens.  The smell was out of this world.  As a matter of fact, it was hard for us to remain focused on the tour because we couldn’t wait to get finished so we could go get some of that bread (As I’m writing this I’m getting hungry for some fresh baked bread.)


Throughout the Bible, bread is essential for sustaining life.  Jesus referred to himself as the “bread of life” in John 6:35 and goes on to say that when we come to him we will never be hungry or thirsty again.  So when Jesus gives us this model prayer and asks us to prayer for “our daily bread”, it means so much more than just praying for a loaf of bread.

Jesus is reminding us here that God wants to provide us with everything we need for a healthy and happy life – physically, spiritually and emotionally.  “And God will generously provide all you need.  Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

“Give Us” is another interesting choice of words for Jesus to use in our instruction.  “Give” is a power-packed little word.  When we are asking God to “give” something to us, we are acknowledging that God is the source of everything.  James 1:17 reminds us “that every good thing we have comes to us from God.”

The fact that God is the source of everything we have, reminds us that we are to care for and use those gifts in a way that pleases Him.  In 2 Corinthians, we are reminded when we share freely and give generously that is what is remembered forever.  What we do with what God gives us is very important to Him.  The next verse in 2 Corinthians “For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat.  In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.”

God will provide us with everything we need.  Jesus reminds us to include those needs in our prayers every day.  With that, we need to remember that as He provides it is also our responsibility to use those resources wisely and to be generous with everything he gives us.

As you use the Lord’s prayer as your model this week:

1) Pause and think about who you are talking to (Our Father who is in heaven hallowed be your name….).

2) Before you get to the needs section, you need to surrender your will, not impose it (Your kingdom come Your will be done….)

3) Now ask yourself, “what do I need today and how will I use what God give me to glorify Him?” (Give us this day our daily bread.)

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The Prayer that Works 100% of the Time


Pastor Rey continues the "Can You Hear Me Now?" series, diving into prayer life and growing closer to God. This week he addresses the difference between praying for things as if God is our magical genie verses fully submitting to God's will.  To prayerfully surrender to God.

It’s not what you think.  It’s not a prayer that will make God do your bidding.  Most of my efforts in prayer have been trying to figure out how to pray in such a way so that God would always answer my prayer.  I would never have said it, but basically I wanted an all-powerful genie I could summon for my request.

I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s not just me looking for a magical panacea to my problems in prayer.  Maybe that’s why most of the best selling books on prayer promise us a method or strategy on how to pray in such a way so that we can ‘move’ God.  Maybe there is something in all of us that likes the idea of having God on a leash.  At our command.  At our control.

This kind of thinking isn’t new to us.  In the book of Acts chapter 8, there is a guy named Simon who wants to buy the ability to control God.  The disciples probably wanted the same ability when they asked Jesus “Teach us to pray.”


Jesus does teach them to pray.  In fact I believe he teaches them the right way to pray.  I believe he teaches them a prayer that works every single time.  After teaching them to ‘pause and think about who you are talking to’ (check out last weeks message if this makes no sense -, Jesus teaches them a prayer that works 100% of the time –

Your kingdom come.  You will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

It’s the prayer of surrender.  It’s getting to the place where you put God’s will above your own.  It’s moving in God’s direction and not trying to move God in your direction.  It’s not trying to bend God in your direction, but allowing God to bend you in His direction.

This prayer is different.  It’s unusual.  It’s not the typical prayer I pray.  Usually I have a need and I’m begging God to answer my request.  Usually, I don’t say things like “God, before we go any further, before I get to my needs, before I get to my kingdom, I want you to know, I’m more committed to your will then I am my own.  I want your will.  Even if it hurts.  Even if I hate it.  Even if I don’t understand it.”

It was hard to even type those words because it’s so scary. But that is why Jesus told us to pause.  So that during the pause we could see God as our heavenly Father and King, who we can trust.  The prayer of surrender requires trust.  And when I trust God, I can say, with my whole heart “Your will be done.” Because I know His will is best for my life.

You see, this prayer works every time, not because it moves God, but because it moves you.  It moves you in God’s direction.  And that is the purpose of prayer.  To recalibrate our hearts.  To realign our hearts.  To sync our hearts with the heart of the Father.

So let me ask you a few questions:

-   Do you trust God? -   What areas of your life do you struggle to surrender to God? -   Why do you think that is? -   What would your life look like if you truly surrendered to God?

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