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  • Parable of the weeds - by Mike Emslie
    the weed spoken about as having been sown in amongst the wheat is a weed knows as the bearded darnel The amazing thing about the bearded darnel is that it looks just like wheat in the early stages before it ripens So there is a very real chance that if you harvest too soon you will end up pulling out wheat with weed You have to wait until the end when the wheat is ripe and you can easily see the difference You can t harvest too soon And in the same way Jesus says we must understand that when you look at what is known to be God s kingdom in this world it will always be a mixed bunch There will be those that are truly part of the kingdom and those who seem to be but actually are not and often it is hard to know the difference There is a hiddeness about recognising this kingdom in this world Therefore Jesus says we should be extremely careful to think that we can separate the true from the false Because more often than not we will end up damaging those who truly are a part of the kingdom with our ignorance It is only God s angels who at the end of history will be able to separate the true from the false And that they will do But we are not those angels and until then we should always exercise humility and grace towards those who say they are in the kingdom whether they live up to our expectation or not Jesus in essence is saying we are not good at recognising this so rather just back off But the danger in the church is that we are always trying to set up some sort of system to show who the real Christians are And over the ages it has been different things The true church was said to be recognised by Whether you have a pope or not What kind of system of church government you have Whether you are baptised or not Whether you belong to right theological grouping Whether you speak in tongues or not What clothing you wear and how you groom yourself Whether you follow our leaders or not Whether you belong to our church or not Today the true church is said to be those who don t belong to any church It has always been a matter of come here and you will know what the true church is Jesus says all those distinctions are futile there is no such thing as a perfect church now Only God truly knows and only His angels will be able to separate the true church from the false church at the end Rather what we should do is do the easier job of evaluating ourselves and leaving the rest to God 2 Timothy 2 19 Note both sides of this coin note context of 17 18 So know this A day is coming

    Original URL path: http://stmatthews.co.za/files/resources/sermons/message/parable-of-the-weeds/read.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Parable of the Sower - by Mike Emslie
    not understanding looks like The apostle Paul understood that because when he was about growing the kingdom and its influence listen to how he did it in 2 Corinthians 4 1 6 Note understanding but also veiled hidden And in the parable we are looking at the gospel the news of the kingdom also seems hidden There is so much seed Word sown that is not understood by many why don t they see it How can they not get it Why do they let the worries of this life or the wealth of this life choke it Can t they see how much greater the kingdom is than their worries and wealth and even persecution Why does it seem so hidden It seems hidden because it is hidden In Paul s words in that passage in 2 Corinthians they are blind to the kingdom because God has not shone His light into their hearts yet In the words of our parable if God has not properly prepared the soil of our minds and hearts then the seed will not germinate Jesus knew that was how it works and actually he spoke in parables precisely because it would not make things clear and keep it hidden from those that it needed to be hidden from and reveal it to those who needed to understand 13 10 17 unpack also explaining what had happened up to now in Matthew And how often did Jesus tell people that he had healed to not tell anyone Often However just because it is hidden doesn t mean it is not active 13 23 unpack But even then for a time it can seem hidden time to germinate understand The fact that this kingdom is so hidden and why leaves us with a bit of a dilemma It would be nice if in our parable Jesus had simply said God sows the seed His Word It s entirely up to those who hear the Word how they respond to the Word as to whether the kingdom expands to include them or not But what it says is God starts the kingdom with His Word And whether anyone understands it or not whether the Word germinates in them or not and they become part of the kingdom or not also depends on God Until God reveals it it stays hidden And if it stays hidden it stays hidden because it is God s will This is one of many tensions you find in the Bible Jesus tells His disciples this parable because He wants them to understand that God starts the kingdom with His Word And if the kingdom seems hidden at times it is hidden because God wants it to be hidden not because God and His kingdom lack power and glory on the contrary as we will see in some of the other parables the power and the glory of this kingdom is still to come And until then just because it seems hidden

    Original URL path: http://stmatthews.co.za/files/resources/sermons/message/the-sower/listen.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Parable of the Sower - by Mike Emslie
    looks like The apostle Paul understood that because when he was about growing the kingdom and its influence listen to how he did it in 2 Corinthians 4 1 6 Note understanding but also veiled hidden And in the parable we are looking at the gospel the news of the kingdom also seems hidden There is so much seed Word sown that is not understood by many why don t they see it How can they not get it Why do they let the worries of this life or the wealth of this life choke it Can t they see how much greater the kingdom is than their worries and wealth and even persecution Why does it seem so hidden It seems hidden because it is hidden In Paul s words in that passage in 2 Corinthians they are blind to the kingdom because God has not shone His light into their hearts yet In the words of our parable if God has not properly prepared the soil of our minds and hearts then the seed will not germinate Jesus knew that was how it works and actually he spoke in parables precisely because it would not make things clear and keep it hidden from those that it needed to be hidden from and reveal it to those who needed to understand 13 10 17 unpack also explaining what had happened up to now in Matthew And how often did Jesus tell people that he had healed to not tell anyone Often However just because it is hidden doesn t mean it is not active 13 23 unpack But even then for a time it can seem hidden time to germinate understand The fact that this kingdom is so hidden and why leaves us with a bit of a dilemma It would be nice if in our parable Jesus had simply said God sows the seed His Word It s entirely up to those who hear the Word how they respond to the Word as to whether the kingdom expands to include them or not But what it says is God starts the kingdom with His Word And whether anyone understands it or not whether the Word germinates in them or not and they become part of the kingdom or not also depends on God Until God reveals it it stays hidden And if it stays hidden it stays hidden because it is God s will This is one of many tensions you find in the Bible Jesus tells His disciples this parable because He wants them to understand that God starts the kingdom with His Word And if the kingdom seems hidden at times it is hidden because God wants it to be hidden not because God and His kingdom lack power and glory on the contrary as we will see in some of the other parables the power and the glory of this kingdom is still to come And until then just because it seems hidden that doesn

    Original URL path: http://stmatthews.co.za/files/resources/sermons/message/the-sower/read.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Putting the past behind - by Mike Emslie
    He could have then stopped coming to church regularly and stopped reading his bible and praying as he used to After all where was God during this time Was God actually with him and for him And with all his experience he could give excuses that no one in the church would have been able to challenge He then could have started trying to fill his time with all sorts of other pursuits to get his mind off all these troubling thoughts But those bitter thoughts don t go anywhere they fester in the brain and heart and that just creates more frustration and anger especially as he was still trying hard to pretend that he was ok But Paul never took any of those approaches Let s look at how Paul did approach life and why even with all these things going on Philippians 3 13 14 In the lead up to these words Paul says In verses 2 3 watch out for the circumcision party They think they are being so spiritual by trying to get Gentile Christian to become Jewish through Jewish ritual as though that will help these Christians become even more spiritual when actually they have everything in Christ that the Jewish religion could never deliver It s a bit like a man who has just been rescued out of the dessert dying of thirst and hunger and who is now safe in a tent by an oasis with the best food and drink having another man lying in the dessert dying of thirst and hunger trying to convince him that it is better in the dessert But people do put their confidence in all sorts of shadowy and empty things In fact Paul says if anyone could have the sort of confidence that these guys were talking about it would be him 4 6 He had everything that Jewish people saw as being spiritual he was faultless in that regard and he was zealous not just a Jew in name And yet Paul says in 7 9 what was seen as so important by these people and he had much more than them he actually now considered it rubbish refuse dung compared to what he now had in Christ In fact Paul says if he were doing accounting what he once thought was profit all that stuff he would now put it on the loss side And all he would put on the profit side would be Christ And Paul is so glad to have the true righteousness that comes from God through faith in Christ real righteousness and not a false legalistic righteousness that people were trying to drum up in Judaism to impress God and it wasn t And so now obviously verses 10 11 Paul s ambitions are different No longer is it about Jewish ritual and religion it is now all about Christ 10 11 unpack he knew why he was suffering he was no victim How does Paul make

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  • Putting the past behind - by Mike Emslie
    have then stopped coming to church regularly and stopped reading his bible and praying as he used to After all where was God during this time Was God actually with him and for him And with all his experience he could give excuses that no one in the church would have been able to challenge He then could have started trying to fill his time with all sorts of other pursuits to get his mind off all these troubling thoughts But those bitter thoughts don t go anywhere they fester in the brain and heart and that just creates more frustration and anger especially as he was still trying hard to pretend that he was ok But Paul never took any of those approaches Let s look at how Paul did approach life and why even with all these things going on Philippians 3 13 14 In the lead up to these words Paul says In verses 2 3 watch out for the circumcision party They think they are being so spiritual by trying to get Gentile Christian to become Jewish through Jewish ritual as though that will help these Christians become even more spiritual when actually they have everything in Christ that the Jewish religion could never deliver It s a bit like a man who has just been rescued out of the dessert dying of thirst and hunger and who is now safe in a tent by an oasis with the best food and drink having another man lying in the dessert dying of thirst and hunger trying to convince him that it is better in the dessert But people do put their confidence in all sorts of shadowy and empty things In fact Paul says if anyone could have the sort of confidence that these guys were talking about it would be him 4 6 He had everything that Jewish people saw as being spiritual he was faultless in that regard and he was zealous not just a Jew in name And yet Paul says in 7 9 what was seen as so important by these people and he had much more than them he actually now considered it rubbish refuse dung compared to what he now had in Christ In fact Paul says if he were doing accounting what he once thought was profit all that stuff he would now put it on the loss side And all he would put on the profit side would be Christ And Paul is so glad to have the true righteousness that comes from God through faith in Christ real righteousness and not a false legalistic righteousness that people were trying to drum up in Judaism to impress God and it wasn t And so now obviously verses 10 11 Paul s ambitions are different No longer is it about Jewish ritual and religion it is now all about Christ 10 11 unpack he knew why he was suffering he was no victim How does Paul make it all

    Original URL path: http://stmatthews.co.za/files/resources/sermons/message/putting-the-past-behind/read.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Part 02 - by Colin Retief
    different Hebrew words for God So the LORD with all capitals is the word Jahweh which is a name for God It is God s name So when someone in the Bible refers to God as LORD with all capitals they are referring to him as Jahweh They are calling God by name When the word Lord which begins with a capital and the rest are lowercase is used That is a title of God The Hebrew word that is used here is Adonai So when you see the word Lord with lower case letters after the L it s probably a translation of the Hebrew word Adonai So why are we having this little lesson in Hebrew here Well the different ways that the word Lord is written shows that people actually took great care when it came to communicating to us who God is When they were indicating to us God s holy nature There was a reverence respect an awe as the name of God was used And as we know from the 10 commandments it s not to be taken in vain God is holy So here s Isaiah he s in the temple during this crucial time in the history of God s people Their king is dead but he goes to the temple and sees the true king of Israel Now Isaiah doesn t talk too much here about what God looks like Except that he is on the throne and you see the train of his robe filling the temple But what he does tell us is that this is some kind of awesome experience and we re using the word awesome properly here because he would have been filled with awe And what we do see here is that this is experience is dominated by God God is the central figure in what he sees here Isaiah tells us that there were seraphs which were angels above him each with six wings This isn t a normal experience that Isaiah is going through He is in a room with God and angels are flying around But here s the thing we need to take note of With 2 of their wings they were covering their faces And with 2 of their wings they were covering their feet Why did they do this They were in the presence of the Almighty God Look at verse 3 and they were calling to one another Holy holy holy is the Lord God Almighty The whole earth is full of His glory Vs 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke So Isaiah is having this experience of God s presence and his glory in the temple But according to these angels the whole earth is full of his glory Look at the first 3 words that the angels say in verse 3 Holy Holy Holy They are purposefully repeating over and over again This

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  • Part 02 - by Colin Retief
    for God So the LORD with all capitals is the word Jahweh which is a name for God It is God s name So when someone in the Bible refers to God as LORD with all capitals they are referring to him as Jahweh They are calling God by name When the word Lord which begins with a capital and the rest are lowercase is used That is a title of God The Hebrew word that is used here is Adonai So when you see the word Lord with lower case letters after the L it s probably a translation of the Hebrew word Adonai So why are we having this little lesson in Hebrew here Well the different ways that the word Lord is written shows that people actually took great care when it came to communicating to us who God is When they were indicating to us God s holy nature There was a reverence respect an awe as the name of God was used And as we know from the 10 commandments it s not to be taken in vain God is holy So here s Isaiah he s in the temple during this crucial time in the history of God s people Their king is dead but he goes to the temple and sees the true king of Israel Now Isaiah doesn t talk too much here about what God looks like Except that he is on the throne and you see the train of his robe filling the temple But what he does tell us is that this is some kind of awesome experience and we re using the word awesome properly here because he would have been filled with awe And what we do see here is that this is experience is dominated by God God is the central figure in what he sees here Isaiah tells us that there were seraphs which were angels above him each with six wings This isn t a normal experience that Isaiah is going through He is in a room with God and angels are flying around But here s the thing we need to take note of With 2 of their wings they were covering their faces And with 2 of their wings they were covering their feet Why did they do this They were in the presence of the Almighty God Look at verse 3 and they were calling to one another Holy holy holy is the Lord God Almighty The whole earth is full of His glory Vs 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke So Isaiah is having this experience of God s presence and his glory in the temple But according to these angels the whole earth is full of his glory Look at the first 3 words that the angels say in verse 3 Holy Holy Holy They are purposefully repeating over and over again This God is holy

    Original URL path: http://stmatthews.co.za/files/resources/sermons/message/part-027/read.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Part 01 - by Colin Retief
    will Amidst the trauma and stress of what was in store for him He prayed for God s will to be done everything is possible for you Take this cup from me he s talking about suffering YET not what I will but what you will What traumas are you facing this morning as you sit here Take it to the God who is mighty Take it to the God who created the heavens and the earth by his great power Everything is possible with him He is mighty he is powerful And you have his ear You have an audience with this mighty and powerful God We also get to call him father This great and mighty God great in power and mighty in deed We get to call him father The first time in the Bible that we are told to address God as our Father is when Jesus teaches his disciples to pray at the Sermon on the Mount He s telling the disciples about how to pray as a citizen of God s kingdom It s not a thing you do to look good in front of others It s not a think you do to show how holy you can be Prayer is something you do out of relationship with God So when you pray address God as your father I am well aware that for many folk here the concept of a father isn t always a helpful one when it comes to God Your experience of a father may not have been a good one I m sure there are many of you here this morning who are disappointed in their fathers Some for small things Some for big things And can I also say that no matter how great your earthly father was or is no matter how hard he may have even tried to be a good father he still wouldn t have got it 100 right So whatever your experience of a father is you need to realize that when God takes on a role he fulfils it the way it was meant to be He is the perfect father From the day that you were born you were dependant on your earthly father for many things But they weren t perfect They weren t in total control of the universe They could never full meet our expectations Well God is perfect God is in total control And you can call him father He is a good father He is not abusive He values his children Now when we get to the Lord s prayer and we see Jesus telling his disciples to address God as Father we can understand why Jesus calls him father because he is God s son But now he tells his disciples that they can call God their father the same way that he does And so can we Just think about this Let this idea sink into your head The God who created the

    Original URL path: http://stmatthews.co.za/files/resources/sermons/message/part-014/listen.html (2016-05-01)
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