Hebrews 13:1-6

Hebrews 13:1-16

1Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body....For he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." 6So we can confidently say,

"The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?"

I can remember times in my life where the Lord was impressing things upon my heart in such a clear way that I was sure it was Him. Some more recent events have been times where I was to say something to someone or confront someone's sin, do something for my wife, or even just to evangelize the lost. One thing that I have noticed is that in all of those moments, obedience, is not my natural response. My natural response has recently been to retreat and neglect what God was leading me into.

Knowing the state of the heart and the effects of sin on mankind, I know that I am not alone in my journey. Following the Lord and being obedient to what he calls us into is not natural or easy. My heart is constantly warring against what I know is right and good.

In the first 6 verses of this text we are given 5 commands.

  1. Love your brother.
  2. Show hospitality.
  3. Remember Christians who are mistreated and imprisoned for their faith.
  4. Honor your marriage sexually. Good sex inside marriage, NO sex outside of it.
  5. Be content with what you have.
Now, if we are honest. This list is not natural. Often times, it is so easy for me to not show brotherly love or get annoyed to open my home to others. Living in the safety of America, it is a rare occurrence that I think of other Christians who have it hard because of their faith. Having a sweet and God honoring marriage bed is something that my wife and I need to work on, and being content in what I have is something I am constantly having to guard for.

Then in verse 5 and 6, God gives us a way to help with our obedience.

One of the reasons that this is so difficult for me is simply because I do not always sense His presence. In those moments where I am sensing His presence and there is a natural awareness that He is near, obedience becomes very easy. But what about when it feels like Christ has departed from me an has left me astray? Arent there those moments where we feel lonely? David is the perfect example of this. He is constantly makeing comments like "Oh, Lord. Where are you? Why have you forsaken me? Why have you departed your presence.?"

In those moments, I have realized that I must trust the scriptures. I have to remember that verse 5 and 6 are true. For he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." 6So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"

God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. He is our helper in our time of need. In those moments where I am faced with the hard reality to be obedient, I must remember that the Lord is my helper in the ever-present time of need. I need not be obedient on my own, there is help and power granted to me by the Holy Spirit who dwells in my soul. I shall not fear anything, especially man. What can man ever do to me? Besides that, it is for my greatest joy to be obedient to Christ. He never leads me in directions that will destroy my joy, rather he is constantly leading me into an opportunity for a greater eternal joy. My soul and standing is secure in Christ and Christ alone. To him be all glory, honor and praise. Forever.

The next 2 weeks at Netcast Church

For the next two weeks, I will be traveling from MA to NC to be a camp pastor at a missions camp as well as doing some fundraising for our second year in ministry. For those of you who don't know, we have unexpectedly lost about $36k of funding for our 2nd year at Netcast. This was not due to anything other than the mere fact that one of our major donors has money tied up in other projects overseas and we got cut from the budget. We praise Christ for this family who played a major part in financially helping Netcast get where we are today.

As we have talked about many times, one of the most exciting things about what is going on at Netcast is our diversity and how God is growing our church faster than we ever expected. Because of that, we have been graced with some Godly men and women who are serving along with us.

Since I will be away, I am so excited for Steve Shomo to be preaching this week. For those who don't know, we are very blessed to have Steve with us. He comes to Netcast with over 25 years of senior pastoral ministry. He most recently was the lead pastor of a church in Warwick NY and saw it thrive in his years there. Steve will be continuing our study through the book of 1 Corinthians and you wont want to miss it. The following week, Josh will be bringing the preached word to us. (I'll be watching live online)

Please pray for me and my family during this trip. I will be preaching about 13 times while away and have many meetings about financial support. Your prayers are coveted. I love you more than you know.

Until all have heard!

Your Pastor,

Distractions in the Church World.

Distractions in Public Worship.

As we were studying 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 as a church, we noticed that the Lord really desires for us to be free of distractions as we gather corporately for worship. In this case, because of the way some of the women were dressing and behaving in the corporate gathering for worship, they were drawing peoples attention towards themselves and away from Christ.

Here are some ways that you can eliminate distractions while gathering for worship on Sundays.

1. Dress in a way that wont cause distractions.

Dress in such a way that does not draw attention to yourself, but limits distractions. I have been in churches where the girl in front of me has a belly shirt and her underwear is sticking out. Its a distraction. I have been in churches where the pastor is dressed to the nines and has gold all over his body. It's a distraction. Dress to eliminate yourself. This was the main issue of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. The point of worship is to point people to Jesus, not yourself.

2. Don't be the Tambourine Dude or the Flag Lady or the Cotton Eye Joe Dancer.

I'll never forget going to a buddies church and having to pass the flag lady to get in. If you bring a flag to church at Netcast, I will kick you out. If you feel its necessary to play a tambourine during worship, try out for the team so we can cut you and tell you NO because you are never on beat, you suck and you are distracting. And if you feel the urge to do the cotton eye joe dance moves in the front of the room during worship, you can do it. Just be prepared to be the first person to ever be dragged out of Netcast. The goal of worship is to point people to Jesus, not yourself.

3. Be careful that your Children are not a distraction.

The reason why we at Netcast do Children's Ministry downstairs and have people scheduled to teach your kids the scriptures downstairs is because I am a parent. The last church that I went to used to have the children sit with you in worship. So, I spend most of my time watching kids and trying to keep them quiet that I myself was distracted and most of the people around me are distracted. The point of worship is to point people to Jesus, not yourself or your kids.

4. Prepare your hearts before you get here.

  • Spend time in the morning doing things that will point your heart towards the gospel. Some things I do is, read some of the psalms, listen to worship music, or even just journal.

  • Pray with your spouse before you get to the gathered service.

  • Get to the church on time, and do your best to not be a distraction to others as you arrive late. Remember there is always grace with this, however it is helpful

5. Engage when you are here. (You have the grace to do it.)

  • Be attentive. If you are simply coming to church on Sunday in order to fulfill your religious duty, you have missed it. Things like being on facebook, texting, twitter, writing notes to the person next to you, etc. All of these things are a distraction during the gathered service. Pursue Christ by staying attentive to him during the preached word and worship through singing.

  • Uphold a posture of worship. Don't be afraid to do things like Lift your hands, sing aloud, rock your body, smile, pray. Your body language should match your emotions. I know many people in my reformed camp disagree with this, but I do think that evaluating posture, is also a good heart check.

6. Watch distractions outside of “Sunday”. (Worship in all areas of life.)

  • 1 Peter 5:8 “The devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking to devour you. Resist him.”

  • Guard who gets your attention. Its not enough to just not cheat on your spouse. Guard your heart. Think through who are the people in your life who are getting your attention but shouldn't be.

  • Pursue an organized life. Things like schedule, bed time, dinner schedule, Grocery Shopping, keeping a neat home. All of these things help you with time management in your house. Many people claim to not do things like prayer, bible study, community, etc because they don't have time. Organize your life so that you have time.

  • Watch your debt. Create financial margin in your life to worship through giving if God calls you to. Often times, having bad debt is a distraction in your life and eliminates your ability to give when God calls you to give.

    Remember the Gospel. Lastly, the most important thing we can do to eliminate distractions in our life is to continue to remind ourselves of the gospel. Preach it to yourself, live life with people who will remind you of it and look for it in the scriptures. Remembrance is an art and one that we aught to look to master. It is so easy to forget what Christ has done on our behalf and look to rely on our own ability to become reconciled to God. Remembering Christ and the gospel will propel us into worship.

I need to repent to some of you....

Because of some things that I said on Sunday in my sermon, I feel that I need to repent. As we studied through 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, we covered a lot of context and I neglected to mention some things. The message is here http://www.vimeo.com/26268083

What was happening in the Corinthian Church is that the women had found a new freedom in Christ which was a good thing. However, that new freedom began to lead these women into finding their identity in their freedom. The way that this was beginning to play out, was that the women did not dress in a way that was honoring to their husbands and were causing distractions as the church was gathering to worship through singing and preaching. Paul instructs the church in Corinth not to use their spiritual freedom to deviate from the social norms of their day because this would create a distraction in worship.

To my embarrassment, I never addressed the issue of “Identity” in my sermon. In forgetting to do so, I may have said some things that were offensive and degrading to you. For that I repent and will seek to explain the issue of “Identity” now.

As believers in Christ, we are to find our “Identity” in Christ and Christ alone. Our culture would tell us that a women's value is found in how she dress, how she looks, how much she weighs and even how willing she is sexually. In Christ, none of that is true. As women who have been purchased and bought by Jesus, your identity is found solely in Christ. So, as God's people we view things such as beauty and sexuality much different than mainstream culture. God is much more concerned with the heart than he is with the outward appearance of someone.

My fear is that the women (and men) at Netcast will do the same as the women in Corinth; and that is seek to find their hope in something outward. To do so is idolatry, and I would seek to spare you of that. The temptation will be for us to succumb to what the culture calls sexy or beautiful and forget what scripture says is sexy and beautiful. To trust in the cultural view is a shallow puddle and constantly changing, but to trust in Christ is a deep fountain and eternal. Thus, we at Netcast find our queues from the Word of God.

So Ladies....For those in Christ, you are incredibly beautiful, both on the inside and the outside. You have been uniquely designed by the Lord and are wonderfully made (Psalm 139). Not because culture says so, but because Christ says so. Not because of your height and weight, but because of your heart. Not because of what you wear, but because you are clothed in the blood of Christ. Praise his name.

I love you more than you can know.

Pastor Matt

Changing Location of my Cookout!!!

Hey guys,

Since it's raining, we have moved tonights "get together" to The Keifers house. Because they're freaking AWESOME!!!! Everything is the same except the location. They have a bigger house and more room for the 15 kids that are expected to come if it rains.

Please swing through. We cant wait to all hang out. Their address is below.

42 Centre St.
Danvers MA 01915
Call my cell if you get lost 336-362-5662
Pass this along to anyone who you know is coming. Its last minute so we'll have to work together.

Matt Chewning
Netcast Church - Lead Pastor

netcastchurch.org matt@netcastchurch.org

Conversation with a Skeptic.

Since beginning to plant Netcast, I often find myself dialoging with skeptics about Christianity. Here is one. Start from the bottom and work your way up.

John Doe,

Hey man. OK, let me start by saying that I am glad that you shot me an email and decided to chat through some of these things. The questions that you asked are great questions and ones that I have given some thought to in the past. I am encouraged that you seem to sincerely be searching for answers and not just trying to be combative like many people do.

Before I start to answer your questions, I have to lay some groundwork. To start, we have to understand what Christianity is. Many people think that it is a belief system, moral code, modeling Jesus, religious duties, being good to your neighbor, etc. Although some of that is is true, it is not the essence if the Christian message, but rather the fruit of a person who's heart has been transformed by the gospel (good news) of Christ.

Gospel is one of those words that Christians often use, but rarely define. Unless we establish what we’re talking about when we say, “gospel,” I'm not really doing much good by throwing it around. At best you'll have a vague idea what I'm talking about. At worst, I can potentially lead you astray from God and truth.

Beyond religion and irreligion, there is “The Gospel”. Irreligion operates on the premise: I will be my own god, and find acceptance through my own means. Religion operates on the premise: I will obey God, and find acceptance through these means. The gospel, however, operates on the premise: I constantly fail to obey God the way that I should, but because of what Jesus has done, he has accepted me anyway. Now, as a grateful response, I will seek to obey him. This is radically different than being religious or irreligious.

The gospel teaches us that because of Christ’s work on the cross and on our behalf, we are accepted by God and considered righteous. Because this depends on Jesus, and not ourselves, we are utterly secure. There is no way for us to mess it up or lose it: Jesus has done it all. Therefore religion is out. There is no place for earning anything. There is no place for moral superiority or pride.

Also, before I get to the questions, I have to address one thing that you mentioned. I never denied the existence of God (a universal energy) and the great example that Jesus has provided to us, BUT unfortunately many religious groups do not preach the real teachings of Christianity and instead they focus on the same mambo jumbo that I used to hear every Sunday when I was a kid.

In this you mention that many religious groups do not preach the real teachings of Christianity. So, in that I want to ask, what you feel the real teachings of Christianity are?

Also, you mentioned the great example that Jesus provided us. If by that you mean, “Love your neighbor.” I can assure you that there have been many before Christ and after Christ who have modeled that for us. To take that a little further, if Christ was just a simple model for us, then the man was simply crazy. His mom claimed to be a virgin when she conceived him (yeah right); He said things like, eat my flesh and drink my blood, he claimed to be a part of creating the world, he literally whipped religious leaders out of the temples, he did magic/miracles and ultimately claimed to be God and was murdered for it. So, to simply say he was a good model, is a stretch. He modeled “crazy” if anything. If anyone today said the things that he said and did the things that he did we would throw him in a Loonie house. In essence, Christ's fame and his ability to literally alter all of history and humanity, was not because of his example, but because of his death, burial and resurrection. If, and I say “IF” because you have to determine if you believe this or not. If Jesus really lived without any error, was murdered for claiming to be God, and then rose from the dead 3 days later, then he isn't just our example, but he must be exactly who he claimed to be. God!! Wild, I know. But thats what I believe. I just don't believe that experientially but also intellectually. My mind has looked at the claims, weighed it against the evidence and this is the conclusion that I have come to.

OK.....That was probably a lot to take in and probably raises a lot more questions. But we needed to start somewhere.

  1. We all born sinners: It is hard for me to believe that a new born baby, the purest creature among all is a sinner, that the baby is impure. That is a contradictory idea by nature and also by the main definition of God which for me is love.

OK. I want to start with your main definition of God. Love!! To start, I think that we may be finding some common ground with that because the only historical document that we can get that definition from is the bible. 1 John 4:8 says “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” In the ancient Greek world and even in modern day religion, there isn't a God who loved humanity on the sole bases of his character. It was always, “do X” and you will receive love. Or “don't do Y” and you will receive love. That is the one thing that makes Christianity totally different than any other religion known to man. Christians do not have to do anything, but only rely on Christ who has done it for them. This is called “grace”.

So, the next thing that we have to do is define the word sinner and get on the same page. I fear that you probably are taking your definition from your guilt ridden background. Since we are talking about Christianity and the bible is the sole means of understanding evangelicalism, how does the bible define sin? Sin is any thought, motive or deed that does not bring glory to God. So, any selfish thought, motive or deed is sin. If you and I are honest, every one of our motives are tainted by selfishness. Think about it, have you ever tried to do anything good with a single pure good motive? Give to the poor, rub your wife's back, etc...Even the best and most moral things that I do almost always puff me up and bring pride, which again is the root of all sin. Genesis 8:21 says “the intentions of mans heart is evil from his youth.” You and I are dad's. I have 4 kids and I think that we can agree that our kids are born with selfish desires. They hit when they don't get what they want, even though they have never seen me or my wife hit. They scream when they don't get their way, even though they have never seen us act that way. So, I think that both our experiences and the scriptures would testify to the truth that we are born sinners.

Now, that wasn't always the case. The scriptures also tell us that God created us perfect with no flaws and it wasn't until we (Adam and Eve) choose to sin, that sin fractured everything. Thus, the sin nature is now passed to all of us through the lineage.

OK, since that is a lot to take in for now. Lets start there. Pertaining to the life of Jesus, really the only thing that we have documented is his early life and later ministry. There is a large gap of years there. I do not know why that is the case. I honestly couldn't tell you. That said, if you look at the totality of the bible it serves one purpose from beginning to end. To tell the world that God will redeem the brokenness that sin has caused. From beginning to end it is pointing us to Christ as the one who will pay for the cost of sin. So everything that was written before Christ was to point us forward to the coming of Christ, and everything written after Christ, is point us back to what Christ has done by paying for our sin on the cross. So, from beginning to end it is all about what happened at the cross. Not to say that the missing parts of Christ's life are not necessary, personally I would love to learn what happened during those years. But, in the end, he probably was a kid who ran around and had fun, was tempted like we are tempted, yet he did not fall like we fall. He was probably a little rough around the edges with his dad being a carpenter. From his adult life and how he would deal with people, I can see him as being a little sarcastic as a kid. But again, thats all speculation.

We'll have to attack the violence of the bible at another time. I have some other thing I gotta run to, but I got some thoughts on that as well. Maybe we can do that one over coffee.

Let me know how this settles and what else you're thinking of.


Matt Chewning
Netcast Church - Lead Pastor

netcastchurch.org matt@netcastchurch.org

To: Matt Chewning
Sent: Thu, June 30, 2011 9:09:40 AM
Subject: Re: I'm curious about Netcast

Hello Matt:

First of all, thank you for getting back to me so quickly!, to be honest I had my doubts about getting a response or maybe one within a week later. I like that good "customer service" you might have adopted during your years in Corp. America.

Alright, let's start with my background and history if you let me.

I was born and raised in South America, as you might know most Latin American countries are Catholic due to the Spanish colonization. I believe that the Catholic influence was in the air, not only coming from my Family but also from the society in general. Unfortunately, my Catholic experience is one of memorization and repetition of prays without understanding what they meant or why you should be saying them. The other environment that was not healthy in my religious experience was the obsessive idea of guilt that was imposed. I grew up with guilt about everything making me feel that I was not good enough, that I was a bad person. It took me a lot to get out of that bad environment, thank God for the University that gave me the opportunity to have my first contact to Theology which made me see things in a different way. After the university I went into a divorce with the Catholic church (at least with the one that I experienced). I never denied the existence of God (a universal energy) and the great example that Jesus has provided to us, BUT unfortunately many religious groups do not preach the real teachings of Christianity and instead they focus on the same mambo jumbo that I used to hear every Sunday when I was a kid. Due to the divorce I mentioned before I started searching to fill up the spiritual gap I have been carrying for years. I am not an expert in any religion, but by knowing the generals of each of them, I ended up understanding many things. The main Idea is that no matter how you call your God, it is the same one. The other idea I got was that no matter which religion you follow, the main goal of it is to develop into a better spiritual life, one that connects you to your God, therefore improves your life and you are able to achieve happiness. The last idea I learned is that even though all religions have good intentions, at the end of the day humans are the ones that run the show, therefore there are biases or contradictions between what they preach and what their members do.

Now let's talk about my main questions because I have several but there are a 3 that kind of bug me a lot:

1- We all born sinners: It is hard for me to believe that a new born baby, the purest creature among all is a sinner, that the baby is impure. That is a contradictory idea by nature and also by the main definition of God which for me is love. How could God would like us to believe that we are sinners since day one of our existence. This concept kind of flows with the idea of imposing guilt so other dogmas could be accepted without analysis of them. If there is an analogy or metaphor behind this idea, please explain it to me.

2- The life of Jesus: I might have not done enough research on this, but It seems that the only 2 parts known about his life were his childhood and when he was 30 y.o. to the time of his death. It is kind of hard for me to believe that his life in between was unknown or at least not mentioned as if there is something to hide about it. If you know where I could read more about Jesus entire life, please guide me.

3- Lastly but not least, why the bible is so violent?: this summer my 2 girls are going to a Christian summer camp. In the camp they gave a "bible for kids". Some moms from my kids' school told us that it is great, so we accepted the gift. We started reading it and since we (my wife and I) have not read the bible from beginning to the end, we were surprised about some stories that talk about adultery, killing and other violent acts. I don't want to raise my kids in a crystal bubble, but I don't think that a 7 or 5 y.o. kids need to be expose to those type of stories. Is there a real bible for kids? one that focuses on the good things that should be learned out of it without exposing kids to the misery that we humans created in the world. It is sad, but we live in a society that enjoys violence, I don't want that for my kids and in my own way I try to avoid anything that is violent, but I also would like my kids to learn the good stuff of the bible. As you said in your response: something that is the foundation for their beliefs.

I might not be a good example for my kids as a Christian, but at least I want to be able to answer all their questions related to Christianity and this is why I'm asking all these questions.

Matt, I don't expect you to have the answers to all my questions, but any guidance or help would be appreciated.

- John Doe

Why I'm about to start "Partnerships" at Netcast.

I have been thinking, praying and talking with some other pastors about this idea of "Partnership" and honestly have struggled. Through prayer and thought, this is my biggest concern. It has been hard for me to really think through why I have this feeling in my gut that we need to start to have partnerships. Here are my reasonings that I have thought through. Much of these thoughts came from an awesome conversation with Jason Brinkley who is a wonderful man of God and a dear friend.

A Biblical Reason: Christ is committed to the church.

"...Christ loved the church, and he gave his life for it." Ephesians 5:25

They typical argument against this is that, "we don't need to sign a paper in order to be committed to something." Agreed, however, if for some reason people are not willing to go through a formal process to be committed to the local church, than we are forced to ask the question, "why"? What is it about a formal commitment that is scary or not necessary to them?

A Cultural Reason: It is an antidote to our society.

We live in an age where very few want to be committed to anything...a job...a marriage...our country. This attitude has even produced a generation of "church shoppers and hoppers". Partnership swims against the current of America's "consumer religion." It is an unselfish decision where we come together and formally agree to invest in each other.

A Practical Reason: It defines who can be counted on.

Every team must have a roster. Every school must have an enrollment. Every business has a payroll. Every army has an enlistment. Even our country takes a census and requires voter registration. Partnership identifies our family. I personally think we need a way to discern who we are spending our time with and investing in. Who's on our team? I thought of it like this....In my basketball days, I couldn't imagine my coaches investing in me if I wasn't fully committed to the team. We as the leaders of the church need to identify who is on our team (Netcast) and begin to spend the majority of our time investing in them. I see this where we are commanded to "equip the saints for the ministry." Without a process to identify who is partnered with us, it makes it hard to be a good steward which saints we should be equipping with our time and resources as things progress. This may not seem like a big deal now, but as Netcast grows and has staff and other pastors, community group leaders, etc.....we will want to know who is invested in us and therefore who we should be most invested in.

A Personal Reason: It produces spiritual growth.

The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. We all know the verses. For those of us who have been out of biblical community for any amount of time, we know that we cannot be accountable when we're not committed to our church family. This process of partnership will help us with that. Committing to Community forces you into accountability which in turns deepens knowledge, maturity, holiness and Christlikeness. In the end, I truly believe that partnership will be a means of God's grace that will protect the unity and maturity of Netcast. As a committed people, we will in the end, be better worshippers of Jesus.

A Leadership Reason: It defines Netcast leaders.

I define leadership as anyone who is visibly leading someone at Netcast; this can be a community group leader, staff, anyone on the worship team, any ministry head, etc. Currently, we really do not have any means of knowing who we should and should not allow lead. This is a scary thing for our ministry because we are growing fast and need more leaders. Thus, the temptation will be to put people into leadership because of need rather than their qualifications. Not everyone is biblically qualified to lead. If partnership is the first step towards leadership, than it allows us to quickly see who are candidates for leadership. Currently, I have allowed and appointed leaders at Netcast with no process and by God's grace, we are forming a solid and united team. However, in the future, for the protection of that unity, it is absolutely necessary to have a system or process in place for people to work their way into leadership.

Idolatry defined, exposed and fought (1 Corinthians 10:1-31)

Whatever we worship we will serve and whatever we serve reveals what we worship because service and worship are always bound together. That being said, as Christians, if we worship anything other than Jesus Christ as God, than we become idolaters. Before I became a Christian, I always thought that “worship” of anything was looked at in a negative light. The word was never used positively. I remember arriving to a Christian College as a Freshman with no church background and when they told me to stand up for worship in chapel, I literally ran out and called my dad.

As we continue through our study of 1st Corinthians, Paul gets to this theological topic of Idolatry and Worship in chapter 10. He starts the chapter by telling the Corinthians that they are acting like the wicked generation Israel that wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until God killed them all off in order to bring the next generation into teh promise land. He then lists out some of their idolatry and finally tells them that God will never allow them to be tempted beyond their ability to stand and endure.

That said, lets together define idolatry, expose our idolatry and fight idolatry.

Idolatry Defined / Idolatry Exposed / Idolatry Fought

Idolatry defined:

Idolatry is anything more important to you than God. Anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God. And idol is something that we want so badly that we will sin if we don’t get it or sin in order to obtain it. Its anything that you seek to give you what only God can give you. Idolatry is building your life and meaning on anything other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Some common idols in todays culture are: Sleep, Sexual Pleasure, Intimacy, Work, Money, TV, Food, Isolation, a spouse, a Boyfriend / Girlfriend, a Sport, Exercise, Hobbies, Internet, Video Games, Drugs, Alcohol, and even things such as your Church and Ministry.

Idolatry exposed:

Here are some questions we can ask ourselves to in order to identify our own personal idols:

1. What do you daydream about? What occupies your mind when you have nothing to think about? Sex, Work, Sleeping, being in the presence of God, bible reading, Sundays at Church?

2. How do you spend your money? The Kingdom of God, The local church. What do you spend money on when you really don’t have the money? Food, clothes, kids. Truth be told, the reason why many people don’t tithe to their church is not because they don’t believe in the tithe or they don’t have money, but because deep in their mind the mission of God is not worth their investment.

3. What is your most uncontrollable emotion? Joy, gratitude, love, patience, or Anger, Saddness, Fear, Hatred.

4. Where do you run for security when you are overwhelmed? Jesus, your bible, prayer, Sleep, internet, alcohol, sex, exercise, work, isolation.

5. What is the one thing, that if you had it, it’d complete you? (Jerry Maguire: You complete me, shut up, you had me at hello) More money, new job, new wife, new husband, kids, better kids.

6. How do you define yourself? By what you do, where you live, by your past, by your identity in Christ.

7. Are you more broken when people reject you or when they reject Jesus? In other words, are you more consumed with the way people view you or the one who you claim is ultimate? The reason some of us don’t care about living on mission, is because deep down you worship yourself and your image, more than you worship Christ.

Idolatry fought:

1. Fighting together. (Judges 1:1-4)

Godly men and women lock arms together and fight together. Even though through Christ we have been granted victory, it is alway necessary for us to grab others to walk along side of us in order to go to battle. The reason why many of us stop enduring is because nobody is pushing us to keep fighting.

2. Fighting with disciplines. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

What are the 5 things that move you away from a pursuit of Christ? Make a List (Here's mine.) and stop doing them.

1. Under sleep. 2. Too much time on TV or internet.

3. Living in isolation. 4. Work to much. 5. No exercise.

What are the 5 things that lead you into worship and gratitude of Christ? Make a List (Here's mine.) and begin to do them more.

1. Bible/Journaling and coffee. 2. Meeting with other Godly dudes to talk and pray.

3. Reading, Listening to Sermons. 4. Date Night with Beth.

5. Pray with the kids at night and talk about the Lord.

3. Transform your mind. (Romans 12:2)

What if we tunnel all the worship that we give to idols and apply it to the Lord? Which is basically seeking to fulfill 1 Corinthians 10:31. In other words, in everything that you do, in everything you say, in everything you touch, in every instance of every day, you and I should seek to bring Glory to the one who deserves glory. The one who created you, who loves you, the one who dances over you, the one whom you belong to. Jesus Christ

The entire book of Ecclestaties is letting us know that every single thing that this world has to offer is futile and will pass away. Sex, Money, Exercise, Prestige, whatever. Yet the Lord is the only one who can deliver everlasting joy. Therefore, he is truly the only one worthy of our worship.

Back from Vail, CO with A29

So, I am so glad to be back this weekend and spend Sunday with my family at Netcast. Beth and I had a wonderful time in Vail, CO on vacation. The vacation served 2 purposes. First, the Acts 29 network sent us away to go on a retreat and have our souls refreshed with some incredible worship and bible teaching. Second, it was an awesome time for Beth and I to connect in ways that are just hard when you are in the day to day grind. I encourage all the married couples at Netcast to try and get away a few times a year without any kids or contact to the outside world.

That said, Happy Long Weekend!!! If you are in town this week, I really look forward to seeing you and maybe some of your visiting family at Netcast. This Sunday we will continue in 1st Corinthians 10 as Apostle Paul talks to the Corinthians Church about Idolatry. Yikes!! Invite a friend to church and then throw a bbq at your house.

A few Announcements:
•Community Groups will be coming to an end during the last week of August and then restarting again the week of September 12th. If you are not yet in a group, please get in one or plan on getting into one in September.
•Church Partnership will start up in September as well. Be praying about if the Lord is leading you to partner with us on this mission. Details of what partnership is, will be discuessed in coming months.
•We will be doing a baptism on September 11th. If you have not been baptized or were only baptized as a baby but not after making a profession of faith in Christ, email me at matt@netcastchurch.org Lets get you on the list.

Until all have heard,
Pastor Matt