Matthew

The Ones God Never Casts Aside

This broken world we weren’t designed for, can leave us faint-hearted. God did not create us to experience things that cut, sting, wound, and hurt. Join Pastor Frank in this short video to discover how Jesus treats His faint-hearted children.


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The Ones God Never Casts Aside

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I remind people all the time that we're living in a world we were never designed to live in. We were designed for the Garden of Eden, a paradise. If you hadn't noticed, this is anything but paradise! Things happen to us that we were never designed for. Things that cut, sting, wound, hurt, and cause us, in a very real way, to bleed out. We've become what the Bible calls faint-hearted.

The word “faint-hearted” is the fascinating Greek word, “Oligopsuchos,” which literally means “small-souled.” 

We've atrophied from what we were originally designed to be. But that’s where Jesus comes in!

I love what Jesus said in Matthew 12, quoting Isaiah, He said, “A bruised reed He will not break…” Matthew 12:20a (NIV) But what does that mean? 

In the ancient world, they would take reeds, carve them, and put holes in them to make flutes. If you bruised, bent, or broke the reed, it wouldn't play. So they’d throw it away because there were a bunch of other reeds out there. 

Listen, my friend, God will never treat you as a bruised reed. He will never say, “This one’s no good anymore! There's lots of reeds I can use.” That's not our God. 

He will never cast off the bruised reed!

In the same verse Jesus says, “...And a smoldering wick He will not put out…” Matthew 12:20b (NASB) What is He saying to us? 

Well, to make a lamp in the ancient world, they would put in oil, and they would put a wick in the oil. When the wick began to burn down, it wouldn't give off much light. It was no big deal. They would extinguish it, throw it away, and get another wick. There were plenty of wicks out there. 

What does Jesus say about a smoldering wick? He says, “I will never extinguish it!” 

My friends, it’s time for the Church to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It’s time for the church to reach out to those smoldering wicks, those bruised reeds, those small-souled people...and love on them! Be with them. Live with them. 

It’s time to teach the faint-hearted who they really are and how much God loves them! 

Tell the faint-hearted that He will never, ever, cast them aside!

This is the love of our great God. This is the love of Jesus!


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A Man

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Interesting...

When the gospel writers Mark and Luke wrote their gospel, they tell the story of the call of Levi (Matthew).  They detail that Jesus saw a tax collector.  When Matthew wrote his gospel, he wrote NOT that Jesus saw a tax collector, but that Jesus saw "a man".

Isn't that glorious!  Matthew did not define himself by what he did, but by who he was... a man, made in the image of God.

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Forgiveness

...responsibility to forgive comes with an  entirely different motivation in the New Covenant.

...responsibility to forgive comes with an entirely different motivation in the New Covenant.

I was listening to the Christian radio station, and the announcer said that he was going to share the memory verse for the week. It was Matthew 6:14-15, “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” After reading the passage, the announcer said, “Isn’t that a wonderful verse to live by?” I about came out of my skin as I screamed at the radio, “NO! THAT IS A HORRIBLE VERSE TO LIVE BY! WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD WANT TO LIVE UNDER THAT VERSE?”

Fortunately, we do not have to live under that verse, isn’t that great news? Now, someone might say, “But Jesus taught that verse, so isn’t it binding on us today?” Yes, Jesus did teach it but he taught it pre-cross, before He died and was resurrected. In other words, He taught that verse under the Old Covenant economy! That means of course, that we are no longer under that economy because Jesus has instituted a new and better covenant!

I am so thankful that because of the New Covenant, I do not have to rack my brain every night trying to see if there is someone I have failed to forgive. That I can get some semblance of sleep without being terrified by the fear that there might be someone I have failed to forgive.

Now again, someone might ask, “But aren’t we supposed to forgive?” Yes, we are, but our responsibility to forgive comes with an entirely different motivation in the New Covenant.

In Ephesians 4:32, Paul states that we are to “Forgive one another, even as God for Christ’s sake, has forgiven us.” Did you see it? In the New Covenant economy, we are not forgiving others so that we will be forgiven, we are forgiving others BECAUSE we have already been forgiven. Now, that is a verse to live by!

How do you value yourself?

In the realm of humanity, we most often define ourselves and other men by what we/they do. He is a doctor. I am an attorney. I am just a housewife. HE is just a janitor. It seems that in the realm of humanity, not only do we define ourselves by what we do, but we also establish value based on what we do. The more important our "doing" the more important we are, and the less important our "doing" is, the less important we are. What a tragedy!

God makes it very clear that identity is found in our birth, and there are in fact only two identities in the world. Those who have been born in Adam, and those who have been born again in Christ. If you have been born again, you are a child of God. That is your true identity. Hence, I am a child of God who "does doctoring"... I am a child of God who "does housewifing"... get the idea?

And what about the value? Value is determined by the price one is willing to pay for something. If I value a pen at a million dollars, and try to sell the pen for that sum, but it never sells, it in actuality is not worth a million dollars because no one was willing to pay that price. Finally, I find a buyer who determines he will pay $5.00 for the pen. Now its value has been determined. Well my friends, God determined that He would pay the blood of His own Son for you, blood that is defined in the Scriptures as inestimable, immeasurable value.... He has determined that you are of infinite value.

A CHILD OF GOD WITH INFINITE VALUE --- that is how you should define yourself because that is how God defines you...

FASCINATING --- but these two ways of thinking are found in the Scriptures. When the other Gospel writers told the story of Matthew (Levi), they defined him as a "tax collector"... they defined him according to what he did.

When Matthew wrote his own Gospel, having met and embraced Jesus as His Lord, Savior, and Life, Matthew told the story very differently. He wrote, "and Jesus saw a man!" He refused to identify himself according to what he did, but according to who he was. Jesus did not see a tax collector, he saw a man who did not yet know who he was, but he was going to find out, and finding out who he really was radically altered his life. WOW!!!