When we are a steward instead of an owner, we are called to both a posture and a practice The posture is contentment. The practice we must put into use is giving first. When we give to God first, it makes Him the priority and also increases our faith.
Posts By: Matthew Johnson
Before you can understand any of the teachings from the Bible about money, you must first embrace a proper perspective concerning your resources. From the very beginning of God’s relationship with His people, He has taught them that 100% of what they have is His and they are simply stewards of it. When you own… Read more »
Weekly Challenge Memory Scripture For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 These are the six steps towards freedom that Pastor Matthew taught on Sunday. Take at least one step forward by beginning at step one and working your way… Read more »
Breaking Down the Verse Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints… Ephesians 6:18 Praying at all times Prayer is not simply a once a day event, but a constant conversation with God. Just as any… Read more »
Context Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints… Ephesians 6:18 The above verse comes at the end of a passage of Scripture that is commonly referred to as the “Armor of God.” The Apostle Paul begins… Read more »
Weekly Challenge Verse to memorize: Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints Ephesians 6:18 The challenge for this week is to bring prayer into every element of your day. Here are three suggestions: 1) Pick a moment… Read more »
The goal of marriage is for two to become one. That was God’s initial design but that design only works with God as the focus of the marriage. When Adam and Eve sinned, God was pushed out and replaced with SELF. From that point on, every marriage struggles because people by nature are selfish. When… Read more »
The process of being disciples and making disciples is very difficult when we think we have to be good enough to actually lead someone else. The truth is Jesus never meant for us to simply lead others as much as He meant for us to get into groups of like minded people and together walk… Read more »
Dozens of times Jesus said “Follow me” to people and each person was different, had different struggles, were in different places and have different degrees of understanding. The goal was the same for each of them in spite of their diversity and so was the expectation. Jesus told them all to follow and to be… Read more »
This is the story of the good Samaritan. In this event, a man sets out to test Jesus and in their conversation, the man then asks a common but wrong question: “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus flips it around by telling the story of the good Samaritan. What Jesus communicated is that it’s not about… Read more »
God wants to speak through us to others to encourage them. Sometimes God speaks prophetically through you to encourage someone or He will speak through someone else to encourage you. Either way, it’s all a gift of the Holy Spirit.
Before you watch here are some things about the message: 1. It’s way longer than normal (65 minutes) because it is a study on the topic. 2. It is a message from a pastor to his church. This message is best heard from someone who has credibility with you. 3. Feel free to post, but… Read more »
God gives us the tools we need to accomplish the impossible task of living for Him and making disciples of the world. This only happens through the power of the Holy Spirit as God uses His gifts to help us in supernatural ways.
The Holy Spirit works ON us so that He can also work THROUGH us. He convicts, challenges, empowers, etc. our lives so that we can be a blessing to others. Our natural bent is sin. In Galatians our spirits are described in dramatically sinful ways. The Holy Spirit wants to change that.
In the same way that when you are saved, you receive the full benefits of salvation through obedience, the baptism in the Holy Spirit also works. Once you receive Him by faith, you need to walk in obedience to experience the full benefits and power of the Holy Spirit.
God giving us His presence/Spirit was His plan all along because He is the only one who can accomplish true life in us and through us.I am talking about how giving us His presence/Spirit was His plan all along because He is the only one who can accomplish true life in us and through us.
8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me John 16:8-9 I have witnessed something with all four of my children. At a very early age, they understood what was right and wrong…even with things that Mary and I never… Read more »
Luke lays out all of the ways that Jesus is great: heals the sick, raises the dead, controls the weather, authority over spiritual forces, does miracles like feeding the thousands, and transfigures in front of His disciples. The differences between the realities of His greatness and submission are laid in stark contrast to the response… Read more »
God uses the experiences of our lives to prepare us for the future. Every experience God takes us through has a present day purpose but also a future purpose. Our response to our experiences is either to worship God or to create an idol out of it. The way that we use it for worship… Read more »
Jesus clearly explains that the only way to follow Him is to deny yourself, die to yourself and then follow. He goes on to explain that if you don’t follow this pattern, you are not really following Him or experiencing life. This world offers an illusion of life. Jesus offers the real thing. We must… Read more »
Jesus asks His disciples who the crowd thinks that He is. Jesus then asks Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” This question is being posed to men who left everything, made financial sacrifices, and risked their lives to follow. Isn’t it obvious who they think He is? Jesus wanted them to declare… Read more »
Jesus asked the disciples to do something unique and seemingly illogical. He told them to go on a trip and don’t do any of the things you would normally do to prepare for it. Jesus was preparing them to take a step of faith. He wanted them to go alone, trusting God would supernaturally provide… Read more »
Just a few weeks ago on the way home from school, my kids were talking about the fire drill that they had that day at school. This was just one of several drills that they’ve had this year. It’s one of the first things that is taught at the beginning of the school year. The… Read more »
For thousands of years, people got sick and died without ever knowing what was killing them. Mankind’s ignorance that bacteria was the force behind sickness was destructive for so long. What if we are living in a more destructive time and even more ignorant? We are. The reality is that there is an unseen force… Read more »
At times, Jesus leads our lives to “storms” (difficult situations) so that we will learn to trust Him so our faith will grow. The reason we fear present situations is because of past experience (whether ours or someone else’s). Jesus wants us to understand that present reality changes past experience…Jesus is now in the boat… Read more »
Jesus continues His theme of responding to His commands/teachings with obedience. He then gives an illogical example. He says, “No one lights and lamp and covers it with a jar.” The idea is that no one gets saved (the light of Jesus) and then hides it by not doing good works. That’s illogical. An honest… Read more »
All of human history is now viewed in relation to one event, the birth of Jesus Christ. When Jesus came into the world, He changed human history on two important levels. He changed the very culture (how people viewed needy people, women, slaves, generosity, etc.) and He changed the spiritual reality. Before Jesus, everyone was… Read more »
When we understand how much we have been saved from, we will show greater mercy to other people and worship Jesus more. The way to love better, be more forgiving, be more patient and be less judgmental is to realize how great your own sin is/was and that Jesus forgave it.
Each idea in this passage is challenging the religious community that was simply going through the motions and trying to justify themselves. Jesus’ whole message was that to follow Him takes obedience through actual behavior.
While submitting to and serving others may not come natural to us, it is the way Jesus calls us to live and that posture makes for healthier and safe relationships.
God’s math requires supernatural help. He says in marriage, 1 + 1 + 1= 1. The only way that a marriage can work is for both parties to pursue God so that He can be the fulfiller of all their deep needs. He must heal them, set them free, forgive them, etc. Once we focus… Read more »
All of us want and even expect life to turn out good. I think it’s a byproduct of being raised in America. We simply expect to turn out good or get bailed out. The problem is that we don¹t plan and live in a way that leads toward what we really desire. Are we willing… Read more »
Jesus questions His audience why they would call Him, “Lord, Lord” (master or savior in this context) and yet not obey me? It’s a ridiculous thing to call Him Lord and not obey. Either He is God, or He’s not. Saying it but not believing it to the point of action makes no sense.
Jesus tells us that if the tree is healthy, it will produce good fruit. Jesus is telling us the proof of if we are following Jesus’ desires is in our actions. We will know we are following Him when our lives produce fruit.
Jesus once again challenges the way that comes naturally to us and is modeled by all of culture. He challenges us to not judge other people. Judging is more than forming an opinion, it is including a sentence/judgment with that opinion. Jesus’ challenge is to start with yourself by examining your own life. When you… Read more »
In one of the most challenging passages of scripture in the Bible (Luke 6:27-36) Jesus challenges us on how we are to respond to those that hurt us.
Jesus was always challenging people to realize this earth is temporary and true wisdom and life is found in thinking about God’s Kingdom over earthy treasures.
God will lead us to make decisions we would not make on our own. He will also lead us to go places we would not go on our own. When we live with an open posture, God surprises. And with God, we can learn to make wise decisions.
You can’t keep living your way and follow Jesus. Jesus will not only call you to things that challenge you as a whole, anything you grip will become the focus of what He asks for. Comparing your life with the world is missing the mark of life. It’s only in living with a new message… Read more »
Jesus called Levi (Matthew) from the place He finds him. He tells Levi to follow Him from where he is. Jesus never asks him to change and clean up first. The same is true for us. Jesus calls us from where we are…He never asks us to clean up our messes first. He tells us… Read more »
When the tension exists between what currently is and what will be, we wait and trust Christ.
Jesus touched the untouchable leper and healed him. Jesus still touches the untouchable sinner and heals him. Culture tells the leper to avoid the clean and it also tells the sinner to avoid Jesus. Jesus shows us that He his the only way to find the healing/forgiveness that will allow us to approach God.
God blesses us with things so we will learn to trust Him. He wants us to trust Him so we will be willing to leave it all for Him. It’s a spiritual mindset instead of an earthly mindset.
There is a tension that happens in the life of a person who is actively seeking after Jesus. The tension is this: How do I know what I’m called to do? This tension is not resolved in a one-time answer such as a profession. This tension happens frequently…maybe even daily as the amount of needs… Read more »
Jesus heals & saves us so that we will in turn serve. The problem for us is that the place we are where we needed to be saved from, to us becomes a disqualifier for us being used. Our past becomes a roadblock to our future, but that’s never what Jesus intended. Just the opposite. Where we are… Read more »
Our enemy (satan) doesn’t have any real power against us so he uses manipulation and strategy. He finds our vulnerabilities and then tries to exploit them with lies. The only way we can combat it is through the truth of God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.
The message of Jesus demands a response and unfortunately, just as the people really rejected Jesus’ message, we do the same. The only proper response to Jesus’ message is to dedicate our lives to Him. No matter how hard or sacrificial the message of Jesus, it has to become the standard for our lives. We might have to… Read more »
The temptations of Jesus were unique to Jesus but the strategy behind them is the same for our temptations. satan always tries to give us a shortcut to whatever God has called us to. But God’s path not only leads to life but IS life.
The Holy Spirit fills the life of a believer so that he/she can accomplished the otherwise impossible task of making disciples.
The presence of God is one of the greatest gifts of God. His presence represents defense, guidance, and salvation. It did then and still does today. We have to make it a priority though. We have to make it/Him a priority as Jesus did. So many of our mental, spiritual, emotional and physical problems could… Read more »
God should get the first and best part of everything we have because God has given us everything we have. God gave first and we are simply giving back as a sign we recognize where it all comes from. Jesus was the fulfillment of the first born being consecrated to God. His consecration as a baby was the most powerful… Read more »
We take a look at Luke 2, the Birth of Christ as we celebrate His resurrection and new life.
Repentance prepares our lives for what Jesus wants to do. John was given the purpose of preparing the way for Jesus and he preached for people to repent. This is still true today.
When we follow Mary’s pattern, we are living out the gospel. We have nothing, we give all we have, God multiplies it and we gain it all.
Hebrews 12:1-11 states that we are to endure hardships as discipline. Discipline is not just a punishment but a preparation for a task the same way conditioning in sports prepares athletes for the season ahead. God’s ways will always be mysterious.
Luke was a physician and made huge sacrifices to write the book of Luke. He did three major things that can serve as examples for us: He sacrificed, he searched (for the truth) and he proclaimed it.
Embracing the love of God is the only way to experience life at its fullest.
In the story of Josiah, who restored the kingdom of Israel back to God, we learn that we must not look to the left or right but stay focused through hard work.
It takes death to experience life which means laying our lives down as a sacrifice. We get life when die (take up cross). The way we are healthy and living is to die to ourselves.
Each one of us have expectations but when those expectations don’t turn out like we expect, we have to decide how we respond. Many times our response is one of distrust rather than trust. What God wants us to do is to choose to have faith in Him which allows us to trust in times… Read more »
We will only accomplish great things if we are generous. We know Jesus was/is generous and we are supposed to be like Him. So why aren’t we? The reason we aren’t generous at times is of a flawed perspective, fear and selfishness. Jesus had two things about His nature that guaranteed generosity…LOVE and FAITH… Read more »
The vision God gives His leaders is the vision for the people. It is not “their vision” but is “our vision.” God calls us to a vision. He designed us to be a perfect match TOGETHER as a church to accomplish that vision. When we own the vision, there is a unity that God blesses… Read more »
With a recap of the last year and a look towards the future, Lead Pastor Matthew Johnson shares the vision of LCC.
What standards should we use to guide and build our lives by? Is it our family upbringing? Is it our culture? In this stand-alone message from Lead Pastor Matthew Johnson, we learn a better way to live; by using a covenant with God as our plumb line.
The 2013 candlelight message featuring the testimonies of some of LCC’s people who answered the call to follow the light.
Jesus brings war and peace. Seem like a contradiction? It’s not, as Lead Pastor Matthew Johnson explains in this message.
He humbled himself and became like us, so that we could become like Him.
The conclusion to the Restoring the Ruins series.
How should we prepare for worship? Lead Pastor Matthew Johnson teaches how God responds to Israel and through that, we see how we can prepare our hearts to worship God. From the series “Restoring the Ruins”.
Pastor Matthew leads us through Nehemiah 8 as we look at how Israel approached God after they returned from exile.
To kickoff the Encounter Conference, Pastor Matthew teaches to let go and follow Jesus.
The ninth message in the Restoring the Ruins series
The 8th message in a 12 part series, Restoring the Ruins.
The eighth message in the Restoring the Ruins series.
The sixth message in the Restoring the Ruins series shows us how the spiritual AND physical work hand in hand to accomplish God’s will.
The fourth message in the Restoring the Ruins series.
The third message in the Restoring the Ruins series illustrates through the Nation of Israel (as detailed in Haggai and Ezra) that there is no better time to obey God than the present.