March 22, 2020
Encounters with Jesus

No one meets Jesus and leaves that encounter the same. That is what the Jewish people experienced as we read the book of Matthew. The theme of Matthew is "King Jesus". This book was written by a Jewish man to a very Jewish community. The first 10 chapters of Matthew are a declaration of Jesus as God who came to heal, teach, and show the Truth. 

Matthew 11-12 is a shift that shows that  Jesus came and disrupted their religious systems and beliefs. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to  me, all who labor and are  heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and  learn from me, for I am  gentle and lowly in heart, and  you will find rest for your souls. For  my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Come to ME 
Jesus isn't inviting people to a doctrine, creed, or idea. He is inviting them to a relationship with the Creator of all!

Internal - my own way of striving to be "good enough".
External - something that others have put on you.

The Rabbis of the day had many rules that they laid on the people. The talmud was 2711 pages long, and gave "clarification" to the Torah. It was a burden.

Take my yoke
The yoke was the heavy bar between oxen to make for efficient plowing. The yoke was for submission and obedience.
Again, the rabbis would say, "put yourself under my yoke".

Jesus' yoke is easy (good, kind). He carries the other half and walks with us.

Habits form Who We are because Habits are Little Liturgies of Worship

4 Habits from Justin Early:

Habits of Scripture
1. Scripture before Screen
2. Choose a Plan
3. Limit Daily Media

Rhythms of Prayer
1. Morning, Noon, and Evening
2. Handwashing Blessing for Neighbors
3. Pray with your family

Gather Safely
1. Connect Digitally
2. Speak the Truth in Love - tell trusted friends/family how you are feeling!

Light the Fire of Hope
1. Firebowl - be ready to give to those in need around you
2. Candle in the Window - Be ready to give the reason for the hope you have!

To Discuss Today:
1. Talk as a family about what is going on and how you are feeling about it. What has been hard? What has been a pleasant surprise?

2. How has Jesus changed your life? Have you chosen to trust Him as your Savior?

3. What habits are you forming now that will reap benefits when life returns to a "new normal"?

4. Put your candle in the window!

Please feel free to call or email your thoughts each week! 
Pastor Patrick

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Carmel Baptist Church

1145 Pineville-Matthews Road

Matthews, North Carolina 28105    704.847.8575