Preacher: Matt McFadden
Matthew McFadden. I’ve known Matt for fourteen years first time I met Matt it was a grease youth camp and I was the speaker for the high school and I remember meeting Steve out there and I knew Mike Mike was in the high school group and Steve were you or your other son any pointed down the hill at this skinny little kid this tall with this huge yellow afro on top of his head and glasses this thick.
You he’s much bigger now and the neat thing about that in all the guys of him preaching I appreciate my relationship with them but I have seen Matt really grow and blossom in mature and he is now someone that I really respect and so I’m very thankful that we can share the pulpit and that I’m looking forward to God as to see him through you to all of us and so I want to pray for you do and I pray for my brother here I’m excited to see what you have done in his life and how he wants to share that with us his church our church and your church and so just be with that at this time Christina Priem human Thanks Betty yes.
Good morning everybody.
I don’t know if I’m as funny as Aaron but my mommy said I was funnier this morning so.
I think I’m pretty comfortable that.
I know it’s kind of counterintuitive but I’m much more comfortable being up on the stage while I’m singing If I burst out into song halfway through my sorrow and that’s what I mean I got nervous.
But I am not so proud to be of the millennium generation.
Monny ols I really American culture today is really used to making excuses for things and not taking responsibility for their actions and a couple of examples of some excuses I’ve heard recently why. And I’m surface you have kids in school you’ve heard this but if kids get a bad trade it’s because the teacher hates them it’s not because they didn’t do well on that test.
One thing I heard at work was a lady who I work with rear ended somebody because when the light turned green they didn’t go quick enough so she rear the rear end of this person and she was surprised when the police said that actually it was her fault.
Or one that the my FIL outfielders may have heard me say last night was when I dropped that fireball is because of the wind.
Really I’m just not that good.
But one that might hit home with a few of us many of us in this room I know it does for me is when we don’t read our Bible or don’t spend time with God It’s because we don’t have a lot of free time or it’s because we just forget and while those things might be true there are still excuses and there are still things that we need to take responsibility for and I mention that because that is my. Probably biggest struggle in my walk with God is is not making excuses for. For not spending time with God And so that’s what I want to talk about this morning was. Making excuses the the real acronym R.T.L. that passion Josh has been going through the last few weeks if you really break it down and look at the definitions of those four definitions. It doesn’t leave any room to make excuses for anything especially as a man.
So we really just need to take responsibility for our actions and what we do and what we don’t do.
And I think the real issue when I think about when I make excuses is that I’m not placing my face in that certain area of my life so if I’m making an excuse I don’t have a full faith in God. In that area of my life and I know it’s true because if if I had faith in that area I would have no reason to make an excuse for I would be comfortable with that and that would kind of trump the desire to be right or to be liked or anything like that.
So we need to place our full faith in God or faith in every area of our life so what does that mean and how do we do it is what I’m going to talk about today there’s two points that I came up with to kind of strategies that I am trying to use to to get better in this area to get better at taking responsibility for my own actions and to help explain these I’d like to look at Jonah chapter one.
And you probably could have guessed when you heard me say we were going to talk about excuses but that we were going to turn to Jonah it’s kind of what is known for. But this morning it. I want to. Well I mostly look at John as an example of what not to do but I also want to kind of point out that he had a certain level of faith that I think we should all strive for and I was sounds kind of weird but.
He has an extreme amount of faith in one area and I want us to leave this morning kind of respecting.
That faith that John has so we’ll talk about that a minute but Jonah chapter one.
And I’m just going to read verses one through three So Jonah one one to three.
The word of the Lord came the Jonah son of Amitai go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because it’s we can assist come up before me but Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish he went down to Joppa where he found a ship. Down for that port after paying the fare he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the war.
As men we see as we can be kind of reactive sometimes kind of impulsive when it comes to certain things and our first reaction to certain things is not always the best as my wife can probably attest to that. It’s not always the most well received reaction is not always the most effective reaction especially when it comes to Christ.
To kind of illustrate how reactive Jonah was in the story.
I want to kind of pull the hand a map for you guys so this is Jerusalem God wanted Jonah to go to Nineveh which is right about here it’s about five hundred or so miles away. What Jonah did was he was so kind of against this this idea of going to Nineveh that he says fled to Tarsus so of Jerusalem here and then of us here Tarshish.
Would be over here charges in Spain and for you history geography buffs in the room Spain that was our Western Europe was the farthest that they knew about at the time and.
Basically John it is going in the complete opposite direction as far as she is aware that the world extends to. So that would be like if my wife wanted me to pick up something at Target I would be so against that idea that I went to Wal-Mart in L.A..
It’s so opposite of what of what God wanted Jonah to do so that’s how reactive Jonah was and I think that the first point the first strategy that I I wanted to bring out today was to react faithfully. And I think what that means is that when we’re facing an opportunity to serve to minister or facing a difficult decision in our life. That that we shouldn’t just go with our kind of manly first instincts. When these when these things come up so if if we’re faced with an opportunity to serve. Instead of kind of thinking about it was to react faithfully which in that case would be to basically jump on that opportunity.
If we’re facing a difficult decision I think react fatefully would mean to react with prayer and to kind of include God in that decision making so when we’re faced with certain things that maybe we’re not comfortable with we should react faithfully.
The second point I wanted to bring up was to give up control and we’re going to look at just one page over should be Jonah chapter three.
And Jonah chapter three verse ten and then we’re going to read through verse three of chapter four.
Basically at this point the story Jonah did eventually go to Nineveh after a encounter with the giant oil giant fish. So he eventually goes to Nineveh he preaches against it and then of a does get redeemed they do believe in God. So chapter three verse ten when God So I would they did and how they turned from their evil ways he had compassion and to not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened but Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry he prayed to the lord oh lord is this not what I said when I was still at home that is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish I and knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God slow to anger and abounding in love I. Sadhu relents from sending calamity now a lord take away my life for it is better for me to die than to live.
This part of the story is the most interesting to me because growing up in.
Sunday school and growing up in church I think the Sunday school story kind of gets Jonah wrong and sorry Sarah it’s not your fault but.
The Sunday school story of Jonah is that because Nineveh and Israel were enemies at the time Jonah was too scared to go to Nineveh and he fled as far away as you could get but you see here in chapter four that he didn’t want to go to Nineveh because he didn’t want them to get redeemed he didn’t want them to be believers he was not reacting faithfully he was reacting selfishly and the extreme faith that I mentioned he had earlier was that he he had such great faith in God that he knew without a doubt that he would redeem this evil wicked city and he didn’t seem to want to be a part of that.
So when I talk about having faith in. Only certain areas of our life John has a great example he had extreme faith that God’s will would be done. But he didn’t have faith in certain area of his life where. We’re none of it would get ready he didn’t want them to get redeemed because he was being selfish and his hatred for them kind of took over that area of his life.
So I think when we’re talking about giving up control we need to give up control in the areas of our life. That we are not only we gain but confidence so. In areas where we are weak some men would probably say that finances is something that they’re not too confident in.
Relationships. Communication a lot of these areas are common areas for men to not feel as confident in than others but we especially need to give up control when in areas of our life that we are confident because at that point we think that we have a good grasp on that area of our life and we don’t really need God to. To be successful in that area or to.
Prosper and i area so for me personally I think what I’m costs in an area that I’m confident in is providing for my family I both financially and. Spiritually.
And then my identity through Christ and in my family at work I’m very confident in these areas and I think it would be. More crucial to kind of give up control of those areas of my life to God then it would be to give up areas that I don’t feel as confident but I think that really shows that I am making an attempt to.
You know push my full faith in God and have him control every area of my life.
I want to look at a short has it year mark eleven.
Smart eleven verse twenty two to twenty five.
Has facing God Jesus answered I tell you the truth if anyone says to this mountain go through yourself into the sea and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen it will be done for him therefore I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer believe that you have received it and it will be yours and when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone forgive him so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins. I think it’s easy to read that passage as a. A kind of a prosperity gospel you know if you ask for a million dollars you’ll get a million dollars but I have to me I think what that saying is that if you if you fully give yourself up if you give up control of every area of your life then God will absolutely do some amazing things in your life and he’ll help perform miracles through you so I think that’s what it was that passage to me and so just giving up control in every area make sure that God is first and foremost in every area of your life.
So in in closing we are all called to to do God’s work at some point and in some capacity in our lives all of us I fully believe that at some point God is calling us to do his work and we can react to different ways we can react like Jonah where he was very impulsive he had faith that God would be done but he didn’t really want to be a part of it he was comfortable with where he was at. Or we can react faithfully to that calling and. You know pray about it take opportunities or take advantage of the opportunities to minister to witness and and give up control in every area of our life even or especially the ones where we feel we we have a big grasp on and I think when we when we do that we kind of eliminate the need to make excuses for us selves and I think that’s something that I know the a lot of people neighbors especially me.
To you know to make it a point to take responsibility for for actions and especially our faith.
Thank you for listening I will close and.
Lord thank you so much for the opportunity to share what’s been on my heart about this topic and thank you also for the three other men who came up and spoke today talked a lot of courage. And just hope that everyone here church today in the Sunday schools and in the sermons this morning that they might be able to take something from these sermons and apply it to their lives this weekend and beyond and we just pray for safety this week and we pray in your name and then.