Making reproducing disciples of Jesus Christ

Posts by Matthew Rowley (Page 3)

River Reach News 4/13

This week as I was getting a quote for homeowners insurance the agent asked how much I thought our personal possessions were worth.  I assured him our possessions were worth far less than the amount he was quoting on the insurance.  But I am certain that we possess far more than the Apostle Paul and his coworkers Silas and Timothy had in terms of earthly goods.  I am keenly aware of the temptation in my personal life to find my joy and value in earthly possessions. 

River Reach News 4/6

The weather is an ongoing cycle of change and variety.  Here in Florida we are blessed to live in the Sunshine State, but severe weather is certain to be part of the forecast.  Storms are coming!  No they might not be here this week, but they are coming.  The same thing in is true in the Christian life.  Though today everything may be smooth sailing, spiritual stresses and storms in your life are certain to come.

Easter! / River Reach News 3/30

I once had a friend tell me that he would believe in Jesus Christ if God would write him a message in the sky to prove His reality.  He was looking for something big to convince him that Jesus Christ was real and who He really claimed to be.  In His wisdom, God designed the credibility of His Word to rise or fall together.  It must either all be believed or all be rejected.  There is no room to pick or choose parts that we believe and parts that we reject.  To reject any part is to reject God.  Knowing the magnitude of the faith He was demanding, God designed one proof of His credibility on which everything would rest. 

River Reach News 3/23

Power is critical to getting anything done.  We need physical power to get out of bed in the morning and accomplish the tasks of the day.  We need electric power to provide light, heat, cooling, and to keep our electronics operating.  We need gasoline power to propel our vehicles.  Our world is reliant on the power of the sun to sustain life on our planet.  With this dependence on power for so many things, it should not be a surprise to learn that spiritual growth is also dependent on a form of power.

River Reach New 3/16

This week I came across an article that reported that six out of ten millennials experienced a “quarter life crisis.”  Their life pursuits and ambitions were leaving them empty.  They failed to find satisfaction in their lives and really didn’t know where to turn to find the purpose in life.  We’ve all heard of “mid-life crisis”, but I’ve never heard of “quarter life crisis.”  Every human being wants to live a life full of meaning and satisfaction.  As we see ourselves aging rapidly and time flying by, if our pursuit of satisfaction is bound up in the things and pleasures of this life we will certainly be disappointed. 

River Reach News 3/9

This past week I watched a true to life movie based on 1980 takeover of the Iranian Embassy in London by Arab terrorists.  For six days the British government tried to negotiate the release of 25 hostages.  Ultimately the resolution came down to the courage and training of an elite British military unit that had to storm the embassy to save the hostages and bring the terrorists to justice.  The weight of raid rested on one man and his men to do it right while the world watched on television.  The raid was successful saving 23 of the 25 hostages and bringing the terrorists to justice.  Margaret Thatcher publicly congratulated the unit for their bravery and skill.  In 1 Thessalonians 2:4, the Holy Spirit reminds us of the sacred mission God has entrusted to us.  Our crucial mission is to deliver the Gospel to those estranged from God.  Our mission will fail if we fail to share the Gospel.  When serving Christ self-seeking will prevent us from faithfully carrying out our mission.

River Reach News 3/2

Success is a powerful motivator.  Everyone wants to be successful.  Success in our society is often defined by achieving personal benefit or profit.  Success can be achieved properly or improperly.  In business some may pursue profit through illegal means or at the expense of other people.  Even in the early days of the New Testament church people were already beginning to pursue personal profit through spiritual “ministry.”  Seeking to personally profit through ministry will inevitably lead to motives and methods that are unrighteous and contrary to Christ’s will.  What are proper motives for ministry?  What should motivate us to share the Gospel with others?  How does Christ define true success in ministry?  Our passage for this Sunday examines motives and methods and reveals that there are many in “Christian service” operating out of bounds.  Just like in every area of life, God cares about our motives and guides us in the path of true success and commendation.

River Reach News 2/25

The winter olympics will soon be coming to a close.  It is always inspiring to see people who dedicate themselves to becoming the best in their sport.  Years of rigorous discipline are spent training to land the triple salchow or shave milliseconds off the luge. If you were to observe an olympic athlete’s life, you would quick conclude that something is driving the way they live.  A brief future event impacts almost every decision they make for years: what they eat, their sleep, how they spend their time, their priorities.  The imminent return of Jesus Christ should visibly impact almost every aspect of your life.  His return is infinitely more significant than a curling competition, a bobsled run, or even your plans for retirement.  The return of Jesus Christ so significantly impacted the lives of the Thessalonian believers that it left an indelible impression on the lives of those who came into contact with them!

River Reach News 2/16

Our culture is similar to water.  It automatically reverts to its own level of normalcy.  I love the peace and tranquility of water at ease but tragically the status quo of society is not peace.  Our world is broken by the curse of sin that brings with it the unavoidable sting of suffering and death.  Too often we become accustomed to the broken norm of our society.  Is there a solution to end school shootings, sexual abuse, broken homes, terrorist attacks, drug and alcohol abuse, and the endless list of societal scourges?  It breaks my heart to watch our society try to find a path forward through the pain of tragedy and always come up flailing!  There is only one solution to the doom of sin.  His name is Jesus Christ! 

River Reach News 2/9

Has fear of the unknown ever kept you from attempting something new?  Recently I’ve been reminded again of all the risks entrepreneurs face when they try to start a new business.  There are so many unknowns!  So many things could go wrong!  People could rip you off and steal from you, and the list could go on and on.  Sure business has its difficulties, but God has called each of us to attempt something that is far more complex and uncertain than attempting to start a new business.  Our Father commissions us to get involved in the lives of others to make disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).  I don’t know a single believer who isn’t intimidated by the magnitude of this task.  Due to the difficulty, many believers never try.  Others try and quit.  Take heart!  Our passage this week reminds us of a truth that turns our focus away from our own weaknesses and the complexity of the task and arms us with absolute confidence in our God given mission.  Success is not resting on our shoulders but on the unwavering sovereignty of God!