Posts

Showing posts from 2019

The blind see and the mute speak! -- Matthew 9:27-34

The blind see and the mute speak! -- Matthew 9:27-34
By Pastor Lee Hemen
October 13, 2019

Some folks go through life living each day without ever seeing what’s going on around them and others never hear the joys or sorrows of life either. I am not speaking about those who are hindered in some way from hearing or speaking but those who go through life without seeing or hearing because they are so focused on their selves, job, or family. I am so glad that Jesus was not one of these folks.

Here in Matthew’s gospel we find Jesus continuing his ministry as he leaves the Capernaum area. On his way he is faced with helping those in need in what seems like in rapid-fire succession. The people are beginning to see that Jesus might be more than a itinerate rabbi going about doing good things; he just might be the promised Messiah and we see it when the blind see and the mute speak! Let’s discover what this means for us today…

READ: Matthew 9:27-34

In the following passage we discover two blind men w…

Reaching out… -- Matthew 9:18-26

Reaching out… -- Matthew 9:18-26
By Pastor Lee Hemen
October 6, 2019

How would you respond to someone you did not know needing help that you knew you could easily give? Be careful how you respond because you may be challenged sooner than you think. Here in this passage we discover Jesus going about his ministry and he is asked to respond to one request and while doing so he is interrupted and must decided what to do next. Certainly we are not Jesus but as his disciples we may be asked to respond to situations that could challenge our faith, our integrity, or our character as a Christian.

In the following passage we find Jesus responding to someone who is well established and with means and while doing so he is interrupted by a woman of little social value or influence. How he responds teaches us how we are to respond to others around us, let’s discover what happens when Jesus is in the act of reaching out…

READ: Matthew 9:18-26

What if the person you were asked to help was a politician you …

Old vs. new! -- Matthew 9:14-17

Old vs. new! -- Matthew 9:14-17
By Pastor Lee Hemen
September 8, 2019

Some long for the “good old days” but not me. I like indoor plumbing, electricity, microwaves, computers, smart phones, and hot and cold running water at the turn of a tap. I remember when few families had TV or even a phone in their homes. The small town I grew up in had three TV stations and they all went off the air after the late news and that was when the news was truly news instead of personal commentary. It’s the age old competition of the old verses the new.

When Jesus came and began his ministry he came face-to-face with the Jewish traditions that had been enforced for centuries with his teaching that the kingdom of God was at hand. Everything was about to change and it had to in order for people to come to God through Jesus. The kingdom was now open for everyone and not just a chosen few and because of this the confrontation was going to occur even in what we might consider the small arena of life. The spiritu…

Mercy! -- Matthew 9:9-13

Mercy! -- Matthew 9:9-13
By Pastor Lee Hemen
September 1, 2019

When the great Puritan preacher Thomas Hooker (1586-1647) was on his deathbed, a friend tried to console him by saying, “Brother Hooker, you are going to receive your reward.” “No, no!” he breathed. “I go to receive mercy!” What is this mercy Hooker longed to receive?

God’s mercy is found in every act of Jesus, his every kindness, and especially in the unmerited favor we find when we come to him as Savior and Lord. It is sacrificial in its very nature. We set aside ourselves, our desires, and our needs to give everything to another just as Jesus did when he willingly sacrificed himself for our sins. Here we find Matthew a tax collector who others felt did not deserve God’s favor finding it in the unlikely place. Matthew finds mercy. Let’s see how…

READ: Matthew 9:9-13

In our pride we think we know it all or have all the answers but we do not. In fact we discover that…

I. Mercy is found in submission! (Vv. 9)

As Jesus went on from …

Paralyzed! -- Matthew 9:1-8

Paralyzed! -- Matthew 9:1-8
By Pastor Lee Hemen
August 18, 2019

We can become paralyzed by different things in life. Fear of the unknown, disease, not knowing how to act, or many other things can cause us to be paralyzed in life. But when it comes to sharing our faith about God we should never be paralyzed. Our duty is to share the love of God when we are given the opportunity by the Lord and never be fearful of the outcome.

Here in Matthew’s gospel we read about an incident that occurred when Jesus heads back across the Sea of Galilee and enters his own home town of Capernaum. Some men or perhaps some friends bring to Jesus a man who is paralyzed but we soon discover that the real paralytic were those who should have acted in compassion but were more concerned for their outward piety than for the man who needed forgiveness. Let’s discover what it means to be paralyzed…

READ: Matthew 9:1-8

We can become narrow-minded and forget God is always at work around us. And here in Matthew…

I. We lea…

A silk purse out of sow’s ear! -- Matthew 8:28-34

A silk purse out of sow’s ear! -- Matthew 8:28-34
By Pastor Lee Hemen
August 11, 2019

The idiom “You can’t make a silk purse out of sow’s ear” means that one can’t make something good out of something inherently bad, however, with enough ingenuity it is possible to make a very passable “silk” purse out of a sow’s ear. In 1921 Massachusetts industrialist Arthur D. Little (who discovered acetate) obtained glue made from the skin and gristle of pig’s ears, and had it filtered and forced through a spinneret into a mixture of formaldehyde and acetone. The glue emerged as 16 fine, colorless streams that hardened and then combined to form a single composite fiber. Little soaked the fiber in dyed glycerin. Then he had the resulting thread woven into cloth on a handloom, and the cloth fashioned into an elegant purse.

There are certain individuals who are seen as unredeemable by society at large. And here in Matthew’s gospel we find several men who were considered such by their peers. The other syn…

Safe with Jesus! -- Matthew 8:23-27

Safe with Jesus! -- Matthew 8:23-27
By Pastor Lee Hemen
August 4, 2019

Safety is foremost in the minds of many. Electronic and digital surveillance, digital safe guards, credit card, cell phone and computer virtual private networks, firewalls and virus controls are all selling well. But there is also a push for financial security, healthcare, and retirement safety. Keeping people safe at work, school, and in public places has become foremost in the minds of many. As alarmed as folks seem to be about their family’s safety and their own safety they disregard their spiritual security.

I have heard many sermons and talks that teach about Jesus calming the storms of life and they use this passage as a foundation to do so. There is nothing wrong with this but it is used so often that we may miss the spiritual meaning here that perhaps Matthew and others wanted us to discover. We find that three of the gospel writers included this incident because it had such an impact on the disciples’ lives. L…

Follow me! -- Matthew 8:18-22

Follow me! -- Matthew 8:18-22
By Pastor Lee Hemen
July 28, 2019

Who or what you follow says a lot about what you believe in life. I’ve always found it humorous when folks tell me that they go to a “nondenominational” church because there is no such thing. If you have a pastor who preaches and is your church’s leader you follow a specific “denomination” or theology whether you want to admit to it or not. Pastors are trained by someone and that someone was trained or trains in a particular denominational bent.

When Jesus called his disciples he did not give them any false pretenses and in fact often went out of the way to teach them exactly who they followed and why. While some of the gospel writers do not necessarily focus on those who were outside of the inner circle of disciples they do touch on the fact that there were many who did indeed follow Jesus even if they were not part of the core group he specifically chose. And it is here that Matthew focuses us this morning as we take a …

In the Wild! – John 20:30-31

In the Wild! – John 20:30-31
By Pastor Lee Hemen
July 21, 2019

Life is filled with incredible encounters. As we go through childhood, we are constantly discovering everything about the world around us. When we make friends, discover the beauty of nature, and become more aware of everything around us, we begin to realize the world’s vastness. We also begin to grasp that an entire globe of opportunities awaits each of us!

God made us to encounter his love and to enjoy a personal relationship with him that lasts not just for a lifetime, but for eternity. All through his Word, God introduces himself in incredible ways, showing himself to be perfectly faithful, true, compassionate, and merciful. Even though people aren’t perfect, God has a plan to forgive us of our sin and bless us with a relationship with him. As Jesus’ earthly ministry began, he made it clear that his purpose was to make a way for every person to have an opportunity to receive his forgiveness and to enjoy eternal life with G…

When Jesus heals… -- Matthew 8:14-17

When Jesus heals… -- Matthew 8:14-17
By Pastor Lee Hemen
July 14, 2019

Sometimes it is the little things that make a big impact on people’s lives. A kind word spoken at just the right time, a helping hand when it is least expected, and an act of compassion when hope seems lost. I grew up in poverty because of my father’s health problems caused by smoking. His heart was slowly failing. Back then there were no governmental programs, a plethora of community aid organizations, or anyone whom you could contact in order to get help. It was during some pretty desperate times I remember sacks of groceries all of sudden appearing on our back porch, school clothes, coats or shoes showing up. It was these little blessings that had a huge impact.

Here in Matthew’s gospel he records the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law and it seems as if it is almost a side note. Mark and Luke go into greater detail of what occurred and the circumstances involved. It is one thing to see Jesus healing lepers, a centuri…

A soldier’s faith! -- Matthew 8:5-13

A soldier’s faith! -- Matthew 8:5-13
By Pastor Lee Hemen
July 7, 2019

What kind of discipline do you display in life? I have a sister who never saw a shoe store she couldn’t pass by or for that matter a jewelry display she would not stop for. For me it used to be bookstores. However self-discipline is a good thing and is why the military focuses on it so much. They want soldiers who will follow orders and are disciplined enough to be able to handle anything that is thrown their way during a conflict. In fact they are trained to act as a team and to depend on one another.

Jesus desired that his followers learn how to not only have faith in him but also to have faith in one another because he knew their future was going to be tough. And here in this depiction of an incident that Jesus has with a Roman centurion teaches about what it means to have faith in him and to have the willingness to follow Jesus wherever he leads. Let’s take a look at a soldier’s faith…

READ: Matthew 8:5-13

The way Jes…