Thursday, April 17, 2008

message about living life

Matthew Murphy is a church planter in Roanoke.  He and his wife Tasha are precious people and so gifted.  A couple weeks ago Tasha had a major stroke.  By the way, Tasha is in her mid-thirties.  Below is a note from Matthew that is very encouraging that I thought we all needed to read.  Enjoy.  Hear Jesus and Be blessed!
Pastor Michael Harrison

---------- Forwarded message ---------- 

Praise the Lord!

My wife, Tasha has made it home. It has been a long, tiresome few weeks since she has had her stroke.

She got home this early this afternoon. She is still having headaches and cannot see out of her right eye, but God has been answering prayer! ...

Please continue to pray for restoration of not only her sight but of her memory and cognative skills, although she is doing MUCH better, she still has a way to go & we know a lot of the healing will just take time.

In reflection...let me encourage you to slow down. Life is so short and we take tomorrow for granted too often. Many of you that have faced an unexpected, life-altering situation like this know what i mean. Enjoy your family, turn off the TV when your mom or spouse calls you or when the kids want to share. All the things that we kill ourselves trying to get done often can wait, or maybe even be dropped. I am not encouraging laziness, just proper perspective.

The e-mails will be there, the calls waiting to be returned can often wait a couple more minutes, the "emergency" that someone is having because they failed to plan is not a cause for you to break your neck (most of the time)

Christ is the only One that has brought us through this. His grace has surrounded us. He has heard and answered the prayers of His people. He alone gets the glory!

Look, most of you know me as a kinda private guy, i dont get into the whole "spill-my-guts-to-the-internet-world-on-my-super-duper-blog" type of thinking but i MUST share this.

Many people have been praying and i am more grateful than anybody really knows. Unfortunately, many people's prayers were not to God. They were to a god that they created in their own minds according to their standards. See, when stuff like this happens, too many people wonder "why me?' Well, they should be asking "why not me?"

Too many are caught up in thier rights and walk around with a sense of entitlement. Many of you will not agree with the WAY that i say this next part but i just believe what the Bible says. Our worldly rights are feeble at best and we are entitled to nothing but hell. The "why not you" part is this. Are any of us better than the Lord Jesus Christ? He is the only one that NEVER sinned, yet died the death of a common criminal. He was found guilty but was guiltless. He stepped off of His throne in heaven's perfection to come and pay the price for our sin and guilt, to take on our punishment, although He was not guilty. Who are we? We are guilty and think that we shouldn't face trials? We think that God is doing us wrong when someone gets sick? C'mon. If you have lied, stolen, hated, lusted, not put God first (all the time), been jealous or dishonored your parents the Bible says that you have sinned. Well, then who hasn't done that? Exactly! We all have.

But thats not the end...our sin deserves punishment. God will forgive sin, but not excuse it. He is holy and just and MUST judge sin, otherwise He is not holy and just.

I know most of you getting this are born-again but for those of you who are not, please finish reading. Our guilt deserves punishment, That punishment is not a slap on the wrist or a $100 fine. It is hell for eternity. I know the "hell" is a bad word in church today but unfortunately that's part of the reason why we are cuaght up in "our best life now" syndrome. Hell never cools off, never gets better, it is certainly not a place where people go party. It is torment for ever. I dont wish to scare you into salvation, because i cannot do that. I simply want to paint a small picture of what awaits you and why.

Jesus said that in order to be saved, you must repent. Repent means to turn away, not just say "i am sorry", repent and place your faith in Christ as Saviour. Trust Him with your life like you trusted the 2 inches of metal on your car's brakes today.

He came and died to pay your fine. You cant help enough people, give enough money or do enough nice things in order to be saved. It is in Christ alone. He is God's son, sent to die for your guilt and mine. He defeated death when He rose from the grave 3 days after He was crucified and went back to sit with His Father in heaven. He is Lord of all.

If you claim to be a Christian and your life has not changed at all- please go back and re-examine yourself in light of scripture. Get real with God. You CANNOT come in contact with the God of all creation and not be changed.

If this situation was used to simply allow me to share this message with someone that needed to hear it then i know it was well worth it.

Thank you for everything.

Tasha and i love you ....but God loves you more.

(Matthew Murphy is a church planter in Roanoke, Virginia and pastor of All Nations Metro Church.)

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