How to Be Wise and Not Foolish
Today we are welcoming back David Sona as guest speaker. Chaplin Dave will be concluding Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount with today's message. This passage is very appropriate for the conclusion of His sermon. In this passage, Jesus is going to challenge His hearers to make a decision regarding His words. Virtually all religions around the world claim that Jesus was a good teacher. However, Jesus challenges the idea that He is merely a good teacher. Jesus wants us to put into action what He has said. So, let’s hear what He has to say from Matthew 7:24-29.
  • 2022-03-06How to Be Wise and Not Foolish
    How to Be Wise and Not Foolish
    Today we are welcoming back David Sona as guest speaker. Chaplin Dave will be concluding Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount with today's message. This passage is very appropriate for the conclusion of His sermon. In this passage, Jesus is going to challenge His hearers to make a decision regarding His words. Virtually all religions around the world claim that Jesus was a good teacher. However, Jesus challenges the idea that He is merely a good teacher. Jesus wants us to put into action what He has said. So, let’s hear what He has to say from Matthew 7:24-29.
  • 2022-02-27The Choice is Yours…Life or Death?
    The Choice is Yours…Life or Death?
    Think for example about a hiking trip. When hiking a mountain, have you ever had a choice between walking up the paved road and walking up an almost wild path with stones, and mud, and plants? The narrow way is the more difficult way. It requires more discipline. It requires sacrifice. It requires perseverance. Jesus is warning us not to be false disciples. In Mark 10:17-23 we saw one person who wanted to be a disciple of Jesus, but he turned away because Jesus asked something difficult of him. Jesus asked him to sell his possessions and he wasn’t willing. This man was not a real disciple. His decision to take the broad way shows us a glimpse of his heart which was not regenerated. The narrow way is the way that looks to do to others what you would have them do to you. The person on the narrow way has the right eye. He looks and sees the beauty of God and not the beauty and lure of money. See Luke 14:26. The narrow way chooses to follow God rather than giving in to pressure from parents. See Mark 8:34. The narrow way is saying “no” to self and saying “yes” to Jesus no matter what the cost. That is what a disciple is. A true disciple is willing to say “yes” to Jesus even at great cost to themselves because they know that Jesus is worth it.
  • 2022-02-20God’s Promise and The Golden Rule
    God’s Promise and The Golden Rule
    What principles can we learn from Matthew 7:7-12 about growing in kingdom character? Christ teaches that believers must ask, seek, and knock, and if we do, we will receive. This is obviously a call to prayer. Christ spent considerable time on prayer throughout his sermon, including giving the Lord’s Prayer, which is to be the believer’s pattern of prayer. Jesus promised that if we “ask, seek, knock” then our heavenly Father will respond with “good gifts” (Matthew 7:11). Our job, then, is to keep asking with sincerity and persistence—and let him worry about when he answers and which good gifts he delivers in response.
  • 2022-02-13To Judge or Not to Judge…That’s the Question
    To Judge or Not to Judge…That’s the Question
    Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Christ has been warning his disciples about the false teaching and self-righteousness of the Pharisees. When Matthew 7:1-6 is considered in that background, it is clear that Christ’s command to not judge is another challenge for the disciples to not be like the Pharisees and other hypocrites. Since the religious leaders of Christ’s time desired to exalt themselves in the eyes of others, condemning and judging was another way of lifting themselves up.
  • 2022-02-06Don’t Freak Out! God’s Still On His Throne
    Don’t Freak Out! God’s Still On His Throne
    Anxiety, worry, fret, distress, agitation, tension, irritability. Common feelings, common emotions of man that effect our outward look on life, our decision making, and ultimately the direction of our lives. Jesus addresses this issue in Matthew 6:19-34. Jesus does not want us to be anxious and full of worry. He wants us to live life in a different manner. He does not want us making decisions based on a fear of the future. He wants the direction of our lives established on eternal truths rather than temporal things of earth and the hollow promises of man.
  • 2022-01-30The Eternal Treasure of the Kingdom
    The Eternal Treasure of the Kingdom
    What is success to you? What do you personally value? If you want to know what you value, then ask yourself where you put your time, energy and money. The answer to those questions will tell you what you value in life. The question of what you value in life is an important question because the answer has eternal ramifications. In today's reading from the gospel of Matthew chapter 6:19-24 , we meet a fellow that valued the things of this earth and forgot about the fact that he would soon be facing eternity. He prepared well for life on earth, but neglected to plan for that which was infinitely more important, life in eternity.
  • 2022-01-23The Lord’s Prayer
    The Lord’s Prayer
    The Lord's Prayer (also referred to as the "Our Father" by Catholics) was given during Christ's well-known Sermon on the Mount. Surprisingly, these words are recorded in only one of the gospels (Matthew 6:9 - 13). A similar, but not exact, version of these verses is given by the Lord at a different time (Luke 11). The Matthew 6 version of the prayer was given after he chose twelve men to be his apostles (Luke 6:12 - 16) and was offered to a large and diverse crowd of people (Luke 6:17). The Luke version of the prayer was given by the Lord in response to a disciple wanting to be taught how to talk to God (Luke 11:1).
  • 2022-01-16Are We Playing the Hypocrite?
    Are We Playing the Hypocrite?
    "So when you give to the needy..." Jesus says. Notice that he took for granted that we would give to the needy. What he was concerned about was the motive and attitude with which the alms were given. Without real love, there would be no reward. As Jesus begins to discuss expressions of piety in his day, he zeros in on the chief problem with spiritual life: its constant tendency to go to our head and turn into a hollow religiosity.
  • 2022-01-09Love Your Enemies: It is the Way of Jesus
    Love Your Enemies: It is the Way of Jesus
  • 2021-11-14How to Talk To and Treat Others Like Jesus
    How to Talk To and Treat Others Like Jesus
    In the Old Testament law it was clearly wrong to make false vows. We have seen in the cross-references that there are many warnings about making vows and then not fulfilling them. These warnings are true. We should not make vows/oaths/promises that we cannot or may not keep. Jesus is not disagreeing with this fact, but He raises the bar even higher. Make no oath at all – In the time of Jesus making oaths had become more popular. What was originally a wow to make a solemn covenant before the Lord as seen in Psalm 76:11 had developed into a widespread problem of making oaths. In people’s routine everyday communication with each other they would make oaths to convince each other of the truth and sincerity of their words.  We Christians are called not to oath-taking but to truth-telling. Not just on solemn occasions but every day, in every situation, so that we might reflect Jesus' truthfulness and his love for everyone around us.
  • 2021-11-07What Did Jesus Say About Divorce?
    What Did Jesus Say About Divorce?
    Jesus’ refers to Genesis 2:21-25. His answer takes people back to creation when God made one man and one woman and put them together. The two became one flesh. By quoting Genesis, Jesus shows that this is not a cultural principle. It is not a principle which changes for different times or different places. It is a universal principal rooted in creation itself where God revealed His perfect plan for marriage. This clearly refutes many of the modern world’s excuses for allowing divorce of which there are many.
  • 2021-10-31The Deadly Lure of Lust
    The Deadly Lure of Lust
    Jesus is dealing with the subject of adultery or sex outside of the marital union. He states that we can commit adultery in the mind as well as by the literal act. Then He talks about our right eye or right hand causing us to stumble. It's obvious that He's referring to the sin of adultery. He's not referring to you literally plucking your eye out, or cutting your hand off. He's using these two parts of our body symbolically. I believe the eye is referring to what we allow ourselves to see. The hand is referring to our actions. If there is something in our lives that continually causes us to fall into the sin of adultery (or any sin), then we need to cut that out of our lives. This is just as painful as plucking out our eyes or cutting off our hands. We need to focus on the rewards as Jesus soothes our pain.
  • 2021-10-24Right Worship Starts with a Right Heart
    Right Worship Starts with a Right Heart
    Pastor Kevin continues in his series, "The Sermon on the Mount". Today Pastor Kevin will be teaching from the Book of Matthew, chapter 5:21-26. In this section, Jesus deals with the commandment “Do not murder” which is one of the ten commandments given to Moses. Jesus is leading His listeners to see that true righteousness is far more than legal or external obedience. Righteousness is not about just getting your part done. It is not looking to see how much you can get away with and still be considered “righteous.” Righteousness is right relationships, relationships that spring out of a right heart, mind, and soul that always bring about blessing and life. God's righteousness is connected with His shalom, which is well-being and harmony. This is the righteousness, the Torah of God, that Jesus came to fulfill. Jesus has completed the Torah of God. He is completely in right, peaceful, life-giving relationship with God, us, and all of creation.
  • 2021-10-17What Jesus Believed About the Bible
    What Jesus Believed About the Bible
    Jesus is the Word of God. He is the Spirit of Prophecy. He is God in the flesh, so if we’re looking for some guidance on how to relate to Holy Scripture, we ought to look no further than him. Jesus believed that the Scripture, in its entirety, is God-breathed. When confronted with the temptation of the devil He said the following: It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4 ESV) Jesus believed in the full authority of Scripture.
  • 2021-10-03A Christian’s Witness to the World: Being Salt and Light
    A Christian’s Witness to the World: Being Salt and Light
    Matthew is recording Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. The prior passage recorded the Beatitudes, and now Christ turns to a series of short teachings on various topics. First, He addresses the need for disciples of Jesus to live according to the virtues described in the Beatitudes. These are needed in order to be "salt" and "light" in the world (Matthew 5:14). Jesus says to His disciples, "You are the salt of the earth." Then, as now, salt served a variety of functions. Before the days of refrigeration, salt was used widely as a preservative by rubbing it into meat. In some cases, it could be used as a kind of fertilizer. Also, of course, it was used to bring flavor to food. Jesus' call for followers to be "salt of the earth" carries those uses, symbolically, into our spiritual lives.
  • 2021-09-26The “Be” Attitudes (Pt 2)
    The “Be” Attitudes (Pt 2)
    Today Pastor Kevin continues with the second part of his teaching on the "be-atitudes" from Matthew 5:7-12. Although the primary purpose of the beatitudes is to declare the blessings given by God’s kingdom, most scholars also regard them as painting a picture of the character of that kingdom. As we step into God’s kingdom, we hope to become more like those named as blessed—more meek, more merciful, more hungry for righteousness, more apt to make peace, and so on. This gives the beatitudes a moral imperative. Later, when Jesus says, “Make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19), the beatitudes describe the character these disciples are meant to take on.
  • 2021-09-19The “Be” Attitudes (Pt 1)
    The “Be” Attitudes (Pt 1)
    The Sermon on the Mount is by far Jesus' longest explanation of what it looks like to live as His follower and to serve as a member of God's Kingdom. In many ways, Jesus' teachings during the Sermon on the Mount represent the major ideals of the Christian life. This week, Pastor Kevin is examining the first four beatitudes. The beatitudes open the great sermon given on the mountain in Matthew 5. The word "beatitudes" comes from the Latin word beatus which means "blessed." Some have made a play on the word to call them the "be-atitudes." The beatitudes show to us the blessings and responsibilities of being a disciple of Jesus. The Greek term means happy or fortunate. We will be looking at the remaining five beatitudes next week.
  • 2021-09-12“Blessed are the Poor in Spirit”
    “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit”
    Today we are welcoming Chase Feindel as guest speaker. Pastor Feindel is the lead pastor of Anthem Church located in Vista. This is his first time speaking at Valley. Pastor Feindel will be discussing the first beatitude in the sermon on the mount. Matthew 5:3–12 contains what have come to be known as the Beatitudes.  Each of the Beatitudes begins with a reference to those who are blessed, in connection to some behavior or attitude. The idea of being "blessed" in Jesus' sermon does not mean feeling happy, necessarily. Rather it means recognizing what is truly good in a person's life and why. It refers to those on the right track, who are following a godly pattern of thoughts and actions. Jesus begins by saying that the poor in spirit are blessed. This is not a reference to money or finances. To be "poor in spirit" is the opposite of being self-confident or self-reliant, especially in any spiritual sense. The poor in spirit recognize they are incapable of providing for themselves by their own strength, goodness, or righteousness. They know themselves to be spiritually bankrupt of true goodness. They cannot hope to bargain or earn their way into the kingdom of heaven.
  • 2021-09-05Inside Out
    Inside Out
    Today Pastor Kevin is starting a new series on "The Sermon on the Mount". The Sermon on the Mount is recorded in chapters 5-7 in the Book of Matthew. Jesus delivered this message near the beginning of His ministry and it is the longest of Jesus' sermons recorded in the New Testament. Keep in mind that Jesus wasn't a pastor of a church, so this "sermon" was different than the kind of religious messages we hear today. Jesus attracted a large group of followers even early in His ministry -- sometimes numbering several thousand people. He also had a smaller group of dedicated disciples who remained with Him all the time and were committed to learning and applying His teaching.