All posts by Joe Matthews

Guess How Much I Love You

Posted on Oct 26, 2021 | Download

Psalm 103:11-13 (NLT) 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him     is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12  He has removed our sins as far from us     as the east is from the west. 13  The Lord is like a father to his children. When I read this passage of scripture, it stirs my heart as a father. I can’t help it. Describing unfailing love as great as the height of the heavens is a bold and epic picture of love. I think any parent can relate to this – especially fathers. This passage reminds me of one of my favorite children books to read to my son - “Guess How Much I Love You.” We’ve read it countless times. In this short book, father and son trade off phrases of love for one another, each building on the one before. “Guess how much I love you…?” “I love you this much…” “But I love you THIS much…” … “I love you right up to the moon.” “I love you right up to the moon…and back” Each night when I go to tuck my son in to bed and say “goodnight”, I try to get him to look me in the eyes and I tell him – “You’re my son. I am proud of you and I will always love you.” Of course, first I want him to know my love for him, but if I am being honest, I think that deep down maybe I also utter this phrase to fulfill a longing in my heart from when I was growing up. As you might imagine, trying to get a three-year-old to look you in the eyes at bedtime can sometimes be an uphill battle. Sometimes he goofs and squirms and moves his head around in a silly way. When it is late and he is overtired, I am usually trying to match his eyes with mine to get him to know and understand that I see him, I am proud of him and I will always love him. But one night recently, he did something that just hit me like a ton of bricks. He was moving and squirming like normal, and I started to say, “I am proud of you.” He stopped his moving, turned his head to me, looked me square in the eyes, smiled and said, “thank you.” The next day, in my time with the Lord as I was meditating on Psalm 103, He revealed to me as clear as day  that no matter what natural longing in my heart I may be hoping to fulfill or compensate for with my son – the Lord has been right here, the entire time, trying to match His eyes with mine, so that I would stop, know and understand… …Understand that He sees me. …Understand that He is proud of me. …Understand that He will always love me. I may have been seeking for a natural, physical longing to be fulfilled. But my Heavenly Father has been here all along, telling me how proud of me He is, telling me how much he loves me.      

Not Enough

Posted on Nov 24, 2020 | Download

I’m not a person that likes help. Never have. Not sure why... If I were to analyze it a little bit further and dig a little deeper, I know I’d be able to spot some of the lies and some of the hurt that might be at play. We all have baggage, right?! Either way, it is very hard for me to ask for help. The reality as a man that I am not enough  is pretty sobering thought when I consider all of the hats that I wear and roles I hold. Here lies the tension -  because if I am not enough, then that means I have to ask for help. Which we’ve already established - It’s really hard for me to do. If I don’t like asking for help in the physical - whether it’s help on a house project, in my job or even in my marriage, then that almost certainly means that I don’t like asking for help in the spiritual. Am I robbing myself of the ministry of the Holy Spirit by walling off and going it on my own? Have I forgotten that the Holy Spirit is literally called the helper!? (John 14:26). I don’t think my situation is uncommon among men. Whether it’s from a point of pride, a point of insecurity or a little bit of both, a mentality of “I’ve got this” or “I can do it on my own” are all things that the enemy would love us to believe as we steer closer to isolation and further from freedom. (Ecclesiastes 4, 1 Peter 5:8). Ladies, this is not a situation owned exclusively by men either. We all need help! WE are not enough. The reality that we are not enough leads us to understand that we are not whole in and of ourselves. It is wrong and it is impossible for us to expect to be completed by anyone or anything outside of the gift of Salvation available to us by the blood of Jesus Christ and the power, work and ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. (Ephesian 1:13-14). I am not enough. I will not suddenly become enough by achieving something in my marriage, my parenting or my profession that I muscle through on my own. It certainly won’t be in my own strength. Remember Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9? Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. Rather than fight and fight and fight to be enough, rest in the truth that Jesus is enough. And the truth is that he left us The Helper. So, how often do you ask for help? If you’re going to ask anyone for help, it’s the Holy Spirit! Invite the Holy Spirit into every situation, scenario and circumstance – no matter how small. He will guide us into all truth. (John 16:13)   For more teaching from The Fight for The Family  Click Here.

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