Sermon on the Mount – 14 – How Do I Approach God?

In Jesus greatest sermon, He took time to talk about one of the most important spiritual disciplines for His followers. Prayer was a huge part of Jesus’ life and should characterize every follower of Christ. 

Wouldn’t it be great if prayer just came easily and naturally to us?  Unfortunately, most of the time it doesn’t. In fact, prayer is commonly described as an area of struggle for most believers. It’s a discipline. It’s something that we work at and develop over the course of our walk with Jesus. 

In Matthew 6:5-15, Jesus tells us how NOT to pray, and then gives us a model prayer to follow as we pray. In this beautiful prayer, we learn that how we approach God is important. We come to Him as a loving Father that deeply cares about every aspect of our lives. We come to Him as an all-powerful God that wants to rule and reign in every area of our lives. We come to Him as a holy God that is worthy of reverence and awe. 

Jesus was kind to give us a model prayer. May we approach our Heavenly Father with the same heart that Jesus taught us!


This message is from Steve Carpenter at our Atoka Campus.  If you missed a message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast.

This message was recorded on September 8, 2019


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Sermon on the Mount – 13 – Beware of Hypocrisy

Warnings are good things. 

As Hurricane Dorian bears down on the East Coast, hurricane warnings have been posted so that people will prepare and be ready for the possibility of a destructive storm. If people listen to the warning, they can be spared from the full effect of the storm. If they do not, then they risk losing their lives and possessions. 

In the next section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us a warning for an even more destructive storm in our lives. Essentially, it is a warning against hypocrisy. As He teaches about giving to the poor, Jesus warns His listeners to be careful of their motives when doing good things. Far too often, we do good things for the wrong reasons. This is the epitome of hypocrisy. Jesus warns in Matthew 6:1-4, that when we do things for the applause of men instead of for the glory of God, there is a storm of regret that awaits. 

Warnings are good things…if we heed them.


This message is from Steve Carpenter at our Atoka Campus.  If you missed a message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast.

This message was recorded on September 1, 2019.


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Sermon on the Mount – 12 – Forgive Your Enemies

In case you haven’t noticed, Jesus said a lot of difficult things in the Sermon on the Mount!  In fact, most of His teaching was counter-cultural and would have made his listeners very uncomfortable.  Jesus’ teaching went straight to the heart and are difficult for us to hear and obey as well.  Perhaps one of the most difficult teachings in the entire sermon is where Jesus says, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day taught that you only had to love those that loved you.  Jesus was clearly calling them, and us, to a much deeper kind of love…even to those that do not love us.

How do we do this?  It seems almost impossible.  It is impossible in our own power.  Jesus is clearly the only one that has ever loved his enemies so deeply that He would forgive the very ones that took His life.  Romans 5:8 says that He loved us “while we were still sinners” and enemies of God.  So, He is both our example and our strength when it comes to loving those that despise us.  As we look to Christ alone, we will find the grace to love our enemies and to do good to those that hate us.

This message is from Steve Carpenter at our Atoka Campus.  If you missed a message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast.


This message was recorded on August 25 at Gateway’s Atoka Campus


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Sermon on the Mount – 11 – Turn the Other Cheek

“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” “Turn the other cheek.” and “Go the extra mile.”

Have you ever wondered where these common phrases came from? Well, they are all in Chapter 5 of the book of Matthew. They are part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The problem is that most people misuse these phrases to mean things that Jesus never intended! In Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus gives His follower a radical challenge about what to do when insulted and mistreated. Hint: It’s not at all what we want to do in our own flesh.

Have you ever been insulted or mistreated in some way? Have you ever wanted to make someone pay for what they did to you? Have you had something taken from you, or felt like you were not treated justly? Well, join the crowd. We’ve all been there. The big question is how are Jesus’ followers supposed to respond? In this message, we’ll see Jesus’ radical teaching as He answers the question: What do I do when I am wronged or mistreated?


This message is from Steve Carpenter at our Atoka Campus.  If you missed a message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast.




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