Message Recap: Flourishing in Brokenness

Since today is Mother’s Day, we thought it especially fitting to honor the mothers of the church in celebration, as well as devote this week’s sermon to the high calling of motherhood. Thank you, Carrie Bach, for pouring out your wisdom and being brave in sharing your story of motherhood with us.

ian-schneider-39678

Let us start by addressing all women of the church, because motherhood is not just a physical state, but a spiritual state. If you are a woman, you are a life-bringer. Your calling from God is to bring life, and what a calling it is! We lift up those who are weary, and in every place we step, we give life.

It’s easy to trust God when we have everything together, but let us be a people that praise God in the midst of our own weariness, in our brokenness; from a Kingdom perspective, to flourish and to be broken are not always mutually exclusive (and often, they go hand-in-hand). To flourish and to be broken are, more often than not, intertwined.

2 Corinthians 4:7: But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

The releasing of the treasure comes in the breaking of the jar. We try so hard to hold all of our pieces together, without realizing that in doing so, we are holding hostage the treasure inside. Let us be unafraid to break – believing in the sovereignty of God – and allowing the treasure within us to be released!

2 Corinthians 12:9-10: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In our weaknesses, we are made strong because God fills the gaps of our inadequacy. Our weakness is an opportunity to lean on God; let us not miss it! And, it’s good to wrestle with Him when we are feeling weak (or even faithless) because it puts us in close proximity to Him. And, when we are so close to Him in our wrestling, we will see that He is nothing less than good.

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Sometimes, as Carrie so wisely pointed out, to lean not on our own understanding means to lean on the learnings or expertise of others, as long as it aligns with God’s Word. 

Because life doesn’t stop in a crisis, God is so full of grace to cover us when we don’t think we will make it out in one piece. The Kingdom of God is an upside-down Kingdom; death leads to life, mourning leads to joy, and brokenness leads to flourishing.

ian-schneider-79112

Biblical references: 2 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Proverbs 3:5-6

Questions:

  1. Where are the places of weakness in our past or present that God has made strong in Him and filled in our gaps of inadequacy?
  2. Who are the mothers in your life, whether physical or spiritual, that have brought life in moments of weariness? Reach out to them and encourage them!
  3. What is causing you to fear the breaking process? Is there any disbelief in the sovereignty of God? If so, identify it and allow the treasure within you to be released through the Holy Spirit?

Sermon Recap: Building This House, Pt. 1

buildingthehouseslide

 

Hello friends, family, and newcomers! We are in the process of purchasing and renovating a building to have a permanent home for our church family and to serve the city of Seattle. This week, we started a new series to reflect on topic of Building This House (because, though a permanent home is good, we are first and foremost a people of God, regardless of a physical space. No matter where we meet – and Mosaic has met in 14 different venues since its birth – we will always be Jesus’ church, and a family that looks to him in every season and every space.

Matthew 7:24-27: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

 In this passage, there are two immediate takeaways at face value:

  1. There are going to be storms. Hardship is inevitable in this life; it is guaranteed by the Word.
  2. And, we have two options for the way in which we live our lives: we can obey God, or we can disobey God.

As we delve further into this passage, however, we come to understand that there are three foundations on which we can choose to build our lives:

  1. A life built on morality (and, very likely, hypocrisy and judgment because we are imperfect by nature).
  2. A life built on immorality: sensuality, personal desire and fulfillment, selfishness.
  3. A life built on grace. This is how Jesus calls us to live! As His disciples, we are to build a life upon the foundation of His love, His mercy, His name, rather than our own good works (or, morality).The only foundation that will last is the grace of God.

However, this doesn’t mean we are okay with sin, and it doesn’t mean we can justify immorality. It means we must fix our eyes on God – on His goodness – and not our own.

Because we are people, and therefore imperfect, we tend to have idols of immorality (for example, money or sex) and morality (for example, as Andrew Bach shared, productivity). When we have idols of morality, we feel better about ourselves when we do acts of good. But what we need more than anything – far more than doing good works, or making ourselves or our lives better – is to meet with God and receive His gift of grace.

Ephesians 2:19-21: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.”

Whatever we are tempted to build our lives on – whether idols or morality or immorality – we must instead receive our identities from Jesus. He is the cornerstone, and the foundation is God’s grace. As we build this house, let our new building (the physical manifestation of our roots in this city) be a space of grace and not a space of moral or immoral works. Let us be a people that loves everyone that enters because He first loved us.

 

Matthew 7:24-27; Ephesians 2:19-21

Questions:

  1. When the inevitable hardships and storms of our lives come, where do you run to?
  2. Have you chosen to building your life on morality, immorality, or grace? 
  3. What are the idols that you find easily try to rob the foundation of grace in your life? 

Message Recap: Lessons of Eleazar

john-cobb-13962

In between sermon series, it was so good to hear from Lead Pastor Andrew Bach this week; he spoke over us, as a church family, a truth from God: you are graceful, and you are grace-full. The power of God is full in you to accomplish what God has intended for your life. Sometimes there is grace to endure, and sometimes there is grace to enjoy – but there is always grace. We are thankful to run after Jesus with you, grace-full church!

This week, we hone in on the character of Eleazar to learn more about God based on Scripture. King David – the man after God’s own heart – was surrounded by a team of 37 “Mighty Men”, and Eleazar was one of those 37.

2 Samuel 23:9-10: “And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar the son of Dodo, son of Ahohi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel withdrew. He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the Lord brought about a great victory that day, and the men returned after him only to strip the slain.”

From this passage, we learn three very important things:

There is power in standing

  1. We are called to stand in marriage, in parenthood, and in integrity and work, for example.
  2. Most often, standing requires doing the right thing, even if no one sees (except for God; he always sees when we do what is right).
  3. John 6:66-68: “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life…'” 

There is purpose in personal weakness

  1. Eleazar became weary in his fighting. There is no shame in weariness, nor does it mean something is wrong. Our weaknesses allow for God’s grace to come rushing in and strengthen us.
  2. Weakness is not our greatest enemy; it’s just a part of standing.
  3. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10: Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.'”
    1. How many times have we missed experiencing God’s goodness because we’ve been too afraid to acknowledge our weakness?

There is success in clinging to the sword

  1. Our sword is the Word of God. It is the Truth.
  2. In a humanistic culture, everyone has his or her own truth, but Truth – with a capital “T” – isn’t popular in a humanistic society. There is power in standing for what is right and True.
  3. Everyone is looking for something to cling to. As followers of Jesus, the Truth to which we cling is the Bible; this is the Word of Eternal Life.

2 Samuel 23:9-10; John 6:66-68; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Questions:
1. There is power in standing even when it’s in the unseen. Where is God calling you to stand?
2. There is purpose in personal weakness that brings us into intimacy with God. Where are the places of weakness in your life that you don’t want to run from so that you don’t miss the closeness of His presence?
3. How can you be one who clings to the sword in trials?
4. God has given you grace to endure and grace to enjoy. What season are you in today? Share with someone.

Sermon Recap: Words of Hope

matt-jones-67740

Thank you to our worship leader, Josh Callahan, for sharing today’s message! It is such an honor to sing praises with you each week, and to hear your wisdom for this sermon, “Words of Hope”.

Last week was Easter – a fun and celebratory service it was at Mosaic – and this week, we narrow in on the 40 days that Jesus was with us on earth after His death and Resurrection, and the Pentecost (which occurred 50 days after the Resurrection). Jesus, before leaving His disciples on Earth, called them – and us, His disciples today! –  into hope. But what is “hope”, from a heavenly perspective? What does Jesus mean by calling us into eternal hope?

Ephesians 2:12: “…remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Until Jesus, we weren’t part of the promise. This changed everything!

Ephesians 1:16-18: “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints…”

Hope, in the Bible, is the expectation of good; our eternal salvation.  

Romans 8:24-25: “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Hope’s synonyms include: anticipation, belief, desire, and expectation.

Acts 27:18-25: Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo. And on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.'” Just as was promised, the men lived (and the boat did not). 

To break it down:

  1. There’s a storm.
  2. We react.
  3. We expect doom.
  4. We receive a word from God.
  5. Hope is restored.
  6. Salvation!

A word from God brings hope. But, that is not to say we don’t face hopelessness sometimes (disbelief, doubt, fear, mistrust), and these are very real emotions. We are sure to have trials and tribulations; this is a promise of the Bible. John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Physically, we live in a fallen world. But! Jesus has already conquered it; this is where we lie in the midst of “already but not yet”.

Romans 8:6: “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” The enemy is powerful in the world, but he has no say over the things of heaven. That authority belongs to Jesus. The enemy wants us to have worry and anxiety; he wants us to focus on the here and now, but Jesus wants us to set our sights on the things of heaven – he wants us to hope!

Matthew 6:25: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

John 14:1-3: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

Not everything we hope for will be bestowed upon us, no matter how much we hope. But, we can place our hope in Jesus – in our place seated at the right hand of the throne of God – and we will receive as promised. Ultimately everything we hope for in this life will cease to exist. But hope allows us to live a more full life – Jesus wants this for us!

Rather than fall into the pattern of reacting to the storms of our lives, let us start with hope, and live accordingly:

  1. Hope
  2. Storms
  3. Word from God
  4. React from the place of hearing from God
  5. Salvation comes
  6. When we expect doom, remember #1.

2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Hope serves a purpose greater than its end result; it gives us the freedom to live now. Hope gives us a more fulfilling life.

Spiritual practicals to maintaining hope:

  1. Spend time in the Word, and you will find encouragement to keep hoping.
  2. Ask God for His presence, and you will feel peace.

Mental practicals to maintaining hope:

  1. Set your mind on the hope that is already inside of you because of the Spirit.
  2. Embrace change. Robert E. Quinn says: “You go through deep change or slow death. There is no alternative.”

Physical practicals to maintaining hope:

  1. Go – give hope away! There is certainly enough to go around. This is part of our calling as followers of Jesus. We have the hope of the world living on the inside of us. 2 Corinthians 3:12-18: “Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

Similar to Jesus, let us be unpredictable in our adventure but predictable in our character. Let’s take risks, rooted in hope that Jesus is with us! There is nothing to lose when all of our hope is in Him.

matt-jones-32203

*Ed. Note: The above photo is *not* what we mean by taking risks rooted in hope. We just thought it looked cool. 

Sermon Recap: The Echo of Christ

averie-woodard-122276

On occasion, we have the incredible honor of hearing from guest pastors at Mosaic Seattle. This week, we had the gift of hearing from a member of our own Mosaic Edmonds family, Brian Eastland, in regards to what it means to be the echo of Christ.

Firstly, let us remember that we are living in such favorable times (in this city, in 2017), but may we not settle. There is another level; there is so much more because God is so much bigger than we could ever comprehend!

1 Corinthians 2:9-12: But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 

In this passage from Corinthians, we see a promise of God: the goodness that He has prepared for us is audaciously good. The goodness of God surpasses human understanding. You, in this season or moment of life, might not be living in the audaciously good, but you can rest assured in knowing that it is coming. It is a promise. 

1 Corinthians 2:16: ‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ. 

In this passage, “we have” is translated from the Greek language as “echo”; as believers, it is true – meaning theologically accurate – that we have the Spirit of the Living God dwelling inside of us. The Spirit searches the depths of God, comprehends those thoughts, and then makes those thoughts known to us. We are the echo of the mind of Christ, and therefore, it is our calling to live accordingly. Because this is true, it is so important that we ask the Spirit for guidance, direction, wisdom, and a greater knowledge of God. Let us be people who ask often, “Spirit, what do you think about this situation?” and “Spirit, wha are you saying about this person (despite what I feel or think about them)?”. What we hear, let us declare, and what is spoken to us in command, let us follow through in obedience.

2 Corinthians 5:17-20: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Church, we are the echo of the mind of Christ. And, because we have been given this opportunity, we are called to be messengers of reconciliation, just as God has reconciled us to him through Jesus. By definition, reconciliation means: “to be brought back under the favor of relationship.” This is the goodness of the gospel, and it is too good to keep all to ourselves! Because we are called to relay the message of reconciliation, we need to see others for who they are, and not stumble over what they are not. Let us not count the trespasses of others against them, just as God does not hold grudges against us; He is quick to forgive, and is always loving. God reconciled and is reconciling us to Him constantly and consistently, and we are to be an echo of that same loving reconciliation. Church, we are disciples of Jesus, and as image bearers, we bear the image of reconciliation. It’s who we are, because it is who He is. Glory to God!

averie-woodard-114295

This Sunday, we are celebrating Easter together in one service. Don’t forget, it starts at 10am, rather than the usual 9 or 11! We’d love to celebrate the Resurrection with you! 

Sermon Recap: Parenting the Next Generation, Pt. 4

tina-floersch-39144

Raising up the next generation is the topic of today’s sermon, the last in this 4-part series; it is not the duty of the parents alone but the duty of the church of Jesus. As His people, it is our responsibility to fight for the next generation so they can go farther and faster in God than we could go. The best thing we can do for the next generation is have faith in their inheritance; our faith is always one generation away from extinction, and it is our calling to uphold it.

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
    and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall commend your works to another,
    and shall declare your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:3-4)

“…things that we have heard and known,
    that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
    but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
    and the wonders that he has done.” (Psalm 78:3-4)

It is so clearly our calling to raise up the next generation, according to the Bible. Let’s look at three practical ways we can follow through:

  1. Testify
    1. Deuteronomy 4:9: “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children…”
    2. It’s human nature to forget the goodness of God, and we are prone to disbelieve.
    3. The things that we are most thankful for have we acknowledged as gifts from God?
    4. Why would we not testify?
      1. We’re not sure we believe ourselves. But, this is the plan of the enemy; He wants us to question our faith and doubt the goodness of God.
      2. We are afraid that our testimonies exalt us rather than God. Rest assured, they don’t. Testimonies always exalt God!
      3. We are “covering” for God; we don’t want others to be disappointed if God doesn’t do the same thing for them that He did for us. But, thinking in this manner is prideful. God can cover Himself – He’s God. 
  2. Be honest
    1. Deuteronomy 30:15-20: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” 
    2. God already knows where we are disappointed, so there is no reason to put on a facade.
    3. If we are going to pass on our prosperous faith, we must exercise honest faith.
    4. Deuteronomy 29:29: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
      1. What a relief! We don’t actually have to figure everything out on our own. Praise God.
    5. If we aren’t honest about our pain and suffering and doubt, then we will raise up a generation characterized by a performing faith rather than a prosperous faith.
  3. We must practice radical obedience, rooted in faith
    1. What a beautiful time and a beautiful city in which to be the people of God.
    2. Better than anything we can say, our children will know the love of God most deeply when they see day-in, day-out radical obedience to His voice.

tina-floersch-25625

We meet every Sunday, at 9am and 11am, and would love to see you there!

P.S. – we have coffee. *wink wink*  

Sermon Recap: Parenting the Next Generation, Pt. 3

In this series, we are discussing the high calling that is parenting. We have identified that children are a blessing – a gift from God! – and ways in which to love them intentionally, just as God loves us intentionally. Today, we are approaching a more difficult topic: discipline.

aleksandar-popovski-114743

As parents, we are the protectors of our children. And, in an effort to protect, we are called to discipline. We are to lead them, and if we don’t, they will find someone else to follow. Why, then, is discipline so important?

  1. We discipline because we love them:
    1. Proverbs 13:24: “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”
    2. Proverbs 3:11-12: “My son, do not despise the Lord‘s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
    3. Hebrews 12:6-7: “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
    4. According to God, love and discipline are inseparable. God, in His grace and love, disciplines us as His own children.
  2. We discipline to teach them:
    1. Proverbs 29:15: “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.”
    2. If our children are disobedient, it isn’t a reflection of them, it’s a reflection of our parenting.
  3. We discipline because we have hope for them:
    1. Proverbs 19:18: “Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.”
    2. Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Why are parents, then, reluctant to discipline?

  1. We don’t want to kill their spirit, creativity, dreams, uniqueness. But, our children will find abundant life because of our discipline, not despite it. They crave safety and boundaries, which discipline provides and encourages.
    1. Proverbs: 23:13: “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.”
  2. We don’t want to be inconvenienced. It takes time and it’s hard. In public, it might be embarrassing. And, watching our children suffer can be emotionally taxing and painful.

Let’s define clearly the differences between discipline and punishment, because they are not synonymous as we often assume. Punishment is payment and leads to condemnation. Discipline is training our children within the grace of God to teach them obedience (after all, unlike parental discipline, God’s discipline towards us never ends). Discipline leads to abundant life.

The Parameters of Discipline:

  1. It is restorative.
    1. Galatians 6:1: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” It must be done in a spirit of gentleness and not in anger. Anger won’t be the thing that trains our children’s hearts.
    2. Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
    3. Restorative discipline is the result of a child choosing discipline because of their disobedience.
  2. It is unpleasant (neither a joy for the parent or the child).
    1. Hebrews 12:11: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
    2. It’s a painful process.
  3. It produces repentance without regret.
    1. 2 Corinthians 2:10: “Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ.” 
    2. Discipline looks like confession, repentance, and forgiveness. It should never lead to resentment; God doesn’t hold grudges against us for our disobedience, so we shouldn’t hold grudges against our children either.
    3. Discipline should not have a negative affect on our relationships with our children. Rather, it should lead to greater trust.

aleksandar-popovski-50818

Join us next Sunday as we head into the last sermon of our current series, Parenting the Next Generation. It’s going to be so good!