Sermon Recap: Relational Resolves, Pt. 2

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In this sermon, lead pastor Andrew Bach discusses a challenging, but important and biblical relational resolve.

As a church, we – Mosaic – landed on 5 relational resolves to help us become the body of Christ as Jesus calls us to be. These Relational Resolves have principally guided how we relate with people, and they have helped tremendously to set our culture as church.  However, these are more than just points of discussion for aspiration; we live them, constantly looking to Jesus for strength and wisdom to do so.  Every so often, we need to review these, and decide again that this is indeed how we will relate with others.  In the first sermon, we discussed honor. Today, we discuss healthy conflict, a biblical calling for us as His people.

This discussion, though perhaps less sweet than others, is important, because there are ways that God intends for us to engage each other in healthy conflict and ways that God does not. If a part of Mosaic’s culture is healthy conflict, then we have a chance at long term relationships.  However, unhealthy conflict is a quick way to division and broken relationships.

As a people that love Jesus, we have to make a resolve.  We will have healthy conflict.

The Bible speaks about this in detail, because God knows that people have varying perspectives, and therefore have conflict. His intention for us is conflict characterized by grace and patience, in order for relationships to grow and exemplify Him.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:12-13 ESV.

Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him. Luke 17:3-4 ESV.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. Ephesians 4:26 ESV.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:5-6 ESV.

We know the Bible has a lot to say about healthy conflict. Here, Andrew provides principles for us to understand how to practice what we preach.

  1.  The goal of healthy conflict is Authentic Unity.
    1. Specifically, this means that we don’t just pretend to ignore the differences we encounter. Instead, we work through them, together, to the glory of God.
    2. The goal is more about being unified than it is about you being right. Body of Christ: we must work together to accomplish the purposes and plans of God. It’s not about you proving your right. Rather, it matters that we stay together.
  1.  The person is not the problem.
    1. Our battle is never against people. Ultimately, your problem is not with this person.
  1.  Truth must be spoken in love. 
    1. We cannot be afraid of conflict. We have the hard conversations, from a place of desiring unity, and we trust and hope that conflict will always lead to the best possible outcome in the end.  Therefore, we don’t shy away from speaking the truth.
    2. Seek to understand rather than to be understood. To speak in love, recognize how you communicate through tones, facial expressions, and word choice.
    3. Assumptions matter. Ask questions. Actively listen.
    4. Understand what heavenly Love is, exemplified by Jesus. Love is not flattery, and love is not making sure people feel good. This is hard, but to make others feel good is the easy way out. Understand that healthy conflict is loving, and discipline the delivery.
  1.  Forgiveness is a matter of the heart, and forgiveness has no limit.
    1. We are commanded to forgive.  This is one of the most powerful aspects of our relationship with Jesus.

Practice Healthy Conflict, for the goodness of God and His people.

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17 ESV.

In healthy conflict, we follow the process found in Matthew 18:

  1. Approach the person alone
  2. Approach the person in a small group
  3. Approach church leadership

All 3 steps are taken with these 2 important truths in mind:

  1. The church is a unified body
  2. Forgiveness has no limit

Just as Jesus forgave, we must follow suit and forgive others as well – with love and authenticity.

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Check back soon for more Relational Resolve series recaps! 

 

Tijuana (By Numbers)

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In March, a group of college students traveled to Tijuana, Mexico, on a mission: to do as Jesus asks us, “Go out into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). As a church, this is our calling, both within the city of Seattle and outside to all the world. We take mission trips to reveal the love of Jesus to unreached corners of the world, and this was an opportunity for a group of students to see God move in incredible ways.

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A typical day in Tijuana included morning worship, followed by equipping by a local pastor from All People’s Church or Mosaic, and then following the lead of the Spirit for the remainder of the day in reaching and connecting with others. The team performed a dance and a drama in public spaces, and then shared the gospel while someone translated. It is amazing how even through a drama -without verbal communication – God can bring people to Himself. The students and leaders also had the opportunity to partner with the local church in by assisting in outreach and a variety of ways.

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Though numbers cannot describe the depth of joy or represent the experiences our students had in Tijuana, they do give an awesome picture of God’s hand in the city during the trip. Here’s what we saw:

  • 104 people give their lives to Jesus
  • 25 people radically healed
  • Over 350 people came to the Easter service at All People’s Church (Tijuana). Of those 350, 30 people gave their lives to Jesus. The church has an average attendance of 90 people
  • Several students said it was their first mission trip, and some their first time sharing the Gospel with someone.
  • Our students were filled with passion and came back even more envisioned for the people in our own city
  • We have a group the does outreach on Thursdays (in Seattle) and up to 10 or more people come on their own time and are willing to pray and show the love of Jesus to people! It’s incredible. We are seeing people in our very own city touched by the love of God by stepping out and doing something that is seemingly awkward or risky.
  • Our students came back with a fiery passion for Jesus! Our college ministry is thriving and they are forming spaces for people to pray early in the morning and worship together.
  • Lifegroups are thriving
  • People are already excited for the next spring break trip
  • Students came alive in Tijuana and experienced God in a way they never had before. And it hasn’t stopped. God is good!

At Mosaic, there are so many opportunities to be part of our mission. This summer, we are sending groups internationally to continue to be a part of God’s great plan for salvation for all people. Come, and join us!

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For more information, we invite you to attend a Sunday service, or check out our site

Sermon Recap: Relational Resolves, Pt. 1

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Lead Pastor Andrew Bach leads us through a series titled “Relational Resolves”. The first of the series, presented April 17th, addresses the value of honor in relationship with others.

Backed both scientifically and experientially, the sense of smell is the most prominent of the five senses in triggering memories. However, more important than even our physical smell, which prompts memories, is our spiritual smell. As believers, we must ask ourselves the question: what kind of aroma do we present when we walk into a room? What kind of aroma do we want to present, as ambassadors of the Kingdom?

Before walking into any room, we must decide how we choose to relate to others. It is important that we make a resolve to be a blessing to all those we encounter, before even our first encounter of the day. If we do not choose to be a blessing, we have the tendency to let external factors – the weather, the money in our bank accounts, for example – dictate the attitude we have toward others. A relational resolve is this: the decision to relate with others in a particular way, no matter the circumstance.

Mosaic’s first relational resolve is to honor people. As followers of Jesus, we are not primarily called to self-expression. Rather, we are called to honor others, and to put honor on every other person before ourselves.

1 Peter 2:17 calls us to honor all people: “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”

The calling is simple, but the activation is not always easy. We are prone, because of sin, to judge others rather than to honor them. We are called to wash away all priority and sense of superiority, and to make the resolve to honor everyone. Importantly, we don’t have to honor everything a person does, but we are called as a people to honor who a person is.

Rarely does the bible command competitive nature, except in the case of Romans 12:10: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”  By definition, to honor is to value. To honor someone is to acknowledge their fixed value as a creation of God. He made every person, and therefore every person is valuable at a fixed price. To honor others is to honor God as the Creator. In the act of honoring others, we use prophetic encouragement to call out who a person is – call out their identity and bestow honor upon them – even before we see the fruit of their life.

Honoring isn’t just about acknowledging others, it’s about preferring them. We don’t honor others for us; we honor others for them. “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” Romans 15:2. 

Jesus calls us to die to ourselves, so that we may find life and life abundant.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you not only look to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4. 

To honor others looks like empowering them. It looks like giving others choices, rather than telling them what to do. It looks like intentionally seeking to maximize others’ potential before our own. It looks like understanding and supporting someone else’s vision. It looks like being on time. It looks like scheduling something and showing up. It looks like greeting people in a welcoming manner. It looks like listening, and assuming the best. It looks like cutting off gossip rather than feeding into it. It looks like finding the gold in others and calling it out, proclaiming it aloud.

We learn how to best honor by looking at the life of Jesus, exemplified in Philippians 2:5-11: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

This, too, is imperative to know: just as all others have a fixed value, you have a fixed value, too. When we have a hard time honoring others, it’s often because we ourselves do no feel worthy of honor. But do not forget that you are worthy of Jesus emptying himself of God and coming to earth to die on the cross, so that you may be saved. We honor others because of how Jesus honors us, perfectly and outlandishly.

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Interested in hearing Andrew’s sermon? Check out our podcast.

Sermon Recap: The Fullness of God by Joe Ewen

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We had the honor of hosting incredible speaker and Kingdom warrior Joe Ewen on Sunday, April 9th. A well-known prophet, Joe traveled from Scotland to Seattle to speak life and truth into the body of Mosaic Community Church.

The more we give to Jesus, the more He gives in return. Far beyond our comprehension, though, Jesus gives us more than we can see whether or not we deserve anything from Him at all. He is the ultimate Giver. Joe narrowed in on Ephesians 3 to exemplify the fullness of God and the vastness of His goodness toward us.

Ephesians 3:19-20 states, “And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” 

Joe Ewen then poses the question: what is this fullness of God for? In what ways does this manifest in us while we are on Earth?

  1. To worship Him.
    1. Further, the fullness of God does not mean that our worship begins and ends on Sunday mornings. It is a consistent praise of His glory and presence in our lives.
  2. To bring others to worship Him, when they see the power working through us.
    1. Acts 3:4-6 reminds us of this very power that lives and works through us: “Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.'” 
    2. We are often focused so heavily on the heavenly good that we forget the earthly good. God is so good so as to give us tastes of heaven, even while living on Earth. He wants to use us for good!
    3. Luke 10:9 furthers this point that the power of the living God resides in us, when Jesus tells his disciples, “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God has come near to you.'” This power is for us and in us, for our good and for the good of others.
  3. Fullness comes from knowing the one who is able. He is able to do exceedingly above anything we could ever do; when you think of fullness, it is imperative to think exceedingly abundantly. Because He is God, He is able to do superabundantly above the greatest abundance.
  4. We have the fullness of the power of the Godhead behind all we could ever ask or think. God wants us to do work in the realm of the impossible! The things that we can do ourselves, we should do ourselves; what God wants to do is the impossible, and he wants to do superabundantly more than our humanly capabilities so that He is glorified. “For in Christ the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form…” Colossians 2:9.
  5. This power is a power that works inside us. Releasing that power is the key to the salvation of the city and of His people.
  6. To know the fullness of God is so that there will be glory in the church. If we’re saved solely for a ticket to heaven, we are missing the point (and life abundant).
  7. To understand God’s fullness is to lead the church to fulfill its generational responsibilities.

God’s fullness is so far greater than our human comprehension will ever grasp. But we have a God who shows his face to us, that we may know Him and His superabundance.

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Interested in more from Joe Ewen? Check this out.

Easter Sunday Wrap-Up

He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Luke 24:6-7. 

We celebrated the glorious resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday with worship, service, and barbecue. Check out our photos from the day here (and try and spot your smile!).

Curious about Easter Sunday’s service? Peep our podcast. 

Sermon Recap: Easter Sunday

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“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.” 1 Corinthians 9:26.  

As believers of Jesus, we are called also to believe in the incredible, intentional purpose of our earthly lives. Like athletes running a race of endurance, or fighting with agility and precision, we the church– the hands and feet of Jesus – are called to live purposefully. We are called to have faith in the person of Jesus, and to celebrate purposefully.

Therefore, because we have faith in the perfect person of Jesus Christ, we celebrate Easter by faith also. Interestingly, we put our faith in so many worldly things that are far less trustworthy than is Jesus. With steadfast expectation, we have faith that our car will start in the morning as we head out to work, that our airplane will land safely, that the medicine we purchase from the pharmacy will ease our symptoms of illness. But, as Christians, we are not to put our faith in the matters of the world; rather, we must decide for ourselves what is true. We must choose to put our faith in the Word, which God Himself breathed even before the beginning of time. His Word is the ultimate, incorruptible Truth.

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe’.” John 20:24-25. 

We celebrate Easter because it is the the resurrection of Jesus. Further, it was the turning point of Christianity. Over 500 people saw – with their own eyes – the resurrection of the man of Jesus. We are called to believe in the things unseen, but what an incredible, tangible sight to behold by human eyes!

John 20 continues in verses 26-27, “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

In this passage, the incomprehensible, unsearchable compassion and understanding of Jesus is exemplified, as he meets Thomas right in the midst of his unbelief. What is even more beautiful and outlandish is that this is the heart of Jesus for every person on earth; His heart seeks to find us, and to instill belief wherever there is unbelief. He is not discouraged by our unbelief, but instead, draws us nearer to Him to show us His goodness.

“Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’.” John 20:28-29.  

We celebrate Easter as a grand invitation to put our trust in the One we cannot see, “so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”. 2 Corinthians 4:18.

This specific Holiday reminds us both to celebrate and of the ways in which we are blessed by God:

  1. We are saved. Romans 10:9 promises: “If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
  2. We have life and life abundant in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:11 reminds us “if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you”.

We celebrate Easter to praise the person of Jesus, to declare our belief in the Resurrection, and to acknowledge our faith in the unseen, that which is everlasting. We are invited to celebrate, as even the angels are in awe of our faith! Hebrews 11:1 further describes this faith which even stuns the angels: “Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. Though we face fleeting matters of the world, God is good and he is eternally good. In Him through Christ Jesus we are free, and that is the very reason for celebration.

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Check back soon for more photos from our very own Easter Sunday celebration (spoiler alert: it may have involved BBQ). 

Sermon Recap: Ephesians 6

The book of Ephesians has directed our several week-long series at Mosaic titled Present Battle: Eternal Victory. Last Sunday, Carrie Bach closed the series with a beautifully vulnerable sermon emphasizing Ephesians 6.

We are in a present battle that has an eternal victory. Therefore, it is vital that our identity is deeply rooted in Jesus and in Him alone. Our strength lies in the Lord and not in our own might, for apart from Him, we can do nothing.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12.

God has called us to put on our armor. Our society encourages us to fight for ourselves (as seen often in asking for a pay raise at work, for example), but this is not what God intends for us. He doesn’t call us to charge or to fight, but rather, to stand and to know His strength. In that, there is power.

“Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes on your feet, having put on the readiness by the given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication…”. Ephesians 6:13-18.

In the first part of Ephesians 6, God asks us to do these three things: Stand. Withstand. Stand firm.

As God’s people, we are made to stand. It’s part of our identity. It is who God has made us to be. Of course, this begs the question: how do we stand? In what ways, specifically, can we do what God is asking us to do and walk out in this identity? In this chapter, Paul provides handrails to the Ephesians. Thankfully, we can take his encouragement for these people as encouragement for ourselves, as the Word is living and relevant today as it was 2000 years ago.

  1. Fasten on the belt of truth
    1. It is not relative. My situation does not define His Truth.
    2. I do not examine the Bible, the Bible examines me.
  2. Put on the breastplate of righteousness.
    1. We live under the grace of God – it is the love of God – which prompts us and encourages us to live glory to glory. His call to righteousness is not so much a chore as it is an honor to represent Him
    2. The love of God transforms us into His image
    3. Righteousness is not religious; God’s righteousness is not a license to sin.
  3. Put shoes on your feet with a readiness of the gospel of peace. The gospel is powerful to advance His Kingdom. The gospel is greater than words on a page; it transforms.
  4. Take up the shield of faith. God does not call us to live by what is seen but to live by what is unseen. What lives in the eternal is the most real, despite our tangible worldly reality
  5. Take the helmet of salvation. Romans 8:6: “The mind governed by flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” The helmet guards us from the lies of the enemy. He stalks like a lion, but his roar is his greatest asset. There is nothing more he can do than to roar, as his force is weak.
  6. Take the sword of the spirit – the Word. This is our greatest defense in the battle against the enemy, because The Word is Truth.
  7. Pray
    1. Prayer is powerful and effective. Prayer brings about the peace of God. Prayer changes nations.
    2. Worrying is not prayer. Complaining is not prayer.

Clothe yourselves in the armor of God. Know that His armor is a gift; to receive it is a gift. However, we must know the word of God in order to use this gift effectively. To be made to stand, you must spend time with Him. With this knowledge, there are things we can do to grow in intimacy with Him, so that we may receive the gift and use it authoritatively:

Check out to check in. Check out of media to check in to the presence of God. Of course, media is not inherently wrong and it is not inherently sin, but to use it as a point of comparison is sinful and it is destructive.

Dress well to test well. Put on your armor, as Paul describes in Ephesians.

Understand that we are not moved by our weakness but remain standing by His strength. God is not surprised by our weakness or our lack. The joy of the Lord is our strength, and in our weakness, He reveals His greatness. God knows we cannot fight the battle alone; in His grace, He doesn’t ask us to do so. The Lord will fight for you; all you must do is stand.

Remember who we are fighting against, and remember the great name of our Victor. Turn your eyes toward the Victor, because the battle is already won. He is winning today and He will win forever.

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Want to hear Carrie’s sermon IRL? We got you.