Sermon Recap: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 5

mikael-cho-214358

This week, we dive into a new facet of being the church of Jesus: what it truly means to love your neighbor.

1 John 4:20-21: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 

We look specifically at Luke 10, which provides a beautiful example of what it means to love your neighbor in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10:2-28: And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.'” 

Verse 29 continues, and reveals to us a weakness we face as humans: we are so good at finding excuses not to love our neighbor: “But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?'”. We ask: who is our neighbor? What is love, really? Too often, we turn “love” into “tolerance”, and being tolerant is not being loving at all.

To love God and to love people means to take action. We cannot be passive and be loving; love is an intentional decision, with actionable follow-through. To love someone is to prefer their highest good, even if it is costly to the self.

Luke 10:30-37: “Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise.'” 

How did the Samaritan prove to be a neighbor?

  1. He saw him, had compassion, and went to him.
    1. We can’t see people when we have preconceived notions, but God doesn’t see us according to our outward appearances. He sees the heart.
    2. Stay sensitive to the brokenness around you.
  2. He bandaged his wounds.
    1. Get your hands dirty. Helping others can look messy.
  3. He blessed him with oil and wine (representing anointing).
    1. We are called to prophetically encourage others.
  4. He made a long-term investment to help him.

The question isn’t, “Who is my neighbor?”, it’s “How can I help my neighbor?”. Let us be a church constantly asking how to help our neighbor in love beyond understanding.

mikael-cho-214632

Sermon Recap: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 4

ualimdhgjgu-asaf-r

Firstly, let us acknowledge the division we are facing in our nation. And, let us also acknowledge that we are not an “American” church, a “Western” church, a “Northwestern” church, or a “Seattle” church; we are Jesus’ church. First and foremost, we belong to Him. It’s even in our name: Mosaic! Our commonality is that we are all broken, and have come together to look like a complete picture of Jesus. The division we are facing as a country, though, has a solution: real relationships. This is the topic of our discussion for this week’s sermon, led by Andrew Bach.

John 15:15: “By this, all people will know that you are my disciples: by the way that you love one another.” 

Acts 2:42-47: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

This week, we are looking at the term ‘devotion’ in particular (which means a ‘profound dedication marked by love, loyalty, and enthusiasm). In the above passage from Acts, the disciples were devoted to 1). The apostle’s teaching, 2). Fellowship, 3). Breaking of bread, and 4). Prayers. The result of this devotion was: awe upon every soul, miracles, unity, generosity, thankfulness, worship, favor with people in the city, and salvation. To be Jesus’ church, according to Scripture, is to be devoted to fellowship.

Because Millennials represent a good portion of our church – as well as incredible and beautiful diversity across the world today – we’re going to use some statistical evidence (courtesy of Gallup) to exemplify the significance of real relationships. The Millennial demographic is characterized by 4 commonalities:

  1. Connected: in ideas, inclusivity, etc.
  2. Unconstrained: they are not limited by the status quo
  3. Idealistic: they are optimistic and envision purpose and meaning in everything they do:
  4. Unattached: independent; there are so many options, which induce a fear of commitment

Three out of these four characteristics of Millennials, as a generalized population, are admirable and necessary to neighborhood, city, nation, and worldwide change! However, a propensity to be unattached can be disastrous; Jesus’ church must be devoted to fellowship. Nothing is more powerful than real relationship. This is why Lifegroups are so important. If we ourselves are not walking in real relationship, we cannot help a nation divided become unified.

John 15:15: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” Real relationships grow us in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. God, Himself, is in community! He does not exist alone, but in relationship with the Son and the Spirit. The power is in devotion. The power is in showing up. As a church family, we encourage everyone to commit to a group of people; in that devotion, you’ll find yourself on a launchpad toward real relationship.

The nation, in its division, is set up for a move of God through the local church. Friends, let that be us! Let our devotion be contagious.

vpxee7s-my4-hudson-hintze

If you are already part of a Lifegroup, we encourage and applaud your commitment. If you are interested in joining a Lifegroup, we’d love to speak with you after church on Sundays at the Welcome Table! 

Sermon Recap: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 3

It’s week 3 of our series, “Jesus’ Church” led by Andrew Bach. Come on, fam, let’s dive back in!

ntxomjl97my-redd-angelo

To start, let’s begin by looking at 1 Peter 5:6-7, which says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you”. Jesus wants to carry your burdens because he cares about you, not just because he wants you to be free to do good works or fulfill your callings or handle your obligations. He cares for you, in the same way that a father or mother carries their children’s luggage through the airport – not to free up their children to do more things at the airport. It’s just what loves does.

Acts 20:28: “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” We no longer belong to ourselves; we belong to Jesus. Our church, therefore, belongs to Jesus, including our programs and relationships and thought processes. So, as a church that belongs to Jesus, this sermon acknowledges a practicality of doing life: everyone disciples someone.

Matthew 28:16-20: Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'” We will always walk by faith, so do not be afraid or ashamed of being doubtful. Rather, bring your doubt to Him. The enemy wants your doubt to bring division, but God wants to use your doubts to deepen your faith. Further, this passage makes it clear that Jesus is God, and then He gives us an assignment; it’s more than praying, worship, social justice, working hard, resting and enjoying His presence. Our assignment is to “go therefore and make disciples”. 

Why might some of us not be in a discipleship relationship?

  1. You’ve never heard of a discipleship relationship.
  2. Discipleship is awkward.
  3. Jesus told you that you are an exception to His Great Commission.
  4. The Great Commission is a bad strategy anyways.
  5. You have far greater things to do than to accomplish the Great Commission.
  6. You don’t like people.
  7. You tried discipleship and thought it was a disaster and waste of time.
  8. Jesus disciples you.
  9. Discipleship is not your gifting.
  10. You have no idea what discipleship even looks like.

Making a disciple means pointing a person toward Jesus (practically, through baptism, and teaching others to observe and obey His commandments). Jesus wants the whole world to obey Him because obeying Him leads to abundant life. In obedience to Jesus, we find joy and life. Discipleship looks like consistent and purposeful relationships with the intention to encourage someone in obedience. It looks like accountability. How we respond to Jesus’ calling to make disciples will determine whether Mosaic is a monument or a movement. Monuments are cool, but we don’t want to be a monument! If we take up His calling, we will be a movement; that is what we want!

To get into a discipleship relationship, the best place to start is in Lifegroup. Discipleship happens in both groups and in one-on-one relationships. Follow these practicals in discipleship: connect, encourage accountability, and challenge. Let us teach each other the joy of following Jesus!

azmmuy2ql6a-kimson-doan

See you next week for part 4 of the “Jesus’ Church” series! *wink wink*

Sermon Recap: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 2

nin6d23px5k-edwin-andrade

This week, we continue on in our series, Jesus’ Church, with part 2 of 7. Whether or not we know it, every single person is seeking the gospel in their heart. Everyone is looking for a purpose, a reason to live, something bigger than themselves. The gospel (“good news”) is powerful (“having the strong ability to cause an effect”).

Romans 1:16:  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

The gospel isn’t just powerful in human terms, it’s powerful in God’s terms. There are powerful things of this world, but the gospel is not of this world; how much more powerful is it than we can even comprehend? It has the power to declare us all, with authority, guilty. But, it also has the power to declare us justified. And, it does!

Romans 5:6-8: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The gospel, as exemplified in Romans, releases unconditional love over us. 

Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” God calls us to live out of this unconditional love and in His abundance, rather than in fear or anxiety. Believing in the gospel doesn’t mean you are now perfect (or expected to be), it means no condemnation. You are forgiven.

Romans 10:13-15: “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'” Jesus instilled it in His church to preach the good news; how otherwise would the people of the world hear it?

The book of Mark – namely Chapter 1 – reveals how Jesus spent His time in relationship: He reclined with sinners, fed the hungry, displayed zeal, showed great compassion, cast out demons, publicly forgave, taught and interpreted the scriptures, and told a rich man to sell everything and give his money to the poor. Jesus walked intentionally, and met people right where they were. We were saved to do justice, be holy, and look like Him.

Practically, there are 4 ways to present the gospel:

  1. Stranger presentation (it’s about sewing the seed, not “saving souls”. That’s God’s job).
  2. Relational presentation (with a neighbor, coworker, or friend): has the most to do with having honesty. Are you truthful about your beliefs?
  3. Active demonstration: giving finances, living purely, engaging in social justice, etc.
  4. Personal invitation: to church, to Lifegroup, to Parent’s Night Out, etc.

Church – this is our calling! Regardless of your season, your job, your age/gender/background, your financial situation, your relational status, there is nothing like the call on our lives to share with the world the good news and the love of Jesus. We can’t wait to hear more about being Jesus’ Church with you next Sunday!

2_k1alpcebg-siim-lukka

 

Sermon Recap: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 1

4v1dc_eocwg-edwin-andrade

This week, we are back in the swing of things (hello, 2017!) and starting a new sermon series, titled “Jesus’ Church”. Led by Lead Pastor Andrew Bach, we dive into what it means to be the body of Christ – biblically and practically.

Firstly, let’s remember that Jesus wants His church to know that we belong to Him. So much so, in fact, that we are only His; we don’t even belong to ourselves. Acts 20:28 says: “Pay careful attention to yourselves and all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”  We have been rescued from our captivity and imprisonment, and we belong to our rescuer.

Secondly, let’s also remember that God is approachable, because in understanding this fully, it will be easier to understand our belonging. He is approachable in that he is accessible, relatable, friendly, easy to meet, and easy to know. What else is He like? The Bible provides us with solid Truth to understanding better God’s character:

  1. Absolute authority:
    1. Acts 17:24-25: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”
  2. Compassionate:
    1. Psalm 103:1-5: “Bless the Lord, O my soul,
          and all that is within me,
          bless his holy name!
      Bless the Lord, O my soul,
          and forget not all his benefits,
      who forgives all your iniquity,
          who heals all your diseases,
      who redeems your life from the pit,
          who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
      who satisfies you with good
          so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
  3. Good:
    1. Exodus 33:18-19: “Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory.’ And he said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.'” 
  4. Just:
    1. Deuteronomy 32:4: “The rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.”
  5. Protective:
    1. Psalm 91: 3-6: “For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
          and from the deadly pestilence.
      He will cover you with his pinions,
          and under his wings you will find refuge;
          his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
      You will not fear the terror of the night,
          nor the arrow that flies by day,
      nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
          nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.”
  6. Providing:
    1. Philippians 4:19: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
  7. Consistent:
    1. Malachi 3:6: “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”

The Bible – in its perfect Truth – says all of these things about our God, but our experiences in life sometimes lead us to believe otherwise. And we, as people, are not at all worthy of being in such close relationship with an approachable God; it seems too good to be true. And it is! But, Jesus. This is why He came, to make this relationship possible for us. We are no longer enemies of God, but instead, we are children of God. Praise! Thank you, Jesus.

James 4:8: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” 

Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

In order to understand further your belonging to God, spend time with Him (whether in worship, reading, or prayer, for example). And, in doing so, remember that it is not the method that is powerful, but it is God who is powerful.

1fpcmdib1oc-edwin-andrade

Don’t miss next Sunday’s service, as we continue on to part two of the Jesus’ Church series! 

Sermon Recap: Kingdom Ambition

o91lhkdb_sq-marco-bonomo

For the first Sunday of the year, we met virtually as a church to watch the Selah service online. It was an incredible way to reflect on 2016, and look toward 2017 with fresh perspective and to ask God what he has in mind for the coming 12 months. This week, we were back to meet in a physical space and to hear about Kingdom ambition. Jim Larson – a deeply devoted disciple of Jesus and member of our church – blessed us with his Spirit-filled wisdom in this week’s sermon.

Firstly, let’s acknowledge that ambition of the Kingdom and worldly varieties are vastly different. Kingdom ambition is rooted in the fact that we have a highly ambitious God (exemplified by His creation of at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe).

Psalm 19:1 states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of his hands.” As beings of His creation, we were made in his image, and piece of that is His ambition living within each of us. Not only were we created to look like him, but he invites us to co-labor with Him; such an invitation for us prompts ambitious excitement!

Matthew 25:14-30: “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

God is pleased with those ambitious for His Kingdom; He voices it so clearly. Using this passage from Matthew, we want to be like the first two servants, and unlike the third.

In 4 categories, we can acknowledge and identify our Kingdom ambition (Kingdom-focus x ambition):

  1. Low Kingdom-focus x low ambition: similar to a rudder-less ship. It’s near impossible to move a ship that is docked.
  2. Low Kingdom-focus x high ambition: this is what culture tells us is right, fulfilling, and satisfying.
    1. According to the world, high ambition has nothing to do with loving God or loving your neighbor.
    2. We can become harmful toward others when we have too much worldly ambition; we might become greedy, selfless, envious, or find it easier to step on others in order to climb the social or financial ladder.
    3. This category might apply to people who believe in Jesus but who don’t allow Him to permeate their lives.
      1. If this is you, get in community and walk with Jesus together. It’s so much more encouraging to walk with others, and this is the intention of God.
    4. Or, this category might apply to people who have found that they have drifted away from God over time.
      1. If this is you, rededicate your life to Him. Ask Him to speak to you, and ask Him for help. He wants you near to Him and wants to again be part of your life!
  3. High Kingdom-focus x low ambition: faith that is not action-oriented.
    1. We are held accountable to the things that we do in our time on Earth. Make it count!
    2. Cultural individualism perpetuates this category.
    3. If you find yourself in this place, start by asking God, “who can I bless today/this week and how can I bless them?”
      1. Decide, commit, and execute.
      2. God will show up and change your heart in your faithful first step.
    4. Some of us in this category are not individualistic, but we feel unworthy of helping others. This isn’t true! Each of our identities is critical to advancing the Kingdom of God.
      1. Ask, “What are the callings of my life?”
        1. Dream with God.
        2. Listen to the myriad of ways in which he speaks (because, though it might occur this way, it doesn’t always happen through a burning bush).
  4. High Kingdom-focus x high-ambition: we get to this place by:
    1. Believing that God is who He says He is.
    2. Believing that we are who He says we are.
    3. Devote and direct your ambition toward loving God and loving others.
    4. Identify and take the next step in faith.

No matter where you find yourself (and not everyone fits into one category alone – we all have different Kingdom ambition according to different parts of our lives), God wants us to live abundantly and ambitiously. Dream with Him, trust that He will speak, and know that He will be with you wherever you go.

4ke05x0pjgq-marco-bonomo