Message Recap: Building the House, Pt. 6

 

give-2Mosaic, we are a generous people! That is something that we pray never changes about us, regardless of whether or not we are building-owners. Generosity is something we are called to as people of Jesus, and it means more than giving what you can spare. Generosity is the gift of a cheerful giver, the sacrifice of a heart that knows the goodness of Jesus.

What does it look like for us to be a generous people? It’s more than money; it’s time, emotional investment, talent, etc. We need generosity through every relationship in our church: friendships, marriages, and parenting.

If a person has a generosity problem, they have a gospel problem. God’s story commands generosity. He created and gave so abundantly to humanity. He emptied Himself in sending Jesus to save the world – to save us.

Luke 23:34: And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Colossians 1:16-17: For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Mark 10:19-22: You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

In Mark 10, the man to which Jesus speaks doesn’t understand that the value of Jesus is far greater than the value of his possessions. This is why generosity is so closely intertwined to the gospel; we must understand our gift in order to give freely in return.

2 Corinthians 9:7: Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Generosity requires sacrifice. It has nothing to do with the amount and everything to do with the heart.

Biblical references: Luke 23:34, Colossians 1:16-17, Mark 10:19-22, 2 Corinthians 9:7

Questions:

  1. What is holding you back from freely giving all that you have freely been given? Ask God to bring to light any area in your own heart that doesn’t align with the heart of God.
  2. How is God calling you to give cheerfully of your time, resources, and finances?
  3. What does it look like for you to show generosity through your relationships including in the church, friendships, marriages, and parenting?

Message Recap: Celebrating Father’s Day

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The heart of our Heavenly Father is to lay down His life for us, His children. Similarly, the role of a father on Earth is to lay down his life for his own children. Today, we pause in our sermon series, Building the House, to honor our dads on Father’s Day.

Genesis 12:2-3: And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

God planned to bless every family on the earth through Abram, the famous Biblical father referenced here in Genesis. Through his story, we learn 3 Truths about fatherhood:

  1. God intended fatherhood to be desirable
    • Genesis 15:1-4: After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.”
    • The cultural perception of fatherhood is that it is nothing more than a necessary evil, rather than something to be desired.
    • But, fatherhood brings joy, and it’s a chance to reproduce something better than yourself! It is an incredible honor, and a very high calling.
  2. Fatherhood is something to be thankful for
    • Genesis 21:1-8: The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
    • Fathers, the enemy wants you to fail as a dad. He plants lies to make you think fatherhood is a burden, and not a blessing.
      1. The antidote is thankfulness, to diffuse and deflect the lies of the enemy.
  3. Every father can afford their children an inheritance of faith
    • Hebrews 11:8-10:  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
    • A father that makes a lot of money leaves for their children exactly that: a lot of money. But the father that gives money away in obedience to God gives his children an inheritance of generosity, and the father that makes his money lawfully leaves an inheritance of integrity. The father that is wealthy monetarily can give an extravagant wedding to his children, but the father that honors his vows to his wife leaves his children an inheritance of faithfulness.

Thank you, dads, for all that you do. We pray you feel overwhelmed with love and celebration today, from all of us!

Biblical references: Genesis 15:1-4; Genesis 21:1-8; Hebrews 11:8-10

Questions:

  1. How can you be someone who encourages and lifts up physical and spiritual fathers in your life?
  2. Do you believe in the fullness of God as a good father? Where are the places you have misconceptions of the character of God and need the Holy Spirit to come and bring revelation and healing?
  3. What a joy it is to leave the next generation an inheritance of faith in Jesus! What does this look like for you today?

Message Recap: Building the House, Pt. 5

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What does it look like for us to be a church for the city? We are asking ourselves this question this week, as we are in the process of transforming a building that has historically been used for profit into a building that gives generously away.

What is the process, then?

  1. Exploring: looking for a place
  2. Finding: the hope of what could be
  3. Securing: it becomes a reality
  4. Renovating: making it what it is to be
  5. Welcoming: sharing it with others

In this process, we don’t want to be task-oriented, but people-oriented.

Matthew 5: 14-16: You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Jesus is the light of the world, yes, but He lives in you. You are truly the light of the world! You are God’s ‘Plan A’. What a responsibility, and what a joy!

What does this mean?

  1. The world is dark without you.
  2. You are necessary and have a purpose.
    • Your light shining is what allows others to see.
  3. God wants you to stand out and be seen.
    • Meekness is controlled strength, not timidity or fear of being the light.
  4. God wants others to see how you live.
  5. God wants you to do good.
  6. God wants people to see you doing good.
  7. God wants the good you do to cause others to acknowledge that He is real.

We are a church for the city. Therefore:

  1. We are not merely a church in the city, existing within its physical boundaries.
  2. We are not against the city, creating boundaries enclosing our own light.
    • John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
    • We are not driven by animosity but by love.
  3. We are not of the city.
    • The city does not have possession over us. We are God’s. We are of God.
  4. We are for the city. We want it to be all that it can be.

So, in the context of the gospel, what does the process of salvation look like?

  1. Exploring: we are searching for Jesus
  2. Finding: we hear about Jesus
  3. Securing: we decide to trust Jesus
  4. Renovating: we are made holy
  5. Welcoming: we tell others

Friend, let your light shine. Let it be tangible! Our building doesn’t replace our good works, but accelerates them. It’s not the answer, but it will help us drive farther and faster in aligning with God’s mission to serve the city.

Biblical References: Matthew 5:14-16; John 3:16

Questions:

  1. What does it look like for you personally to be the church FOR the city? How can you be people-oriented not task-oriented?
  2. Ask God what it looks like for you to be a light in the darkness in your neighborhood, your work, you family, and in the city.
  3. Are there places of unbelief that God has called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light? Ask God to reveal the lies and replace it with the truth that He has set you free to be light to those around you! People will experience the goodness of God by the way you live free in Jesus!

 

Message Recap: Building the House, Pt. 4

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This week, we continue to look to the Bible to assure us of our identity in Jesus as we move into a new (and exciting!) season as the owner of a building. We are a church because we are a people, not because we have a building. Unfortunately today, saying something is true because the Bible says it’s true carries less and less weight, culturally. But we are a people that hold firm to the Bible – it is the command of God for us – both in victory and in brokenness, triumph and defeat.

The Bible answers humanity’s deepest cravings; it goes deeper than reasoning. It is the bridge between our heads and our hearts. It is always relevant, always profound, and it was written for each and every one of us. It is a guide for every terrain in this life, no matter how challenging. We believe in the Bible.

As a church, we hold fast to 3 beliefs about the Word:

  1. The Bible is uniquely inspired
    • 2 Peter 1:20-21: knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
    • It is historically accurate. It is historically sound, more so than any other ancient text that exists.
    • 2 Peter 1:16: For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
    • The Bible contains eyewitness accounts, prophecies that have been historically fulfilled.
    • Across stories, continents, languages, and time, it is unified and unifying.
  2. The Bible is authoritative
    • 2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
    • The Bible was written for you. It is dedicated to you! 
    • It is best for us to align ourselves with the authority of the Bible.
    • Hebrews 4:12-13: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
  3. The purpose of the Bible is Jesus
    • John 5:39-40: You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
    • The Bible is communicated to us by the person of Jesus. He is the Word made flesh.

Read it and apply it. Let us be a people that hold firmly to the Word, believing in it whole-heartedly and declaring it as True.

Biblical references: 2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Peter 1:16, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12-13,John 5:39-40 

Questions:

  1. How can you this week dive deeper in the bible to receive the truth about who God says you are and who He is? Memorizing scripture verses, reading through the entire bible or just a book, spending 10 minutes a day reading the words of Jesus, etc?
  2. The bible was written and dedicated to you! What lies or pit falls get in the way of turning to scripture as a source of life and refreshment?
  3. What areas of your life need to be realigned to believe in the authority of the bible?

Message Recap: Building the House, Pt. 3

In this weeks’ message, we are remembering the “big picture”, or the Bible calls: the Kingdom of God. Our hope is not – nor it has ever been – in this building. It can help or hurt, but it will neither break us nor will it make us. We are more than a building; the cornerstone of our church is not the foundation of a building, it’s Jesus. And nothing is going to change that!

Matthew 6:33: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Mark 1:15: and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Luke 17:21: “nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

The Kingdom of God is where God fully reigns. It includes the defeats of evil, sin, darkness, and even death. And, it includes the enjoyment of the reign of our Lord! The Kingdom of God is already but not yet, and we live exactly in that tension: the realization of God’s glory, but the longing for His fullness.

Matthew 24:14: And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Matthew 18:18-20: 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.”

The message of Matthew is this: the announcement of what God has done and what He will do. It’s the gospel.

Our mission, therefore, is to go and fulfill this command that Jesus spoke to His disciples.

Luke 8:1-3: Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

Luke 9:1-2: And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.

Luke 10:1-2: After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Why do we go? It’s the way to fulfillment; it’s the way to the end, to be with Jesus for the rest of eternity. We are motivated to fulfill our calling, to partake in the grand story of the salvation of God for all of us. Our motivation is to be with Jesus. In building this house, it’s our goal to be part of this big picture, to be active citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom.

Biblical references: Matthew 6:33, Mark 1:15, Luke 17:21, Matthew 24:14, Matthew 18:18-20, Luke 8:1-3, Luke 9:1-2, Luke 10:1-2

Questions:

  1. What is your part to play in carrying out the great commission? Will you go? Will you give? Will you pray?
  2. Search your own heart and ask God, where are the places that I am dumb to the power of the gospel? Where does the Holy Spirit need to come in and awaken your soul to the revelation that when you share what God has done, you invite others into life instead of death?
  3. How can you be part of God building the church in Seattle this week with the big picture of hope? What does that look like? What will it take for you to step out and obey?

Message Recap: Building the House, Pt. 2

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In this series, we are praying that our hearts are prepared for this next season. There are so many good things to come with our new building, and the focus of these sermons is to align our hearts with God’s will as he has called us to building ownership. Shout out to Pastor Paul Jackson for this week’s awesome message!

This week, we want to remember what a church is, according to God’s definition.  A ‘church’, as defined by Google, is a “building used for public Christian worship.” The Bible, on the other hand, says that a church is a people, and not a building. It is the body of Christ.

Matthew 16:18: And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

We have a God-given need and desire community. This is church; church is not a building. The most difficult, and the most beautiful, thing is that churches are made of people. Our church is made of us! Because of this truth, all the members of the church are owners – not because we own a building – but because we are people of Jesus. We are responsible, integral, important pieces of the puzzle. All of us together make a mosaic, depicting the face of Jesus. Hence, our very name!

1 Corinthians 12:12-14: For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.

Ya’ll know we love us some practicals, so let’s break it down: below are 6 indicators that you are a healthy part of this church body:

  1. You have meaningful relationships in our church.
  2. You receive help from people in our church.
  3. You give help to people in our church.
  4. You take personal ownership over our vision.
  5. You take personal ownership over practical things.
  6. You actively repair broken relationships.

Side note: in the Kingdom of God, it is always your turn to repair broken relationships. Don’t leave it up to the other.

Jesus loves the church. The church is a people, not a building. Each member of the body is needed. This is our church, and you have an important role here!

 

Biblical references: Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

Questions:

  1. Who can you share with in the church to receive help? Is there any areas that are holding you back from being able to receive from others such as pride or entitlement?
  2. Do you have meaningful relationships in the church? How can you grow the ones you have already established and how can you initiate new friendships?
  3. Who can you help in the church? What does that practically look like?
  4. Have you taken personal ownership of the vision of God’s church and over practical things in the church? If not, where can you grow in this area?
  5. Are there any broken relationships that need to be mended? Have you asked for forgiveness in your own heart? If not, get before God and allow Him to bring you healing and freedom through forgiveness. It is always your turn to repair broken relationships. Take a step toward reconciliation today.

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.

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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.

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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?