Sermon Recap: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 6

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We are in week 6 of our sermon series, titled “Jesus’ Church”, discussing faith without condition.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that God is approachable and accessible. In Jesus’ church, there are no conditions, and because of this truth, we must take ownership over our faith as believers. We have to understand and trust our belonging to Jesus. As His church, there is no guilt; we are already forgiven for the things we haven’t even done yet. As His, our prayers are powerful and effective. We are eternally secure in Him, and in Him, we are considered royalty. We sit at His right hand in the Kingdom forever. With these promises, however, come others, that are more difficult to face.

  1. The Promise of Temptation
    1. 1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
    2. Temptation is a desire to do something other than God’s best.
      1. If we run after our feelings, there will be destruction as a result.
  2. The Promise of Persecution
    1. 2 Timothy 3:12: Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
    2. Persecution can look like misunderstanding and isolation.
  3. The Promise of Suffering
    1. 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.

All too often, we forget that these three things are guaranteed. We want to follow Jesus whole-heartedly, but on the condition that we won’t face these hard things. Remember: it’s okay when things go wrong. It doesn’t mean that your faith is any less than, because these things are guaranteed for every one of us.

Hebrews 11: 32-28: “And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets – who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated – of whom the world was not worthy – wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”

The Hall of Fame presents two facets of being a believer. Some things are going to be really, really hard, but we can’t trust and love and pursue Jesus conditionally. Let’s be Jesus’ church without conditions.

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Sermon Recap: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 5

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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.

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Sermon Recap: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 4

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

Day by Day

A Lifegroup is a Christ centered community devoted to connecting with each other and encountering God together. These communities are based on the picture of the early church we find in Acts 2.

Being part of a Lifegroup has truly changed my life. I have involved in Lifergoups for the past four years; some of which I have led, some of which I have not. Some of them have been incredible, some have felt a little bit awkward. Some were filled with old friends, some were filled with new. But one thing has always been true: I have always been pointed towards Jesus.

Lifegroup has pointed me towards God in personal and collective ways.

I have developed genuine friendships through Lifegroup. I have found dear friends that encourage me, laugh with me and always point me back to Jesus. Regardless of my circumstances, the relationships I have gained from Lifegroup are irreplaceable.

I have encountered God through Lifegroup. Over and over again I am reminded of God’s faithfulness and righteousness because of my community. I have been vulnerable by asking for prayer only to be blown away by seeing God answering my cries.

I have friends who have met Jesus through Lifegroup. Often times these friends declined many previous invitations but finally came. Upon arrival these friends were welcomed by a group of genuine people who helped melt off the hardness of life. They were pointed to Jesus, encouraged, and prayed for. Some prayed for the first time in years and encountered God’s goodness and love.

I have known strangers who had never been to church trust in Jesus because someone invited them to Lifegroup. I once invited a girl to Lifegroup who had never been to church before and she came. After a few weeks she came to church and gave her life to Jesus! Lifegroup was the gateway to her knowing God.

The list goes on and on. Over and over I have seen God move through Lifegroup. But it has nothing to do with my Lifegroup specifically; it has everything to do with Jesus. As we invite God to do His will in our Lifegroups, as we submit to His authority, and as we obey Him in inviting people He will move in the hearts and minds of people. It may not look like we anticipated but it is a journey that will not disappoint.

I have been so blessed to see Acts 2:42-47 in my life through Lifegroup. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and 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.”

Have you checked out a lifegroup? Do you need to give it a second chance? They’re so much fun and they’re all about Jesus. Check one out this week!

By Tina Jackson, Children’s Ministry Director