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.

Sermon Recap: Building This House, Pt. 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Questions:

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

Message Recap: Lessons of Eleazar

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

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

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

From this passage, we learn three very important things:

There is power in standing

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

There is purpose in personal weakness

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

There is success in clinging to the sword

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

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

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

Sermon Recap: Words of Hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To break it down:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spiritual practicals to maintaining hope:

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

Mental practicals to maintaining hope:

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

Physical practicals to maintaining hope:

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

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

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

Sermon Recap: The Echo of Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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