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! 

Sermon Recap: Parenting the Next Generation, Pt. 4

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Raising up the next generation is the topic of today’s sermon, the last in this 4-part series; it is not the duty of the parents alone but the duty of the church of Jesus. As His people, it is our responsibility to fight for the next generation so they can go farther and faster in God than we could go. The best thing we can do for the next generation is have faith in their inheritance; our faith is always one generation away from extinction, and it is our calling to uphold it.

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
    and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall commend your works to another,
    and shall declare your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:3-4)

“…things that we have heard and known,
    that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
    but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
    and the wonders that he has done.” (Psalm 78:3-4)

It is so clearly our calling to raise up the next generation, according to the Bible. Let’s look at three practical ways we can follow through:

  1. Testify
    1. Deuteronomy 4:9: “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children…”
    2. It’s human nature to forget the goodness of God, and we are prone to disbelieve.
    3. The things that we are most thankful for have we acknowledged as gifts from God?
    4. Why would we not testify?
      1. We’re not sure we believe ourselves. But, this is the plan of the enemy; He wants us to question our faith and doubt the goodness of God.
      2. We are afraid that our testimonies exalt us rather than God. Rest assured, they don’t. Testimonies always exalt God!
      3. We are “covering” for God; we don’t want others to be disappointed if God doesn’t do the same thing for them that He did for us. But, thinking in this manner is prideful. God can cover Himself – He’s God. 
  2. Be honest
    1. Deuteronomy 30:15-20: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” 
    2. God already knows where we are disappointed, so there is no reason to put on a facade.
    3. If we are going to pass on our prosperous faith, we must exercise honest faith.
    4. Deuteronomy 29:29: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
      1. What a relief! We don’t actually have to figure everything out on our own. Praise God.
    5. If we aren’t honest about our pain and suffering and doubt, then we will raise up a generation characterized by a performing faith rather than a prosperous faith.
  3. We must practice radical obedience, rooted in faith
    1. What a beautiful time and a beautiful city in which to be the people of God.
    2. Better than anything we can say, our children will know the love of God most deeply when they see day-in, day-out radical obedience to His voice.

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We meet every Sunday, at 9am and 11am, and would love to see you there!

P.S. – we have coffee. *wink wink*  

Sermon Recap: Parenting the Next Generation, Pt. 3

In this series, we are discussing the high calling that is parenting. We have identified that children are a blessing – a gift from God! – and ways in which to love them intentionally, just as God loves us intentionally. Today, we are approaching a more difficult topic: discipline.

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As parents, we are the protectors of our children. And, in an effort to protect, we are called to discipline. We are to lead them, and if we don’t, they will find someone else to follow. Why, then, is discipline so important?

  1. We discipline because we love them:
    1. Proverbs 13:24: “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”
    2. Proverbs 3:11-12: “My son, do not despise the Lord‘s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
    3. Hebrews 12:6-7: “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
    4. According to God, love and discipline are inseparable. God, in His grace and love, disciplines us as His own children.
  2. We discipline to teach them:
    1. Proverbs 29:15: “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.”
    2. If our children are disobedient, it isn’t a reflection of them, it’s a reflection of our parenting.
  3. We discipline because we have hope for them:
    1. Proverbs 19:18: “Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.”
    2. Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Why are parents, then, reluctant to discipline?

  1. We don’t want to kill their spirit, creativity, dreams, uniqueness. But, our children will find abundant life because of our discipline, not despite it. They crave safety and boundaries, which discipline provides and encourages.
    1. Proverbs: 23:13: “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.”
  2. We don’t want to be inconvenienced. It takes time and it’s hard. In public, it might be embarrassing. And, watching our children suffer can be emotionally taxing and painful.

Let’s define clearly the differences between discipline and punishment, because they are not synonymous as we often assume. Punishment is payment and leads to condemnation. Discipline is training our children within the grace of God to teach them obedience (after all, unlike parental discipline, God’s discipline towards us never ends). Discipline leads to abundant life.

The Parameters of Discipline:

  1. It is restorative.
    1. Galatians 6:1: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” It must be done in a spirit of gentleness and not in anger. Anger won’t be the thing that trains our children’s hearts.
    2. Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
    3. Restorative discipline is the result of a child choosing discipline because of their disobedience.
  2. It is unpleasant (neither a joy for the parent or the child).
    1. Hebrews 12:11: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
    2. It’s a painful process.
  3. It produces repentance without regret.
    1. 2 Corinthians 2:10: “Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ.” 
    2. Discipline looks like confession, repentance, and forgiveness. It should never lead to resentment; God doesn’t hold grudges against us for our disobedience, so we shouldn’t hold grudges against our children either.
    3. Discipline should not have a negative affect on our relationships with our children. Rather, it should lead to greater trust.

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Join us next Sunday as we head into the last sermon of our current series, Parenting the Next Generation. It’s going to be so good! 

Sermon Recap: Parenting the Next Generation, Pt. 2

Parenting is a high and a happy calling. The problem isn’t that parents make mistakes (it’s inevitable as imperfect people); the problem is when we lose our vision for the high and happy calling that is parenting. Let us run after Jesus, and look toward our perfect Father for strength and guidance as we dive into week two of our sermon series, Parenting the Next Generation. 

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A major component of parenting is making sure that our children feel loved. There are two ways to experience love:

  1. Love that happens to us (it’s the warm and tingly feeling)
  2. Love that is intentional and purposeful (which is often more of a choice rather than a feeling)
    1. Intentional, purposeful love is the kind of love that transforms lives.
    2. Luke 6:32-35: “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”
    3. God’s love is a love that prefers the other, and doesn’t just happen to us like a warm feeling that bubbles up and stays just for a moment.
    4. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 
    5. We must, as parents, make the transition between loving our children because of a warm and tingly feeling to loving intentionally – even when it’s challenging.

If a child doesn’t receive intentional love, they might start to perform, prove, or seek it elsewhere. Of course, this is dangerous and destructive. Let’s look at 4 acts of intentional love:

  1. Pursuit:
    1. 1 John 4:8-10: Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
    2. It’s from the perfect pursuer, God, that we learn to pursue our own children.
    3. Pursuit takes time and effort. It’s hard.
    4. We have to study our children, individually and intentionally, so we know what makes them more alive. Ask them, “How am I doing at loving you?”
  2. Encouragement:
    1. Romans 5:8: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
    2. He encourages us when we do well, and He encourages us when we fail miserably.
    3. Psalm 138:3: “On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.” God is the strengthener of the souls of His children. 
    4. The more our children ignore our encouragement, the more they need it.
    5. We aren’t only worthy when we do something worthy. We are worthy all the time.
  3. Celebration:
    1. It’s the small things!
    2. Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
    3. God rejoices because of who we are, not just what we do.
  4. Service:
    1. Mark 10:43-45: “But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
    2. Jesus came to serve us, and He kept no record for it.
    3. He didn’t give us His life for His sake, but for ours.

There is no higher calling than to give away your life to prefer another person. Our children will know they are loved when we go from idea to implementation.

We love because He first loved us.

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We meet every Sunday at 9am and 11am. We hope to see you at a service as we continue on in our parenting series!  

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. 2

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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!

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Sermon Recap: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 1

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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.

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