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. 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. 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*