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: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 7

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This week, we have the great opportunity to hear from Paul Jackson, as he closes our current series, “Jesus’ Church” with part 7: “Everyone Serves”. So far, we have discussed these Truths about being his hands and feet:

  1. God is approachable
  2. The Gospel is powerful
  3. Everyone disciples someone
  4. Devoted to fellowship
  5. Love your neighbor
  6. Hard things are promised to everyone who believes

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 are the ones that Jesus purchased with his own blood. We are the ones he chose! This is a simple, but profound Truth, that affects us deeply in two ways: individually (because we belong; the fear of our not belonging has been answered) and as a church family (which affects how we think, interact, and function as a body, with Jesus as our leader). Our values and decisions are to reflect the calling of our head. Jesus said that, to be great, requires service to others: “the one who is great is the one who serves”.

Galatians 5:13: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”  Jesus lived his life for the glory of God and for the sake of others, the greatest example being the Cross. However, the Cross is only one of so many examples of his servanthood.Isaiah 53 introduces Jesus through prophecy as the “suffering servant”. 

In John 13:12-15, we see Jesus washing the feet of His disciples: When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.'” In Jesus’ church, everyone serves. 

Matthew 23:11-12: “The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” We are to look to the interests of others, with joy, and do the stuff that no one else wants to do. We are called to be the ones who willingly step forward.

In the sphere of family, what could it look like to serve?

  1. Building relational bridges
  2. Happily going to the family party
  3. Hosting the party (that you didn’t want to go to)
  4. Spending time with your kids, even if exhausted…and the list goes on

In the sphere of the workplace, what could it look like to serve (because, whether you are the unpaid intern or the CEO, you are called to serve)?

  1. Doing a good job, even if nobody will notice
  2. Offering to do the project that nobody else wants to do
  3. Having a difficult conversation with a coworker
  4. Taking the window-less office so someone else can have a well-lit office
  5. Helping a coworker, even if it doesn’t benefit you. Remember, we are serving Jesus first and foremost.

In the sphere of the church family, what could it look like to serve?

John 12:26: “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” The call to serve is a call to serve God.Leading a Lifegroup

  1. Hosting a Lifegroup
  2. Making coffee on Sunday mornings
  3. Helping set up or tear down
  4. Helping administration…and the list goes on.

In most churches, according to statistics, 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. Why? Let’s identify a few obstacles to serving:

  1. We don’t recognize the task at hand as our responsibility
  2. We struggle to put others’ interests in front of our own
  3. Pride

Luke 6:45: The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good…”

If we can get our heart in line, our actions will follow. We are called to put others before ourselves, to get low before others to raise them up, and to look like Jesus. Let’s run after His example as a servant!

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Next Sunday, we enter into a new series rooted in the good Word. Can’t wait to see you there, church family! 

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*

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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Priorities and Motivations

This is part two of a three part series. See part 1 here.

So your time is valuable. How do you maximize it?

The first step is figuring out how you are using your time. What are your priorities? Last year, I made a list of everything that took time in my life (work, church, hobbies, family, friends, health) and tried to order them in terms of what I value. I asked questions like “What activities do I never forget or miss?”; “What do I always forget about?”; “What do I end up putting off until last minute?” to determine the order. And I recorded my time use  for 48 consecutive hours.

Once I made that list, I found that I was doing the top half of my priorities excellently, the next quarter adequately, and the last quarter barely.

We are called to excellence because we are made in the image of God and God does things excellently. If you are not doing something excellently, you should be wondering if it is worth your time.

The problem is, excellence takes time. By taking stock of my priorities and current time management, I was able to evaluate if my current priorities lined up with what I wanted to value, and what needed to be adjusted.

I would argue that, for every Christian, your relationship with God and personal time with him has to be your #1 priority. Above all else, make sure to get personal time with your creator, Father, and best friend every day. It is the absolute best use of your time.

I try and make my time as high-yield as possible, which for me means focusing on one activity and doing it well. That is, when I am spending time with friends, I am fully present and enjoying their company. When I am working on a project, I avoid distractions, even turning off the Internet from my computer and closing the door to my room. Why? Because I know if I try to watch TV or hang out with a friend while studying, I will do both half- heartedly and enjoy neither. And if I come home late and my housemates are halfway through a movie, I will generally choose to go to bed rather than stay up because the amount of genuine connecting that will happen during that time (especially when I’ve missed the premise) isn’t worth being tired and unproductive the next day, when there may be better opportunities to develop friendship.

Let me leave you with a challenge. As Christians, we are called to give at least 10% of our income back to God. When I was in college, I had no income so I felt God ask me to tithe my time instead. What if you gave 10% of your time? I’d argue that the kingdom would come faster. I’ve heard so many stories of financial breakthrough that I am convinced that God can get all money he wants, with or without the Church. But it takes our choice to give Him the time he needs to accomplish His mission.

By Ben Drum, Neighborhood Section Leader