Message Recap: God at Work

GOD ATWORK

Though the first message recap, this is the second part of our new series, God at Work. Last week, we were blessed by four members of our church, who participated in a discussion panel surrounding their vocations and how it aligns with God’s vision for work. Today, we have the privilege of hearing from Jim Larson, a faithful member of Mosaic, father, husband, friend, and employee of the secular world.

Unfortunately, the numbers in which people are unhappy and find their job meaningless are ever increasing (more than 50% of people in our society claim both). Not only is this heartbreaking, but it absolutely is out of the will of God; therefore, it’s critical that we ask ourselves, “as the church, how should we think about work?” and “what does God say about it?”. In the next few weeks, we are going to answer a few important questions (i.e.: why do we work, how do we work, and where do we work?). In each instance, we want to identify and reflect upon the overarching question: what is God’s heart for this work?

Let’s address 2 myths about work:

  1. Work is meaningless
    • Why? A lot of people are working solely for the purpose of getting a paycheck. And, though some of us know that work is an opportunity for missions, to spread the Gospel, God still has more in mind.
  2. Work is our primary identity
    • Too often, our first question when meeting someone new is ” what do you do?”. It can incorrectly reduce someone down as seen only by their occupation; though important, it is only one very small aspect of their character and giftings. Too often, we think that knowing one’s vocation is the closest we can get to understanding someone’s identity.

Genesis 1:1-10: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:26-2:3: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Genesis 2:5-9: When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:15-20: The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

Genesis, and specifically these passages here, present two radical Truths about work:

  1. We have a God who works, and He delights in it (He’s a gardener. He gets down and dirty!).
    • God doesn’t just do “high” work; His work is expansive and varied. All of this work isn’t just good; it’s worthy of God. No work is medial to Him, because He chose to do it first.
    • He calls us to two types of work:
      • Co-creation: He invited Adam into the work of naming the animals, and He commands us to “be fruitful and multiply”.
      • Co-provision: We are called to co-labor with God.
        • Psalm 145:15: The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
  2. Our identity, first and foremost, is in our Maker – not in our role at work
    • Our value is high and fixed by God. It’s impossibly to be devalued when you are His “special possession”.

We have the honor and privilege and freedom to co-labor with God, who made all things in Heaven and Earth. What an honor and a joy! Lord, open our eyes that we may see work the way you do. It is good because you have said so. Thank you, God.

Biblical references: Genesis 1:1-10; Genesis 1:26-2:3; Genesis 2:5-9; Genesis 2:15-20; Psalm 145:15 

Questions:

  1. Are there any places are you letting your identity be in your work and not in who God says you are? If so, what are they?
  2. How is God calling you to co-labor with him?

Message Recap: Blessed to Bless, Pt. 3

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Acts 20:34: In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” 

Sometimes God calls us to bless others in ways that make sense to us, in ways that we love blessing others. And, sometimes, God calls us to bless others in ways that are illogical or are more challenging than by sharing our gifts and talents. It’s neither one of the other; it’s both that God asks of us.

Psalm 124:1 : The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof…

None of these things of ours are ours  – they belong to God. Not our finances, our homes, even our giftings or our talents; they are God’s.

1 Timothy 6:10:  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

The actual “stuff” we have and are blessed with is not inherently wrong or sinful. It’s the love of money that’s wrong; it’s the greed and the desire for money rooted in sin. It has nothing to do with the goods, and everything to do with our heart posture.

The world attempts to deal with this through 2 ways:

  1. To give away everything you own; the thinking being that, “If I have no money at all, then there is no place for evil”.
  2. To possess as much as you possibly can; to hoard and to gather and consume (famously known as “materialism”)

Matthew 6:25-34: 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? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

God wants our hearts headed toward the things of the eternal. Everything that has been entrusted to you is from God, and it’s so you can be a blessing. Let us be people that are obedient when it makes sense and doesn’t make sense.

Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

Biblical references: Acts 20:34; Psalm 124:1; 1 Timothy 6:10; Matthew 6:25-34; Matthew 6:21

Questions:

  1. Are you asking God how He wants you to steward the resources, finances, personality, gifts and talents you’ve been blessed with? What would that look like to start?
  2. How can you be a blessing this week to someone?
  3. Reflecting on the verse Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Where is your treasure?

Message Recap: 2 Timothy Pt. 4

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This is our last week in our series, “The Risk and Tension of Discipleship”, and to close it out, we are looking at 2 Timothy 4. This letter is an example for us for discipleship (which, defined, means one person helping another to follow Jesus).

Who is helping you follow Jesus? Who are you helping follow Jesus? As the body of Christ, we are responsible for each other – for the growth, life, and endurance in faith of God for another person.

1 John 1:1-4: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Discipleship is one of the greatest joys of our faith. It’s part of how God uses evil for good; your breakthroughs can help others find freedom faster. Your testimony isn’t just for you – it’s for helping others!

Three Aspects of Discipleship:

  1. It’s for every season of your life
    • 2 Timothy 4:1-4: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
    • Have a resolve that Jesus is Lord
    • Be ready in season and out of season
    • The hungry eat. Stay hungry.
  2. Discipleship requires a holding to the gospel
    • We live in a time when people honor fluidity and adaptability in their convictions. A hard line of integrity isn’t honorable – socially – like it used to be.
    • What we need is for someone to tell us the Truth. This is love.
  3. Discipleship involves giving your life away for God.
    • 2 Timothy 4:5-6: As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
    • Paul, even in his imprisonment, knows that his life is a sweet offering.
    • You are not meant to be a Dead Sea Christian (without outflow). You are meant to receive and to pour out.

Discipleship involves a tension between the word of God and our culture, Resolve to believe that Jesus is Lord; His Word is True, and He truly knows what is best for us.

Biblical references: 1 John 1:1-4; 2 Timothy 4:1-7

Questions:

  1. The hungry eat. Are you hungry?
  2. Are you letting circumstances or your season of life become a barrier or excuse for seeking discipleship?
  3. Are you giving your life away for God? Are you giving your life away for others to encounter God?

Message Recap: Greater Purpose, Pt. 8

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This week, we are continuing to look at the lineage of Jesus and identifying specific characters, revealing to us our own greater purposes in the eyes of Heaven. Pastor Paul Jackson, thank you for your humor, your wisdom, and your incredible message on Jacob this Sunday!

Too often, we forget the importance of going through suffering. For Jacob, it was inevitable, like it is for us, too, It is a means for God to grow us; we do not suffer in vain because we know God has everything under control, that He is and constructing our lives lovingly and intimately every step of the way.

James 1:2-4: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

We beg God to grow us, but we do everything we can to insulate ourselves from the hardships that this growth requires. Hardships leads us to maturity; what matters is the way we engage with God, not that we avoid them altogether.

Matthew 1:2: Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers…

Jacob was a child of promise, an answer to prayer. Even so, he faced trial after trial in his life – many that we out of his control.

Genesis 32:6-8: And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.”

Genesis 32:22-31: The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

At this point, Jacob receives both a new identity and the blessing of God. 

In the pinnacle of your problem, how do you relate to God? Do you wrestle with him, or do you turn your back and pretend He doesn’t exist?

What should we do? Petition Him! Wrestle with Him! Fast and pray. He is involved, He is close to you. Don’t shy away from the opportunity to wrestle with Him, for you will see breakthrough. God wants to bless you, His beloved child. Let Him. 

Biblical references: James 1:2-4; Matthew 1:2; Genesis 32:6-8; Genesis 32:22-31

Questions:

  1. In the midst of trial, do you turn back from God or press into Him?
  2. What do you need to wrestle with God about today?
  3. What trail are you entering in, leaving or currently in? What did God do in the midst of it?

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.