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.

Sermon Recap: Building This House, Pt. 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Questions:

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