Worship and Mission

When we talk about worship and mission — we often don’t associate them together. But in fact, God designed worship and mission to function inseparably: for worship to fuel God’s people and send them out on mission to reach the lost, and for missional living to draw His children back to worship. Listen as Pastors Mark and Rachel share how being on mission and worshipping God is part of what it means to be made in God’s image, as well as what happens to Israel when they forget this fact and neglect being on mission for spreading God’s kingdom.

Scripture: Isaiah 1:11-17; Amos 5:21-24

 

 

Worship & Prayer

Sometimes we need to slow things up, change things around so that we might find ourselves in a place to listen to God. Through music, stories and scripture this service moves us through a faith development path of Confessions & Brokenness to Redemption, Restoration and Renewal, which then leads us on a mission. We are reminded that as the Good Shepherd leaves 99 sheep to look for the lost, so we are challenged to also be intentional to allow God to use us to look for, create room for and listen to our family and friends who have yet to open their hearts to Jesus.

Scripture: Psalms 51:1-5, 2 Corinthians 5:16-17, Luke 15:1-7

To view the video shared in this mornings message click here.

For I Know The Plans…

One of the most popular but commonly misused Bible verses today is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

A verse that we usually think to be about a bright future is actually in context more about making the most out of a difficult, present situation. In 597 BC, Israel had been taken into exile to Babylon. A false prophet had wrongly declared that God would bring His people back home shortly. In contrast, while God ultimately promised to rescue Israel out of exile if they turned to Him, He shockingly tells the exiles to settle down in Babylon for the time being–the next 70 years.

Like Israel 2,600 years ago, rather than solely focusing on God bringing us out of desperate situations or into the next season, we should be present-minded and Kingdom-impactful in every season of life. Asking: what or who is your Babylonian exile now? How can you be seeking the shalom of your current community and relationships, even the ones that are not easy?

Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11

Eating and Drinking for the Kingdom

Paul reframes the whole popular conversation of Christian liberty – of what do we do with grey areas (the nonessentials of the Christian faith). In Paul’s situation at Corinth, it was debatable whether a Christian should eat meat that was used to make a sacrifice to a pagan god in a temple.

Earlier in this section he says one shouldn’t eat meat inside a temple because of it’s possible idolatrous connotations. But now, contrary to many, he actually does advocate eating meat outside of the temple for the sole purpose of engaging the non-Christian so that they may be saved. In short, Paul says we should use our freedom for the glory of God – for the advancement of God’s kingdom. He wants to remove every single barrier that he can so that some might be saved.

Part of the reason why some of our lives are so unfulfilling, boring and irrelevant is because we have missed out on the grand salvation that Jesus gives to us and invites us to call others into. We get caught up in debating, arguing, gossiping and criticizing over stupid grey issues like Corinth did here in this passage rather than living missionally!

Paul calls us to emulate Jesus: the greatest missionary who ever lived and entered your world – at his expense and freedom – so that he could engage and save you on your own turf.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

The ‘Why’ and ‘How To’ to be New Life for the City

This concludes our “In Our Cities as it is in Heaven 2016 Vision Series.” We talk about how to live out our mission to be ‘New Life for the City.’ Luke, the writer of Acts, tells us what was happening in the early church to bring ‘awe’ to the people forming this new spiritual movement. The recipe is simple: God’s Word, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. Those actions led to some incredible growth in God’s church. Yet why are there 7,000 churches closing each year with over 1,500 pastors leaving the church? Why have many denominations shifted to taking care of those already a part of the church and taking care of buildings versus reaching out to those not yet here? Why does any church do what it does?

Scripture: Acts 2:42-47, John 17:21

Doing Whatever it Takes…for the Sake of the Gospel

Ever feel like you need to break free, live your life, make a difference? This sermon speaks to those feelings in many people. The writer of this passage tells us why he is so focused on winning, and on winning for what purpose… We are all called to a higher calling: That we might save some…for the sake of the gospel. Listen to see how this passage impacts the past and the present of NLCC as well as a potential verse to help guide and direct your own life.

Scripture: I Corinthians 9:19-23, Romans 5:9

Remembering: For the sake of the Kingdom

Have you ever wondered why we need to tell stories about our life experiences? And when we tell them, what do we share? The Psalmist reminds us of the importance to tell the stories of God’s movement in the life of the church. Although it is natural to want to focus on the good stories, we are reminded to tell the stories about the blessings and the challenges. New Life’s story for 79 years has been focused on the community God has placed us in. It’s never been about ‘us’, it has always been about reaching out to the people of God.

Scripture: Psalm 78:1-7

Every Body Matters!

Jesus came to be a bridge builder in a world that continues to create fences and shows us how to do the same through his meeting with a woman at a well in Samaria.

Scripture: John 4

Serving

Richard Foster writes – when we serve, “The grace of humility is woven into our lives”. Most people know intuitively the act of service, that the ideal of helping others is good and healthy, but do we know why? Are you a ‘Chair Chump’ when it comes to serving in the church? Finding rest by serving seems like a oxymoron. Listen and see how you might find rest in a restless world by serving.

Scripture: Ephesians 2:8-10, John 13:4-5 & 14-15, I Samuel 12:24

False Prophets

Jesus tells us that many people will make the choice to take the wide path that leads to destruction, and few take the narrow one. We need to be intentional to create opportunities to build friendships with those taking the wide path. Jesus had ‘false prophets’ in his day…24 of the New Testament books caution us about false prophets. We are NOT to interpret that “by their fruits you should know them” is an evaluation tool for believers. We are not called to be ‘fruit inspectors’, rather, we are called to be fisher’s of men…New Life for the City tells us to stop evaluating Christians and start loving on those far from God.

Scripture: Matthew 7:13-23