Eating and Drinking

Pastor Mark starts our new series on the simple but profound act of eating and drinking with others to show grace – just like Jesus did.

Scripture: Luke 5:27-34

 

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

 

 

No Longer Slaves

To the church in Ephesus, Paul gives practical instruction on how to live as followers of Jesus in their everyday relationships. In the last section of the household code, Paul addresses how the relationship between slaves and masters should be transformed in light of following Jesus. He reminds both slave and master that they are working onto their Heavenly Master–and thus, slaves can work wholeheartedly as “slaves to Christ.” Masters are to treat their slaves with respect and dignity, as their earthly status does not elevate them in God’s eyes. This message was radical to the 1st century world.

So, how does this apply to our 21st century culture? How does this change the way we work? How bosses treat their employees? Could our everyday jobs really be opportunities to serve God? Listen to Paul’s words in this message as he reframes vocation–and the freedom Jesus offers to our culture’s enslavement to work.

Scripture: Ephesians 6:5-9

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

Hearing and Doing the Word

Throughout history, the church has talked about and struggled with the idea of both hearing and doing the word. James begins his book with that struggle, in fact some would say this theme of hearing and doing is the key of the entire book. From the perspective of James you can not separate the two concepts, We need to ‘hear’ to the point that our lives are changed and the ‘faith’ we are learning about moves into action. Without the action, is it real faith at all?

Scripture: James 1:22-27

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