Pastors' Blog

Scripture Meditation from September 19th, 2021

“Salvation belongs to the Lord;

may your blessing be on your people. Selah”


 Psalms 3:8 (CSB)


Have you ever found yourself in a perilous situation in which there was no escape and death was all but certain? You may not realize it, but we are all in that situation when it comes to salvation. You see, the Scriptures are clear that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23 CSB). No one is exempt! Because of our sin, we have earned a “wage”, and that wage is death (Rom. 6:23 CSB). The good news in our text is that there is salvation! Yet that salvation isn't a result of our doing, for it belongs to God! You see, Mission, this past Sunday we saw that David was betrayed by his family, rejected by his people, and prayed for God to turn them from their wicked ways (Psalm 3). We can look at this text and try to follow David's example. To do so, however, is to miss the point. Jesus said to his disciples in Luke 24:44 CSB, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you — that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” You and I are not to read Psalm 3, look at David, and simply do likewise. We are to place our trust upon the greater One who is to come, the one in which the Psalms are all about. And who is that? Jesus! You see, like David, Jesus was betrayed by family (Mk. 3:21 CSB, Jn. 1:11 CSB), rejected by his people (Matt. 27:39-44 CSB), and prayed for the forgiveness of those who were his enemies (Lk. 23:34 CSB). By placing your trust in his perfect life, substitutionary death, victorious resurrection, and glorious ascension, you can experience the salvation that belongs to God as a gift (Rom. 10:9 CSB, Eph. 2:8-10 CSB)! Salvation belongs to God, and through Jesus, He blesses His people. So trust in Jesus today!


Take some time to pray the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 CSB. As you pray for His kingdom to come, pray for those you know to come into the kingdom through repentance and faith in Jesus. Pray that more people will honor God's name as they rejoice in His free gift of salvation (Ps. 70:4 CSB).

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Scripture Meditation from September 12th, 2021

“All who take refuge in him are happy”


 Psalms 2:12b (CSB)



Last Sunday we tackled the first two chapters in the book of Psalms. Many theologians say that these two chapters set up the rest of the book, and possibly the entire Bible. What are they about? The man! In Psalm 1:1 CSB we read, "How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers!" Now the Hebrew verb tense states that the happy one is the one who has never done any of these things. Can any of us claim to never have followed the advice of the wicked, identified with sinful people, or mocked God? Doubtful! Yet, the good news in these two chapters is found in the second part of our verse. Those who put their trust in him, the one who lived Psalm 1:1 CSB perfectly, will be happy. And who is the man of Psalm 1:1? Jesus! You see, Jesus is the messianic heir of David, and the one who will eternally rule over the nations on his throne (Psalm 2:7-9 CSB). All those against Jesus will be eternally separated from God, yet those who seek refuge in him will be happy forever. Why? They will experience the constant joy that comes from God's goodness and grace through every season of their life. 


Take some time to pray the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 CSB. As you ask God to forgive you, confess ways you have either listened to the advice of the wicked, stood with sinners, or sat with mockers (I John 1:9 CSB). Consider confessing that to others and praying together about those sins (James 5:16 CSB). After you do so, rest in the goodness and grace of God who has forgiven you in Jesus.

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Scripture Meditation from September 5th, 2021

They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed off to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and departed, after being commended by the brothers and sisters to the grace of the Lord. He traveled through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.


Acts 15:39-41 (CSB)


Conflict happens, even amongst church leaders. In our text, we see that Paul and Barnabas disagreed regarding John Mark's involvement in their second missionary journey. That disagreement was so intense that they decided to part ways, with Barnabas taking John Mark and Paul taking Silas. Now, this wasn't a high point in their ministry, and a lot of what we read in the book of Acts is descriptive, not prescriptive. That said, I don't believe you and I should "go and do likewise", for it is imperative that we must strive to live at peace with one another (Romans 12:18 CSB). Yet, what we see in this text is that, though they parted ways, neither of them stopped strengthening the churches or sharing Jesus with others. Many of us have encountered conflict in our jobs, athletic teams, or education. Very few of us simply stop working, playing to win, or continuing to learn. Why is that? Those things are important! What Paul and Barnabas knew was that, though they may not have seen eye to eye regarding John Mark, it was vital that they continue to share Jesus with the believers and nonbelievers they encountered (Matthew 28:18-20 CSB). Why? It's the most important thing that a follower of Jesus can do! You see, there is a lot of evidence that we will play sports, work and even learn in the new heaven and new earth. What will we likely not do there? Tell others about Jesus, for everybody will be with him! That is why, as Christians, we are not to allow anything to hinder us in the work of reaching the world with the gospel. So Mission Church, "who's your one" person you could share Jesus with this week? Fill out this form and let us know. Pastor John and I will seek to reach our "one", and diligently pray for you as you look for opportunities to reach your "one" (Luke 15:10 CSB). We're praying for you!


Take some time to pray the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 CSB. As you ask God to forgive you, ask Him to give you the strength to forgive those who have sinned against you. Pray for your "one" to come into His kingdom through repentance and faith in Jesus, and request that He give you an open door to share Jesus with them!

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Scripture Meditation from August 29th, 2021

They wrote:


“From the apostles and the elders, your brothers,


To the brothers and sisters among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:


Greetings.


Acts 15:23 (CSB)


Who wrote this letter? The leaders in the church in Jerusalem. Who did they write this letter to? The brothers and sisters among the Gentiles. Don't miss that, Mission! Here is a church that is primarily made up of Jewish Christians writing to a church that predominately consists of Gentile Christians. And how do they address each other? They address each other as brothers and sisters...as a family! Here we find two churches that have nothing in common other than Jesus. What united these churches wasn't their preferences, ethnicity, stages of life, or politics. Their unity was not in a shared stance regarding vaccines, masks, or stimulus checks. They understood that, just as we don't get to pick and choose who our biological brothers and sisters are, you and I do not get to pick those who Jesus saves. Even amongst Jesus's disciples, there were guys who came from opposite ends of the political spectrum. There was Matthew, who was a tax collector, and Simon who was a zealot. Tax collectors were Jewish men who betrayed their people to collect Rome's tax and were known to take a bit more from their very own people to get rich. Zealots were men that were against Rome, seeking an opportunity to overthrow the opposing government. Where would you find these two guys hanging out? Nowhere! And yet, Jesus chose both of them to be his followers! After washing these men's feet, Jesus says in John 13:34-35 CSB, "I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” If you and I only love the "one anothers" who are like us, Jesus says we're no different than the world around us (Matt. 5:43-48 CSB). Mission, let us be a church that shows glimpses of what it will be like before the throne of Jesus (Rev. 7:9 CSB). May we love the "one anothers" Jesus puts in our lives.


Take some time to pray the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 CSB. As you pray for God's kingdom to come, ask him to help Mission Church show glimpses of His worldwide kingdom agenda here and now. Ask Him to forgive you for times in which you chose your "one another" instead of loving the "one another" He put in your life, and join a House Church today.

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Scripture Meditation from August 15th, 2021

"In Iconium they entered the Jewish synagogue, as usual, and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers."


Acts 14:1-2 (CSB)


Have you ever put a potato in a boiling pot of water? What happens? It softens. Yet, if you put an egg in the same pot of boiling water, what becomes of it? It hardens. A similar thing happens when we share the good news of Jesus with others. Some hear it, and they are softened to repentance. Others hear it and are hardened in their sin.


In our text, there were people from Antioch and Iconium whose hearts were hardened. They likely took unpaid leave from work to travel over 100 miles to stone Paul and drag him outside of the city because he preached about Jesus (Acts 14:3, 7, 19 CSB). The disciples, likely from Lystra, gathered around Paul, thinking that he was dead. Yet, Paul got up and headed back into the city. Whether Paul continued to preach there at that time or when he came back through this city on his way back to Antioch (14:21 CSB), we see that he did not allow this situation to keep him from talking about Jesus. He was likely thinking about this experience when he told the churches: "It is necessary to go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22 CSB). How many of you heard those words after placing your faith in Jesus? Likely, not many! Yet, this is a truth that Jesus himself says in John 16:33 CSB. In this world, you and I will have trouble, but the good news is that Jesus has overcome the world! What does that mean? It means that through his perfect life, substitutionary death, glorious resurrection, and ascension, he has overcome Satan, sin, and death. That is a sure promise for the disciples of Jesus. Therefore, no matter what happens to us in this life, we know what awaits us: the kingdom! Therefore, let us endure by the Spirit's power and continue to share Jesus, no matter the cost.


Spend time this week praying The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13 CSB). As you pray for forgiveness, ask the Father to forgive you for times you have not been faithful to share due to fear. As you pray for His kingdom to come, thank Him for the certainty you have in being in that kingdom because of what Jesus has done. Ask the Father to reveal to you one person you can share the gospel with so that they, too, can experience the joy of the kingdom. If you let us know who that someone is here, your elders will join you in praying for them!

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Scripture Meditation from August 8th, 2021

When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and honored the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed. 


Acts 13:48 (CSB)


What caused the Gentiles to rejoice? It was the fact that the good news of Jesus was also for them (Acts 13:46-47 CSB)! Luke tells us that those who were “appointed to eternal life believed.” Many have asked me over the years if they were “appointed.” I usually don't provide an answer, but ask, "Do you believe in Jesus?" Why do I ask that? Luke says that those who believed were appointed, so if you are believing in Jesus at this moment, guess what? You were appointed! Don't miss the good news about that! Many of us have seen the TV show The Voice. There are 4 judges who have their backs to the contestants. If the judges like what they hear as the contestants perform, they hit a button that displays: "I WANT YOU." Luke tells us that God hit that button before we ever sang a note or took the stage! And don't miss this: God hits that button a lot (Rev. 7:9 CSB)! If you believe in Jesus at this moment, it is an emphatic declaration that God WANTS YOU! 


Spend time this week praying The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13 CSB). As you pray for God's name to be honored, spend time praising Him for your salvation! As you pray for His kingdom to come, ask him to reveal to you someone that you can share this good news with! Also, if you let us know who that someone is here, your elders will join you in praying for them!

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Mission Kids Parent Resource: John's Vision Of Jesus (08/08/2021)!

Dear Parents,


The apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation from the island of Patmos. Patmos was a small Greek island where the Roman emperor often exiled prisoners. John was likely sent to Patmos as a prisoner, arrested for preaching the gospel.


With this session, introduce your kids to the Book of Revelation—the last book of the Bible. Other Bible books tell us about things that happened in the past, but Revelation tells about things that will happen in the future. A glimpse of the future kingdom of God gives believers hope and encourages them to remain faithful to Christ.


In Revelation 1, Jesus appeared to John in a vision to tell about the end of time. John was on the island of Patmos when he heard a voice telling him to write what he saw. John turned and, in a vision, saw Jesus: He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash wrapped around His chest. His head and hair were as white as snow, and His eyes were like a fiery flame. Because the Book of Revelation is highly symbolic, avoid dwelling on the physical description of Jesus. Jesus’ appearance to John reveals what Jesus is like: worthy of all honor, powerful, and victorious. 


John saw Jesus walking among seven lampstands, symbols for seven churches. Explain to the boys and girls you teach that lampstands are used to bring light into dark places. That is the purpose of the church—to bring the light of the gospel into a dark world.


When John saw Jesus, he fell at Jesus’ feet. Jesus reached down and put His hand on John. He said, “Don’t be afraid” (Rev. 1:17). Jesus showed Himself to John and explained that He is the First and the Last, the Living One. While Jesus was on earth, He defeated sin and death by dying on the cross and coming back to life. Now Jesus is lifted up in glory and honor forever and ever.


Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.


FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

● Babies and Toddlers

  • Everyone who trusts in Jesus will live with Him forever.
  • John saw a vision of Jesus.
  • Jesus told John to write down a special message.
  • Jesus is alive forever.
  • The church waits for Jesus to come back.

● Preschool

  • Jesus showed Himself to John.
  • What is the hope of the church? The church looks forward to Jesus’ return when He will make all things new.

● Kids

  • Jesus appeared to John in a vision. 
  • What is the hope of the church? The church looks forward to Jesus' return when He will make all things new.


UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Revelation 11:15


NEXT WEEK 

  • “Letters to the Seven Churches” (Revelation 2–3)


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Scripture Meditation from August 1st, 2021

“Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia, but John left them and went back to Jerusalem.” 

Acts 13:13 (CSB)


Someone once said to me, "You know, this church would be great if it wasn't for [insert name here]." Why would they say something like that? Clearly, there was a conflict. Over the years, I can't tell you how many people have left churches or given up on Jesus' mission because of relational tensions. In our text, we see that John Mark went back home. Why? We're not sure. We learn in chapter 15 that this desertion led Paul and Barnabas to head out on different paths to strengthen the churches and make Jesus known. Yet, I want you to notice something. The mission of Jesus didn't stop! Paul and Barnabas continued to share and show Jesus on their journeys. Mission Church, as we seek to be a missionary force, there will be conflict. So let’s heed the words of Paul in Romans 12:18 CSB: "If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Imagine what would happen at Mission Church if each person chose to keep this posture in conflict. As Paul neared death, we read in I Timothy 4:12 CSB, "Only Luke is with me. Bring [John] Mark with you, for he is useful to me in the ministry." Did you catch that? There was reconciliation! Mission, if reconciliation doesn’t take place in this life, it will happen in the next. So if possible, let us be a church that seeks to live at peace with everyone here and now.


Spend time this week praying The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13 CSB). As you pray for His forgiveness, ask for forgiveness for any way you may have contributed to a relational tension. Ask the Father to provide you opportunities to seek peace with that person. 

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Mission Kids Parent Resource: Defending the Faith (08/01/2021)!

Dear Parents,


Jude, along with James, was a younger half-brother of Jesus. And like James, it wasn’t until Jesus rose from the dead that Jude believed Jesus was the Son of God. Sometime between AD 65 and AD 80, Jude wrote a short letter to warn believers about false teachers. False teachers had secretly made their way into the church, and Jude urged his readers not to abandon their beliefs but to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3 CSB). 


Jude warned the early Christians that some people would try to divide them by sinning and by teaching things that weren’t true. Jude wanted them to not only defend the true teachings but also to actively share the gospel. He told his friends to show mercy to those who doubt, to lead others to Jesus, and to hate sin.


There are still false teachers today, and some of them still try to sneak into the church itself. God loves us, and He warns us through Scripture to be on guard. We can study His Word to know what is true, and we can rely on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment.


Such a strong warning about false teachers might be reason for panic among believers, but Jude ended his letter reminding them of God’s promise. Ultimately, Jesus is the One who protects His people from sin. Throughout history, God has been working out His plan to bring a people to Himself. God will keep us, and He calls us to not only remember His truth but to encourage other believers to defend the faith.


Because of Jesus, we will be able to stand before God with great joy. In the words of Jude, “to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen” (Jude 25 CSB).


Jude warned the early Christians that some people would try to divide them by sinning and by teaching things that weren’t true. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life—the One who protects His people from sin. Because of Jesus, we will be able to stand before God with joy.


Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.


FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

Babies and Toddlers

  • We must always remember the truth about Jesus.
  • Some people were teaching wrong things about Jesus.
  • Jude wrote a letter to help people remember the truth.
  • The Bible helps us know what is true about Jesus.
  • One day all Christians will see Jesus.

Preschool

  • Jude said to remember what is true about Jesus.
  • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.

Kids

  • Jude urged believers to stand up for what is true. 
  • What will happen for all Christians in the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and live with Him forever.


UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Philippians 1:6 CSB


NEXT WEEK 

  • “John’s Vision of Jesus” (Revelation 1 CSB)


Learn more about Mission:Kids here.

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Scripture Meditation from July 25th, 2021

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 


Acts 13:1 (CSB)


The church in Antioch was united, but they were also extremely diverse. The leadership team we read about in verse one reflected the different types of people within this church. Simeon and Lucius were from North Africa, Manaen likely grew up in affluence as the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, Barnabas was from Cyprus in modern-day Turkey, and Saul is a Pharisee and an academic from Tarsus. Where would you find a gathering of men from such diverse backgrounds during this time? Nowhere! Yet, here they are in the church at Antioch as brothers who are united and on mission. How is that possible? Jesus! 


All other ideologies and philosophies tend to divide us, rather than unite us. In Jesus alone do you find Greek and Jew, slave and free, male and female (Galatians 3:28 CSB). Dr. Tony Evans says oil and vinegar don't mix, but are the two main ingredients in a salad dressing. When you get a bottle of salad dressing out of the refrigerator, you have to shake it to get these two ingredients, which intrinsically do not mix, to come together. Yet, when left alone for a while, these two ingredients separate again. Mayonnaise also consists primarily of oil and vinegar, yet it doesn't have to be shaken. Why is that? It contains an egg as an emulsifier. The egg brings together that which would otherwise never come together.  


Mission, Jesus' cross is the emulsifier that our city, state, nation, and world need, for he alone can permanently bring together a people from every tribe, nation, and language into a united missionary force called the church! This week, look for an opportunity to share with your "Who's Your One" the glorious truth that, in Jesus alone, there is unity. Share with them the diversity that existed in the church in Antioch, and how our prayer at Mission is to be a church that embodies Jesus' global mission.


Spend time this week praying The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13 CSB). As you pray for His kingdom to come in Las Vegas as it is in heaven, pray that Mission will reflect His global kingdom agenda. Ask the Father to provide you opportunities to meet those who are nothing like you, in order to share and show Jesus to them. 

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