Join us as we take a look back at 2018, celebrate God’s grace among us and look forward to what lies ahead in the coming year.
This parable of Jesus highlights the pursuing love of God and how He is always at work to shepherd us back to Himself.
As we continue moving through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins to teach us about our relationships (specifically what not to do) and the inner-work that needs to be done before we begin to speak into peoples lives. In this passage, He tackles the issue that tends to break trust in significant ways and diminish His love in our relationships: judging.
As we continue moving through the Sermon on the Mount, we will be covering a lot of ground as Jesus confronts us with one of the biggest issues that keeps us from participating in the life of the Kingdom, and from experiencing the Joy of the King: Greed and Materialism.
In so many ways, this week's discussion is the culmination of everything we have been talking about over the past month. Coming out of a Day of Repentance, having talked about the vision of Kingdom Come, and after reviewing our mission of discipleship centered on Radical Gospel Transformation, there are some specific things we want to share with you, update you on, and explain so that we are all on the same page. These "holy details" include updates on our 2017 budget, new leadership, and the prospects of a building. As a church, we have so much to be thankful for and we are excited to both share and celebrate these specific evidences of God's grace.
Last Sunday, as we focused on repentance and forgiveness, we talked about "turning from" and "turning to." We are turning from our sin and broken ways that stem from wrong beliefs about God, and we are desiring to turn toward God and His ways. This week, as we continue our vision series, we want to further explain the vision of our church in concrete and practical ways. As we talk about "Everyone Experiencing Jesus and His Kingdom Come," we want to make sure we are clear and on the same page about what it could look like for the Kingdom of God to be lived in Olympia through the body of Reality. Join us as we explore the Kingdom vision that the Spirit keeps refining among us.
How do we understand our work? Why do we overwork? Why do we under-work? Do we rightly understand God’s intention for our work? Considering we spend more time in our work/vocation than likely doing anything else, it is imperative that we understand God’s intent for it.
We’re getting towards the end of First Peter. We have spent weeks learning how the Apostle Peter encouraged and exhorted the churches in his care to not only survive in a harsh environment, but to thrive in the new identities they have in Christ. He now turns his attention to the Elders of these church communities, and sets his sights on the heart and motivations that need to drive Elders to shepherd the people in their care towards the good shepherd.
The churches the Apostle Peter was writing to were living in the midst of very real circumstances that were shaping their lives. They were marginalized for their way of life and exclusive allegiance to Jesus. They were different, which equates them to being suspect, irrelevant and people to be avoided. But Peter’s vision for them is more than survival in the margins. He wants their imaginations to be shaped by their true identity and calling, better and more significant than what their immediate circumstances are telling them. He wants their imaginations to be shaped by the real story that they’re playing a role in. And to do so, Peter uses imagery that calls the hearers into their communal identity that has purposes that are rooted in God’s redemptive plan for the world.
We have to know who we are and who we belong to before we get to the “doing,” or else we spend our lives trying to define who we are by what we do or don’t do. Lets come together this Sunday and let Peter’s words help us reimagine the significance of who we are as a church and the life we get to live in response.
From April to July, we are going to follow the Exodus storyline, discovering God’s rescue plan for the people of Israel from their slavery in the land of Egypt. We have titled this series, “Exodus: God is Here.” And the reason why has everything to do with the WAY that God rescues His people. What sets this Exodus story apart is the fact that God rescues His people by His presence. He draws near. He enters in. And He personally engages the details of the story so as to lead the people of Israel to a better place. All throughout the Exodus story, God delivers His people for His presence, by His presence. In the Exodus story, God is here. And the way God rescues is a very beautiful thing.