Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Sheep and Goats

Already But Not Yet – The Day of the LORD
Sheep and Goats

Matthew 25:31 – 46

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The text for this coming Sunday is the 3rd story in a row Jesus told after teaching about the coming of the ‘Son of Man,’ to describe what it will be like.  The emphasis of all three (Ten Virgins, Bags of Gold, Sheep and the Goats) is a WORD to be watchful, ready, and prepared for his return.   

In the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46), Jesus describes the separating of sheep and goats on the criteria of evidence of ‘sheep-like or goat-like’ behavior.  It’s interesting that the sheep and the goats both are surprised at Jesus’ words of blessing and warning based on their behavior.  The surprise on the part of the sheep is beautiful.  The surprise on the part of the goats is tragic.  

I also found it worthy of note that in our ‘woke’ society of today, where we accentuate differences between one another on just about anything and everything, Jesus doesn’t separate sheep and goats based on skin color, type of fur, whether one has horns or not, ethnicity, political affiliation (you name it) – separation is based solely on behavior and character.  Instead, Jesus separates sheep from goats based on whether or not they did these things (fed hungry, quenched thirst, clothed naked, visited sick or in prison) to the least one of these brothers and sisters of His.  The separation is based on behavior and character – evidence of belonging or not belonging to Jesus.

Matthew and his use of ‘least’ and ‘brothers and sisters’ throughout his book should give us the right direction.  If Jesus means to emphasize the behavior and character toward brothers and sisters of faith, how might that understanding give interpretation to the text?  I found this insight to be enlightening (like lightning).  

‘See’ you Sunday,
    Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Bags of Gold


Already But Not Yet – The Day of the LORD
Bags of Gold

Matthew 25:14-30

Why does Jesus tell stories to illustrate his coming again that end with phrases like, “Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” or “Truly, I tell you, I don’t know you” or “They will go away to eternal punishment.”

It seems that when Jesus tells us a story about a future Day of the Lord, he is seeking an effect/affect in the lives of his hearers in the present.  That would be true of us today as well.  Why tell us stories of what it will be like on that day with stories about Ten Virgins and the need for oil in their lamps, or Bags of Gold and what people do with them, or Sheep and Goats in the ways that they behave?  

I think Jesus is giving us a heads up.  We have a life to live.  One that is a gift from God.  One that has been redeemed by God.  One that can be lived for light or darkness.  One that serves the Master or one that serves mammon or self.  In these stories of Jesus about what it will be like when he returns, he provides an opportunity for change and direction in life for the present.  

What is God’s will for our life in the here and now?  How ought we to live today in a way where God will say on that ‘Day’, “Come to the wedding banquet.  Well done good and faithful servant, come, share in my Master’s happiness.  Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world”?

Jesus’ parables in Matthew 25, about the Day of the Lord, stimulate repentance, commitment, and faithfulness to the Father’s will in the here and now.  Sunday, we look forward, so that we may know how we ought to live now.  Sunday, the 2nd of three parables from Matthew 15:14-30, Bags of Gold.  

Come and join us as we sit at Jesus feet,

Pastor Mark  

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

The Ten Virgins


The Ten Virgins
Matthew 25: 1-13

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, this week we continue with our theme, Already, But Not Yet – The Day of the Lord, by looking at three parables of Jesus over the next three week: The Ten Virgins, Bags of Gold, The Sheep and the Goats.

Context matters in order to better understand any text of Scripture.  In preparation for Sunday’s message, read Matthew Chapters 23-24.  These chapters set up the next three weeks of parables from Matthew 25.  Looking forward to diving into the text with you from Matthew 25:1-13.  What does it mean to be ready for Jesus’ return?  How does it look?  What does it mean and look like to ‘put oil in our lamps’?  See you Sunday, online or in person, we will engage the Word together, anyway we can.      

In the name and power of our risen Lord Jesus,
Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

The Day of the Lord


The Day of the LORD
1 Thes 5

Here we go, “for such a time as this,” we begin a series of messages on The Day of the Lord.  We will begin Sunday with an overview of where The Day of the Lord fits in the Biblical Worldview.  This is good, informative, and useful information to know.  And more than that, it calls us to engagement with our world and others.   

We will not be engaging in predicting the future.  We will be engaging God’s word to better know how to live now.  On the scope of history, we live in the Already, But Not Yet, the time between Jesus 1st and 2nd comings.  This series will give us a good understanding of ‘what time it is’ in terms of both history and what we are called to do and be in the present.  

In Scripture, there are references to The Day of the Lord in almost every book of the Bible.  We will take a look in this series at only a handful.  May the Lord lead us.  In addition to setting the framework of Biblical Worldview for this series, I will whet your appetite by taking a brief look at 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11.  See you Sunday!

Pastor Mark  

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Jesus Message and Mission: Rejected or Accepted?

Jesus Message and Mission: Rejected or Accepted?
Luke 4:14-30

Alrighty – we are off and launching our 2021 weekly messages and I gotta say, it should be stimulating.  This Sunday is our annual new year kickoff message with a refresh of our mission and vision.  We will take a look at Jesus’ core message and mission.  I’d love to know from you what you would say is Jesus’ core message and mission.  Could you send me a one sentence answer to this: What is Jesus’ core message and mission?  

Seems kinda important to know.  Kinda important to be able to live into and communicate with others.  So give it a try.  Come up with a sentence and send it my way.  We will dive into it together on Sunday. 

After Sunday we’ll explore for 6 weeks a concept in Scripture referred to as The Day of the Lord.  The Day of the Lord is often associated with God’s day of judgement that accompanies Jesus 2nd coming.  Yet, there is so much more to be explored and known about this future reality than judgment.  And more than that, our understanding of The Day of the Lord has excellent influence and application to our lives in the here and now.  We will explore three parables of Jesus from Matthew 25 and some chapters from the Books of 1st/2nd Thessalonians.  Strap in as we go back to the future.       

And then 10 weeks in the Book of Hebrews.  If you questioned why Jesus is so important to the Christian faith, or wondered why Christians think Jesus is so important and central to life and faith, or maybe you wonder why people think Jesus is so amazing, look no further than Hebrews.  Hebrews describes Jesus from 10 different angles of supremacy.  If you want to understand why Jesus is so important and so amazing to faith and life, Hebrews will pack your quiver with mind blowing truth.        

And then 12 weeks through the minor prophets.  One prophet a week for 12 weeks, from Hosea to Malachi.  This series promises to be a red hot adventure as we take the best from the best of the prophets.  My, my… how relevant these minor messages are…  Not so minor after all.  “The truth will set us free…”    

“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed…”  So let him.  “The truth will set you free.”    

Pastor Mark 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

The Year of Discipleship

I’m looking at 2021 as the Year of Discipleship.  Every year is an opportunity to go deeper in faith, broader in discipleship, and further into God’s will and ways.  Yet, maybe by calling it the year of discipleship more intentionality of thought and deed may happen.  God is always at work in our lives, may this year 2021 bring his work into focus.  We begin 2020 as a faith community looking back at the themes of 2020 to see where God has led us and how he has shaped us.  This will give us a good perspective as we look forward to the planned themes of 2021.  

One week to look back and look ahead (Jan 3), one week to be reminded of Jesus core message and mission (Jan 10), then a month of looking at ‘The Day of the Lord’ and it’s influence on the here and now, then from Feb to April through Lent to Easter – ‘The Centrality of Christ’ from the Book of Hebrews, and through the summer, the Minor Prophets – 12 prophets in 12 weeks focusing on the central theme from each.  We will leave the fall to the Holy Spirit’s discernment at this point, and all the other plans are under the heading, ‘Lord willing,’ all plans are.    

May God lead you, the Holy Spirit speed you along, and may Jesus feed you everything you need for life and Christlikeness.  On this grand faith journey with you,

Pastor Mark   

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Christmas Eve Promise and Fulfillment

4:30 and 6 PM, at Crestview Church, Boulder, CO and on LiveStream

Promise and Fulfillment

Luke 2

Crestview family,

Looking forward to Christmas Eve worship services with you.  Two services you can choose from: 4:30pm and 6:00pm.  If you plan to attend in person, we appreciate your signing up for which service you will be attending here.  This will help us in our planning for the evening.  We will also be offering both services livestream.    

Also, on Sunday, December 27th, we will be having a time of prayer and sharing during our 9:30am worship service.  Here is how you can participate.  We are asking for you to reflect on the following: What have you learned from God or about God during this year of 2020?  Is there Scripture that has been particularly important to you this year, and why?  If you had a blessing from God to speak to the people of Crestview Church, what would it be?    

Would you reflect on these questions and be able to communicate that for the edification, blessing, and encouragement of others in a paragraph or two?  Here are several ways you can communicate this:
1) Come to the worship service service in person, and share this with the Crestview community on Sunday, December 27th in person.
2) Or send your reflection to me via email or text before Sunday and I will coordinate your reflection into the morning worship.
3) I suppose you could text me your reflection during the worship service and I will have my phone available during worship to share in the flow of worship. (Hopefully, you can spend time in reflection on these things before Sunday and send them to me :)).

On Christmas Eve, we will reflect on Jesus’ birth together.  What does this mean for us?  For the world?  And we will sing some cherished christmas carols, concluding our service with some virtual and actual candle lighting along with Silent Night.  

May the Lord, our newborn and eternal King, rule in your heart today,

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

The Incarnation Through the Eyes of GF Handel

The Incarnation Through the Eyes of GF Handel

John 1:1-4, 14

Christmas celebrations and the winter solstice is upon us!  Couple of important things to note.  We are offering two Christmas Eve services to make plenty of room for you and your loved ones should you choose to come in person for worship.  Please use our signup genius to sign up for either the 4:30pm or 6:00pm service.  We will be caping our in person attendance at 50 people.  We will live stream our 6:00pm service, that way we work out all the kinks before our 6:00pm service. 

Last Sunday we took a glimpse into the Incarnation through the eyes of CS Lewis.  This week, we are going to imagine the incarnation through the eyes of GF Handel’s Messiah.  We will take a 40 minute journey through the Scripture of Messiah with 6 choral pieces mixed throughout.  Sunday we will wander through the hall of the prophets, through the halls of time – from creation, the fall of humanity, redemption, and the consummation of all things.  And Messiah weaves Scripture like a blanket around the incarnation of God.    

George wrote Messiah in three to four weeks, 10 hours a day, equating to 10 notes a minute… stunning.  Since there are roughly a quarter of a million notes in Messiah.  He wrote it as a benefit for a hospital, originally for Lent and Easter, not Christmas.  Messiah, believe it or not was very controversial for a number of reasons.  The society of his day didn’t like the claims of ‘to God be the glory alone’… however, on opening night, the crowd was so large, the women and men were told to keep their hoop skirts and swords at home, so there would be enough room for everyone.  Shortly after this performance, it became a yearly affair.        

We will imagine the incarnation and more through the orchestration of Handel.  Handel was a prolific composer, who had a huge influence on Mozart and Beethoven.  Messiah is appreciated by many as the most well-known and loved Oratorio in history.  You may also recognize a couple of his other works, Water Music and Royal Fireworks.  

Last Sunday we used one text from John 1 to focus the message.  This Sunday?  All Scripture from beginning to end… 

Looking forward to Sunday,
   Peace and Joy be to you in Jesus name,
       Pastor Mark

Wycliffe Advent Devotional: Weary World Rejoices!