Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

This Is Living!: Imitating Christ

Philippians is rocking my world.  In the third week of reading through Philippians in its entirety in one sitting, here is what is striking me.  Paul repeats a theme throughout the book by saying the same thing in different ways: I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  (3:10)  Check out these verses too: 1:6, 1:28, 2:1, 2:13, 3:10, and 3:16.

The concept of ‘taking hold of the salvation we have received’ fascinates me.  I love this teaching by Paul because it confirms and affirms our created and called purpose in salvation to bring glory to God.

The big question for this Sunday is to answer the question: What does ‘working out your salvation’ look like?  How does ‘grabbing hold of heaven and pulling’ take on real meaning in our words and actions?

Paul reveals a powerful first way to live this out in Philippians 2:1-11.  Read it and ask yourself What is the main way I can grab hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me?  Clue: it rhymes with ‘you millipede.’  🙂

See you Sunday,
Happy Father’s Day early!

Pastor Mark

 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

This Is Living!: A Worthy Life

For a couple weeks now we have talked about created purpose and calling.  In Paul’s letter to the Philippian church he repeatedly calls them to a life ‘worthy of the gospel’.   The salvation we receive from God is a gift of grace.  And we respond to God’s salvation in gratitude by living a life ‘worthy of the gospel.’  Paul says in our text for Sunday, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel.” (1:27)

This life ‘worthy of the gospel’ is for anytime and in anyplace under any circumstance.  It’s never too late to embrace and engage God’s salvation in Jesus Christ and live the life of the Spirit.  You could say God makes us worthy to live a worthy life.

There is a song by an artist I like with great lyrics: Wandering the road of desperate life.
Aimlessly beneath a barren sky…  So afraid that you will not be found.  It won’t be long before your sun goes down…  A troubled mind and a doubter’s heart.  You wonder how you ever got this far… Vultures of darkness ate the crumbs you left.  You got no way to retrace your steps…  Just leave it to me – I’ll lead you home… Hear me calling
This life ‘worthy of the gospel’ is for anytime (the time is now) and in anyplace (this is the place) under any circumstance (matters not where you find yourself.) God is calling us to his created purpose.
What does a life worthy of the gospel look like?  Let’s take a look at it together as we study the book of Philippians this summer.  See you Sunday!  We will be participating in communion together. Summer BBQ’s kickoff this next Wed!

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

This Is Living: In Chains and It’s Good


Here we go!  Summer Scripture and Neighboring Challenge!

Summer Scripture Challenge: As we study the Book of Philippians through June/July, make this book a part of your summer life.  Read it through, in one sitting, once a week, for the next 9 weeks.  This is not too much, in fact, when you complete this challenge, it may seem too little!  It takes little time (20-30 minutes?) and will bring much blessing to your summer.  Each week I will be taking a few verses from one of the four chapters to bring the weekly message.  The title of our summer series will be: This is Living!

Summer Neighboring Challenge: Summer is a time of changing life rhythms with vacations, no school, day and weekend getaways, outdoor fun, etc.  Don’t let the summer go by without intentionally engaging your neighbors.  Here is your challenge: Plan one intentional neighboring connection once a month.  Be creative, get outdoors, share a meal, host a party, invite someone for a walk/hike, whatever it is – just do something!  Instead of making our summer ‘all about me (us)’, intentionally build a friendship with your neighbor (s).

This Sunday, June 3rd, we dive into our summer message series from Philippians beginning with 1:1-26.  From the opening to the closing of this Scripture book, it reads like a letter.  After the opening greeting (1:1-2) and word of thanksgiving (1:3-8), Paul opens with a powerful prayer (1:9-11).  This prayer is my summer prayer for all of us and is our new TQ (Text of the Quarter) for June/July, “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.”

How profound is the love of Christ and how does this love transform our living?  Read on in Philippians… see you Sunday!  “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:24

Summer BBQ kicks off soon, Wednesday, June 13th!

Pastor Mark

 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Gifts of the Spirit: Equipped For Service

Gearing up for a big weekend in Boulder!   Deone, Morgan and I are participating in the Bolder Boulder this year!  But first, looking forward to Sunday – that comes first!

This Sunday, we introduce our summer series This is Living! from the book of Philippians.  I want to begin with an introduction to the gifting of the Holy Spirit.  God has given to every follower of Christ gifts that are useful for the building of His kingdom and for the building up of His church.  There are many online tests that can be taken to discern and identify what gifts of the Holy Spirit have been given to you.

The beauty of the church is that it is made up of many different people, yet, it is one in Christ.  Just as each part of the body has many different parts with many different functions, yet, all come together to form one body – so too, the church is made of many different people with different gifts, yet, together we form one body, God’s church.  As an introduction to the gifting of the Holy Spirit, I will focus on Ephesians 4:1-16 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-31.  Does every Christian have the same spiritual gifts?  Are all the spiritual gifts the same in value and merit?  What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit anyway?  And how do your gifts fit in the big picture of God growing his church and kingdom through you?

Here is an online Spiritual Gift Inventory Test.  http://giftstest.com/  Have at it!  Discover your gifts!  When you have identified your gifts, lean into them in the way that you love people.  It’s your gift from God to the world and to his church.

Strap on your seatbelt, in June and July we dive into Philippians.  Summer Scripture Challenge: I want to challenge each member of Crestview Church to read the Book of Philippians in one sitting, once a week, through June and July (9 weeks).  Here is my hope: Philippians will be a part of your heart, soul, and mind.  I think it would take 1/2 hour, once a week to do this.  While you read, take note of what strikes you, what you notice, and what captures your attention.

Lets dive into summer together,

Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend, be safe and engage in God’s will for your life!  Thank you God for the blessings you have showered on us of life and freedom,

Pastor Mark

 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Welcome Adie Johnson!

Welcome Adie Johnson!

Adie continues our series on the Holy Spirit by looking at the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer.  The text of emphasis will be Romans 8:18-30.  This is a powerful text where Paul waxes eloquent about the hope we have in Jesus.

Paul speaks about the reality we live in, here and now – a world where there are signs of bondage and decay while at the same time the redemption of Christ has come and the signs and hope of the renewal of all things are underway.

So what are we to do with the frustrations and hardships we and others experience on a daily basis?  Paul gives us wonderful instruction and encouragement to deal with these things.  Its wrapped up in the gift and work of the Holy Spirit, thank you Jesus!

As you read Romans 8:18-30 in preparation for Sunday, ask yourself, what is the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer?  See you Sunday at Crestview.

As I write this, we just arrived in Michigan for Morgan’s graduation as a registered nurse from Calvin College.  Two down, one to go!  See you all soon,

Pastor Mark