Aug. 9, 2015 - This week we took another step in our understanding of the question "What is the Gospel?" As followers of Christ we often look for the most comfortable option available to us but is that what lines up with scripture? The apostle Paul gives us some incredible insight into this very question and idea. The apostle Paul understood discomfort at a level that we will never understand. This weeks message is one that will be an extremely challenging one that you will not want to miss. If you were not able to listen to last weeks message we encourage you to check it out as well. This is part II and a wrap up to the message last week.
We are about Jesus People and the Pursuit of Both (our vision statement) and we exist to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible (our purpose statement). These two things color all that we do. But to effectively fulfill them we have to understand two things. People are searching, open, hungry in hurting in this world but more specifically in our own community. We have been given a hope and peace and joy that is almost incomprehensible in Jesus Christ and we have to be ready in season and out to give an answer to where that hope, peace, and joy lies. When we are prepared we will understand that when those whom God has given us influence over are asking why we are so calm in midst of crisis or why we seem to have such joyful attitude in all things, we will understand that what they are really asking is "What is the Gospel?" Will you know how to answer it?
A great story told by a great storyteller draws us in every time. We are drawn to the eye witness accounts of the realities of our world, and are likely to believe someone who tells us about something that they were there for. Something that the experienced. It is what makes the news work. Notice how every story is connected in some way to eye witness account. The power of eye witness is equally important in the court room. If there is eye witness testimony that is presented there is a much greater likelihood of a conviction or acquittal depending on the side the testimony lands.
In Johns Gospel we see this playing out as well. He is very concerned with testimony; especially the testimony that concerns Christ. This morning we looked at two very different stories from this gospel dealing with peoples choices regarding testimony. God called them to the witness stand.
Is He is calling you to the witness stand ?
This week Pastor Ryan brought a BONUS message in the My Family Tree Series. Family is something that God is all about. He created it, He invites us to be a part of it, and he gave everything so that we could. It is through adoption that we all have been given the right to become Children of God.
It is in adoption that we not only LITERALLY become God's Child, but we also LEGALLY become his child. Maybe you did not have a very safe, loving or good home environment growing up. Family is something that you would rather not talk about. Then this message is FOR YOU, and it is a message of hope. Maybe you had a wonderful family situation as a child and family is something that you hold dear to your heart. Then this message is ALSO FOR YOU. As members of God's family we are challenged to live transformed lives that mark the transformation and regeneration that took place when we were born again; literally and legally becoming a child of God.
Pastor Ted was resting his broken foot this week and will be back next week to conclude his Series on The Family Tree, and we would ask you to keep him in your prayers as he is recovering. But we invite you to not miss this BONUS message. It will inspire you, give you hope, and challenge you in your journey with Christ.
I Love My Church BoiseCentral holds a lot of memories for us all. Some great, some sentimental, some sad, and some humorous but we all have them. What we want to do over these last few months in our current location, as we prepare for our new location, is to remember all the wonderful things that have happened in our lives here at 12000 Fairview Ave. WE don’t want to forget what God has done in our lives but at the same time we don’t want to forget that we are still on a journey in which God is leading us to new ground, new territory, new miracles, and new life stories that we will be able to look back on 10, 20, 40 years from now with just as much fondness as we look now to the 10, 20 and 40 years previous.
So we want to have you post your pictures and your memories of the LIFE that has taken place here at Central Assembly over the last 40 years on Facebook, Instagram and twitter. We want you to let the world know that you love your church and we want you to share with them some of the significant moments in your own life that have been connected to this wonderful place we call church. We want you to let the world laugh, smile, and reminisce with you as you point them to the life that has been lived to the full with your family; your church family.
BUT when you do post your pictures, videos, thoughts and memories, we want you to make sure you tag us in those pictures and posts so that we will be sure to see them and it will allow us to share them with others as well. You can do this by posting directly to our page (search boisecentral) on facebook or just tagging tagging us in your photos and posts using “boisecentral” on your facebook page. You can also do so by using "@Boisecentral” on twitter and Instagram. We would also ask you to use the hash tag #ilovemychurch and #boisecentral when you are posting as this will give us another way of seeing your memories and allow us to share in them with you.
Each week we will have a theme that will be the focus of our posting. Whether that is “Weddings” or “Youth Ministry Mayhem” or Maranatha Memories what we want you to do is post your thoughts and pictures specific to that category. Each week we will put a new category forward. So each week we will have new material to remember, share, laugh, smile, and maybe even cry about a little bit, but each week it will be connected to the same general topic.
We love our church, and I know that you do to. We can’t wait to see your pictures and hear about your favorite memories. We hope that you will share and share often about the great things that God has done in your life at this location but we also encourage you to use these testimonies as fuel to stoke the fires of excitement and anticipation for the memories to come.
Feel free to share thoughts from previous weeks themes if you were unable to during the weeks they were scheduled. But Lets let our city know that we LOVE OUR CHURCH
List of weekly themes / Memory Ideas
Feb 22 – Week 1
- First real memory (photos or thoughts)
Mar 1 – Week 2
- Craziest / Funniest memory (photos or thoughts)
Mar 8 – Week 3
- Youth Group / Camp Memory (photos or thoughts)
Mar 15 – Week 4
- Children’s Ministry Memories (photos or thoughts)
Mar 22 – Week 5
- Baby Dedication memories (photos or thoughts)
Mar 29 – Week 6
- Weddings (photos or thoughts)
Apr 5 – Week 7
- Power of God Memory (photos or thoughts)
Apr 12 – Week 8
- Maranatha / school related Memory (photos or thoughts)
Apr 19 – Week 9
- Favorite school/church production memory (photos or thoughts)
Apr 26 – Week 10
- Funeral Memories (photos or thoughts)
May 3 – Week 11
- Funniest Moments (photos or thoughts)
May 10 – Week 12
- Your choice / Miscellaneous (photos or thoughts)
May 17 – Week 13
- Love Center Memory (photos or thoughts)
May 24 – Week 14
- Absolute favorite memory (photos or thoughts)
May 31 – Week 15
- Favorite Memory from the 70’s and 80’s (photos or thoughts)
June 7 – Week 16
- Favorite Memory from the 90”s and 00’s (photos or thoughts)
June 14 – Week 17
- Memories I’m looking forward to making at our New Campus. (Thoughts)
We continue in our series this advent season with the theme of Peace. In a season filled with frenzied activities and responsibilities and pressures we often find it hard to see, or experience Peace. Yet this is often one of the major themes that we see plastered all around us, from cards, to store front windows.
So what do we do when our lives seem to be filled with anything but Peace? We need to remember that while we are waiting on God we are waiting WITH God. He has not forgotten us or his promises. We hope you will find peace in this season or whatever season of life you may be in right now.
This week starts our Advent series Waiting Here For You. Many times in life we find ourselves waiting. For things as trivial as our turn in line at the grocery store to much more series things like a judges ruling, a doctors report, or whether or not our spouse is going to stay. Waiting can be unbearable.
That is what the advent season is. It is a season of waiting. But it is also a period to time for preparation, expectation, and anticipation. Israel had been waiting for hundreds of years for the long awaited one that God promised to send. And yet when Jesus finally came, in God's perfect timing, they missed it. They found themselves unprepared.
So what do we do in our waiting period. What do we do when the themes of the Christmas season, the themes of the Advent season, Hope, Love, Joy and Peace seem to be completely absent in our lives?
What is it that you want in life? What is it that you find yourself chasing? There are many things that will vie for our attention in this world and it can become a daily mission to attain the things we think will bring us life. What is interesting is that Life, as we define it, often looks very different than LIFE as God does. John Chp 6 is one of the great chapters of the Bible and includes the only miracle that is included in all four gospels. What about this story made it so important that every gospel writer felt compelled to include it? Join Pastor Ryan this week on a journey through the 6th chapter of John and take a fresh look at LIFE.
Are you in the Family Business? My Family has been building homes for 3+ generations. My Great Grandfather, Grandfather, Dad and Uncle have all been builders in the treasure valley. But just as the trade has passed from generation to generation, So does our heavenly father want to pass some things on to the next generation. We are co-heirs with Christ and God calls us his children. But more than that he invites us to be a part of the family business. Christ himself tells his critics this very thing and this morning we asked of ourselves, "Are we about our Fathers business?"
Be sure to listen to this timely and challenging message and begin to look at your world through very different eyes.
Do you have hope? More importantly do other people see that you have hope? There is a lot in our world that would give us reason to see our hope fail but as followers of Christ we should have a hope that is unquenchable. The church itself is often referred to as The Hope on Earth. Faith Hope and Love are core central themes of our faith and should be evident in our lives if we are to share Christ with others. Pastor Ryan unpacks the connection between these three and challenges us to ask of ourselves What is faith? Do we have hope? What is love?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan took a candid look at the church and what it is that the church as been called to be. He takes us on a journey into the history of the early church and by looking at the true miracle it was that this movement in the first century called Christianity even survived, he shows us what it is that we have truly been called to. The mission of the church is not something that we do it is something that we are. This message is sure to challenge you in your walk with Christ and your role as a Christian in ranks of this amazing thing we call church. WE are the church and it is not something to take lightly or flippantly. We have been given the gifts and abilities by God to transform a neighborhood, a city, a country and the world. Will we accept what it is that God has called us to? Will we rise up and take our place as the "Called out ones"?
Pastor Ryan challenged us this week with a message that pointed us toward the fact that we all have a purpose and that God has a plan for our lives. Are we willing to risk? Are we willing to "gamble" a little to find out what that plan is? If you have ever wondered what your purpose is and needed at starting point This message is for you. If you know that God has a plan for your life and you have been pursing that purpose, whether it has been for five days or fifty years, this message is for you. All of us have a purpose. A specific Sword that God has placed in a stone that only we can pull free. Each of us has a sword that he has prepared for us. Will we risk all that we are, have, know and believe to push further into the plan that he has for our lives. Because the only true way to live life is in the purpose and plan that designed for you before you were ever born.
This is the final week of our Raised to Life series. We finish with taking a look back at where it is we have come from and where it is that we have arrived. When we commit our lives to Christ, the life we are raised to brings us a new beginning, a new purpose, a new normal and because of that we are now part of a new family.
My Next Step Today:
1. I will memorize John 13:34-35.
2. This week, I’ll seek out those God’s leading me to show more grace toward and seek to bring unity.
3. I will allow gratitude for things I have been raised from to spill over in a response of love for those in my “family”
4. I’ll let John 13:34-35 be the guiding principle of my life this week, pointing the world to Christ by my love for others (Both in/out of my family)
Have you wondered why you were here? What your Calling is? Whether or not God could use you? This week Pastor Ryan explored what our calling in life is, how you discover it, how we sometimes run from it and how God's ultimate plan is for us to THRIVE in it. If you are struggling to find your purpose in life we encourage you to listen to this weeks sermon.
My Next Step Today Is:
- I will memorize Proverbs 16:3 - Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
- I will seek to discover the calling that God has placed on my life and further develop the unique gifts and talents he has given me.
- I refuse to let my plans trump God’s plans and commit to making greater strides in following God instead of running from God.
- Using the gifts God’s given, I’ll operate in the calling God’s placed on my life to impact Boise
Have you ever had one of those trick coins with heads on both sides and used it to play a trick on someone? It can be a funny prank but it can also be something that gets used to pull more than a silly trick on friends. It can be used for dishonest gain. We have seen this reenacted in movies many times or maybe have had it happen to us. Either way we are given the expectation that things are as they appear, and that things are honest and fair, when really they are not. When the gag is up we feel cheated. We feel taken advantage of. We get a feeling that we cannot trust that particular individual any more. Trust has been damaged and many times in an irreparable way. We come into any coin flip with the expectation that there are indeed two sides to the coin. Two different sides. When expectations are met we are happy, when they are not, well....I think you know how it goes.
I had someone recently give me a great analogy about expectations. If you were to go buy a car and the sticker told you that the car would get 40 mpg, and six months after buying the car the most you ever got on a tank of a gas was 31 mpg, you would begin to think the car was maybe a little bit of a lemon. Especially if a little piece of chrome fell off when you bumped your shopping cart into it by accident.
Now take the same exact situation, except you were told that the car would get 30 mpg. Your expectations are different and subsequently your reaction to the same scenario is much much different. When you get 31 mpg from your 6 month old car you are thinking that your car is amazing, and when a little piece of chrome falls off because you bumped your cart into your own car, you chalk it up to "I should have been more careful" and not "Man, this car is a lemon".
In both cases the car is 6 months old. In both cases the car gets 31mpg. In both cases the car gets bumped by you with your shopping cart. And in both cases a little piece of chrome falls off. What is different between the two scenario's? Expectation.
Today we had the opportunity to read one of the most popular books in all of scripture. It is a book that is bursting with practicality and insight for our day to day 'life in the trenches', so to speak. James is a book that many of us have probably read and are probably very familiar with. And today the passage/passages I want to focus on are ones we have probably heard many many times and would consider ourselves to be very familiar with. But I want to challenge you to look at them with fresh eyes and ask that God would begin to stir something in your heart about how to put these practical scriptures to work in your own life.
James makes it very clear that to be a Christian means that there are two sides to "the coin" that we call our life in Christ. The two sides are commonly referred to as Faith and Works. You cannot have one without the other.
James 1:22-25 - 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
A couple of weeks ago I talked about something similar to this in my blog The Road that is Romans. There is a difference between being familiar with something in scripture and KNOWING something in scripture.
Faith and what we do are two sides of the same coin. Hearing great messages and being willing to agree with statements of faith while at the same time not being willing to have those same messages and statements take root in our lives to produce the fruit of being a follower of Christ begins to erode confidnece in the minds of those around us who may not believe.
Whether we want to admit it or not those who are skeptics and non-believers have a certain expectation of Christians. And sadly that expectation is many times not being met. James references this very issue 16 verses later in his letter.
James 2:14-17 - 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
If we claim to have faith people will expect certain things to be evident in our lives. Our life then becomes a living testimony to those who don't know Christ yet. So many people's first thoughts of Christians these days are thoughts of hypocrisy. They see Christians who talk a good game but live the same way that the rest of the world does. This should cause us to ask the question, "what do people who know me, or look at me and the way I live my life, see, and what does it say about my faith in Jesus Christ?
Jesus told us that WE are the light of the world. WE ARE. It is by letting our light shine (which is the light of Christ in our lives) in a world that is dark and in need of hope. Is our light shinning or are we putting it under a basket. Christ also said that people would know us as followers of Him by our love for one another.
He summed up the entire law with two very short phrases. Two phrases that could be pared down to four words.
LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS
We are only a couple of days away from Christmas. The Christmas season is all about love and giving our life away because of the fact that God GAVE his only son for a world that needed him. For the Christian, this attitude should not be one that we take out of a box with the rest of the decorations only to be put away again come Jan 1st. It should be the driving force behind our entire life.
Because of our faith in Christ, because of the salvation and hope we have in his death and ressurection, because we have experienced new life and a life transformed, we chould be compelled to, driven to, and anxious to let it be known in the way we act, speak, conduct our business, love others, and Love God.
When we get rid of the one sided coin the world will be moved by the fact that our lives fit the expectations. Keep Colossians 3 in mind.
Colossians 3:1-17 - Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality,impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised,barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.