Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The A-Team

My favorite TV show growing up was the A-Team. Mr. T was my favorite character because it amazed me how he was able to move with 50 lbs. of gold wrapped around his neck. But my favorite part of every show was when Hannibal would light up his cigar, look at the team and say, ‘I love it when a plan comes together!’ Usually in every show there would be a plan, some sort of challenge would present itself, and then the team would respond and change their strategy. So Hannibal’s original plan would usually be overshadowed by how the team responded to adversity.
We took a one-week break from the Gospel of John Sunday as we invited our kids to join us for our service. We looked at a passage from 1 Corinthians 12 that emphasized the church being a body with every part being vital to the operation of the body. Something happened Sunday that most of you didn’t know and probably didn’t notice as the service started.
Just about everything on the service order was changed about 20 minutes before the service. The music, prayer, sermon, ALL OF IT! As the type A pastor that I am, I will be totally honest and say that this gave me a little bit of stress. But something amazing happened, that was totally the Spirit of God. Once 10:00 AM hit on the clock, everything came together. The music was an experience we haven’t had yet at The Rescue. I preached on a different text then I had intended on. Our prayer time was just amazing. As I was driving to Applebee’s to have lunch with my parents and the in-laws, it dawned on me how it happened.
Yes-it was God, but how did it come across as not a last minute change? The people. As I preached about the Body of Christ and how each part has it’s value and is vital to the health of the church, I began to realize how special the group of people around me was. I don’t want to get too gushy on this blog post, but I’ve been blessed. The beauty of Sunday was that a group of people came to worship God. What the order of service had was a minor detail; they came to seek after the One we worship.
This is why I’m excited about the future of The Rescue, and I’m not ashamed to tell you (the reader) about us. We are a group of people who have been broken in this life and have seen the only one that can rescue us-Jesus Christ. If you’re seeking, broken, hurting, or even feeling pretty good, but just know that you need to make a decision about who Jesus is-join us this Sunday at The Rescue. Go to the website for directions and it’s at 10:00AM.

God Bless You-PC (Pastor Cory)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Who Do You Say That I Am?

In John chapter 7 we see a lot of names given to Jesus-teacher, prophet, healer, deceiver, liar, demon-possessed, uneducated peasant. These were names given to him by a crowd. Some in that crowd put their faith in him that day, and yet there were still those in the crowd, who had never spoken with him that wanted him dead. In my mind, I think they wanted him dead just so that he could permanently go away. 
Those that wanted him dead consisted of Pharisees and Jewish leaders and teachers. How could all these 'religious people' want Jesus dead? I think it all came down to wisdom. These religious leaders did not want to admit that someone, especially someone 'uneducated', knew more about God and the Scriptures than they did. Jesus never looked at them and said, 'Neener, neener, neener, I know more than all you guys combined!' Nope-he just taught with authority. He taught of God's will, and to these teachers that meant arrogance and blasphemy. The scriptures tell us Jesus grew in wisdom from God the Father, not from any earthly teacher or rabbi.
A key point we talked about on Sunday was wisdom. It wasn't like these teachers were ignorant of the law and Scripture. It was just they had no love for God. Scripture says that knowledge puffs up. If you study all the time, but you don’t love God, you will just be arrogant and difficult and your relationship with God will be non-existent. It says that love builds up, that the goal of our studies shouldn't be about being smart nor being able to out-quote each other. The goal should be that we love God and love our neighbor. Now I'm not saying, 'We don’t need all that book learning, we just need to love Jesus.' I’m saying that if you do study the Bible in the right manner, you will end up loving Jesus and loving others in practical ways. They go together. 
Have they been going together in your life?? Maybe you've spent your days reading and studying the Bible so much, but have failed to experience it in your daily walk with Him.  
How has the Bible changed the way you live? And yes, if you read the Bible you should change the way you live. If you don't feel like you need to afterwards, you aren't really reading it. 
That goes for Christ followers and Pastors too! (Myself included).
I hope this message has spoken to you in some way. If you are reading this and have some questions, I'd love to speak with you. I'm really good at buying people coffee, and I love talking about God. 

-PC (Pastor Cory)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

In His Timing

Growing up in Sunday School there were always 'Good Guys' and 'Bad Guys'. The ultimate 'Good Guy' was of course, Jesus. He was like a superhero going from town to town healing people, performing miracles. And then you had the 'Bad Guys' who were usually the Pharisees, or these Jewish Leaders who were in charge. I could never understand why they acted the way they did. Didn't they know Jesus was God?! Didn't they know he was the hero?!
I think we find a reason why they didn't want to believe in John 7. It is the Feast of the Tabernacles, and Jesus' own brothers (who at this time didn't even believe he was the Messiah) asked him to come to the festival and perform something grand. Give the people at this party a miracle.
This was not Jesus' plan or in his timeline. This was yet another example of how a group of people came to Jesus and said, 'Yes Jesus, we know you consider yourself God. That's great. But you ought to really do this. It makes perfect sense to everyone here that you would do this.' There has been a solid theme these last couple weeks in the Gospel of John that Jesus did not come to please, he came to save.
We, especially the church, need to come to Jesus and thank him for who he is and what he's done. And then listen to him!! He always had a teaching to give and still does for us today. When we don't listen we sound like the crowd in John 7:20 when they said, 'You are demon possessed.' This crowd did not believe Jesus had the authority to teach in the manner he did. Mainly because he taught against their religious pride. And for this in John 7:7 it says, 'The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.'
Keep this in mind when telling others about Jesus. Realize that there will be those that hate Jesus and the teachings he held. But be tenacious!! Be resilient!! Jesus died for all and his Spirit can reach all!!
It is all in his timing.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Will You Leave??

It was a Friday night under the lights at Nampa High School's stadium. 'Hats on and guards in!' was the cry that came out from the coaching staff as the Bulldogs prepared themselves for battle on the football field. I was the defensive coordinator at the time and I had the game plan all mapped out. I knew every player on the opposing team as well as I knew my own. We implemented certain plays just for their offense. It heavily depended on a couple players but all week during practice, they had told me they understood it and were up for the challenge.
'Red 18! Red 18! Set...hut, HUT!' Ball snapped-bootleg play action just like I thought.
Defensive end comes straight up to pressure QB, defensive tackle come off blocker and provides help in the flats for QB scramble, outside linebacker takes small route by TE, with middle linebacker taking crossing routes, safeties play with everything in front. (Sorry for the football jargon!) Quarterback flustered and goes down for a sack!!

The only problem with my little story was that none of it happened.

'Red 18! Red 18! Set...hut, HUT!' Ball snapped-bootleg play action just like I thought.
11 defensive players went in 11 different directions. I stood with my jaw on the ground unable to speak (or yell!). A wide receiver (very leisurely) came across the middle of the field, went behind everyone and caught an easy touchdown.

A new teaching had just been taught. If you are to follow me you must eat my flesh and drink my blood to have eternal life (John 6:54). Jesus was speaking to those who had come up with their own list of 'needs'. And if they needed something more than Jesus, they were not able to be his disciples. So thats why we find in John 60-71, followers deserted Jesus. Just like my defense on that fateful Friday night knew the teachings and had even proclaimed to me they knew; when it came to living it out when it mattered they all faltered. They all deserted the plan and wanted to play for themselves.
Jesus turns to the 12 disciples and asks, 'You don't want to leave too, do you?' Simon Peter answers in a way that I hope I am able to answer. Simply saying, 'NO-why would we leave?? You have the words of life! I have too much invested in you. I will never leave!'
I pray that you have too much invested in Jesus to leave. I hope and pray your trust and faith is in a savior that knows you deeply and knows your greatest needs. Following Jesus is tough. I hope this blog has turned out to be something of encouragement to you on your journey of life. If you have questions about God, I'd like to chat with you. And if you'd like to visit a church full of people who want to walk with you in this life, I'd like to personally invite you to The Rescue Church. We meet at Maple Lawn Elementary School in Sumner, WA. for a 10:00AM service.
I'm shameless about invitations, not because we have something great but because God has something great for you.