Mesa Church Blog

Articles from our Ministers and Teachersdividerbar 

Privileged Sheep

Some people want to be in charge. They want to have the say and make the decisions of where we will go and what we will do. They want to have the remote, so they can choose the channel. They want to pick the restaurant, so they can have their favorite food. It isn’t that they don’t care about anyone else, but other people don’t make good decisions. At least it doesn’t always turn out good for them.

The concept of shepherd and sheep has been around literally since the beginning. Abel was a Shepherd. (Gen 4) Abraham and his family were shepherds as well as most of the families in the lineage of Christ. The people were often nomadic and having a flock of sheep provided for them well. It is always easier to move if your business has legs and can follow you. Even long distances from Ur or Egypt to Canaan they had much of their provision because the sheep could follow. It is easy to see why Jesus chose such a familiar way to talk about leadership and his people.

In Jesus teaching the sheep are privileged. The sheep don’t have to fight the wolf. The shepherd is there to protect the flock from the wolf and the robber. They are his sheep and they know his voice and follow him. They expect him to know the good place for them and they willingly follow. The sheep that don’t follow are called lost sheep. Even then the shepherd goes and finds them. They are not expected to find their own way back and they are not expected to all turn into shepherds. They are just to be sheep with one task… follow.

 Jesus has gifted some to be shepherds. (Eph. 4:8,11) They are to watch over the church and equip the people for work to build up the body of Christ. They are to bring maturity and unity as the people grow together into one body of Christ. When we all come together each one has a part. We are to grow together in love to form one flock, not 400 individual sheep. We are one church united in Christ as he provides for us. What a great privilege we have in him. (Eph. 4:11-16)

Terry

Friday, June 29, 2018
 

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Being Loved

The scripture tells us love is patient and kind. Love doesn’t look out for its own interest but for the interest of others. (1Cor. 13) Love will put up with a lot and it always responds to everything in a good way. Love always looks for good in the world and does not allow evil to gain control. Love is always about what is good, right and pure and does not let the negative or evil take away the good even if it is at its own expense.

Many people don’t know how to love. They haven’t experienced it themselves and they don’t know how to put someone else’s interest above their own. It isn’t natural for them. If their world is, “Survival of the fittest,” then they must all look out for themselves. They are taught to take care of #1. No one else will take care of them if they don’t look out for themselves. Basically, they are saying no one loves them and they don’t expect it.

We can also tell people who are loved conditionally. They are loved if they behave or obey. They have met certain criteria before they are loved. They must be pretty or do favors before they are acceptable.  They must laugh at the right jokes and stroke the ego of the right people before they are allowed into the circle of conditional love. If they ever mess up or need too much, then they are out of the circle.

God loves first. He risks doing good and being rejected first. He shows his love when he creates us. He continues his love when he sacrifices for our good even when we are bad. We can refuse to do what he wants and rebel against his authority, but he knows we need him and can’t find real life on our own. He makes a way for us to be right with him. When we finally understand and respond to God’s love, it is unlimited. He loves and acts for what is best for us in every circumstance and in every way. We can never earn or deserve the love God has for us. We can only respond to the love God has by loving him back and loving other people like he loves us. 

Terry

Friday, June 22, 2018

 


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Father God

God must have known about the relationship of father before creation. He intentionally took on the role of father. He creates man and then woman from man. When Adam saw Eve, he said she was created for him because she was taken from him. (Gen. 2:23)  He creates the capability for children to come from both parents. We know the children are ours because they came from us.

It was intentional that children develop attributes like their parents. God was counting on that with creation. Everything God created was good including the man and woman he created. God was holy, and he put good people in a good place with every advantage to continue being good. He even was there to talk with them if they had questions or didn’t understand. He was their father and that distinction for God continued. He was seen as the father even in Jesus time and Jesus referred to him as father.

It is an awesome responsibility to be in the place of God in our relationships. We are father to our children and are to raise them the best way we can. We know they were good when they were born, and we provided a good place for them. We made sure they had what they needed. We wanted so much more for them than just to be babies. That is why we got them the football as soon as they started walking. We knew they were going to be someone important some day and we told them so.

Father God is holy and expects his children to be holy. He wants them to develop the family trait of holiness. Sometimes a stray ball breaks a window and we have a mistake that is our fault even if we didn’t intend it. He doesn’t expect perfection, so he has given mercy and made grace possible. He teaches repentance, redemption and forgiveness to be the correct response to many things that go wrong. Not only does God give that to us but we give grace to others. It is so great to have such a wonderful father.

Terry

Friday, June 15, 2018


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His Grace Reaches Me

One of the songs we sing contains the line, “His grace reaches me.” The great
realization about grace is that it is not just a theory out there somewhere. This
grace really does reach us. We can live in his grace as people who have moved
to a new level.
The first thought about grace is that grace is for our sin. The price of sin is death.
We cannot pay that high a price for our mistakes and things we have done wrong
on purpose or by accident. God sent his son to die on a cross so the price for
our sin could be paid. Jesus gave up the glory of heaven and came to be born
on earth knowing he would lay down his perfect life for our sin. In this way Jesus
redeems us by paying the price for our sin. Jesus would live his life to teach
us how to live and believe in God. His healing and example display how to live
eternal life in a physical earth. Both were involved in the process. It is this grace
that is found in the covenant we make with God. The price has been paid but the
reality of that grace is only found in the covenant with God. We deal with our sin
by deciding never to do it again and turning our life around in such a way that we
will not engage in that behavior anymore. It is called repentance. We then put that
old self to death and are buried in water called baptism we no longer have sin
or shame. Jesus has promised that people who believe in him and his sacrifice
and who choose to enter the covenant through repentance and baptism will be
reached by his grace.
This grace also brings eternal life. Not that we live longer than anyone else, but
we live on an eternal spiritual level that we didn’t have access to with no covenant.
God lives in the eternal realm. With this grace we enter the eternal realm of God
by being given his Holy Spirit to live in us. The result of our life is defined by the
goodness of God rather than by the disaster of circumstance. His grace does
reach us and allows us to live an abundant life because of his abundant grace.
Terry

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Treasure

Treasure

There are two kinds of treasure. The kind you discover as you search and the kind you build and invest. Some may hope to find buried treasure or a sunken ship with a chest full of gold. They discover the treasure already complete and then must work to make it theirs. They may need to buy the land or dive to recover the treasure. Once they take possession of the treasure they will keep it as something valuable. The time is taken in the search and acquisition of the treasure.

The second kind of treasure is something you build. You may start with a small investment and over time it will grow to be a large treasure. It may not be treasure at all when it starts but at some point along the way it becomes more valuable. It may take our time, attention and focus on details to make it become truly valuable. It doesn’t work to invest a certain amount and ignore it for many years and it will turn into a treasure.

We often misunderstand the type of treasure we have and how it works. To have the treasure of a great marriage and family some will think it is all about finding the right partner. It is a discovery process that takes searching everywhere for the one true love that will make us happy. They may even go from person to person searching for the perfect mate. Actually it is investing and loving one person for many years and the great marriage will happen after years of focus and attention. It is not a discovery process but a building process.

In Christian life I hear people who believe God has plan for them. They know there is something God wants them to do. They search for that one big event or project that will be valuable and important. They may pass many smaller opportunities waiting for that one big time when God really needs them and it gives meaning and value to their Christian life. What we see is more the person who is available to do all the small things along the way that finds themselves in a great relationship with God. The big event was faithfulness for many years. We have friends like that. It isn’t that they saved our life one time. It is that they were there many times as our life was growing. We trust people we have history with rather than the one time big effort. There is always a lion and a bear before the battle with the giant. There are the countless days of preaching and travel before Paul declares there is a treasure laid up for him in heaven. (2Tim. 4:8) Then he says it is also for all those who have loved his appearing. No big event. Just a life of constant love for God as we build a treasure in heaven.

Terry

Friday, May 11, 2018


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