Mesa Church Blog

Articles from our Ministers and Teachersdividerbar 

Message and Mission

When we look in scripture there are several people who are sent with a specific purpose or message. Angels and prophets are sent with messages of disaster or blessing. God usually had a way of receiving the blessing or averting the disaster. It is the way God communicates with people willing to listen. There were many messengers from God in the Old Testament that had his words and did his will. Their life didn’t always reflect the privilege God had given them.
 
We recognize Jesus as a messenger of God who was also able to be the example and become the sacrifice for us. The life he lived was an example of the message he brought. He did all the things he taught. He was passionate about his message and it showed in his life. He died on a cross to defeat death and become the final sacrifice for us. For the first time we see the message from God lived out in real time. Every situation and every conversation was in direct relation to God. He acted on God’s initiative.
 
When Jesus taught his disciples, it was so that they could also speak. They knew from the beginning they would be living a different life to speak to others. He would send them on a mission to reach others with the message of God. They would have the words of God and show the principles they were teaching. This did not come easy. They went through three years of training not just to learn the message, but to bring their lives in line with the message.
 
We cannot talk about a God of love in a hateful way. We cannot explain grace when we don’t show grace to others. The life must fit the message. After Jesus had trained his disciples, he sent them to the world to make disciples. We have the same message and mission. The strength of our message is in how we live it. If it works for us, then others will believe it. We are all about the mission of God.
 
Terry
Friday, October 30, 2020
 

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Our Great God

What do you know about God? We know God is creator. We know God is love. God is good. If we understood the extent of all those things it is huge. God is creator of things that move. Atoms with protons and electrons that spin in their orbit is amazing. When we consider that planets are also spinning around the sun and held in perfect orbit we are just at the beginning of realizing the detail and immensity of God.
 
God is love is more than just a statement of truth. God loves enemies and people who have rebelled and rejected him. He still sends Jesus to express love and become the sacrifice for us. He acts in our best interest to take care of us. He gives the opportunity for us to respond in love to him. He is the beginning and source of love. We are able to love because he loves first. Our love is an imitation and response to his love.
 
God is not just good but his is the absolute of goodness. He is perfectly good and honest in every way. He makes good things happen. God arranges and holds things together as they happen. He is all over history and all the good things are connected with him. Because he is good, we have the possibility that we can be good. In all our mistakes and misunderstanding we find a way to respond in a good way because he has been good to us.
 
Maybe it is because we just look at the summary of those things that we don’t see the importance and overwhelming involvement of God in our life. When we pull the essence and nature of God down to a few simple statements we may miss the point. We need to know and understand the full nature of God and his power. It is what gives us wisdom and power. He makes everything possible for us. If we are limited it is usually because of our own actions. We find freedom, love and goodness in him.
 
Terry
Friday, October 23, 2020

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Worship Inside and Out

When Jesus was on earth he taught and interacted with people. Many of them were in need and didn’t have money, health or prestige. We do live in this world without something. We may wish we were stronger, richer, prettier, more powerful or with some other advantage. Jesus doesn’t emphasize the advantage over others but what we can become within ourselves.
 
The Pharisees were concerned about appearance and what other people thought. They were often critical of Jesus for associating with sinners. They assumed since Jesus would talk and eat with them that somehow their sin would rub off on Jesus. Jesus must be sinful also since he was around them. They never did get the concept that the doctor is the one who is around the most sick people. The one who could do the most good for them would naturally be the one they were around the most.
 
When we get ready for worship, we may do more looking in the mirror than looking in the Bible. We get ready to be seen in public by people, more than we prepare to be seen by God in our heart. Which one is real worship? Is it when we are caught up by emotion in the crowd or when we feel close to God in our time of prayer? They can both work together to make the best connect with God and with others. We can’t leave out either one.  
 
If our preparation for worship was mostly to be seen in public then it may be understandable that when we worship at home online, the experience is flat and loses meaning. We sit there with ourselves and no one sees us. Or do we sit with God all around us and find the experience of not being interrupted by people around us a much more fulfilling experience? We need to use both public and private worship to build our relationship with God and each other.  
 
Terry
Friday, October 16, 2020

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Using Our Influence

There are times that seem like different people. We see people react in a way that seems out of character. We think of them always the same but in a different situation they seem like the opposite. We think of Jesus as being calm and peaceful until we read about him clearing the temple with a whip of cords. We would think of Jesus as sitting quietly in church and not turning over the tables in the foyer. Even when faced with the Scribes and Pharisees as they try to condemn him, he doesn’t respond in anger.
 
We are not the same all the time. Some of it may depend on the outside circumstances that confront us. When we are around angry people, we can become angry like them. We can even stir each other up to a stronger reaction. We see several situations in scripture where the Jewish leaders stirred up the crowd against Christians. Sometimes they were taken before the court. (Acts 6:12) Sometimes a persecution against them was attempted and on one occasion they did stone Paul. (Acts 13:50; 14:2,19; 17:13; 21:27) Titus even talks about a person who can stir up division between people within the church. (Titus 3:10)
 
In a dangerous situation we can be afraid just like the people around us. When they tell us their fear, we seem to catch it. It almost seems some people don’t know how to feel until someone tells them. It is true that we can be influenced by other people in the same situation and react much the same way they do. There are some who can be the influence. It all depends on if this is used in a good way or a bad way. They can create fear and panic or they can create peace and good things.
 
Jesus seems so calm in the storm when the disciples are afraid the boat will sink. Jesus basically asks why they are afraid when they have the son of God sitting in the boat with them. Jesus uses his influence to lead people to praise for God and to find blessings in their life. In the church we are to find a way to stir up one another to love and good works. (Heb. 10:24) We can be the one who creates the calm and lead people to see the goodness of God.  
 
Terry
Friday, October 9, 2020

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Always Follow Jesus

Following Jesus is for any part of life. Many of us started our Christian life when we were young. We were taken to church and gradually it started to sink in that we were allowed to be Christians also. We weren’t just the children of members; we could actually be saved and be part of the church. We became involved in church and connected with the people. While we were young that usually meant being part of the youth group and doing things with the other youth.
 
As we grew up, we still connected with the people at church. That is what Jesus intended as he promised to build his church. He was building his people together into a group that could help others and spread his word. We gradually found new ways to be involved and took on more responsibility. We also learned more about God and our relationship was deeper. Much of our life was about adding responsibility like jobs and family and our relationship with Jesus went through all of those decisions.
 
Our growing up in many ways should also mean we are growing in the Lord. We learn more and develop new ways to serve God. We grow in our relationships with people. Those should change and deepen as we learn to trust each other. Friendships go along the lines of games we play and things we do together. With Jesus we grow together into something that is beyond all of us. The collection of who we are together in the grace of God is more than any of us can be individually.
 
Once we can work together and depend on each other we can do great things for Jesus. From there we work on deepening ourselves. It is not enough just to be a parent; we want to be the best parent. We want to be the best friend we can be to someone. We love in a better way than we have done before. We are more in touch with the Holy Spirit and we learn be led by him. It is not just the more people that are connected in church that makes it better, but also the quality of their relationship with God.
 
Terry
Friday, October 2, 2020

 


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Safe in God

We have people we depend on in different areas of our life. When things don’t go well, we may have a special person or two that we call to make sense of things. We can be strong, secure and independent until something happens that undermines our confidence. Life is full of times when we are challenged, and we are not always sure we can meet the challenge. It helps to understand we make progress gradually and we don’t have to do it all at once.
 
When Jesus called disciples, he asked them to follow him. He would be the one making some decisions for the group. They would follow to learn from Jesus and Jesus would decide where to lead them and the things they would do. If he had said they needed to change the world for all generations going forward in every race for the whole world at the beginning they would have been overwhelmed. All he asked them to do was follow him.
 
The disciples would find themselves in dangerous situations and Jesus promised he would be with them. They had seen Jesus stand against enemies and it would soon be their turn. The criticism and threats he face would come against them. Yet, Jesus’ ministry was not shaped by the threats but by his determination to follow God. He knew God was with him and he acted and spoke on God’s initiative. His mission and words were from God. He understood himself to be in the hands of the father. Jesus prayer in John 17 reflects that Jesus was fulfilling the work of God and that the disciples were going to fulfill the place he was giving them.
 
Some may see themselves as independent individuals who don’t answer to anyone. Christians are people who do the will of God. God will protect and lead his people. God is our Father and we are in his house. We hear prays that God will guard, guide and direct us and we must be willing to let him do it. They Holy Spirit will lead us if we let him. When we know how God keeps us and protects us we can be confident in our worship and praise of God. He doesn’t always show us the end, but he keep us safe as we walk with him.
 
Terry
Friday, September 25, 2020
 

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Developing Trust

How do we let people know they can trust us? The first way would be to always do what we said. We don’t make promises we don’t keep. We keep everything we say and not just when we use the words, “I promise.” We try to not have conflicts, and we are careful to keep everything we say.
 
Some things we didn’t say, but they are scheduled or expected that we will do what we are supposed to do. When we become parents, we are to take care of our children. We didn’t say we promised but just the fact that we have children means we are the one to take care of them. It isn’t up to anyone else to be responsible for them not matter how much grandma tries. Whether we promised or not, it is something we can fulfill and be a blessing to them. Promises and respect are sometimes because of the position and responsibility we take.
 
Marriage, jobs, contracts, and other agreements all are part of this trust. If we do what we should, people will trust us even if there are no specific actions to follow. Others may trust us because of the way we do our job, treat our family, and keep our agreements. We can accept the responsibility and the better we are at filling that responsibility, the more trust and respect we gain. We may be doing much more than was we thought was promised and that gains more respect.
 
Did we make a promise to God when we became a Christian? Certainly, there are promises God made, and for us to be part of that promise there are some thing we would need to do to make that promise the best. When people see our Christian life, they see how we are part of the promise of God. We have responsibilities with that promise. If we are responsible in our worship and care of others it will show we can be trusted by God and others. If we claim some things are not necessary and we aren’t going to do them it doesn’t diminish God, it diminishes how God and others will trust us.
 
Terry
Friday, September 18, 2020

 

 


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Worth Keeping

We have noticed that things don’t last as long as they used to. The expectation and life expectancy of appliance, houses, cars and most anything we buy is fairly short. Many things are not mean to be fixed or repaired when the battery goes out. They are meant to be replaced by a new one. We don’t build things to last, we expect them to become obsolete and that a new better model will be offered rather than doing the same thing the old one did. We know the technology will be improved in the next few years. We want it faster, better and cheaper; we don’t want it to last forever.
 
If we are not happy with the one we have we can just get a new one. Unfortunately, that has come to mean friends and relationships that were meant to be long term. We seldom say “till death do us part” on anything. We aren’t going to live in the same house or keep the same job all our life. We may not even keep the same family. The time of working for one company until retirement is gone. Companies don’t want that and neither do employees.
 
It has also changed the way we see church. We don’t think of staying at the same congregation for our whole life. People are more willing to try different groups than they were before. That may mean we have a better opportunity to reach more people since they are more open. It also means we need to have something for them. What doesn’t change is Jesus. People devoted to Jesus should not change. We may not stay with the same congregation but our devotion to Jesus and to the word of God should remain the same. There is not a better savior.
 
The church is the people that Jesus died for as they follow Jesus and fulfill his word. For people to be part of the church they must have Jesus as their savior, but we also have to have something good of which they can be part. Each congregation described in scripture looks like and exciting place. The word of God is taught and worship with some of those early Christians must have been amazing. We are those Christians who find the power of grace and the word of God shared can be an amazing time of worship. In this time of change we have something worth keeping.
 
Terry
Friday, September 11, 2020

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Our Personal Savior

Christianity has always been personal, but now the emphasis is about it being personal. Several years ago, the question was whether Jesus was our personal savior. The trend was to make Jesus our personal savior in a different way from him being savior to everyone else. Having Jesus as our savior is personal, but it must be done the same way for every single person. Jesus does not change his mind and allow some people to be saved one way while completely overlooking some behavior and activities of others. It always takes repentance, baptism and discipleship for every person.
 
Worship has changed to include more options in recent times with the precautions of spreading a virus. Now we are participating in worship online. We are in zoom classes or just left with a video to watch. Worship is personal because we can do it any way we want. We are left to decide which way to do worship and make it meaningful to us. Attendance at a build was always the way worship was to be done before but now that same worship can be done at home or in another location. Sometimes families or small groups gather to worship. Some will be alone and watch worship streamed. Some type comments to each other as they watch an online presentation. 
 
Some complained before about the corporate worship for different reasons. The question becomes, “Is it better now that we are responsible for the logistics of our worship?” Have we been able to find a much more personal worship of Jesus? Is our learning more personal now that we choose our Bible study? We have the opportunity to see tremendous growth in individuals because there are more tools available. Either that or we can ignore everything because no one is forcing us to do it a certain way.
 
Does greater freedom bring greater growth? Some now will watch several sources for their worship on Sunday. Some may not engage at all. When we do come back together will the church Jesus is building be stronger or weaker? Will we be more personal about our salvation or will we be apathetic? Jesus tells a parable of three servants given an amount from the master to use while the master is gone. (Matt. 25:14-30) Two of them invest and gain more. One of them is afraid and does nothing. Each one is personally responsible for what happens with the master’s gift. Will we do better when we can be responsible for our own development?
 
Terry
Friday, September 4, 2020

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Traveling

When we travel we have a destination in mind. Most of the time we are not just wandering and looking whatever we can find. We have a specific time table to arrive at a specific destination and we are usually a little behind, and so we rush. We don’t have time to stop and see everything and usually we just rush on toward our destination not thinking about he missed opportunities. We pass by so many things just because we are trying to get somewhere at a specific time.
 
As Jesus travelled from Jerusalem to Galilee he met people along the way. He noticed some that were suffering but many just came to Jesus to tell him of their faith in what he could do for them. They told him about sickness and troubles within their families. They were willing to talk about what was really wrong. They believed he could heal and he healed everyone that asked. He also taught many that were not sick but needed to know how to live better. They needed to know how to get along with each other and become better people who were closer to God.
 
Jesus noticed people. He was not in a hurry to get to a destination and missing people all along the way. He was not responsible for the people he didn’t meet, but he helped everyone who came to him. He took time for people. He knew where his final destination would be and he did as much good as he could along the way. He lived as an example to us. He knew about the cross and yet he did not let it consume him. He used what was coming to prepare his disciples to handle a difficult future by living each moment.
 
We all have a final destination, but what is most important is what we do along the way. Some people just lived for themselves.  People won’t seek us out like they did Jesus, but we still cross paths with many. Even if they are behind a mask it just means they are coping with the new disease. We can show the comfort and peace of Jesus. It is not about what might happen but how we treat people now that matters. We all face the same struggles of this life. Some do it better than others. Jesus showed us how to find the glory of God in the present distress. We can follow Jesus along the journey to an amazing destination with God.
 
Terry
Friday, August 21, 2020

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Giving God a Compliment

How to we show appreciation to someone? If you are in a restaurant and get excellent service, we would show it with a tip. Compliments are given when someone does something well. We tell them what a good job they did especially if they are only 3 years old and have a new masterpiece for the fridge. The younger and more inexperience they are, the more we can tell them how well they are doing. We have a harder time if people are better at doing something on our level. When we get used to something, we don’t give compliments as easy. We have dinner every night and the recipes are not that varied, so we don’t give many compliments. “Just as good as last week,” is not really a compliment. If we do say how much we like it this week then we get questioned about why it hasn’t been good before.
 
Is it easy to give God a compliment? It is easy when we see a beautiful sunset or something unusual. Sunsets and sunrises come every day, but they aren’t the same. The clouds and light are different. When it is the same thing it becomes harder to express our gratitude. We are thankful for grace, redemption and forgiveness but are we more thankful today than we were last year? We can’t see those but there are times when we feel forgiven, and other days we just feel rushed.
 
God calls it worship. He asks for worship. Jesus even tells a Samaritan woman that God is seeking people to worship him. From the beginning people were involved in worship. We have regulations from the commandments given to Moses about worship. It has been the custom of people to come to worship and take the Lord’s supper since the beginning of the church. Praise was given to God for his protection and care. When they were threatened, they gathered together for prayer and to talk to God. Everything has been about worship to God for what he has done for us.
 
Since there has been so much about worship for so long why are we not better at it? After this many years and so much being written and taught, we would think that we should be experts. Yet we find ourselves faltering in our expression of praise and adoration. Maybe because it is so familiar, we don’t let it sink in and think about a way to express the meaning we know is there. Jesus doesn’t need a “Tip,” or a “Thanks,” but a genuine expression of praise. Find a way this week to feel the overwhelming love and grace of God and be able to say it back to him.
 
Terry
Friday, August 14, 2020

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Worth the Price

How much does it cost? The chief priests must have discussed it at some point. Jesus had become such a problem to them. They could not take away his popularity with insults or traps. They had tried. They had sent their best lawyers and scholars to trap Jesus in his words. Jesus had always had an answer and their people had looked foolish. How would they remove Jesus? Since no legal or easy way was possible, they considered the cost of violence. It is usually a last resort, but it can be very effective.
 
Judas knew they were wanting an opportunity to deal with Jesus in private. They couldn’t find a time where he was not in front of the crowd and they certainly didn’t want witnesses for what they planned. Judas was with him all the time and could provide that information. It wasn’t like he would be part of the violence; he was simply offering access. Is it a sin just to let them know where they can find someone? They would figure it out eventually. He was given thirty pieces of silver before the event even happened. It was the only money that changed hands.
 
Thirty pieces of silver for a kiss. Judas would lead the solders into Jesus place of prayer. It cost the conscience of the chief priests and scribes. It cost the salvation of Judas and the condemnation of Pilate. The conscience and reason of the people disappeared as they shouted to crucify Jesus. They could not claim innocence or ignorance of the death of Jesus.
 
What is the cost of a relationship? It is not in the money that changes hands. It is more about the trust that develops and the honesty between people. The price is measured in time and attention invested. The price for Jesus was his death on a cross for the sins of the people. Jesus called disciples to follow him. They left their homes, and jobs in order to follow him. They would become Christians that told the world about the price of redemption. It is not thirty pieces of silver. It costs all you have and gives you redemption, adoption, forgiveness, grace and eternal life in heaven with God. Is it worth the price?   
 
Terry
Friday, August 7, 2020

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