Why We Need the Book of Galatians - Boasting and Worship

By Aaron LeDuc,

This is part 4 of a 4 part series.  Click these links for the rest: part 1, part 2, part 3

In his book, Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis said, "I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.”

The completion and fulfillment of anything we delight in is found in praising that thing.  When we truly love and cherish something the appropriate response is an overflow of exultation.  This response is not only appropriate, but it actually deepens our enjoyment and delight.  Heres another way to phrase a similar thought, "But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  (Galatians 6:14 ESV)

We need this study through the book of Galatians, because we need to remember our true boast; the cross of Christ, and thereby fuel our worship of Him.  Boasting is worship.  If you’re boasting in athletic prowess, income potential, knowledge, sense of humor, or anything else, you are worshiping (or attributing worth) to that thing.  The book of Galatians helps us to rightly place our boast, not in anything of ourselves, but in the God who is worthy of all honor and praise. 

We don’t just need Jesus to justify us before God, but we will need his justifying grace a thousand years into eternity.  You will never stand before God by your good works, but only by His grace.  Galatians helps us remember this and fuels our hearts for worship and causes us to realize that grace will always be amazing.  If we are not seeing grace as amazing its not because it isnamazing, it’s because we aren’t seeing the beauty of God’s grace rightly in it’s simplicity and power.  If your heart isn’t driven to worship, if you’re feeling dry, you can nonetheless remember the goodness of God to the praise of His glorious grace.  We need the book of Galatians because every one of us is susceptible to the same dangers the Galatian church experienced.

I hope youll commit your time, thoughts, and heart to marinating in the great encouragement and challenge that God has for us through the book of Galatians.  See you Sunday!

A Song For Your Easter Meditations

By Jason McConahy,

There is a song I enjoy that, when I first heard it, I thought the artist must be misusing a familiar word.  The song is by Andrew Peterson, and the word in question is also the song title - “Hosanna”.  We tend to think of hosanna the way we think of hallelujah, a declaration of praise.  But the word literally means “save now” or “save, I pray”.  It shows up in the scriptures when the masses are welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  They are quoting from Psalm 118:25-26 when they say “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Mark 11:9).  It is a cry for salvation, hoping in Jesus as the one who comes in the name of the Lord to bring that salvation.  

Now back to Andrew Peterson’s song.  If you have a chance to listen, think about the way he uses this word and frames the song around it.  It will give you a different lens to focus your thoughts, and it will give you fuel for worship as you consider the greatness of Christ’s finished work.  To quote the song, He has “beaten death at death’s own game!”  And we are the recipients of His great victory!  Hallelujah!

To purchase this song and more from Andrew Peterson, visit: www.andrew-peterson.com or find him on:

-Jason

Hopes for the New Year

By Kevin Wolfe,

I’ve never been one for resolutions; they’ve often only been a way for me to feel guilty as March or April roll along and I’ve fallen off the resolution wagon.  However, the New Year is indeed an opportunity to reflect on the goodness of God over the past year and our hopes for the next.  It’s an arbitrary calendar date, of course, but it’s nonetheless a fantastic point for us to remember and give thanks (1 Thess. 5:18) and look forward hopefully to God’s sanctifying work in our lives (Rom. 8:24).  With that in mind, I want to share with you some hopes that I have for our church family over the next year.

As I was reflecting on this, I couldn’t come up with a better hope than that we, as a church, would MORE fully live our our mission statement:
“We exist to make Christ known as we passionately love Him together!"

This statement is nothing more than a re-articulation of the Great Commission that Jesus gave His people in Matthew 28, and I hope that we can be more faithfully devoted to this and excel still more in laboring for the Kingdom.  This mission statement easily breaks down into 3 main ideas below.  Please read each section and give some thought to the reflection and application questions in each.

Worship
My prayer is that we would be a church that has an obvious, burning, passionate love for the glory of the Father, the redemptive and reconciling work of Jesus, and the sanctifying and life-changing work of the Holy Spirit.  Worship of God is the motivation of the Christian life, and therefore, my hope is that we prioritize time daily cultivating a relationship with The Lord.  Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you.  As the brand cannot beaf fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5 ESV)

  • How can you daily abide in Jesus?  What disciplines do you want to grow in over the next year?
  • How can you worship God even in the midst of the busyness of every day life?
  • Spend some time reflecting on the attributes of God and the precious gift of the gospel

Discipleship
This is our mission; to be disciples of Christ who make disciples of Christ.  Discipleship is to proactively come alongside others in the faith and helping them grow.  But, discipleship is more than just helping Christians become better or more knowledgeable or more passionate Christians.  The path of discipleship begins with the lost.  Truly embracing a lifestyle of great commission discipleship means embracing our call to intentionally love, serve, and proclaim the gospel to those who are without the hope of Christ.  As people come to faith in Jesus as Lord, the path of discipleship helps them grow and multiply.  A simple suggestion to prioritizing this mission is to set aside one night a week devoted to discipleship.  Perhaps this is time with a lost neighbor or co-worker that you want to build a relationship with, or perhaps it’s another person in the body or your LifeGroup that you can help grow in their relationship with Christ.  We have an excellent material to facilitate a discipling relationship in the Biblical Foundations material.  This time won’t happen unless you purposefully plan for it!

  • How can you intentionally live out discipleship?
  • Who are three people in your sphere of influence that you’d love to share the good news with?  What steps will you take to do it?
  • When will you make time for discipleship in your weekly routine?

Community
Together.  The community that we find in the body is the context in which we should live out our mission.  There’s no such thing as a Lone Ranger in the Christian life; and this is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to us as His children.  My hope is that we would prioritize relationships with others in the body; that we not be too busy with our own cares and concerns, or be too uncomfortable to be vulnerable with others.  Community is the greenhouse for growth in the Christian Life.  If you are unwilling to step out in faith and be part of Biblical Community, you will miss out and others will miss out.  The community of the body at Mountain View is best experienced in two main ways: Corporate Gathering and Intimate Community.  Both of these areas are vital.  If you’re not regularly attending and serving on Sunday morning, you’re missing out on a phenomenal blessing of God.  If you’re not gathering regularly in a LifeGroup for encouragement, shepherding, community, prayer and mission, you’re missing out on a phenomenal blessing of God.

  • How can you better prioritize, love and serve the body at Mountain View?
  • What step of faith might God be calling you to?  Joining or committing to a LifeGroup?  Prioritizing weekly worship services?  What would it look like to be committed to those that God has put in your life through your LifeGroup?

These are my hopes for our church in 2015.  Don’t miss the opportunity to reflect, reset and head into the New Year with greater purpose and intentionality.  Let’s make Christ known as we passionately love Him together!