Discovering the Character of God in Exodus

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“Then Moses climbed the mountain to appear before God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “Give these instructions to the family of Jacob; announce it to the descendants of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.” – Exodus 19:3-6

From the time God first planned creation, He had a purpose in mind: to create a race of people whom He could draw near to and bless. God’s desire from the beginning was to share the infinite abundance of Himself and the overflow of His heart with people that they may be blessed. So He created the heavens and the earth, and Adam and Eve, and gave them all that He had created in the universe to them as gifts. He walked in the Garden with them, engaging intimately with them, pouring out His love to them. But Adam and Eve chose to break away from this loving relationship, to rebel and run away to hide from God.

This is our story as well, for we have carried on the same acts toward God as our ancestors Adam and Eve. We have disobeyed God. We have run and hidden from Him. The human race is split apart from God and His love.

And so God set out on a new plan, a plan to rescue and reclaim rebellious people for His love. This story begins already in Genesis 12 where God chooses Abraham to become the man who would transmit God’s blessings to the human race. God said to Abraham, “I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

Here again we see God’s passion for pouring out blessings on the human race. But there is something new and even more incredible here. Unlike at creation, this time God is making his promises and pouring out his gifts on a sinful people. But our rebellion and sin does not dampen God’s enthusiasm for loving us and bringing us back to Himself! He is determined to break through to us and fill our lives with gifts no matter how far from Him we run…or how fast!

Exodus is the account of stage 2 of God’s rescue plan. Having chosen Abraham and making his descendants into an entire nation called Israel, and settling that nation into Egypt to protect them from terrible famine, God now calls them to come out of Egypt and inherit a land that He will give them, a land of abundance, a land of milk and honey. But Egypt’s king, Pharaoh, refuses and resists. And so God wrestles with Pharaoh who was determined to keep Israel in slavery and so prove that he was stronger than God. But nothing can stop God from blessing his people! Not even the mightiest king or the most awesome military force on the face of the earth. The stronger Pharaoh fights, the stronger God responds with miracles and power, until His people are freed and come out of Egypt.

God leads them through the wilderness and to the sacred mountain Sinai where He chooses to draw near to them and make His infinite abundance known to them that they might be loved and blessed. This is what takes place at Mt. Sinai: God draws near to His people and gives them His Words of instruction and guidance (this is what the Law really is—Life Instruction) so that they may know how to walk with Him, stay close to Him, and so forever after receive his love and blessing. God says to Israel in these words of the Law, “Here is how to live so that you stay close to Me and can receive the fullness of my gifts to you. Here is how to live so that others around you are filled with My love and blessings!” And so God gave Israel His law, all of which can be summarized in two simple sentences: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength and mind. And love one another!” It is neither hard to understand nor complex. This is what holiness means: loving God and others. Everything about the Law is fulfilled in these words.

Stay close to God and stay close to others. And God will delight to stay close to you!

“Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” James 4:8

Contributed by Mike Johnson[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Falcon Freedom Days 2018

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This Saturday, June 30th is Falcon Freedom Days at 5pm.

We have many people from our congregation who are serving in various areas. We will have two vendor booths and there will be a lot of fun things for you and your family. We want you to join us as we go into our community to serve but also to show our community who we are. 

Matthew 5:14-16

14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” 

There are times when we will hold events here at Meridian Point Church, in order to attract people to what’s going on at MPC. There are other times when our community is doing something and we as the BIG “C” church should come along side them. Whether that’s serving or just being there and supporting our community. Joining our community for Falcon Freedom Days gives us an amazing opportunity to shine our lights; individually but also as a church. 

What are we asking for?

We are asking everyone in our congregation to show up on June 30th to Falcon Freedom Days and be a light to our community. At Meridian Point we want to build a bridge to our community. A bridge that allows us to go into our community but also allows the community to come to us. To be a spiritually healthy church, it means that we are going to go into our community and become part of it, instead of sitting comfortably with in our own space. 

Don’t Forget!

Wear your Meridian Point T-shirts and join us at Falcon Freedom Days!

Things to KNOW

  • Date: June 30th
  • Time: 5pm – 10:15pm
  • Address: Antler Creek Golf Course (9650 Antler Creek Dr Falcon, CO 80831)
  • Click HERE for Parking information. 
  • View Calendar to save it to your phone.

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Points To Take Home on The State Of The Church Message

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The President of the United States gives a speech every year entitled, “The State of the Union”. In that speech, he attempts to elaborate what is the current situation of the United States, and to express hopes about what the future might look like. It is interesting that this isn’t a practice first thought up by the President or his advisors. Luke, writing in the Bible book of Acts, began reporting on the state of the church many centuries before the Presidents ever thought of it. Throughout the book of Acts he writes regular reports on what the state of the church looks like at that particular time and place. It is clear that a regular and sober assessment of what the first church was involved in and where they were in God’s Master Plan was important to Luke.

It is a good idea to pause sometimes in the middle of much activity and think about where we are and where we are going. We followers of Jesus might well ask along with the writer Luke: what is the state of the church today? More specifically, what is the state of Meridian Point Church today?

Barry spoke this past week about where the church currently is, as well as some future hopes for what the church might look like in coming months and years. He made the crucial point that before we get to where the church is we might well ask what the church is? That is, what is the church supposed to be? We need to know that before we can know what it is supposed to do. The Bible makes it very clear that the church is a community of people, not a building. Yes, we say “we’re going to church” and by that we mean a building. But that way of speaking is really not very accurate. The church isn’t really the building, it’s the people. The apostle Paul took pains on several occasions to communicate that message to the church congregations. He pointed out again and again that it is the people who are the temple of God. The church of Jesus is the people in whom He is living and working! We don’t go to church, we are the church.

Getting that biblical idea right might well change much of how we think about the church, and how we live our lives (since now we are the church). We have already reminded ourselves that the church is not a building at a certain location. But there are other important implications of this new understanding of the church as well. If the church is a people in whom the Spirit of God is living and working, then I don’t go to church as a customer, demanding services or goods from the church. We who have received the Spirit of Jesus are not customers or consumers, we are partners and participants in this divine adventure. That’s what Jesus calls us to be.

Maybe this idea also changes other ways many people have thought about the church in the past. For example, maybe we don’t even come to the church building on Sunday mornings any more demanding to be “fed”—maybe the church is not a restaurant! Nor is it a gas station to get “fueled up” for the coming week, with the responsibility on the pastor or the worship team to do the fueling for us. These kinds of ideas have one common misunderstanding: that the church is a business, a service, that we come to in order to get something we want from it, and it is the church’s job to give us what we want.

But if the church is, as the Bible makes clear, a humble group of ordinary people who are being inhabited and transformed by the Holy Spirit of God, our ideas of what we should expect change dramatically. We now come to join them as one of this group of precious, humble servants, to labor alongside them for the great King and His Kingdom. It is Jesus, not us, who is the Center of everything! And it turns out that “the state of the church” doesn’t have to do with the condition of an institution or building or staff, but it has mostly to do with the state of our own hearts, the hearts of us who have joined together in this great pursuit of the Kingdom of God.

That dismisses once and for all every clamorous desire for something more. One who wants more than what Christ has established does not want Christian brotherhood. He is looking for some extraordinary social experience which he has not found elsewhere; he is bringing muddled and impure desires into Christian brotherhood. Just at this point Christian brotherhood is threatened most often at the very start by the greatest danger of all, the danger of being poisoned at its root, the danger of confusing Christian brotherhood with some wishful idea of religious fellowship, of confounding the natural desire of the devout heart for community with the spiritual reality of Christian brotherhood. In Christian brotherhood everything depends upon its being clear right from the beginning, first, that Christian brotherhood is not an ideal, but a divine reality. Second, that Christian brotherhood is a spiritual and not a human reality…. Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it had sprung up from a wish dream. The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves. [….]

Every human wish dream that is injected into the Christian community is a hindrance to genuine community and must be banished if genuine community is to survive. He who loves his dream of a community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial….

God hates visionary dreaming; it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. The man who fashions a visionary ideal of community demands that it be realized by God, by others, and by himself. He enters the community of Christians with his demands, sets up his own law, and judges the brethren and God Himself accordingly. He stands adamant, a living reproach to all others in the circle of brethren. He acts as if he is the creator of the Christian community, as if his dream binds men together. When things do not go his way, he calls the effort a failure. When his ideal picture is destroyed, he sees the community going to smash. So he becomes, first an accuser of his brethren, then an accuser of God, and finally the despairing accuser of himself.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

Submitted by Mike Johnson[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

They Devoted Themselves

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“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42) 

Barry has been speaking about the life-shaking changes that happened in and to the new Christians at Pentecost when they heard and believed the news that Jesus had come from God to save human beings from the death and destruction of this world. He explained how their entire lives were utterly revolutionized by the news. Once they understood the implications and comprehended the rewards of this new life, they couldn’t just go on living in the same way they had always lived. Before they had believed the good news, they were just typical Jews, living like all the other Jews in their world. But after they understood this news from God, everything changed! They didn’t just add a few new religious activities to the same lifestyle. They didn’t just decide to start going to church on Sunday morning instead of Saturday nights. Their hearts and minds were so affected by the gladsome news of Jesus’ love, and of His promise of abundant life, that they made a sweeping moral inventory of their lives and threw out all the former stuff that was so superficial and empty, but taking up so much space. As Barry said so well, these new activities of which Acts 2:42 speaks weren’t added to their (already busy) lives, but they became their lives! Whatever got in the way of these things—of the study of the apostles’ teaching, the fellowship of believers, the communion of the saints, and the prayers–was discarded. It couldn’t be any other way! We are talking about a new love affair here! That word “devoted” speaks of passion, of a driving fervor, of a new heart-felt love. That is how the new believers pursued the love of God once they had been introduced to it in the life of Jesus.

But how do we become devoted, we might ask? Isn’t devotion about the heart (yes—it certainly is!), and we don’t have any control over our hearts, do we? Whatever the heart feels, that’s just what the heart feels and we are helpless to do anything about that, right? At least that’s what modern psychology tells us. When we “fall in love” (and when we “fall out of love”) that’s our heart doing its own thing, and we can’t do anything about it, can we?! Our hearts decide what they will fall in love with, and we just have to follow along—isn’t that how it feels? But is any of that actually true or have modern psychological fads led us astray? What does God say about our hearts, our feelings? We might suspect He knows, since He created us! Does God say that we are a victim of whatever our hearts feel and cannot hope to resist? Or was the heart made to serve God and us? 

Jesus talked much about the heart. And what He said is that each one of us has both the ability and the responsibility to take control of our heart, care for it and nurture it, and direct it to right living. The heart is no different in this way than the mind God gave us (which we also have a responsibility to take control of, care for, and nurture) and our bodies (ditto here!). We can neglect our duty to supervise our hearts, our minds, our bodies—we can indulge their every passion and let them run wild until they feel like they’re out of control. But that was never the way God intended for us to live. Here’s the good news: God made our entire beings–our hearts, minds, and bodies–to love and be loved by Him! These aren’t impossible tasks or unpleasant tasks—it is literally what we were created to do and where we find life’s greatest pleasure. Here is where we find the greatest possible satisfaction in life. And here’s more great news: the Spirit of God is poured out on His people to captivate their hearts and souls, and draw them deeper into God’s love.

So, yes, we can be devoted to “God things”, like the early disciples. God has done the first thing already for us, if we have believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior. He has given us His Spirit. Then our work begins. It will take a conscientious and intentional work on our part. Like the early disciples we will need to make a searching moral inventory of our own lives, and get rid of the “junk” that is taking up so much space and time and energy.

Jesus said that the way we were created we can only love one thing supremely. It will be up to us to decide what that one thing will be. For the early disciples, there was no doubt. They loved God and lived out that love by immersing themselves in His Word in order to know Him better, giving themselves continually to the company of one another, eating together and celebrating Jesus together, and praying together. They devoted themselves to the things of God. The question is always: what will we devote ourselves to? 

Submitted by Mike Johnson[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

God’s Master Design

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Does God have a Master Plan, a design for the universe, and for the inhabitants of that universe? Or is all that we see and know about the cosmos–its extraordinary beauty and perfect organization and flawless function–just an accident of nature, or a coincidence of evolution, or the chaotic results of a big bang long ago and far away? Can it reasonably be believed that there is no design (or Designer)—that the perfections and beauty we see all around us are just a random shuffling of events which happened to come out looking beautiful and working faultlessly day by day through tens of thousands of years of human existence? Is all the universe and all the lives contained within it just a gigantic accident? Or is there a design? And if a design, is there a Designer? And if there is a design and a Designer, what happens if human beings choose to break the design and make up their own purpose and role and identity?

We’ve been talking for the past few Sundays about God’s design, particularly as it applies to gender, to male and female. And the first questions that must be asked and answered are the questions about whether there is a Designer at all. Some of popular culture today would want to insist that there is no Master Plan or Master Planner. That the universe, and thus our lives, are sheer accidents of nature, products of completely random evolution. And if there is no design–if everything in this world is an arbitrary shuffling of things and events without meaning or relationship to one another–then we have little choice but to try desperately to make our lives meaningful in some way, to choose our own purposes, functions, and goals and try to make something significant out of the chaos of nothingness and random accidents in the world. We must become the designer of our lives if there is no master design! We must choose who and what we will be. There is nothing else.

But let us suppose (as all careful observation and good thinking would insist) that the world shows a very careful and beautiful design, and that, if there is such a design, there must also be a Designer. And let us then choose the most reasonable alternative–that the Designer is exactly Who the Bible says it is: the Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth, Lover of humanity. What does that mean to us? How does that change everything?

Since we human beings are the highest pinnacle of God’s creation, made in His very own image and likeness, surely He Who designed the universe has a design and a plan for us and our lives as well! He would not carefully design a universe for us to live in…and leave the climax of His creation, humanity, without any purpose or plan! “For we are God’s masterpiece….” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT). So what is the master plan for God’s masterpieces? Perhaps Jesus said it best: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10). This is what choosing Jesus and following His plan results in—abundant life. It is true that there is another way, another kind of life. Jesus mentions it in the same verse—the life which satan, the thief, destroys and robs and kills. This is the deadly danger of following our own ways, making our own rules, choosing our own designs and plans. Jesus has promised abundant life to those who follow Him and His plan. Here in following Him is where we find our purpose, the very thing we were created for as God’s masterpieces. And here we find a new and right identity filled with abundant life.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Submitted by Mike Johnson[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

An Online Observation for Staff/Ministry Organizers

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As one who tries to make sure that your ministry and the events you plan get communicated clearly to the church and local community, I’ve made some very interesting observations to our web site and Facebook traffic. I’m sure research backs this up, but I probably don’t need to go into that detail when the information is directly in front of me. So here goes.

*This is a continuation of another post about communicating at MPC. You can read more about that here.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Wednesday is the day!” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]For some reason, Wednesday is the day that most people look online for things to do over the weekend. Our site traffic spikes to almost double its regular viewing traffic on Wednesdays. It also skyrockets on Saturdays and Sunday. This tells me two things. One: on Wednesday people are looking for an event to attend over the weekend either for their family, kids, or themselves. Two: Saturday and Sunday traffic most likely points to people looking at a place to attend a church service.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”The pages they view…” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]So I dug a little deeper. The most viewed pages on Wednesday end up being our Events, First Time, and Contact or Location pages. On Saturdays and Sundays, they tend to avoid the Events page and move straight on to First Time and Location so they can see when service times begin and how to get to MPC. Another thing is that people who look during the week for a church to attend on Sunday, usually dig through the site a little deeper to see how well we fit with their beliefs, the ministries we offer, and so on.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Wonder why it’s due on Tuesday?” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]As most of you probably know, all communication submissions for your events are due on Tuesday because the e-newsletter goes out on Wednesday. Based off the information above, it makes sense to send out our e-newsletter for weekend involvement on Wednesday because people are looking for something to do this weekend.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”My conclusion…” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]So let’s the get the word out! Let’s give people something to do with a great church community that’s safe and wholesome for everyone! Now, I’m not asking you to fill the calendar up with a ton of events. However, engaging our community with the body of Christ is important, and it’s what we know we should do as believers and ministers of the Gospel. It’s important for us to be meaningful in how we engage the church and the community and connect them with Christ. People who visit our site are looking for community, for something that fits their family or them as an individual. That means that no idea for an event is too small or meaningless. We want to hear your ideas and then equip you with what you need to run your event as effectively as possible, whether that be on location at MPC or at your home.

No idea for an event is too small or meaningless.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_custom_heading text=”Something just for you!” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]We’re about to have a meeting at MPC for anyone involved in ministry. Please make it a point to attend! This is an opportunity for us to dream together about our approach to this New Year, 2017. If you serve anywhere at all, this meeting is for you. You don’t have to be in charge of a ministry to come to this. If you’re serving at any capacity in any ministry, this is for you! We want to partner with you in ministry and give you opportunity to partner with us as well. So click the image and take a look at the event, add it to your calendar, and come! We want to see you there.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][mpc_single_post layout=”style_8″ item_id=”9454″ thumb_height=”300″ meta_layout=””][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”35px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_btn title=”EVENT REQUEST” style=”outline-custom” outline_custom_color=”#54c8e7″ outline_custom_hover_background=”#54c8e7″ outline_custom_hover_text=”#ffffff” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fmeridianpoint.church%2Fevent-request%2F|||” el_class=”button-text”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_btn title=”COMMUNICATION FORM” style=”outline-custom” outline_custom_color=”#54c8e7″ outline_custom_hover_background=”#54c8e7″ outline_custom_hover_text=”#ffffff” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fmeridianpoint.church%2Fcommunication-form%2F|||” el_class=”button-text”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_btn title=”EVENT OR ANNOUNCEMENT UPDATE” style=”outline-custom” outline_custom_color=”#54c8e7″ outline_custom_hover_background=”#54c8e7″ outline_custom_hover_text=”#ffffff” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fmeridianpoint.church%2Fevent-or-announcement-update%2F|||” el_class=”button-text”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]