Churchie Feeds

Is Holiness Optional?

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 11:00

The God who freely forgives sins is also the God who in turn calls us to be holy. God instructed Moses: Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: Be holy, because I the Lord your God am holy.

In the 19th chapter of Leviticus where this is found, many specific requirements of holy conduct are listed. Not every one of them remained an issue after Messiah came, but the command to be holy as God is holy did. We see this in the New Testament where Saint Peter, quoting from Leviticus, exhorted the church: But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: be holy for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16).

At the very outset of Leviticus 19 God declares his holiness: I am holy. Then, 15 times we have his repeated declaration: I am the Lord. The two declarations belong together: I am the Lord and I am holy.

The word, holiness, means “to set apart.” That God is holy reflects his “otherness.” He is not merely an enlarged or improved version of mankind. He is utterly pure, perfectly just, righteous, loving, and in this passage his holiness is the quintessential attribute of his being.

In Christian experience, therefore, seeking and demonstrating the holiness of God is not optional, it is fundamental: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

Consider four features of his holiness in Leviticus 19 that the whole assembly was expected to display as his chosen people — features that are relevant today.

The passage begins with this command: Each of you must respect his mother and father (Leviticus 19:3). That is, the holy nation was to be characterized by wholesome family life. While later in the chapter God’s people are commanded to love their neighbor (Leviticus 19:18) children loving their parents is not the first issue in family life; it is children of all ages giving parents their due respect or honor.

Second, holiness is reflected in a strong sense of compassion for those with special vulnerabilities: Gleanings for the poor were to be left when God’s holy people reaped their land (Leviticus 19:9,10). Wages were to be paid promptly so a worker’s family would not suffer deprivation (Leviticus 19:13). Special care was to be shown for the deaf and the blind (Leviticus 19:14).

Third, God’s holiness was to prompt a keen morality in his worshipers; there was to be no stealing, lying, deceiving or the taking of false oaths (Leviticus 19: 11,12). Likewise, meticulously honest measurements were to be used when doing business (Leviticus 19: 35,36). God’s holiness quickens the conscience, and holiness and moral integrity belong together.

Fourth, God’s holiness forbade the heathen practice of seeking guidance through divination or spiritism or sorcery (Leviticus 19: 26, 31). These were superstitious practices used by heathen neighbors to manipulate or communicate with their gods. To be holy meant to be separated from superstitions, trusting only the faithfulness of the one true God.

In summary, the Old Testament issues much more than a promise of the forgiveness of sins, as amazing as that is. It issues to all believers a clarion call to be holy as God is holy.

Holiness, as all other blessings from God, is a gift of God’s grace in response to faith. But the yearning God places in us for his holiness is manifested by the honesty of our seeking — by our searching of the Scriptures, our faithfulness to the church where the Bible is taken seriously, and particularly our confession of heart sin and impurity as the Holy Spirit makes them known to us.

Our part, without merit, is the setting ourselves apart — consecrating ourselves. Then follows the promised results to those whose faith is in Jesus: since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2 Corinthians 7:1).

 

Photo credit: ideacreamanuela2 (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Dodgeball – Threshold Jr Jan 17 ** If you’ve received duplicates, we apologize**

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:41

We apologize if you receive this email multiple times.  There is a bug in our database/email system that is causing multiple emails for some.  We are working on getting it resolved and appreciate your patience.

THIS WEEK

Dodgeball
+ Know God Part 2

Dodgeball is simply a classic and must be played!
We also continue with our current series!

Wednesday Jan 17, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Church of the Rock
Cost: FREE
 

NEXT WEEK
IMPORTANT LOCATION/TIME CHANGES FOR JAN 24

We will not be going to Adrenaline Adventures for tubing
FREE Tobogganing at Linden Woods
From 7:00-9:00PM

Meet & Pickup at Church of the Rock (1397 Buffalo Pl).

Wednesday Jan 24, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Church of the Rock
Cost: FREE

MEET OUR SPONSOR CHILD!

Each week we collect an offering
for our sponsor child Simon
& for other missions projects

 

MONTHLY CALENDAR

Click here for this month’s calendar

 

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply and say “Unsubscribe” (DO NOT click on the “Unsubscribe” link below).

Church of the Rock 1397 Buffalo Place Winnipeg, MB R3T 1L6 Phone: (204)261-0070 or 1-877-700-ROCK (7625) Email: tim@churchoftherock.ca (Tim Hamm)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry Weekly January 19th! (If you receive duplicates, we apologize!)

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:25

We apologize if you receive this email multiple times.  There is a bug in our database/email system that is causing multiple emails for some.  We are working on getting it resolved and appreciate your patience.

This week…

Small Group Night
January 19th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Be prepared for food and good times for all!  We will be hanging out in the cage for games, worship and community!  That means you’ll get food while you hang out with your small group!  Enjoy and stay cozy!  Our series is called Measure up!  It’s about how we compare ourselves to others and how God can guide us through it!

The week after that…

Small Group Night
January 19th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Same sort of thing as we did on Jan 19th!  Just continuing with a emphasis on small groups and growing together as a COMMUNITY!

The week after that…

Missionsfest
February 2nd @ 6:45pm-9:45pm
Immanuel Pentecostal Church
We will be meeting at IPC just inside the doors for a concert by The Informants!  This will be a great time to see what God is doing around the world and enjoy a great concert!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Is God’s Mercy Really Boundless?

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 11:00

If you know someone who thinks their sin history is so dark that they are beyond God’s mercy, suggest to them that they ponder the story of King Manasseh of Judah (2 Chronicles 33).

Manasseh was the most wicked of the kings in the lineage of King David.

God had declared that his own name, Jehovah, would endure in Jerusalem forever but Manasseh wantonly defiled his holy temple there. He built pagan altars in the courts of the temple for the worship of all the “starry hosts,” and he covered the land with altars to Baal, the fertility god of Judah’s neighbors.

Following the practices of heathen nations, Manasseh sacrificed his sons in a monstrous religious rite, burning them in the valley of Ben Hinnom.

Here’s the chronicler’s summary of the extent of his evil: Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites (2 Chronicles 33:9).

The nation followed Manasseh’s lead and God’s anger was provoked. As punishment, Jerusalem fell to the Assyrian forces, and they captured Manasseh, put a ring in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles, and took him far away to Babylon.

Eventually, an unexpected word came from that distant land. The chronicler tells us, In his distress, [Manasseh] sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers (2 Chronicles 33:12).

He had been so wantonly wicked that one might expect the Lord’s response to his entreaties would be: You’ve crossed the line of no return. There’s no hope for you!

Instead, the chronicler writes: And when [Manasseh] prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God (2 Chronicles 33:13).

The Lord’s mercy to Manasseh was boundless, beyond our comprehension.

For Christians, such incomprehensible mercy points us to Jesus. He was the lamb slain from the foundations of the world (Revelation 13:8) so that his sacrificial death might pay the penalty for the sins of the world from Adam forward. God’s wrath against sin was appeased and, at the same time, God’s mercy towards the penitent was displayed. As Charles Wesley wrote centuries later:

He breaks the power of canceled sin

He sets the prisoner free;

His blood can make the foulest clean;

His blood availed for me.

Upon Manasseh’s return to Jerusalem after his release from Babylon the forgiven king took up the hard work of undoing his previous evil and setting Judah in order. He got rid of the heathen idols, destroyed their altars, and improved the protection of his people. He also spoke out as God’s man and exhorted the people of Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel (2 Chronicles 33:16).

Was Manasseh a rare case of undeserved mercy? When God gives the most sinful of us a glimpse of our sin history and we humble ourselves like Manasseh did, his boundless mercy is given and his grace sets us on a new course.

What is the sign that Manasseh’s mercy was received? With a new heart and hands he worked to undo wrongs he had committed and to live henceforth under the sovereign rule of Judah’s God.

 

Photo credit: Matthias Ripp (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry Weekly January 12th!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 19:32


This week…


Archery Tag
January 12th @ 7:11pm—10:00pm
COST: $5— OR BRING A FRIEND & IT’S FREE

Another one of HSM’s favourite pastime is Archery Tag!
Totally safe and fun! Bring out your friend and it will be free for the both of you! Otherwise, pay up! See you there!

The week after that…

Small Group Night
January 19th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Be prepared for food and good times for all!  We will be hanging out in the cage for games, worship and community!  That means you’ll get food while you hang out with your small group!  Enjoy and stay cozy!  Our series is called Measure up!  It’s about how we compare ourselves to others and how God can guide us through it!

The week after that…

Small Group Night
January 19th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Same sort of thing as we did on Jan 19th!  Just continuing with a emphasis on small groups and growing together as a COMMUNITY!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Strength for the New Year

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 11:00
Even youths grow tired and weary, And young men stumble and fall; But those who hope in the Lord Will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, They will run and not grow weary, They will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30,31

 

Photo credit: Don Wise (via flickr.com)


Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry Weekly 2018 Reminder!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 19:34


This week…


December 29th & January 5th
No youth! Take time with your family over the Holidays!

In the New Year…

Archery Tag
January 12th @ 7:11pm—10:00pm
COST: $5— OR BRING A FRIEND & IT’S FREE

Another one of HSM’s favourite pastime is Archery Tag!
Totally safe and fun! Bring out your friend and it will be free for the both of you! Otherwise, pay up! See you there!

The week after that…

Small Group Night
January 19th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Be prepared for food and good times for all!  We will be hanging out in the cage for games, worship and community!  That means you’ll get food while you hang out with your small group!  Enjoy and stay cozy!  Our series is called Measure up!  It’s about how we compare ourselves to others and how God can guide us through it!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Engage – Thurs. Jan. 4 – Seekers vs. Finders 2.0

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 04:31

We’re taking over the church with our version of hide and go seek.

Seekers vs. Hiders 2.0
Thursday, Jan. 4
7:30 PM
Youth Room

Can you catch all the hiders before time runs out?
Or will the hiders beat the seekers and stay hidden the whole time?

Join us in the Youth Room at 7:30 PM for the rules!

Categories: Churchie Feeds

LONG-HAIRED FREAKY PEOPLE NEED NOT APPLY

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 23:07

A few months ago I was standing in a church lobby in Edmonton when a young woman approached and asked me if I had every heard of the Five Man Electrical Band. Without missing a beat, I sang the opening verse of their iconic 1970 hit ‘Signs’.

And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said “You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you’ll do”
So I took off my hat, I said “Imagine that. Huh! Me workin’ for you!”
Whoa-oh-oh… Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

What followed next can best be described by saying, we shared a moment. It turns out her father was one of the founding members of this Ottawa based rock band which produced multiple hits in the ’70’s but is still best known for this song.

Lead singer Les Emmerson wrote the song after taking a road trip on Route 66 in California, where he noticed gigantic billboards that he felt littered the roadway and obscured the beautiful scenery. He wondered aloud: Who is allowed to put up signs that interfere with nature? This led to another question: Who gets to make the rules that appear on so many signs?

The song was an attempt to give voice to the powerless masses that have rules placed upon them by arbitrary forces. Half a century later not much has changed, except the signs have a new target – Christians. Our Federal Government has erected a new sign that says Christians need not apply. Literally! Now before you dismiss this as another anti-Justin Trudeau rant about our dope dealing Prime Minister, hear me out. This is something quite different this time and even more insidious. There is an agenda at play in Canada to systematically strip Christians of their right to freedom of religion and conscience.

This past December the Federal government announced that it will double the funding for the successful Canada Summer Jobs program from $35M to $70M. This is where grants are made available to organizations to hire students for the summer. When we were a new struggling church we used to take advantage of the program to hire one or two students every summer. That will no longer be an option as bible-believing freaky christians need not apply. You see the grants will only be made available to groups that first sign an “attestation” saying they agree with the government’s views on abortion and gender identity. “These include reproductive rights, and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.” In other words any business or organization that holds a pro-life position on abortion or a traditional view on marriage and sexuality is ineligible.

To conclude that this is just a mere inconvenience would be to miss the fact that this is systemic religious discrimination at its worst. We have been specifically singled out as ineligible because of our religious beliefs. As bible believing Christians we cannot sign the aforementioned attestation since we simply cannot disregard the sanctity of life or of marriage. These things are part of our core beliefs and that will never change unless God does a rewrite of the scriptures, which I do not see happening any time soon since Jesus said, Heaven and earth will pass away but My Word will never pass away. This is also just the latest in a long list of overt attempts to curtail the Christian faith in Canada.

In 2014 when Justin Trudeau became leader of the Liberal party he declared that he would not sign the nomination papers of any prospective candidate that did not uphold his party’s pro-choice position on abortion. This effectively eliminated any practicing Catholics or Evangelicals from running for his party. Which was the intended goal. Our Prime Minister once remarked, “Evangelical Christians are the worst part of Canadian society”.

In 2016 after taking office the Trudeau government shut down the Office of Religious Freedom, launched by the previous government, to defend the rights of persecuted religious minorities overseas. Later that same year the Federal government pressured Prince Edward Island into offering abortion services in their hospitals for the first time by threatening to withhold heath care funding.

In 2017 the Liberal government announced $650 million in funding towards sexual and reproductive rights in developing countries. International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau defended the decision by saying that “contraception and even abortion is only a tool to end poverty.” Yikes!

There are of course many more examples but these should be enough to convince any skeptics that there is something nefarious going on in Canada and most of us are not even aware of it. It pains me to be the doomsayer. I would much rather write funny and ridiculous blogs about Trudeau, like how much he reminds me of Derek Zoolander.

But as bible believing Christians there is no question that we are heading towards very troubled waters. Not only are our values now in the minority position, they are no longer regarded as valid to even hold. We are already routinely accused of hate speech when we talk about biblical morality. And with the pace in which things are changing we are a hairs-breath away from this discrimination we  face, becoming criminalization. I realize I sound like one of those nutty alarmists… but at least this way when we are all sitting in concentration camps, I can say, “I told you so”.

What we are seeing today is nothing new. The first century church faced the same kind of opposition from the Roman Empire. Christians were thrown to the lions, sawn in half or torn limb from limb and yet the church continued to grow and make a difference in the world. Persecution has a funny way of bringing out the best in believers. One can no longer sit on the fence but must decide whether they are going to live out their faith or not. Under threat of persecution, lukewarmness, that is so common in many churches today, gives way to radical committed followers of Jesus that are no longer intimidated in the face of opposition. They live their faith out in bold proclamation without regard to the worldly powers (that will eventually have to bow their knee to the living God). “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word” (Acts 4:29)  When the disciples were confronted again on why they continued  to proclaim the name of Jesus, “Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

Hey, I don’t want it to get to this point any more than the next guy, but I’ll be damned (literally) if I am going to stand by silently and just let it happen. And maybe, just maybe if we let our voices be heard, we wouldn’t end up this mess in the first place.

 

Categories: Churchie Feeds

God Knows

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 01/01/2018 - 11:00

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied, “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God;

That shall be better to you than light, and safer than a known way.”

May that Almighty hand guide and uphold us all.

Minnie Haskins (1875 – 1957)

Photo credit: fruity monkey (via flickr.com)


Categories: Churchie Feeds

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