Pentecost Sunday - Reflection Guide Week 1

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KEY POINTS FROM SUNDAY:

  • Pentecost - This past Sunday we celebrated Pentecost which is a celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus. Pentecost is a greek word meaning fiftieth, as in a sort of countdown to 50 days after Passover. In the Old Testament, this holiday was known as the feast of weeks (also feast of harvest or first fruits) because it occurs 7 weeks after Passover. It was a feast to celebrate the harvest, a time of great joy for God’s people. In the church, we celebrate this as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as first fruits of the new creation! Read the story again for yourself in Acts 2:1-21.
  • Christians, we are called to live and learn the way of Jesus. This is a life characterized by loving God and others. Each of us has a unique role to play in this, but no matter what our role is we cannot live and love in the way of Jesus in our own power. We need the power of the Holy Spirit just as these first disciples did at Pentecost.

  • At Pentecost, God’s loving presence is poured into the hearts of ordinary people so that empowered by God’s presence they might bear the fruit of the Spirit. Through prayer, they yielded themselves to the Spirit’s leading. As they stepped out in trusting obedience they witnessed the fruit of the Spirit sprouting up in their life together. All of this as a signpost, a witness for the sake of the world pointing towards the coming Kingdom of God that is already breaking through.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” - Acts 2:36–39 (ESV)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Why is it important to include the promise and sending of the Holy Spirit in our understanding of the Gospel? How does Pentecost reshape our thinking about how we learn and live the way of Jesus?
  2. Consider Matthew 28:18-20. What is the mission given to the church? How does this mission shape the way we live here in the suburbs of Austin? How does it ask us to consider the globe?
  3. How has God called you to participate in his mission during this season of life and with your unique gifting? What might it look like for you to pursue that mission empowered by the Holy Spirit?
  4. How do you sense a need for the Holy Spirit’s presence and power for the things you are facing right now? Stop, slow down, and pray for one another and ask for the Spirit’s help.

Open Creative Time for 7in7

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We are excited to share that we are opening up our building this year for people to use during 7in7. We will have the building open four different times for you to come up and work on 7in7 stuff and/or use it as a meeting place to create with others.

We will have the building open the following times:

Wednesday, 5/23 - 6:00 - 9:00 PM (open creating time)
Thursday, 5/24 - 6:00 - 9:00 PM (open creating time)
Friday, 5/25 - 6:00 - 9:00 PM (open creating time)
Saturday, 5/26 - 9:00 - 12:00 AM (group songwriting/open creating time)

Daily submissions for 7in7 can be found HERE.

Delighting in the Gospel of Grace: Week 5 Reflection Guide

In this week’s sermon we look to our future hope— Glorification. Upon the return of Christ we will be saved from the presence of sin. As we see in Romans 8:18-30, when Jesus returns “glory will be revealed to us”. This will include the redemption of our bodies and the renewal of all creation. This is a glorious future that should cause us to live with great hope in the present.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” - Romans 8:18

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • Read Romans 8:18-30. According to Paul in this passage, what is the future hope of Christians?
  • Discuss: Upon the return of Christ— what has God promised to do? What will happen to our physical bodies? What will happen to the physical creation?

**Remember, there is a lot of bad theology out there on this stuff. Keep in mind that the New Testament authors are more concerned with us understanding the promises of Christ’s return rather than all of the particulars of how it will happen.

Here are some of the quotes that Jordan shared in his sermon on Sunday to help us imagine our future in Christ:

Michael Goheen says, “The whole Bible leads us to expect a glorious renewal of life on earth, so that the age to come will be an endlessly thrilling adventure of living with God on the new earth. With his presence pervading every act, we shall be more fully human than we have ever been, liberated from sin, death, and all that hurts or harms.”

C.S. Lewis says, “Your place in Heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it— made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand. All that you are, sins apart, is destined to utter satisfaction. You are a key uniquely refined to open one of the many rooms in the place Jesus has prepared”.

N.T. Wright says, “Why will we be given new bodies? According to the early Christians, the purpose of this new body will be to rule wisely over God’s new world. Forget those images about lounging around playing harps. There will be work to do and we shall relish doing it. All the skills and talents we have put to God’s service in the present life— and perhaps even the interests and liking we’ve had to set aside due to conflict and vocation— will be enhanced and ennobled and given back to us to be exercised to his glory in the new creation.”

Ray Ortlund says, “On that final day, as we step together into the new creation, you may turn to me and say: “Hey, Ray, I’m trying to remember, did we call it cancer? What was it again?” but we won’t be able to remember, so we will say, “Oh well, Off we go into glory!”.

Revelation 21:1-6 — “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. (don’t freak out if you love the beach sea represent evil… think parting red sea, think Jonah thrown into the sea, Jesus calling or walking on water) And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”*

  1. Do you think much about this glorious future reality in your everyday life? Why or why not?

  2. Do you think that it’s true that our future hope shapes our present life? If so, what is the future hope giving shape to your present life? (i.e. if you hope to retire one day in the future, you must live conservatively and invest wisely in the present).

  3. What things in your life would you change if you delighted in your future glory more often?

7in7 Part 2(Stories)

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7in7 is now just over a week away & I can’t wait to create together & see what God teaches us all through this process. If this is the first time you are hearing of 7in7 you can find out moreinfo in our first blog post HERE. You can also look through all of lasts years 7in7 posts HERE. This week instead of sharing with you the what & why of 7in7 I wanted to share with you some stories from those who participated in 7in7 last year. I hope this will inspire you to step in and create knowing that God will meet you there and teach you so much about himself in the process.

“I REALLY enjoyed 7in7 for a lot of reasons. I made one dessert to give away each day. I loved the discipline it forced me to have, the planning, the giving aspect, and just being in the kitchen more! God also showed me a surprising amount of things throughout the week and I'll admit I was unsure that He would reveal Himself to me while throwing ingredients into a bowl. But when I look back, it obviously wasn’t because God was choosing to speak to me because it's a special, sacred 7in7 week, it's because I was asking Him to. I was waiting and listening and seeking. He's always there, He's always ready.” - Kelsey Easley

"7in7 helped me rediscover my love for painting. For almost 15 years I didn’t paint at all simply because I felt I wasn’t good enough. 7in7 gave me a safe place to explore my creativity and discover that the Lord gifts us in so many different ways”. - Meghan Gatewood

“I went into 7in7 thinking it would be a good discipline to take pictures and write every day for a week. But it turned into SO much more than that. It honestly changed how I view the world around me. It forced me to look for the beauty, to see how the world around me really does declare the glory of the Lord. It opened my eyes to the truth that God speaks and moves in so many beautiful and amazing ways- when I am open to receiving what he is showing. It lifted my head out of the mundane, day to day grind in which I get stuck and helped me practice looking for his beauty in the everyday ordinary moments.” - Brooke Daniel

“7 in 7 showed me I could create something every day and that art doesn’t have to be perfect to be shared. It was a daily practice in vulnerability to share with our community what I had written that day and I felt confident to do so because everyone else was sharing too.” - Whitney Krussee

“Last year's 7-in-7 was very impactful for me. As a self-diagnosed perfectionist, finishing things is hard because they never feel good enough. You get "paralyzed by perfection". Forcing myself to complete 7 things in 7 days was an incredibly rewarding challenge. Two of the songs were co-writes, which reminded me of how good it is to create in community. I loved to see all the different things created by our church family during 7-in-7 and the encouragement we all gave each other to step out and use our gifts and put our creativity out there. It takes vulnerability to do that, which I think is the point!” - Chris Mallonee

Delighting in the Gospel of Grace: Sanctification

KEY POINTS FROM SUNDAY:
Sanctification - The slow and steady process of transformation where God the Father, through the Holy Spirit, patiently conforms his beloved children into the image of his One true Son, Jesus. This is the process of learning and living the way of Jesus. Sanctification enlarges our capacity to love God and others. We are increasingly put off our old self, and put on the new self-created in the likeness of Christ. There is increasing freedom from slavery to sin. We essentially are learning to trust God, to freely receive from him and give away to others.

3 Reasons We Can Delight in the Gospel Benefit of Sanctification:

WE NEED IT - Our hearts are both wayward and wounded and God is committed to making us whole and Holy. God is working all things together for our good. Consider - Romans 8:28
GOD IS A PATIENT AND COMPASSIONATE FATHER WITH HIS CHILDREN - God’s pace of sanctification is slow and steady. We walk the journey of transformation in the safety of being God’s beloved children and with the continual grace of repentance and faith.
GOD WILL FINISH THE WORK HE HAS STARTED IN YOU - There is a paradoxical mystery in our Sanctification. We can rest assured God will complete it by his Spirit working in you and yet we are also invited to participate. Consider Philippians 1:6, Romans 12:1-2

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (Read the summaries and scriptures from above to help you discuss these questions):

  1. Why is it important that we understand God’s gift of sanctification? How have you seen the Gospel disconnected from this?
  2. Why is it important that we understand Sanctification as a Gospel benefit? What defenses or concerns come up in your own heart when you consider this topic of change?
  3. How does a “microwave” or “quick fix” approach lead to potentially harmful methods of getting ourselves and others to change? How might we harm others we are in relationship with if this is our expectation for ourselves and others?
  4. Spend some time praying together and considering the following questions: What is one area you sense the Spirit is working to change you (listen for those reoccurring themes that keep coming up in your life through scripture, circumstances, and others)? What might it look like honestly share this with others in your community? How does the Gospel apply to this issue? Confess to God where you need to and receive his forgiveness. Ask the Spirit to help you put off the old way and walk in the way of Christ. As you continue to grow in this area remember all that we have talked about on this topic.

7in7

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7in7 is upon us again. This upcoming May 21-27th we will spend seven days creating, cultivating, and blessing others through our creativity. My prayer for 7in7 this year is that we as a church would embrace creativity as a deep and integral part of what it means to be human, an image bearer, and a follower of Jesus. When God created man, his command was for them to fill, subdue, and multiply the earth. Their role was to cultivate God’s good creation- to make something of the world and fill it full of people who would do the same. He tasked them with creating culture- a way of being in the world and a way of making meaning of the world through everything they did, rooted in His gracious provision of all the tools necessary to do so.

Andy Crouch says, “What is missing, I've come to believe, are the two postures that are most characteristically biblical -- the two postures that have been least explored by Christians in the last century. They are found at the very beginning of the human story, according to Genesis: like our first parents, we are to be creators and cultivators. Or to put it more poetically, we are artists and gardeners. ... after the contemplation, the artist and the gardener both adopt a posture of purposeful work. They bring their creativity and effort to their calling. ... They are acting in the image of One who spoke a world into being and stooped down to form creatures from the dust. They are creaturely creators, tending and shaping the world that original Creator made.

If the idea of being creative seems foreign, would you consider taking the posture of a learner and being open to hearing from God through the creativity of others? Would you also consider being surprised as you learn how to think and act creatively in whatever areas God has gifted you? If you love the idea of being a creative, would you do the same?

Creativity isn’t limited to the creation story. In the gospels, we see Jesus engage in creative storytelling. This shouldn’t surprise us. The Bible says in Colossians 1:16,”For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”

Every captivating sunset

The stars in the sky

Every mountaintop & valley

Daisies & sequoia trees

a rushing stream

melody & harmony

through Him

& for Him.

Jesus didn’t just give his followers a list of facts about himself, but instead, he used stories to paint a picture of what the kingdom of God was like. In fact, in the book of Matthew, Jesus says eleven different times,"The Kingdom of heaven is like…” So eleven different times in Matthew, Jesus gives stories and word pictures to help his followers, and those who were curious, a chance to imagine the kingdom. Some wouldn't understand what he was saying and some would. Some would hate this type of Kingdom and others would be captivated by its beauty. To all it would be an invitation to imagine a world where God was King; a kingdom that could not be earned but must be received.

I think Jesus wants to give us new ways of seeing, understanding, and learning to receive His kingdom.

SO WHERE DO WE START?
God has given each of us time and unique talents to cultivate as worship offered unto Him and a way to bless others. Each day of 7in7 you will be challenged to step into the hard work of creating something in whatever way you are gifted.

  • If you are a songwriter, what would it look like to create seven songs in seven days?
  • If you are a baker or enjoy cooking, what might it look like to craft seven dishes in seven days?
  • If you love woodworking what would it look like to work on seven small projects in seven days or one project each day for seven days and see it completed?

(Other ideas might include: painting, sculpting, poetry, writing confessions for Redeemer liturgy, serving neighbors, photography, landscaping, short stories, sewing, drawing, graphic design, coloring)

The goal is not the quality of the work (although how beautiful it is when something incredible is created), but to grow in stewarding our talents and stepping out in faith to create courageously. As a church family, we will celebrate the courage and vulnerability to put our gifts on display, whatever that may look like. This will also push all of us to grow in the discipline of trying new things and finishing what we start. The goal is not to produce goods or be efficient and make a ton of stuff, but instead, to carefully consider how the things we create help make sense of the world- how they help us find meaning and understanding as we seek to learn and live the way of Jesus.

Would you prayerfully consider how God might want to speak to you & to others through #7in7 this year?

Delighting in the Gospel of Grace: Week 3 Reflection Guide

SERIES SUMMARY:
Psalm 103 invites us to remember the benefits of the Lord. We are all prone to forget who God is and what he has done for us. The Psalmist invites us to look to God to meet our every need. He leads us to delight ourselves in God and all he has done for us. Have you ever considered God as someone to delight in? To delight in something is to find a high degree of gratification or pleasure in that person or thing. Unfortunately, we often delight in created things rather than our Creator. We forget who God is and all that he has done.

In this sermon series, we will dive into the Gospel of grace as a way of remembering all his benefits to us. We will explore the major themes of all we have received by faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We will begin by considering how the Gospel is bigger than we expected and better than we could imagine. After considering the content of the Gospel we will then spend the last four weeks considering four major theological truths that flow out of the Gospel of grace; Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, and Glorification. Our prayer is that as we remember all that Jesus has accomplished for us, that our hearts will be filled with delight for God.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!” - Romans 8:14-15

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Read Psalm 103:13-14 & Romans 8:12-17. Why is it so important for us to understand that in Christ, God is our father? What kind of father is God?
  2. In what ways do you struggle to view God as a loving Father? How do you see yourself “falling back into fear” and living with an orphan spirit?
  3. What does this passage teach us about the role of the Holy Spirit?
  4. In what ways has the Holy Spirit been reminding you of your sonship? When you look back over your life the last 5 years how has been made you look more like your Father?

Cling to Jesus: Our Shield, Our Glory, Our Hope

I sat down this morning after dropping my son off to school and opened my bible. If I am honest, it was feeling like a pretty unspectacular Thursday morning. I was feeling a bit down. I found out this week that my grandmother has lung cancer. This will be round 5 with cancer for her. This was after recently learning that other’s in my missional community have family members who are battling cancer….again. Perhaps you too are reading this and have stuff like this going on in your life. Hardship, sickness, struggle, depression. All the real stuff of life that comes with living as fallen people in a fallen world that is not our home.

As a pastor I worry about how things like cancer (and other sufferings) will shake the faith of people I love and lead. This morning I was unknowingly carrying the weight of all this. I approached reading God’s word more out of duty than delight. I was planning to do my daily reading quickly, and then get on to my work. I wanted to get my work for the day done as quickly as possible so that I could get home and “rest”. And then I encountered God in his Word and found the rest that my soul truly needed. Perhaps it will be what your soul needs as well.

This morning I read Psalm 3. Here are a few of the verses.

3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head. 4 I cry aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not be afraid of thousands of people who have taken their stand against me on every side.

Followed by Romans 5:1-5.

1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Pretty good of God to have me read these two passages this morning, right? So timely and needed. There is so much good truth in these verses, but here is what struck me, and what I want to share with you today if you are suffering, struggling, or feeling down…

Cling to Jesus. There are so many other “hopes” we turn to when the heat gets turned up in our life. But Jesus is where we need to cling. Allow Jesus to become your shied, your glory, your hope in the fire. Remember that he drank the full cup of suffering in his life and death on your behalf. So that in his resurrection you might have life and hope. There is a connection between life and hope. The kind of life that Jesus purchased for us isn’t one void of suffering. Do you hear that? A life void of suffering IS coming for you, but not until Jesus sounds the trumpet. Until then suffering and struggle will be the reality of the human experience. No matter how much we try to escape it with toys, trinkets, and experiences— we are still living in a world marred with sin and death. But a life full of hope in the midst of suffering is what Jesus died to purchase for you. A life where things like cancer or depression can be classified as “light and momentary afflictions” compared to the “eternal weight of glory” we have in the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:15-17) is what you’ve been given. Wow! This is the perspective we need. This is our greatest reality. So, cling to Jesus. He reminds us of this every time we turn to him.

Also, rejoice in Jesus. As Paul tells us in Romans 5:5, the hope that comes from Jesus” will not disappoint” you, but it will cause you to rejoice. From despairing to rejoicing we go as Jesus floods your heart with the love of God for you! It will cause your “head to be lifted up”. It will cause your gaze to get beyond what is right in front of you, your eyes to get wider and brighter as you look upon him. It will sustain you in the moment of afflictions— producing endurance and character. It will cast our fear. It happened for me this morning. And I believe it will happen for you every time we cling to Jesus in our time of need. His Spirit floods our hearts. He rises up and saves us. This is who he is. This is what he has been doing for believers for the last 2,000 years. Sustaining us through the fires, filling us with the love of God.

So let’s rejoice today, no matter what you are feeling or facing. Let’s look up to the “holy mountain” and hear all that Jesus has done for us. Let him be your shield, your glory, your hope today. The salvation we need belongs to the Lord (Psalm 3:8), not to anything or anyone else.

It’s a joy to be one of your pastors as we together cling to Jesus and live His way in our city,

Jordan

Delighting in the Gospel of Grace: Week 1 Reflection Guide

SERIES SUMMARY - Psalm 103 invites us to remember the benefits of the Lord. We are all prone to forget who God is and what he has done for us. The Psalmist invites us to look to God to meet our every need. He leads us to delight ourselves in God and all he has done for us. Have you ever considered God as someone to delight in? To delight in something is to find a high degree of gratification or pleasure in that person or thing. Unfortunately, we often delight in created things rather than our Creator. We forget who God is and all that he has done.

In this sermon series, we will dive into the Gospel of grace as a way of remembering all his benefits to us. We will explore the major themes of all we have received by faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We will begin by considering how the Gospel is bigger than we expected and better than we could imagine. After considering the content of the Gospel we will then spend the last four weeks considering four major theological truths that flow out of the Gospel of grace; Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, and Glorification. Our prayer is that as we remember all that Jesus has accomplished for us, that our hearts will be filled with delight for God.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s." Psalm 103:1–5 (ESV)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Consider the biblical story of creation (Genesis 1-3). How do you see God’s grace at work from the beginning?
  2. How do you see the pattern of rejecting God’s gracious provision at work in your life? What are some of the ways you seek to get your need met in creation apart from the creator?
  3. Why is it important that we come to a place of receiving from the Lord? When we are not first receiving from God’s grace, how might this affect the way we relate to others?
  4. Consider the fullness of the Gospel. What is one aspect of the Gospel that you need to cling to during this current season of life? Stop to pray for one another as you share.
  5. Bonus Question - Do you have any firewood to give to Pastor Josh to help him successfully light his chiminea?

Remember to pick up your Sunday Worship guide for this series on our resource table in the lobby.

Easter 2018 | 4 Important Details

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Jesus walking out of Joseph’s tomb victorious over sin, death, and Satan is the most important moment in all of human history. I can't wait to celebrate this with you Redeemer! Easter also marks our anniversary as a church each year. We launched Redeemer publicly on Easter of 2012, and every year since then we’ve celebrated with baptisms on Easter as a reminder that Jesus is alive and he continues to work through us and sustain us as a church. This year will be no different.

This Easter is especially meaningful because this is our first Easter since moving into our building. And with that in mind, I want to share four important details that I hope will help us have a great Easter gathering this Sunday. 

  1. Invite someone this week. Sami and I are about to embark on a kitchen remodel (pray for me!). Last week we had a guy come by our house to give us a quote on installing some new countertops. I started talking with him, found out he had recently moved to the area, so I invited him and his family to come to Redeemer. His response was, “Wow thanks! My wife and I were just talking a few days ago about trying to find a church to go to on Easter”. My take away— there are people in all of our lives that are open/looking to reengaged the church on Easter. Who can you invite to join you at Redeemer? Will you invite them?
  2. Show up early, sit up front. We expect our space to be pretty full on Sunday. Easter has historically been one of our highest attended gatherings of the year. One way you can help us make space for everyone is to show up early and sit in the front. Let’s do our best not to waste any space. If you can sit in the front and move into the middle of the rows that would be a HUGE help. That will help keep the aisle seats and back rows open for those who might be coming in late. 
  3. If it works for your family, help us make space in Redeemer Kids. Higher attended Sundays means that space also gets tight in the Redeemer Kids classes. To make sure that our kids are well cared for and well taught our classes max out when they reach a certain number of kids. If you have a child that you could bring into the gathering with you this week to help make space for guests, that would be a big help. Faye is putting together a children’s worship guide for any kids who will be joining us in the gathering this week. They will be available, along with clipboards and colors, right inside the entrance of the gathering space. 
  4. Parking. As you know, our parking lot is small and it can easily fill up on an ordinary Sunday morning. So, there are a couple of things that we can do to help save space in our parking lot primarily for guests and families with small children. 1) If you drive a truck or an SUV will you please consider parking in the grass lot at the back of the parking lot. 2) If you don’t mind a short walk you can park along the street on Timberline where the Redeemer House/Office is located. If we can get 10-12 cars parked in the grass and another 10-12 parked along Timberline that would help alleviate a lot of our parking lot pressure. 

Ok, that is it. If you have any questions let us know. I can’t wait to see you all on Sunday! 

 

Meditations on the Life of Jesus: Week 5 - “The Raiser of the Dead”

SERMON SUMMARY:
This past Sunday we started our new sermon series to help us engage the season of Lent, “Meditations on the Life of Jesus” from the Gospel of John. Lent is a season where we symbolically enter the wilderness with Jesus. In many ways, life in this present age is like a wilderness journey. There is much sin, pain, suffering, hungering and thirsting for something of substance. In the wilderness we are asked to walk by faith, God’s presence and power are not always obvious to us and in fact, God often seems hidden. To survive in the wilderness we must set our minds and hearts on Christ. This happens as we allow the scriptures to form our imagination, by which the Holy Spirit shines upon our hearts with the presence of Christ. We enter John’s Gospel from the wilderness journey and our longing is to look upon Christ’s life through the many images John gives us to consider. This week we saw that Jesus is the giver of “the Raiser of the Dead.”

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” - John 11:38-44 (NLT)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
Read John 11:1-44. Slow down and imagine the scene. What sticks out to you about this passage? What questions come up? What do we learn about God from Jesus in this story? Why is it important that we embrace both the compassionate tears and the powerful words of Jesus? How might Jesus response to those experiencing grief guide us in our own grief and as we care for others? How might God be inviting you to trust His power to bring new life in areas of our life or others that we have considered hopeless and dead? Stop to pray for the resurrecting power of Christ to bring new life there.

Resources:
Remember to download or pick up a copy of the Lent prayer guide. This is a daily guide that leads you to read, pray, and reflect on Christ in the scriptures and God’s presence at work in your life.

Meditations on the Life of Jesus: Week 4 - “The Bread of Life”

Most weeks in 2018 we will be posting follow up resources to help you reflect on and apply what was preached each week.

SERMON SUMMARY:
Lent is a season where we symbolically enter the wilderness with Jesus. In many ways, life in this present age is like a wilderness journey. There is much sin, pain, suffering, hungering and thirsting for something of substance. In the wilderness we are asked to walk by faith, God’s presence and power are not always obvious to us and in fact, God often seems hidden. To survive in the wilderness we must set our minds and hearts on Christ. This happens as we allow the scriptures to form our imagination, by which the Holy Spirit shines upon our hearts with the presence of Christ. We enter John’s Gospel from the wilderness journey and our longing is to look upon Christ’s life through the many images John gives us to consider. This week we saw that Jesus is the “Bread of Life.”

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” - John 6:47-51 (ESV)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Read John 6:47-51. Slow down and spend a few minutes writing out reflections on these verses. What sticks out to you about this passage? What questions come up?
  2. What connections do you see between food and Jesus? Why is it important for us to recognize God as the giver of all food and life?
  3. What does it do to us when we view creation as an end in itself? What ordinary activities in your life seem most disconnected from God’s presence?
  4. Consider 1 Timothy 4:4-5 - How does this verse give us insight into viewing creation as an invitation to delight in God? What could this look like practically in your own life?

Resources:
Remember to download or pick up a copy of the Lent prayer guide. This is a daily guide that leads you to read, pray, and reflect on Christ in the scriptures and God’s presence at work in your life.

Meditations on the Life of Jesus: Week 3 - “Giving of the Living Water”

SERMON SUMMARY:
This past Sunday we started our new sermon series to help us engage the season of Lent, “Meditations on the Life of Jesus” from the Gospel of John. Lent is a season where we symbolically enter the wilderness with Jesus. In many ways, life in this present age is like a wilderness journey. There is much sin, pain, suffering, hungering and thirsting for something of substance. In the wilderness we are asked to walk by faith, God’s presence and power are not always obvious to us and in fact, God often seems hidden. To survive in the wilderness we must set our minds and hearts on Christ. This happens as we allow the scriptures to form our imagination, by which the Holy Spirit shines upon our hearts with the presence of Christ. We enter John’s Gospel from the wilderness journey and our longing is to look upon Christ-life through the many images John gives us to consider. This week we saw that Jesus is the giver of “the Living Water.”

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - John 4:13-14 (ESV)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Read John 4:1-26. Slow down and imagine the scene. What sticks out to you about this passage? What questions come up?
  2. What do we learn about God from Jesus’ interaction with this woman at the well?
  3. Have you experienced the “living water” that Jesus offers to pour out to those who believe? What areas of pain right now do you need to encounter the compassion of God in Christ?
  4. Who are the people who you are tempted to label and condemn? How does the compassionate love of Christ lead us to approach people in a new way?

Resources:
Remember to download or pick up a copy of the Lent prayer guide. This is a daily guide that leads you to read, pray, and reflect on Christ in the scriptures and God’s presence at work in your life.

Meditations on the Life of Jesus: Week 2 - “The Word Became Flesh”

Most weeks in 2018 we will be posting follow up resources to help you reflect on and apply what was preached each week.

SERMON SUMMARY:
This past Sunday we continued our sermon series to help us engage the season of Lent, “Meditations on the Life of Jesus” from the Gospel of John. Lent is a season where we symbolically enter the wilderness with Jesus. In many ways, life in this present age is like a wilderness journey. There is much sin, pain, suffering, hungering, and thirsting for something of substance. In the wilderness we are asked to walk by faith, God’s presence and power are not always obvious to us and in fact, God often seems hidden. To survive in the wilderness we must set our minds and hearts on Christ. This happens as we allow the scriptures to form our imagination, by which the Holy Spirit shines upon our hearts with the presence of Christ. We enter John’s Gospel from the wilderness journey and our longing is to look upon Christ-life through the many images John gives us to consider. This week we looked at the image John gives us of Jesus as the “word became flesh” and he “dwelt among us”.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (ESV)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What does it mean that Jesus (the Word) took on flesh? Consider the fullness of this claim.
  2. What do we learn about God from the incarnation of Christ? How do we see him clearly?
  3. In what ways does it encourage you or give you hope to know that Jesus understands the realities of human struggles and experiences?
  4. Take a minute to read Hebrews 7:25, 4:14-16— How do these texts make you feel?
  5. What might it look like to continue to meditate upon Jesus as “word made flesh” as you go throughout your week?

RESOURCES:
Remember to download or pick up a copy of the Lent prayer guide. This is a daily guide that leads you to read, pray, and reflect on Christ in the scriptures and God’s presence at work in your life.

Meditations on the Life of Jesus: Week 1 - “Light of the World”

Most weeks in 2018 we will be posting follow up resources to help you reflect on and apply what was preached each week.

SERMON SUMMARY:
This past Sunday we started our new sermon series to help us engage the season of Lent, “Meditations on the Life of Jesus” from the Gospel of John. Lent is a season where we symbolically enter the wilderness with Jesus. In many ways, life in this present age is like a wilderness journey. There is much sin, pain, suffering, hungering, and thirsting for something of substance. In the wilderness we are asked to walk by faith, God’s presence and power are not always obvious to us and in fact, God often seems hidden. To survive in the wilderness we must set our minds and hearts on Christ. This happens as we allow the scriptures to form our imagination, by which the Holy Spirit shines upon our hearts with the presence of Christ. We enter John’s Gospel from the wilderness journey and our longing is to look upon Christ-life through the many images John gives us to consider. This is the first week we looked at the image John gives us of Jesus as the “Light of the World.”

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1–5 (ESV)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How have you encountered darkness out in the world? How do you see this same darkness in your own heart?
  2. The Christian life in this present age is much like life in the wilderness. What challenges are you facing in your own heart? Slow down to pray for one another as needs are shared.
  3. Take a minute to read John 1:1-13 slowly as a group. What part of this text resonates with where you are in life?
  4. What might it look like to continue to meditate upon Jesus as Light of the World as you go throughout your week?

Resources:
Remember to download or pick up a copy of the Lent prayer guide. This is a daily guide that leads you to read, pray, and reflect on Christ in the scriptures and God’s presence at work in your life.

VISION 2018: WEEK 4 - “a Gospel-centered Missional Family”

Each week during our 2018 vision series we will be posting follow-up resources to help you reflect and apply what was preached on. Attached you will find the resource from this past Sunday's sermon.

SERMON SUMMARY:
Redeemer is a Gospel-centered missional family learning and living the way of Jesus in the suburbs of Austin. This past Sunday we looked at what it means to be a missional church family. A missional church family is one that yields to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit leads us into mission. The core of this mission is faithfully loving those in need as we serve, show, and speak the Gospel of grace. We embrace this missional posture as a church family and live this out in the ordinary stuff of life.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK
(Also, if you missed the Vision Series 2018 Intro you can listen to it here - LINK)

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK: “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:3–6 (ESV)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. There are some churches that encourage people to separate or withdraw from the surrounding culture. Other groups let go of any sort of distinctiveness or Gospel and end up becoming just the same as the surrounding culture. Which of these two ends of the spectrum do you drift towards? Why is it important that we wrestle with the tension and walk in a third way that we might call “missional”?
  2. A holistic approach to mission includes faithfully serving, showing, and speaking the Gospel of grace to the people God has sent us to. Which are do you find yourself most gifted or drawn to? Why is it important to value and express all three as a church family?
  3. In our quick-fix society, we often want fast and immediate results. What are the implications for us that mission often unfolds slowly over time? How can we change the metrics from quick results to faithfulness?
  4. Group Activity - Give everyone in the group a blank sheet of paper and a pen. Start with the category of serving and have the group brainstorm ways you might serve or already serve as a group. Create another column and do the same thing for showing (how will we allow people in need of Jesus to see how we love one another), and finally the third column for speaking. In the speaking column write out the names of people in your life that you want to ask the Spirit for opportunities to speak the Gospel to. When the group has finished walking through these three categories, take a minute to pray together and come up with 1-2 action steps in response to what you came up with together. This might be something just for individual families or something the larger group could work together on.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

  1. 25 Ways to Engage Your Neighbors - This is a short post I wrote for Verge a few years ago. Some helpful ideas for those looking for starting points on how to serve, show, and speak the Gospel to their neighbors.
  2. Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Warren
  3. Unbelievable Gospel by Jonathan Dodson - A great book that helps us learn to speak the Gospel to the specific needs of people in our lives.

VISION 2018: WEEK 3 - “a Gospel-centered missional FAMILY”

Each week during our 2018 vision series we will be posting follow-up resources to help you reflect and apply what was preached on. Attached you will find the resource from this past Sunday's sermon.

SERMON SUMMARY:
Redeemer is a Gospel-centered missional family learning and living the way of Jesus in the suburbs of Austin. This past Sunday we began to unpack what this means & understand the church as a family. We looked at how God in Christ has both forgiven us and made us family. When we come to know Christ we are adopted as sons and daughters. The implication of this is that all of those in Christ are now brothers and sisters. The church is, therefore, to relate to one another primarily as a loving family.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK
(Also, if you missed the Vision Series 2018 Intro you can listen to it here - LINK)

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” - Colossians 3:12–17 (ESV)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Explain who you are to the group with three words? What do you tend to lean on to give you your significance, worth, and purpose?
  2. Why is it important that we find our deepest identity in Christ? Does this mean we need to rid ourselves of the unique gifts, talents, and personalities we are prone to find our identity in?
  3. How have you experienced being a beloved child of God? What challenges do you find with resting in this identity?
  4. What was your understanding of church as a kid? How does church as family encourage you? Challenge you?
  5. Group Activity - How have you experienced the church as family here at Redeemer? What are some practical ways in which we could grow in acting like the family we are? Pick 1-2 to implement over the next 3 months as a group. Pick 1 as an individual or family that you will do.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

  1. When the Church Was a Family by Joseph Hellerman
  2. Union with Christ by Rankin Wilborn

VISION 2018: WEEK 1 - “GOSPEL-CENTERED”

Each week during our 2018 vision series we will be posting follow-up resources to help you reflect and apply what was preached on. Attached you will find the resource from this past Sunday's sermon.

SERMON SUMMARY:
Redeemer is a Gospel-centered missional family learning and living the way of Jesus in the suburbs of Austin. This past Sunday we began to unpack what it means for us to be a “Gospel-centered” church. We looked at how the Gospel is bigger than we thought and better than we expected. The Gospel story is big and wide, it is also deeply personal. We summarize the Gospel like this, “The Gospel is the good and true story that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and Satan through his life, death, and resurrection.”

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK
(Also, if you missed the Vision Series 2018 Intro you can listen to it here - LINK)

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:15–20, ESV)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How would you explain the Gospel? Why is it important that we understand the Gospel in the wider context of the biblical story?
  2. How have you grown over time to understand the Gospel as deeper than you first believed? How specifically has God’s grace been even better than you first thought?
  3. If the Gospel is not central to our lives as individuals and as a church, something else will become central (Morality, Power, Politics, Me-centered life, etc.). What do you find yourself drifting back towards as center? How do we keep moving forward together with the Gospel at the center?
  4. Group Activity - Take a minute to read through the Gospel Overview article attached to this guide. Slow down together and list all the good you see in the story of Jesus. As you consider the entirety of the Gospel story (Jesus life, death, resurrection, ascension), what is most striking to you? What part of the story resonates as good news for you in your current season of life?

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

  1. Gospel Overview (PDF) - This is a short overview of the Gospel story that we have used for training over the past few years.
  2. The Gospel by Ray Ortlund (book resource)
  3. The King Jesus Gospel by Scott McKnight (book resource)

Discipleship Foundations Starts January 28th

discipleship foundations

Discipleship Foundations is a great next step for anyone at Redeemer who desires to grow and lead others. Foundations is where we work to intentionally equip the people of Redeemer to be disciples who make disciples. We hope this class will help you understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and equip you to begin making disciples of others in your own family and your missional community

Discipleship Foundations is a 6 session course designed to help disciples learn and live the way of Jesus. In this course you will receive training that will help you grow as a disciple and make disciples in your home, missional community, neighborhood, and workplace. The classes will take place once a month from January-June. The time in between classes is designed for continued learning through reading, reflection, and assignments. All classes will take place from 4:00-5:30pm on Sundays.

2018 Schedule for Discipleship Foundations
January 28th | Being in Christ: Identity & Union
(class resource: Union with Christ by Rankin Wilbourne)

February 25th | Communion with Christ
(class resource: A Praying Life by Paul Miller)

March 25th | Gospel Change
(class resource: You Can Change by Tim Chester)

April 29th | Gospel-Centered Relationships
(class resource: Relationship: A Mess Worth Making by Lane & Tripp)

May 27th |  Everyday Worship, Everyday Mission
(class resource: Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Warren)

June 24th |  Displaying the Kingdom: Work and Vocation
(class resource: Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller)

Sabbath Sunday - December 31st

Reflecting on God’s Faithfulness

WATCH: What is Sabbath Sunday? Why is this an important rhythm for Redeemer? We answer these questions in the short video below.

What is Sabbath Sunday? Why it's Important? from Redeemer Round Rock on Vimeo.

READ: Psalm 77, Psalm 63:1-8

REFLECT: Good reflection starts with slowing down, quieting our soul, and tuning our mind and hearts to the Lord. Begin with 5-10 minutes of silent listening before the Lord. If you’ve never tried to sit silently with God this might feel uncomfortable at first. Here are a few tips: Find a quiet place, turn off your phone, turn off music, etc. Work to still your heart and your mind before God. It might help to pray Psalm 131. After spending a few minutes quieting your soul work through the reflection questions below.

  • Take the 10 minutes to reflect on God’s work in your own life personally over the last year. Some questions to consider: What has God taught you this year? How have you seen change or transformation in your own life? How have you grown in your awareness of God’s goodness and glory? How have you grown in your awareness of sin and your need for the gospel? In what ways has God blessed you this year? How has God proven faithful in your times of need? How has God worked in your family? What are your hopes and prayers for your self in the next year? Set a timer and don’t move on until you’ve reflected for 10 full minutes.

  • Take another 10 minutes and reflect on God’s work in/through your missional community over the last year. Some questions to consider: How is your missional community different than it was a year ago? How has God used your missional community in your life? How have you seen God work in the lives of others? How has God worked through your missional community in our city? What has been your favorite moment in community this year? What are your hopes and prayers for your missional community in the next year? Set a timer and don’t move on until you’ve reflected for 10 full minutes.

  • Take another 10 minutes and reflect on God’s work in/through Redeemer over the last year. Some questions to consider: How have you seen God at work in our church as a whole? How have you seen his power on display? What are the things that God is doing in our church family that fills you with thanksgiving? What specific people has God used in your life? What have been some of your favorite moments with Redeemer this year? What are your hopes and prayers for Redeemer in the next year? Set a timer and don’t move on until you’ve reflected for 10 full minutes.

SHARE: The purpose of this exercise is to remind you of God’s ever-faithful presence in your life. We hope that by reflecting on God’s work your faith is strengthened. We also hope that it will remind you that you have a story to share. If you are willing, we would love to hear your stories of God’s works. You can share your stories with us HERE.