The Rock Church

Category Archive: A Word from the Pastor

  1. Trample the Enemy!

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    Trample the Enemy A Word from Pastor Steve McInroy

    What or who is an enemy? It’s not always easy to know. It can confuse me sometimes. Other times, however, I can clearly see them. In sin, evil, human atrocities, and temptation, the enemy looms large. Although it is often gross to see (and truly affects me more than I want it to), I almost prefer it when the enemy is easily identifiable. At that point, I can clearly take action (as the following verse describe):

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     “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” — James 4:7
     
    Ok, great. I love that. I can do that. I can resist. I can push back. Submit to God’s lordship and resist evil. Done!
     
    The more difficult foe (for me anyway) is the enemy of my own self. You know the saying, “I’m my own worst enemy”? Yep, that’s me. The more elusive enemy is the one I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s the lurking, doubting, enemy found in the whispering depths of my mind. That enemy is sometimes very hard to see and likes to reside in my imagination. Waiting, tainted with lies. That enemy seems to render me helpless and shows up when I’m tired or challenged. It absolutely loves to kick me when I’m down. 
     
    When that enemy shows up, my best course of action is to first realize that God is NOT my enemy. He would never harm me or lie to me. I can then step aside and let Him fight for me. I love these verses:
     
    “Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. With God’s help we will do mighty things, for we will trample down our foes.” — Psalm 60:11-12 (NLT)
     
    Thank you, Lord, for always being there. For being ready to trample down my foes, even the enemies who are trying to reside in my mind.
     
    We win!

    Mac

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  2. Psalm 23 — A Psalm of David

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    Psalm 23

    Recently, I came across Psalm 23 in my quiet time. I was struck by how close the Lord is to each one of us and how comforting His Word truly is. I simply want to share with you what I did in my quiet time (that day) to apply God’s Word to my life. I trust you will find comfort in our personal Shepherd.

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    1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
    Lord, You have given me everything I need. I do not have too little; I do not have too much. I have exactly what I need and that is enough.

    2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    God, You are the author of rest. It pleases You to watch me work, but it also pleases You to watch me rest. You lead me to quiet places because You are good.

    3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
    God, You are the source of my strength. You renew me. You are life. Father, You guide me along the right paths and as I walk where You lead me. You glorify Your own name. Amen.

    4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
    Lord, even when I don’t understand all that is happening in my life, even when I am scared, You remind me that You are so CLOSE!! You are my comfort. You are my protection. You are my Shepherd. You will never leave me.

    5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
    God, you are my defender. You see all the wrongs and You are just. My confidence is in Your presence. My confidence is in Your justice.

    6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
    Lord, while I am on this earth, Your unfailing love and goodness will pursue me and run after me — but this is not my home. My home is in Your house. My home is in heaven and soon I will be there resting with You. Forever. Until then, Your love will run after me.

    Have a CLOSE week with God.

    Steele

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  3. Golden Delicious Apples

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    Golden Delicious Apples

    “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” — Luke 6:43

    This parable caught my eye the other day. Jesus shares an illustration from the plant world. Imagine a golden delicious apple tree producing crabapples or a crabapple tree producing golden delicious apples? It is difficult to imagine because the fruit always matches the tree!

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    Likewise, Jesus teaches us that a person’s character, deeds, and even words, are simply an overflow of his heart. A good heart produces good fruit. Likewise, an evil heart produces evil fruit. A works-based religion tells us we just need to staple “good fruit” to an evil tree. In these verses, Jesus stops us from thinking that by stating that it flows out of our heart. Therefore, we need to be born again to get this new heart.

    What is the application for us, Christian? What kind of fruit is flowing out of your heart? What do you talk about all of the time? Your favorite sports team? Your work? Are your social media posts trying to convince people how “cool” you are? Is your conversation full of half-truths, little white lies, or profanity?

    Christian, Jesus is giving us a significant lesson in this passage. What is flowing out of our mouths (spoken and written) reflects what is in our heart.

    What is coming out of your heart, Christian?

    Josh

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  4. Stirred Up

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    Stoke

    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful…” — 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV84)

    Like many of you, I read through the One Year Bible for my devotions each morning. I’ve done this for over 20 years. Sometimes, as I’m slogging through Leviticus, it is difficult to find a “meaningful” verse that applies to my every day life. Let’s face it, there are just so many ways you can apply verses dealing with offerings, skin infections, sacrifices, and atonement! Some days, I feel like I’m just going through the motions.

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    My goal this year is to get one verse each day from this book of the law. What I’ve found is that if I dig deep enough, I can find some real gems! For instance, some verses that really spoke to me recently are in Leviticus 6:12-13. They say, “The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.”

    How does this apply, you may ask? For me, the power of this verse is that (just like the priest who had to get up early every single morning and stoke the fire on the altar near God’s tabernacle), I need to make a choice to “stoke the fire” of faith in my soul by choosing to be near God every day. I do this by praying fervently and reading His Word. I must not let this fire go out.

    I’m sure the priest would have loved to hit the snooze button or let someone else do his job. He probably even considered just skipping a day or two – what could it hurt, right? It was most likely cold in the morning and he was tired and cranky. Sounds like me when I wake up. Every day, I have a choice to make. Will I get out of my warm bed and draw near to God? Will I stir myself up and stoke the flame of my soul so that God becomes more real to me? I need to make that choice daily.

    How about you? Will you choose to “stoke” the fire and stir up your faith every day?

    Stirred up for God,

    Bill

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  5. Use Your Words

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    Use Your Words a Word from Pastor Bryan Edwards of The Rock Church in Utah

    There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the Gospel when we proclaim it with our mouths. We, as Christians, have been given a supernatural power and it is on the tip of all of our tongues. In the message of the Cross is the power of God to change people’s hearts. This is a profound truth about the influence and value that we (as Christians) have in this world. It’s for this very reason God has us in this world. He wants to pour out His love to others and bring more people to His Son. In order to do this, we need to use our words.

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    I want to remind you, brothers and sisters, not to waste this incredible gift. You have it so that you can give it to others. Take a minute today to meditate on these truths revealed to us in Scripture. Let them motivate and encourage you about the influence you can have in this world.

    I (your name here) should share the Gospel with others because:

    • Jesus has command me to. (Matthew 28:19)
    • People will perish without the Gospel. (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)
    • The Gospel has the power to save. (Romans ‪1:16‬)
    • I will be rewarded by Jesus. (2 Timothy 4:8)
    • It’s the most loving thing I can do. (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
    • It’s a privilege to share my faith. (1 Thessalonians 2:4)
    • It’s essential to my identity as a disciple of Christ. (Matthew ‪4:19‬)
    • I won’t be able share the Gospel in heaven. (Hebrews 9:27)
    • It will strengthen my faith. (1 Peter ‪3:15‬)
    • It will mature me spiritually. (Philemon 1:6)
    • It will grow me to be more like Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

    When you consider this list, it’s a no brainer as to WHY you should share your faith. But, I ask you friend, WILL you share you faith? There is a great need for you to go out into the world and proclaim the saving news of Jesus Christ. In order to do that, you need to use your words.

    Will you pray for God to give all of us more courage, more boldness, more faith, and more power to use our words to tell others about our perfect Savior? There will be nothing sweeter than on that day when we are called home and we hear King Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your master.” — Matthew 25:21

    The thought of that makes me very excited to go home. Until then, we have much work to do!

    See you out there,

    Bryan

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  6. United

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    United a word from Pastor Tony D'Amico

    “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” – Ephesians 4:1-4

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    One of the hardest things we need to do in the church is to learn to live in unity. We need to forgive each other’s faults. When we are part of a church, we are part of a family. And we all know how hard that can be at times. Remember when Uncle Frank came over and the Pepsi got spilled? Things can get really heated. We can have disagreements with each other. It’s going to happen. But, as a Christian, Paul reminds us that BECAUSE of the love that has been given to us through Jesus Christ, we are to MAKE ALLOWANCES for each other’s faults.

    I love my brother, my sisters, and my parents. We are very close to each other. There are times, however, that disagreements come up. But, it’s because I love them so much, that in all humility and gentleness, we work through our issues. I don’t leave them and go try to find another family that I think will work better for me. I have never given up on them and I never will. I love them. I feel the same way about my church family. God has placed us within our church family and wants us to “do life” with them. Within this family, we get the chance to apply these verses!

    It’s so much easier to bail when things get hard. God wants us to stay and work things out. You know, at some point in my life, I will no doubt offend you. And at some point, you’re going to offend me. It will happen. My prayer is that as a church, we can learn to ALWAYS be humble and gentle. To be patient with each other and make allowance for each other’s faults because of LOVE. We need to make every effort to bind ourselves together with peace. If we let dissention and division get into our hearts and into our church, satan will start to divide us. When we are divided, we cannot stand together.

    Let’s be a church that is known for loving Jesus and loving each other.

    United –

    Tony

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  7. United In Christ

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    United In Christ A Word by Pastor Steve McInroy of the Rock Church Utah

    When closing an email or letter to a brother or sister in the Lord, I will oftentimes use the statement, “United in Christ, Mac”. Sometimes, when I am in a hurry, I will simply put, “United, Mac”. This statement has a significant and deep meaning to me that reaches far beyond any other closing I can think of.

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    Even best regards, sincerely, your friend, or lovingly, just won’t cut it when I am talking about the relationship I have with other Believers through the blood of Christ. Think about it. The relationship we have with other heaven-bound Believers is more than life long — it’s endless. It’s for all eternity! Whoa!

    To send these words (and this thought) to others is beyond what my mind can even begin to understand. The truth is that we will be (no, wait a minute), we are, together IN CHRIST! Brothers and sisters, we are so much more than friends or family. We, as Believers, are collectively the Body of Christ right now! I’m passionately using all of these exclamation points, not because I’m yelling. Rather, because I am in awe of the grace which God extends to us so that we can have the privilege of being United in Christ!

    These verses really encourage me. “Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory.” — Romans 15:5-7

    God created us to be a people of absolutely incredible individuality. Much like snowflakes, our fingerprints are uniquely ours alone. Let’s be honest, however. This individuality can make it difficult to live in unity (on the same planet, same continent, same county, same state, same city, same neighborhood, and yes even in the same home) at times. We can be misunderstood. I’ve been known to even argue with myself at times.

    Many people in our world feel misunderstood and I think it largely stems from being apart from Christ. When we are in Christ, I believe God manifests Himself in us and through us and we become His body. Brothers and sisters, sometimes I think that is all we really need to understand. I think that is what the world needs to know. Tell everyone you know!

    United in Christ,

    Mac

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  8. Press On

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    Press On a Word by Pastor Steele Croswhite of the Rock Church Utah

    “Oh, that we might know the Lord! 
Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn 
or the coming of rains in early spring.” — Hosea 6:3

    There are so many things we can devote our time to — so many things we can give our lives for. Many people around us have decided to give their full allegiance to work, or money, or family, or success. Many more have bought into the foolish idea — “You only live once so, live it up!”

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    As you reflect upon this past year, ask yourself, “What have I given my time to this year? What have I have given my life for this year? How would those around me answer that question about me?”

    This verse reminds us that we are to “press on”, to be devoted to, and to fight for, our relationship with Jesus! Sure, it is good to be devoted to our families, to be hard workers, and to be successful in our efforts. But, how much more should we “press on” to know the Lord?!

    I have often prayed that God would make me a man who knows Him more than any other man on earth. I know it may seem selfish to ask that of the Lord, but it’s my genuine, spirit-filled desire. I want to KNOW God.

    To be honest, the reason I pray this way is because of the second half of this verse in Hosea — “He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn, or the coming of rains in early spring.” When you think of refreshment, when you think of renewal, when you think of new beginnings, it is nearly impossible not to think of the breaking morning light and the life giving waters of spring rain!

    For the Christian, God asks us to press on to know Him. In return, His promises to refresh, to renew, and to bring life.

    This year, press on to know the Lord, because spring is coming!

    Steele

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  9. Crowdfunding

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    Crowdfunding a Word from Pastor Josh Whitney of the Rock Church Utah

    Have you heard of crowdfunding or crowdsourcing? Companies like GoFundMe or KickStarter are raising hundreds of millions of dollars annually for personal needs and creative projects. A wide variety of needs are met with tools like these. Costs associated with mission trips, medical bills, or family emergencies have been met repeatedly through generous donations from people.

    Our Christian duty is to care for the poor and needy. The Old and New Testament is full of instruction. For example, Jesus told us, “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.” — Luke 12:33

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    But Jesus also warns us of a potential danger with giving: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” — Matthew 6:1-4

    Jesus strongly believed in taking care of legitimate needs. But, in this verse in Matthew, Jesus instructs us to be anonymous in our giving. That is also a unique dimension of crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe. Donors can list their name or be “anonymous”. Jesus would challenge us on two fronts when it comes to giving to the needy and poor. First, sell something valuable to meet the need. Second, don’t tell a soul.

    Praying that Jesus helps us be more sacrificial and anonymous in our care for the needy,

    Josh

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  10. Get Connected

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    Get Connected a Word by Pastor Bill Young of the Rock Church Utah

    “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” — Acts 2:44-47

    I’m amazed at the effect the Apostle Paul’s young protégé (Timothy) has had on the world. What’s even more interesting is that we know almost nothing about him. We do know that Timothy was saved as a direct result of Paul’s ministry during his first missionary journey. On Paul’s second journey, he decided to take Timothy with him. And the world has never been the same!

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    Timothy’s impact on the First Century Church (and on us) is incalculable. His name is mentioned 17 times in ten New Testament books. Two of the letters Paul wrote to him are included in the New Testament. In Acts 16 and 2 Timothy, we learn that his mother (Eunice) was a believer and his grandmother was Lois. We also know that his dad was a non-believing Greek.

    Other than that, we know relatively little about him. In fact, pastor Robert F. Horton wrote this concerning Timothy: “We have no words from his lips, no letters from his pen. Paul loved him; that is all. Timothy comes to us as a teenager and then vanishes, never to be forgotten, never to be known, loved not for his own sake, but because Paul loved him.” (Pastoral Epistles)

    Wow! Think of it. God connected Paul and Timothy in relationship and God used them to change the world. Not doctrine. Not creeds. Not rules and regulations. Just relationship.

    As I mentioned in my message this past weekend, it is critically important for you and me to be connected in relationships within the church. You have that opportunity in Small Groups. I want to encourage you (as the spring semester of Small Groups kicks off), to commit yourself to being connected in relationships with others.

    Make a life changing decision to lead a group or join a group. Who knows, maybe it will be you who changes the world?!

    Connecting,

    Bill

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