The Rock Church

Category Archive: A Word from the Pastor

  1. What’s the Big Problem?

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    What's the Big Problem, A Word by Pastor Steve McInroy of The Rock Church in Salt Lake City Draper Utah

    Is it just me or are we living in a time when people seem to be more and more disgruntled at almost everything? Have you noticed it? What’s the big problem, anyway?

    Well, according to the “The Top Tens” list, the world’s top five problems are: Drug Abuse, War and Terrorism, Poverty, Population Growth, and Pollution. The list goes on; this is just the first five.

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    These problems are from more of a “global perspective” and really quite overwhelming when you stop and think about them. Don’t get me wrong; we need to be concerned for our world. But, not only do we have many of these situations looming, there’s more. As individuals, many of us are facing seemingly insurmountable challenges as well. I talk to people all the time who are facing personal issues that are painful and intense. My heart breaks for them. These heavy realities can sometimes drag us down to a place of hopelessness.

    It’s at times like this when I need Jesus to snap me with a wet towel of Truth (lest I wallow in my own self-pity and doubt). I am so thankful for my Bible. It’s chock-full of Truth.

    “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” — Hebrews 6:18-19 (NLT)

    I’m convinced that the biggest problem in our world is people not knowing God! We live in a world where many people don’t know Him and they stand in hopelessness. Jesus is the absolute solution to all the world’s problems and He is the only hope our world has.

    Yes, there is the reality of everyday problems closing in on us. But, like the verse above states, Jesus stands ready to lead us into God’s inner sanctuary. If we really want to make a difference in the world’s problems, there’s something we can do. Rather than complain in every way possible, we need to be ready to tell people about Jesus. He is the hope of the world! So, there you go ~ problem solved.

    Until the whole world knows!

    Mac

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  2. Blessed in Worship

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    Blessed in Worship, A Word by Pastor Steele Croswhite of The Rock Church in Salt Lake City Utah

    “Sing a new song to the Lord!
    Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
    Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
    Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
    Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
    Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.” — Psalm 96:1-3

    These past two weeks have been incredibly encouraging in regard to worship music, praise, and how those things bring us together!

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    As many of you know, two weeks ago, we released our “All Creatures” EP packed with harmonies and bluegrass hymns. To celebrate, The Rock Church and The Rock Music hosted a festival right in our Draper location parking lot. We had bouncy houses, food trucks, and many local artists. In addition, we asked The Salt Lake City Mass Choir to lead worship after our very own Porter Band performed.

    It was an incredibly encouraging night to say the least! Hundreds of people came together that night. They ate until both food trucks ran out of food, kids laughed and bounced, and as a church, we worshipped corporately with a variety of music! It was truly an unforgettable night.

    The following week (by God’s grace), The Rock Music was asked to write a song for an upcoming feature movie called Samson. The same company who produced God’s Not Dead and The Case for Christ will be producing this film. We are beyond delighted to hear that the head of Pureflix picked our song; we head into the studio this week to begin recording. This movie will be globally produced in both theatres and on DVD! Wow! Is God awesome or what?

    Lastly, this past weekend, The Rock Music was asked to have a few of us fly out to Omaha and share with a some of our sister churches. We had a chance to speak to dozens of their musicians as they are preparing to open a new building. We “work-shopped” with five of their bands, taught, prayed, laughed, and sang. We combined three worship teams to lead worship for their church on Sunday morning.

    In just over a week’s time, God’s grace has been poured out to hundreds and hundreds of people through music! It happened personally and worldwide! I have been caught off guard by God’s kindness.

    As a church, we should wholeheartedly agree with the psalmist when he sings in Psalm 96:4, “Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!”

    Singing with you,

    Steele

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  3. Number of Stars

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    Number of Stars, A Word by Pastor Josh Whitney of The Rock Church in Salt Lake City Utah

    The Bible is not a science textbook. But, when it speaks about science, it is 100% accurate. Evidence for this claim can be found in the stars.

    Did you know that before telescopes were invented, people counted the stars with just their eyes? They didn’t have TV, so they watched the stars and counted them. On a clear night, a person could see easily see a couple of thousand (with the naked eye).

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    Jeremiah 33:22 says, “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the offspring of David my servant, and the Levitical priests who minister to me.” The book of Jeremiah was written around 600 B.C.

    Galileo Galilei was the first person to use a telescope for astronomical purposes (in 1610 A.D.). That means if you were a Bible-believing Christian before that time, people would have scoffed at you if you’d said the Bible says the stars were too many to count. “Shows what you know! Smart people have counted the stars and there are a couple of thousand we can see at night.”

    True, they counted the stars they could see. But, when Galileo swung his telescope up at the night sky, it was only a 10-power magnification. So, he could only see about 30,000 stars. A big number, but still pretty countable. Telescopes kept getting better and better, however. Now, the total number of stars in the observable universe is estimated to be 10^25 power (1 followed by 25 zeros).

    Can you count to that number? No person could live long enough to do it.

    So, how in the world did Jeremiah know the stars were uncountable in 600 B.C.? “Everybody knows there are only a couple of thousand stars up there!” Wait, scratch that. The stars are too many to count.

    How could Jeremiah have known that? He couldn’t have. Unless God had told him.

    Josh

    Learn more on this topic in the series called, The Bible on Trial.

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  4. Guilt – That Awful Neighbor

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    Guilt, That Awful Neihbor

    What do you do with your guilt? How do you deal with the feelings of remorse over sin? How do you manage the lingering thoughts of sorrow and shame? Guilt is like that awful neighbor who’s always poking his head up over the fence to tell us how terrible our garden looks.

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    All of us have experienced guilt; it often tries to get the best of us. Where do you turn when you feel burdened with guilt or shame?

    The world has several options. Many people have tried to shut out feelings of guilt by lowering their own moral standards. Some will flat out deny the existence of God and the belief that there is a right and wrong. Another route takes people to drugs, religion, and therapy. We will try anything that offers us help! Yet none of these paths we take actually have the ability to relieve us of our guilt. None of them can pardon us from our sin. The good news, however, is that Jesus can!

    God gave us the solution for all of our guilt, all of our sin, and all of our shame by giving us a Perfect Savior. Jesus Christ. For us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” — Romans 8:1-2

    These are not my words, but the very words of God Himself. He has taken extreme measures to relieve us from the bondage of our sin. God has declared us forgiven because of the perfect righteousness of Christ. He took all of our guilt upon Himself and nailed it to the cross. That’s the truth for all who belong to Jesus. There is no guilt that can condemn us, no shame that God doesn’t cover and no sin that Christ can’t atone for.

    Brothers and sisters, whenever you have those feelings of guilt that won’t relent, cry out to Jesus to deliver you. Confess your sin, and give it to the One who has set you free. Cling to this Precious Savior, and rest in His promise that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Romans 8:39

    Guilt is an awful neighbor. Don’t invite him in.

    Bryan

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  5. Harvest

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    Harvest, A Word by Pastor Billy Johnson from The Rock Church in Utah

    While on vacation this summer, my family and I stayed with relatives who live on an Ohio farm of over one hundred acres! One morning, the kids were out playing in the yard and the farmer asked if we wanted to take turns riding in the tractor while he fertilized the crops?

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    While waiting for my turn to ride, I sat in the house eating some breakfast and reading my Bible. I read the verses in John ‭4:36-38‬, where Jesus tells His disciples, “Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

    When it came time for my daughter and me to ride the tractor, I talked to the farmer about how much work goes into farming a lucrative crop (amidst the problems farmers face). It was clear to me that while the farmer puts a lot of time and effort into reaping a fruitful harvest, God’s hand has to be the one to make the crops grow.

    I was reminded of this verse in 1 Corinthians 3, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”

    It may have been Josh’s great thoughts at the pastor’s conference I’d just attended, it may have been the endless cornfields in the Midwest, or it may have been the impromptu tractor ride. No matter what, I was immersed in the farming/disciple making analogy! I was comforted by the fact that I am God’s fellow worker in making disciples. I can work hard at sharing the Gospel and loving people. But, in the end (like the farmer on the tractor), I have to trust that God is the one who will make the seed that I planted or watered grow. He can make it into a fruitful harvest or a faithful follower of Christ.

    Brothers and sisters, the harvest is plentiful. Let’s work hard with the Lord and watch Him make disciples in front of our very eyes.

    Harvesting,

    Billy

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  6. God’s Purpose

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    God's Purpose, A Word by Pastor Bill Young

    “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me…” — Psalm 138:8 (NIV84)

    “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.” — Acts 13:36 (NIV84)

    Sometimes life can get confusing. Even for me (as a Christian leader for over 35 years), I occasionally wonder, “God, what are you doing?” or “God, what do you want ME to do?” As a planner, I like to know the answers to both of these questions (especially as it relates to the direction our church is going). It can be somewhat unnerving to feel a bit “directionless” at times.

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    As I read these verses a couple of weeks ago, God spoke to me and reassured me once again that He is in control and has a good plan for my life. David’s words reflect his amazing confidence in God’s unwavering commitment to him. He knew God had a purpose for his life. As I ponder my own life, I believe God has a purpose for me (and our church, too)!

    I turned to Acts 13:36 and realized that God had been faithful – even to the end — with King David. He allowed David to “serve God’s purposes” all the days of his life.

    It was a comforting reminder that I am ultimately living out God’s plan, and His purposes. He is in control — not me. I simply need to be willing to be used by God and to humbly submit to whatever He lays before me. Daily, I need to yield my plans to Him and say, “Have your way with me, O Lord.”

    After this quiet time, I made a commitment to God to step up my game in the “trust category” and daily allow Him to fulfill His purposes for both me and for our church. His plans are perfect. His purposes will prevail.

    How about you? Will you yield to the plans and purposes of your incredible Heavenly Father? Even when life seems confusing? If so, you (and I) will join the ranks of David — a man after God’s own heart — while we fulfill His purposes.

    Serving with you,

    Bill

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  7. Here and Now

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    Here and Now, A Word by Pastor Steve McInroy of The Rock Churches in Utah

    I love being on mission. Not just in far away places but also in the here and now. Teaming together with Jesus (and other Christians) in prayer, planning, and sharing the Gospel, is the quintessential life in Christ. I think the here and now is the actual living out of a life in Christ, or the realization of what Jesus was talking about when He described the full life in Christ. I’m not talking about a “campfire-singing-Kum Ba Yah” sort of existence. Instead, it’s more of a real day-to-day intimacy with God. The kind that is with me through my highs, my lows, and walks me through the here and now moments of life.

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    If I’m honest, I can run hot and cold for the Gospel. Short-term missions trips and localized events help keep me stirred up and that’s great. But having Jesus in the here and now is what I desire. The “everyday-walking-in-the-Spirit” sort of thing. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see your day through the eyes of Christ? For instance, I would love to see my neighbor mowing his lawn and instantly be concerned for his salvation. Or, how about having the capability to look beyond an offense from another person and love them anyway?

    Jesus gives us a great example of loving in the here and now in Luke. Jesus enters His disciples everyday lives and asks to use the boats the men were using to fish all night. He gets into one and preaches to the people. This is a prelude to Him sending these men out to catch the most bountiful haul of fish they have ever seen. How incredibly personal this must have been. Peter and his companions were astonished at their catch.

    Jesus entered their lives in the everyday moments and made Himself known to them as their God. A simple come follow me expression of love. In Luke, Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” They left everything and followed Him.

    Our God is here — now. Don’t miss out on the full life He offers. Leave everything and follow Him in the here and now.

    Here fishing!

    Mac

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  8. Sing for He is Worthy

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    Sing for He is Worthy A Word by Pastor Steele Croswhite

    “Sing a new song to the Lord!
    Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
    Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
    Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
    Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
    Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
    Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!” — Psalm 96:1-4

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    Music can be a lot of things. Music can be used as a backdrop for memories. It can be used as a platform for communicating a message. It can be used to create emotion in both the heart of the musician and the heart of the listener. Music can mean everything (all at once), or very little (depending on the moment). But, no matter what it is, music will never leave you unaffected. Whether it’s good or bad, music will leave you with an impression, an emotion, or a message.

    At The Rock Church, our heart (as musicians) is that the music we share with you will leave you with all three of those things. Each week, we hope to offer you an impression of Jesus, an emotion for Jesus, and a message about Jesus. More specifically, we hope to offer you the message that Jesus Christ, our God, is WORTHY!!!

    Understanding God is worthy means knowing He possesses (and has shown) the qualities and abilities that merit our recognition in a specified way. He deserves…. our WORSHIP. God is deserving of our effort, our attention, our respect, and our voices.

    Our prayer is that as a Body, we would draw closer to Jesus in our worship of Him. Our prayer is that as you recognize His worthiness, you will sing out to Him in your loudest voice. Cry out to Him in your deepest soul. Lift your hands to Him in greatest admiration.

    As musicians, our heart is that you would not see us as bands who perform for you. Rather, as your brothers and sisters, who sing along side you — to our worthy God. Together, we would recognize that Psalm 145:3 is correct when it says, “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; 
his greatness no one can fathom.”

    We invite you to worship Jesus this weekend — for truly only He is worthy!!

    Singing —

    Steele

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  9. Hardly Notice

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    Hardly Notice

    I started reading my Bible regularly when I was high school (way back in 1991-1995). Man, does time fly! It has been a part of my daily routine ever since. Over the years, I have read a number of translations: NASB, NIV and ESV primarily. Well, this year, I decided to mix it up and read from The Message version.

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    The Message version is not a translation of the Bible. It’s not really a thought for thought version either. It is one man’s paraphrase. My copy of The Message doesn’t even have verse references — which makes cross-referencing it to other translations difficult. But, I have enjoyed reading it this year. Peterson’s take on the Bible is thought provoking.

    As we are finishing our study of 2 Peter, I read this in chapter three — “Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.”

    I loved how that was phrased. We’ll hardly notice the galaxies burning up?! Can you imagine that? God will be burning up the galaxies, the total destruction of the universe, and we won’t notice. We’ll be looking the other way — at our new home, the new earth. Even thinking about it now makes my heart jump. Christian, when life has you down this week, remember that we have a glorious future with God in front of us! Fix your attention on that. Can you imagine something so amazing and so awesome, that you hardly notice that the universe is burning up behind you?! That is our future.

    Looking forward to that day —

    Josh

    (If you want a clue on what specific verses I’m talking about, Pastors Bill and Bryan taught on them this weekend!)

    Photo Credit

    NASA

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  10. No Counterfeits

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    No Counterfeits

    “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is no gospel at all.” Galatians 1:6 (NIV84)

    My older sister has an innate ability to discern distress in my voice. Many years ago, our first-born son, Joseph, was admitted to the hospital for an unknown virus; he was only 10 weeks old! I called my sister to let her know. “What’s wrong?” came her instant and concerned response to my weak greeting. She had me. I burst into tears as the stress and torment of the last few hours overwhelmed me. My sister knew me too well — I couldn’t put up a front. Something was wrong and she discerned it immediately.

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    In the same way, you and I can discern Truth from error almost instantly. I mentioned the key to this ability in a recent teaching. Do we need to study every erroneous religion in depth? No! Just get to know the Truth — and know it well. Jesus told us what Truth is. It’s found in God’s Word (John 17:17). The more you know the Truth, the more confident you will be in perceiving the lies.

    Years ago, I was asked by two members of another religion, how I could reject their beliefs when I hadn’t even read all of their key publications? I pulled out a fake $10 bill (I keep in my wallet) and asked them if they thought they could spend my bogus bucks at a local store. “Of course not,” they exclaimed. “It’s obviously not real.” I explained to them that in the same way, I could not accept their religion as “truth” because (measured against the Bible), what they offered me was a counterfeit. Though they claimed to believe the Bible, their fundamental beliefs were “obviously not real.”

    If someone approaches you, claiming to have truth, just compare it to the “original”. Then, gently but confidently, explain that you don’t accept any counterfeits. (By the way, our Joseph ended up getting all better)!

    Proclaiming the Truth,

    Bill

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