The Rock Church

Category Archive: A Word from the Pastor

  1. Legacy

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    Legacy A Word from Pastor Billy Johnson of The Rock Church in Utah

    “I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.” — 1 Peter 1:13-15

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    In John 21:18-19, Jesus tells Peter, “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

    When Peter is writing his letter to these churches, he knows his time on this earth is coming to an end. He knows that his life journey is almost over and he wants to make sure that he’s “stirring up” the believers by way of reminders.

    I’m sure there were many things Peter could have been investing his time and efforts towards as his life was drawing to a close. What did he choose? God’s people. He chose to put a great effort into his legacy.

    Christian, what are you putting your efforts into? None of us know when we’ll leave this world so we may not sense any urgency to answer this question. However, we all know that our time here is limited for sure. Why not make an effort to leave your legacy in something that will last?

    Does your wife know you love her? Does your husband know you love him? Do your kids know that you are there for them no matter what? Does your church family know you are devoted to them? Do your friends and family know that what you’re living for is bigger than the here and now?

    In two generations, the only memory of you will be what those who knew you personally will pass down. After that, people will only know you by what’s said about you. That’s incredibly sobering. What will you give them to remember you by?

    Making an effort,

    Billy

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  2. Dwelling Place

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    Dwelling Place, A Word by Pastor Steele Croswhite of The Rock Church in Utah

    “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” — Psalm 90:1-2

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    Recently, I have been greatly encouraged by these verses. You see, Moses was a man who was familiar with change. Throughout his lifetime, he traveled and lived in many different locations. He saw and experienced many hardships as well as celebrated God’s many miracles. In other words, Moses was a man who was familiar with life’s “up and downs”.

    In light of this, God was Moses’ anchor. God was his “constant”. God was Moses’ “dwelling place”. To Moses, God was the only thing that did not change.

    This truth applies to us today. With all of life’s changes, God is our anchor. He is our home. He is our “dwelling place”. God is the one thing in our lives that DOES NOT CHANGE. He alone remains the same — day in and day out.

    As Christians, this truth should be an incredible comfort to us. God does not change with the season, the style, or the stock market. From everlasting to everlasting — He is God!

    Given this truth, no wonder the Bible defines God as our anchor, our rock, our fortress, our peace, our home, and our shelter.

    Are the tumultuous winds of change howling at your door? Take comfort and run to Him — He is your Rock!

    Resting in His shelter —

    Steele

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  3. Pee Pond

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    Pee Pond A Word by Pastor Josh Whitney from The Rock Churches in Utah

    “In regard to these [sins], they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.” — 1 Peter 4:4

    Dissipation is excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures. The world is surprised when you don’t jump into the same pool of sinful pleasures.

    Last year, my family and I visited some friends who live out in a rural area. While we were talking, I asked my friend (because they live so far away from town), “What do you do with your waste water? Do you have a leech field?”

    I know that is not a very normal question. It’s because of my engineering background. My friend said, “No, we have a pee pond.” He explained how the ‘solids’ and ‘liquids’ are separated. Then the liquids make their way into a waste water evaporation pond. I told him I had to see this. So, I hiked over to the pond. Yep, there was it was. The waste water evaporation pond.

    Gross! When I studied this verse, I thought of the pee pond. It is exactly what the world is doing. They are running and doing cannon balls into the pee pond of sin. We used to do it with them. Then we got saved. Jesus cleaned us up and gave us a new heart. He transformed us from the inside out. We didn’t clean ourselves up, He did it. He made us new. He clothed us in his righteousness!

    Now your friends say, “Come jump in the pee pond with us!” And you’re like, “No I’ll pass.” And they attack you. People think you are crazy now. Why wouldn’t you party, drink and have sex? What’s wrong with you? Why wouldn’t you sacrifice your family to make more money? Why wouldn’t you live for your hobbies? The changed life of a Believer condemns the unbeliever; no wonder they hate the change. Christian, I hope you understand that when people attack us, it is a chance for us to witness to them about Jesus!

    Trying to stay dry.

    Josh

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  4. Out of the War Zone and Into Peace

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    Out of the War Zone and Into Peace by Steele Croswhite of The Rock Church

    Hey, Parents –

    You guys are heroes. You are involved in the greatest work of your life and your kids are so blessed to have you as their mom and dad. I mean it!

    I’m not sure about you, but sometimes it seems like my children’s favorite words to each other are things like, “Stop it!”, “That’s mine!” or “NO!”

    How many times have we heard this?

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    If you are anything like me, those words (at times) can almost become like background noise and are easy to ignore. We can tend to think to ourselves, “They’ll work it out.” or “At least they’re not crying.” or “They’re just kids.”

    All that to say (like me), I know you want your children to get along with one another and to one day grow into loving adults who care for one each other.

    We have a couple of sayings in my house that seem to help a little with this “all-too- familiar” conflict.

    1. “Your family is your best friend.”
    2. “If you can’t play with each other nicely, then you can’t play with other friends.”
    3. “Your closest neighbor is your brother and sister.”
    4. “Older brothers and sisters protect, NOT pester.”

    I know it seems silly, but over time, it starts to work into their little minds and hearts.

    The desire for my kids to love and care for one another as they grow is not something that “just comes” naturally or easily. It takes work, practice, time, and prayer.

    Against my tired flesh, it takes me being willing to stand up (again) and calling those little warriors out of that war zone and into peace.

    I’ll say, “God calls us to speak kindly to one another and to care for one another. Let’s try it again. How should we talk to each other?”

    When the oldest child says, “But he’s too small and doesn’t play what I want to play!” then I have to say again, “Then play what HE wants to play.”

    It takes me telling my daughter to play “bad guy” with him and likewise, telling my son to “play baby” with her.

    It takes us sitting down as a family to “practice” kind speech. Talking about what the “right” and “wrong” way to speak to one another looks like.

    Parents, don’t give into the “all-too-easy” desire to let “your kids work it out.” There is a time for that, no doubt. But, in the younger years especially, you need to jump in there. Be willing to stand as a reminder to them, that there is a circle of blessing God invites them to walk in.

    Remind them again and again that they were born (out of all the people in the whole world) into YOUR family. That is truly something to fight for and rejoice in.

    Next time you hear your little people scream at one another… take a breath, smile, and bring them into peace.

    In the war zone with you,

    Steele

    Posted in A Word from the Pastor, Parenting, Thought by

  5. Better Than Peeps

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    Better Than Peeps A Word by Pastor Bill Young of the Rock Churches in Utah

    I don’t know about you, but in the midst of marshmallow peeps, chocolate marshmallows, jellybeans, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, Easter 2017 was a blessing to my life! God really reminded me of why Jesus had to die and why I can have tremendous hope because of the Resurrection. Between our six services this past weekend, we had over 1,300 people come through our doors! There were at least 18 people who indicated that they prayed to receive Jesus for their salvation! God was so kind to bring us dozens of new visitors and people who got to worship Jesus and hear a clear presentation of the Gospel. They were also blessed to be loved on by all of the wonderful saints at The Rock.

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    It was also good to remember that there are TWO ways the Bible says you can get to heaven. Yes, two!
     
    “Plan A”: Earn it. Unfortunately, in order for this plan to work, you need to be perfect. And, none of us are (Romans 3:23). Unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame (where failing seven out of ten times gets you into the elite club), you have to bat 1000 with God. No sin, ever. Good thing there is a plan “B”.
     
    “Plan B”: Trust Jesus Christ. Here’s the Good news — Jesus has already paid your way to heaven!
     
    All we need to do is to repent and trust Him for our salvation. It says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.” God’s redemption is by grace through faith. Not religion, but relationship.
     
    I like this quote — “The Christian is not somebody who accepts a religion. A Christian is somebody who has a relationship with God.” Amen.
     
    I am so thankful for the opportunities that God gives us every weekend at The Rock – especially a weekend like Easter. I’m so blessed to be laboring with such wonderful, faithful, and joyful servants like you!
     
    Now, go eat some Peeps!
     
    Bill

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  6. Risen

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    Risen a Word by Pastor Bryan Edwards of The Rock Christian Church in Utah

    Well, if the all the candy eggs and pastel colors didn’t already give it away, you should know that Easter is here! Every year, people come to our church to hear the Good News about something extraordinary that happened over 2000 years ago. Easter is when Christians reflect on that moment in time when history was split in two. A time when Jesus Christ went to the cross to be crushed for our sins. He was buried and three days later the tomb was empty. Jesus had risen! In His death, burial, and Resurrection, He has forever conquered all sin and death. This is the truth that has secured the eternity of all Christians forever!

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    This Easter weekend, our churches will be filled with many people — those who believe as well as others who do not believe. Many of these men and women (those YOU have invited) don’t know the power of the Resurrection. Many of these men and women are our very own friends and family who have not yet trusted in Jesus’ life and death to save them. We are inviting them to come to church with us, in hopes that God will do the miraculous in their lives!

    As Christians, we believe that God is going to be at work saving souls and drawing the lost into the grace of His Son! Hebrews says it this way,

    “Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” — Hebrews 7:25 (NLT)

    Does this excite you? Are you expectant that God is going to change people’s hearts? I know I am!

    Will you take a minute today and do a very simple thing and pray with me? Pray that many will hear the Gospel and be saved! Pray for whoever you have invited (by name), and pray for more
    opportunities to step out of your shell (pun intended) to invite more people! Pray that this Easter will be one you remember forever!

    He is risen!

    Bryan

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  7. Running The Race

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    Running The Race

    I am one of those people who enjoys running. I like to put myself through the pain and agony of long, (endurance testing) races. Typically, you sign up for that kind of race six months in advance. You need plenty of time to train, mentally prepare, and to do the kind of research needed to make sure you don’t injure yourself during the race. You hope for: amazing weather, no injuries, no shoe problems, no chaffing, and that you don’t lose any toenails (believe me, that’s a concern). The list could go on and on….

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    It’s just like that in our Christian walk (or race). There are so many obstacles that stand in our way. I believe that is why the author of Hebrews used this analogy—

    “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” — Hebrews 12:1b-2

    This verse has become a meditation of mine during my training period. It helps me get through the training and the race. I think about these words every time things get hard. And they do get hard.

    We pray for perfect conditions, sunny days, being healthy, and feeling good when we are done. It’s not bad to pray for good conditions in life. But, there will be times when the rain comes. When you’re in pain, when the soles of your shoes are busted and broken. When you want to give up. Will you? Or will you choose to press on through the discomforts and the pain?

    Christian, run the race with the endurance. Finish strong. When the hard times come, face them head on with Jesus, prayer, and the Word.

    Running the race with endurance –

    Tony

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  8. Redeemed

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    Redeemed

    Years ago, there was a radio show on Saturday nights called Live And Local. They played only local bands. They had a “name that local band” contest one time during each show. They’d have listeners call in and try to name the band whose song had just been played. As I was listening one night, I heard my old band come on the radio! Being the shameless eighteen-year-old that I was, I called in and won the prize! I won a $50 gift card to a music store. All I had to do was go down to the radio station and redeem my prize. I didn’t go. Those fifty dollars never got used because I never redeemed the prize.

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    Colossians 1:13-14 says, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

    Jesus came and delivered us from sin and death. He has redeemed us! He has saved us! He has won! We sing, “We are His portion and He is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes.”

    We have a Great Redeemer who loves us and will never leave us or forsake us. He is Jesus Christ, the King of Kings — “I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ”.

    Redeemed,

    Billy

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  9. 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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  10. 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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