Generation Church Blog

A Thousand Generations

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A Thousand Generations 

Easter Message 2016 

“Jesus is good, his unfailing love endures forever and his faithfulness continues to all generations” Psalm 100:5

God is faithful in each generation.

A thousand generations.

Easter reminds us of this overwhelming reality. Overwhelming and undeniable like the sun that rises and blinds us with breathtaking beauty.

This overwhelming reality is an exuberant call to worship. An infectious invitation not to continue to worship creation and God’s 10,000 blessings but to worship our Creator. God’s faithfulness is an invitation to all the earth to praise and rejoice in our faithful and resurrected King and Savior.

Good News In A Bad News World

The truth is that we have exalted and worshiped God’s 10,000 blessings over the greatest blessing. The story of humanity is that we have worshiped creation over our Creator. This is the roots and the marks of our story from the beginning.

We have all descended from one man. A very good man; a man, a person and a human like us. People made in God’s glorious image but a people no matter our creeds or deeds, denominations or dogma, religion or irreligion who have forgotten and become dead to the presence of our living Father and have become deaf to the promises of our Maker. We were created for endless life but we have turned to endless death.

The results of the human story has not only shattered our relationship with God but our idolatry and rebellion has infected and led creation to chaos and to the brink of destruction. But Easter. But God. In a world of bad news, we are now a people of good news.

A new man has entered human history not only as a very good man but a perfect man. Jesus, a man who claimed to be God. A man who is God. The perfect God-man who flourished in our humanity and yet was still pierced for our transgressions, condemned and crucified for our sins, in our idolatrous  place.

This momentary tragedy happened in the midst of perfect beauty because our good Father knew that only his Son, our Redeemer and Reviver could awaken the generations and restore us to lasting and overwhelmingly satisfying relationship with Him. Only God can take a land, a county, a city, a world of white wash tombs, a land of spiritual dead people, a world of death and revive us to abundant life. Only God can renew all of his creation. And this is what God has done and is doing.

Jesus didn’t stay dead. It’s no longer Saturday. God is alive. The tomb is empty, our God has robbed the grave. The resurrection of Jesus is the great rebuttal against the once irrefutable reality of death. We were all on our way to the ground six feet deep to face everlasting death but Jesus stood up from the grave in our place to give us everlasting breath.

Victory Over Death

So the invitation is to look again, look not only to the sun that rises again through waves of countless blessings and eye awakening mercy but to look to Jesus and be in awe of his grace and faithfulness. Look again with fresh perspective or look for the first time and be in awe of God’s power through the resurrection and to the promise that in Christ we have now received victory. Victory over death.

This is the glorious hope of Easter; God trampled over death by death so that we may live in the glorious light of our living hope and Savior. This glorious hope and promise is for you and for a thousand generations after us because just as the sun will rise, so to will God’s people. There is no greater news in the world.

Revive Us Again

Perhaps you have seen the Son before and have forgotten his beauty. Perhaps you have grown cold or old like winter and need the warmth of our Father’s faithful embrace. Perhaps you don’t know why you are here and you are now being awakened to your God who was and is always there. However and whoever you are, rest in God’s grace and peace. Rest and be revived again. Turn to Jesus.

I believe God is looking at you and towards a thousand generations and he’s saying “I reign! I’m the exalted and risen Lord. I’m good, unfailing in my love and I’m faithful in each generation.”

God is looking out on the nations and generations and he has said “I’ve got this, I’ve got you, and I died and rose again because I want all of you. So say yes, yes to fullness of joy, yes to freedom, yes to peace, yes to love, yes to victory, yes to abundant life.”

So we say yes to Jesus, our faithful and famous God. And when we forget or fail or both, we remember in the words of Martin Luther; “that our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” And I’ll add in every sunrise.

Praise the Lord!

Pastor Stephen Mook

Sermon Link Audio: A Thousand Generations

What Do You See

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Having Spiritual vision propels us to fulfill God’s mission.

Last weekend a group of us from Generation Church gathered to see. We gathered to see what God was doing and to be amazed! It was a holy moment. We got to experience a piece of the Kingdom of God in real time.

Months earlier God put on my heart the story of Elisha and his servant in 2 Kings 6. It was about spiritual sight and living according to the true reality of God rather than the circumstances around us. Elisha was so in tune with the Spirit of God that no earthly circumstance was going to rattle him. It felt like a perfect story for us to study at the retreat.

We all felt it. The Scriptures came alive to us and then the reality of the journey and mission God has for us came alive as well, as leaders from our church shared what God is doing in our midst. We got excited, not because it was a good Bible study or a nice time together (although both of those are true). We got excited because we started to see what it looks like to be on mission together. And that, my friends, is how God designed it.

Even in 2nd Kings we see it. Israel was chosen by God from all the other nations. Not for their own sake (although they would be blessed), but for the rest of creation. They were blessed by God to be a blessing to the whole world.

But they lost their way. They hoarded their blessing, and worse, they turned to other gods and started to live just like everyone else around them. They lost sight of God and therefore they lost sight of the mission He had for them.

In this story, God delivers the enemies of Israel to them on a silver platter through Elisha. Instead of just doing what everyone else does, kill, he King of Israel asks Elisha, “What should we do?” Elisha tells them to feed their enemies, to bless them and send them on their way.

Israel became a blessing to their neighbors, not an enemy. And it created peace. They were, even if just for a short time, fulfilling the mission God had intended for them. And it was because they sought God and to see things how He sees things.

The same is true for us. It’s so easy for us to forget that we (the church) exist solely for the mission of God, to reconcile all of creation to the creator. But when we seek the will of God and see things with spiritual vision it propels us to mission.

It reminds us why we exist and we get excited. Not because it’s hip and trendy or it’s the cool new thing. It’s been the thing since the Church (and even Israel) began. When we live into God’s purpose for us we feel alive, because we are abiding in the only true source of life. And that source, Jesus, calls us, equips us, and sends us into His mission.

May we continue see with spiritual sight so that we may be a blessing to those around us to see the Gospel go forth throughout South County and beyond.

Ryan Lospaluto

Relationships

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We are excited to begin a new series through the letter of Galatians leading up to Easter Sunday.

The Apostle Paul wrote this letter in the 1st century to a group of churches who were just beginning to find their voice. The pulse of this passionate and personal letter from the Apostle was anchored in the hope that the Gospel that the Church first received wouldn’t continue to be distorted in their lives and community.

The Gospel had been distorted and this distortion had come from within the Church. The Apostle Paul’s desire is that the Church would again receive the Gospel because the freedom of the Gospel is the only way we can be transformed for God’s glory. The people of God have been given a mission to spread the good news of Jesus and keep in step with Spirit in every generation. This happens when we remember the undistorted Gospel of Jesus.

Our good Father wants us to see every relationship through the lens of the Gospel/Good News of Jesus. The Gospel is our ultimate hope for true human flourishing. The miracle of God’s rescuing grace and the heart of the undistorted Gospel of Jesus is that there is nothing we have ever done or will ever do that brings us into true relationship with God our Father. To good to be true? No! This is why we sing “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me.”

May we remember and flourish in the freedom of Christ. This is our prayer and hope for Generation Church and the larger Church in our region.

See you Sunday and throughout the week in South County.

Here’s the link to week one: http://generationchurchri.org/sermon/the-undistorted-gospel/

 

My Revival

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Generation Church exists to see people revived by the good news of Jesus.

The heart of this new series for 2016 grew from the reality that revival starts with us remembering that the Reviver lives within us. We continue to pray and believe that this is the reason why God has made us a church family in South County for the glory of his name.

Our hope for 2016 is that as we continue to pray for our region to be revived by the good news of Jesus, we will first seek to see revival in our own private lives and homes. We pray that a foundation on God’s grace will be formed through meditating on Scripture, private prayer, being filled with the Spirit and remembering that finding our joy in Jesus is the most important duty of our lives.

We are looking forward to seeing you throughout 2016.

Let’s lean into the arms of our almighty Father through Christ our Reviver in the power of the Spirit.

 

Christmas Offering

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This season we are excited about our Generation Christmas Offering opportunity!

Generation Church exists so that the people of South County and Rhode Island will be revived by the good news of Jesus. We get to be a part of this together.

Advent is a perfect time to participate in God’s Kingdom work through joyful generosity as we remember His promise to send Jesus who would overcome sin and death forever.

This Christmas offering will go to three strategic areas, Plant, Water, and Grow, that are at the heart of our vision.

Find our more information here about our Christmas offering: http://www.GCchristmasoffering.org

You can give directly online here: https://app.easytithe.com/g3/

Thank you for your gospel partnership!

 

This is War – Advent at Generation

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We would love to see you this Advent season.

Advent is a season observed by many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of Jesus at Christmas.

This Christmas we will be reminded that the birth of Jesus that we normally speak of as peaceful, quiet, and mild, was ultimately the most momentous event in the history of mankind.

It is the equivalent of D-day. God is on the ground, in the trenches; God as man. Christmas is about the reality that God has waged war not against people or other religions but against sin, evil and death bringing good news of great joy that is available for everyone throughout the world

 

Revive Us Again – 1 Year Anniversary

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This November we are celebrating our 1 year anniversary since our big launch.

I remember walking, praying and dreaming years ago on the beaches of South County about Generation Church.

God had brought revival in my life and the Spirit of God had put an unquenchable burden within me to see the people of South County revived again with the good news of Jesus.

We didn’t have a name, or a building, or people but we had promises from our good Father:

“Be Still and know that I am God; Jesus will be exalted throughout the earth.” Psalm 46:10

“Jesus is good, his unfailing love endures forever and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” Psalm 100:5

Years later, it’s amazing to see what God is forming and building and ultimately how the good news of Jesus is spreading. We love South County but we thank God that Jesus loves South County a trillion times more. This love, this extravagant grace is what compels us to see every person in South County and beyond encounter the good news of Jesus.

And this doesn’t happen through our name or through a building or through one local church but through people of all generations living life together in the power of the Holy Spirit for the good of our neighbors and for name that is still more famous then any other name.

So we continue to say, believe, go and pray “Lord, revive us again so that your people may rejoice in you!” Psalm 85:6

Here’s to many more years through the power of the Spirit!

Pastor Stephen

1 Year video: https://vimeo.com/144252339

1000 Yeses

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This past Sunday we looked at the marks of true conversion from Ephesians 2:1-10 in preperation for our first anniversary celebration as a church family.

We talk often about baptism, discipleship, evangelism, loving our neighbors; especially the poor, mission and church planting. The heart behind this sermon and season is for us to remember that all of this flows from being people who are supernaturally alive, boasting in God’s grace and living out God’s mission in the world.  We need to remember the foundation for why we now exist and the truth about what we have been saved from and saved for in this vaporous life.

True conversion isn’t about making one decision to believe and follow Jesus but a lifetime of yeses in response to God’s glorious grace.

Here’s a helpful quote from Marshall Segal:

“The good news of Jesus doesn’t stop with forgiveness. We treat grace like it’s God’s big eraser for our every wrong or mistake. But God does not only mean to rub the page clean. No, he intends to write a new story in sin’s place, replacing what was once broken, wicked and dead with love, faithfulness, and life. The gospel doesn’t just get us out of hell; it also makes us new. Grace doesn’t just help us shed the weight of past sins; it empowers us to feel and live differently.”

May we continue to live as easter people and follow the leadership of the Spirit in this season of celebration.

Pastor Stephen

Sermon: 1000 Yeses –  https://soundcloud.com/generationchurchri/1000-yeses

Welcome House

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We are excited to be renovating and beautifying the inside and complete upstairs of our local homeless shelter and good friends at the Welcome House in South County.

The hope for our Welcome House partnership is to take steps together in overcoming homelessness in Rhode Island. We are excited for everyone to get involved. This isn’t about mere charity but gospel conviction; the love and grace of God compels us to help anyone in need.

Join us this Fall.

 

 

Welcome Home

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This Fall we begin a new sermon series in South County.

Each Sunday in September and October we will look at two famous stories that Jesus communicated in the 1st century. We will be look at the parable of the Prodigal Son/God from Luke 15 and the parable of the Good Samaratian from Luke 10. Our hope is that these parables of Jesus will help us see the heart of God and the ultimate good news of Jesus that welcomes us home to a greater family and a greater Father in the 21st century.

Join us for our Fall Launch. Everyone is welcome.

May we all be amazed by the extravagant grace of God.