A word from John

Excited to be starting this journey together!

Hey Everyone,

I hope you have been energized by our church’s relaunch as much as the staff and I have been! Our vision begins:

We see a church family radically pursuing a Jesus-first life as we anchor our existence in the truth of God’s Word.

I love the vision our church is chasing and there is no better way to start this new chapter of Morning Star than by anchoring in our church’s Bible reading plan! You can pick up a paper copy at church or download it HERE. It’s simple: 20 minutes a day, one chapter a day, everyday, until early June. You can do it! And if you miss a day or two, no sweat. Just catch up when you can.

This first 20/20/20 initiative also includes praying for the opportunity to invite 20 people into a relationship with Jesus this year. Which is so awesome (and slightly terrifying)! If you are like me, it has been a stretch to write down 20 names of not-yet-Christians (a downside of working in a church). Stick with it and we can do it together. Be bold and catch the name of a neighbor, a co-worker, your favorite barista, or even that random person you always seem to run into at Safeway. Start praying for them, and look for opportunities to get to know them. It will be fun to share and hear the stories of how God works. Easter 2020 (April 12) will be a great service to invite them to hear the message of hope.     

Bible Reading Overview: We intentionally picked readings from both the Old and New Testament. Almost every genre of Scripture—narrative, poetry, wisdom, gospel, and epistle (sorry, no apocalyptic; you’ll need to wait until next time!)—was chosen through the lens of our mission and vision. You can also get tons of helpful resources, if you want to learn more about each book, by checking out the Bible Project here.

  • We chose Genesis because it contains so many fundamental truths that are vital in our understanding of Scripture. In the first three chapters alone, we read through key passages that shape our theology regarding creation, humanity, and sin. Again, that is in just the first three chapters! We then get to think through God’s promises to Noah in Genesis 9. We get to ponder His promises to Abraham in Genesis 12 (and reaffirmed several times through chapter 25), which sets up the rest of the story of God as He promises Abraham’s descendants will become a great nation and that through Israel, the rest of the nations (the Gentiles) will be blessed . . . enter Jesus.
  • Ruth was picked because it is a beautiful story of redemption that unmistakably points to our ultimate kinsman redeemer, Jesus Christ, whose line includes some shockingly surprising people.
  • The Psalms of Assent is a wonderful poetic assortment intended to engage our hearts as we prepare to worship God.
  • Daniel, Jonah, and Acts were included because they are critical for shaping our thinking regarding our vision that every person is a missionary. Daniel is an exile in a foreign land, yet he stays strong in his godly convictions in an ungodly culture. Jonah is called by our compassionate God to take the message of repentance to the chief enemy of God’s people. This is a powerful reminder for us to step toward people who are indifferent or even openly against God. It would be impossible to leave out Acts, where we get to experience the birth and maturing process of the Church. These books will shape us as we lead other people to pursue a Jesus-first life.
  • John is the perfect book to take someone through who is interested in Jesus. In fact, the entire reason why this book was written is stated in John 20:31, “but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in His name.” How cool would it be if someone on your list would be willing to read through the book of John with you? If someone is willing to do that with you, please tell me because it will make my month!
  • Our 20 weeks ends with Ephesians, which is so critical to practically living a Jesus-first life. If we are going to lead others to live Jesus-first, it is going to start with each and all of us.

If you have questions along our journey, please don’t hesitate to ask (john@mstar.church). Let’s go get ‘em!

Joining you in leading people to pursue a Jesus-first life,

John