Mar 20, 2022

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March 20, 2022

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“The most basic human desire is to feel like you belong.” – Simon Sinek

 

At Riv, we invite everyone to know and enjoy Jesus as we stumble together in our pursuit to love like Him.

 

In and In The Community

 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Genesis 1:1-2
 

They came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. As soon as he got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met him.

Mark 5:1
 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens.

Ephesians 6:12
 

He lived in the tombs, and no one was able to restrain him anymore — not even with a chain  —  because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had torn the chains apart and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains, he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.

Mark 5:3-5
 

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before him. And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do you have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you before God, don’t torment me!” For he had told him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” “What is your name?” he asked him. “My name is Legion,” he answered him, “because we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the region. A large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged him, “Send us to the pigs, so that we may enter them.” So he gave them permission, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs. The herd of about two thousand rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there.

Mark 5:6-13
 

The men who tended them ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and told about the pigs. Then they began to beg him to leave their region. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged him earnestly that he might remain with him. Jesus did not let him but told him, “Go home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.” So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed.

Mark 5:14-20
 

Again, leaving the region of Tyre, he went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had difficulty speaking and begged Jesus to lay his hand on him.

Mark 7:31-32, 36
 

Holt Venue

We are not meant to be alone and we need other people to fully live out our calling. We
embrace the community rather than the individual for the sake of the individuals who make up
the community. We do not retreat from culture but fully engage in society as citizens and
ambassadors of a heavenly Kingdom.

 

On one of those days while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea, and also from Jerusalem. And the Lord’s power to heal was in him. Just then some men came, carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed. They tried to bring him in and set him down before him. Since they could not find a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the roof tiles into the middle of the crowd before Jesus. Seeing their faith he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to think to themselves, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But perceiving their thoughts, Jesus replied to them, “Why are you thinking this in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”  — he told the paralyzed man, “I tell you: Get up, take your stretcher, and go home.” Immediately he got up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. Then everyone was astounded, and they were giving glory to God. And they were filled with awe and said, “We have seen incredible things today.” After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.” So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow him. Then Levi hosted a grand banquet for him at his house. Now there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining at the table with them. But the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Luke 5:17-32
 

There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages for the incarnation. – Madeleine L’Engle
 

What should I bring before the LORD when I come to bow before God on high? Should I come before him with burnt offerings, with year-old calves? Would the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams or with ten thousand streams of oil? Should I give my firstborn for my transgression, the offspring of my body for my own sin? Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.

Luke 5:17-32
 

MSU Venue

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:3, NIV
 

It is not good for the man to be alone.

Genesis 2:18
 

Riv’s Core Value
We are not meant to be alone and we need other people to fully live out our calling. We use our
individual gifts to bless both our church and surrounding communities. We acknowledge that
often the best way to care for individuals is to care for their community. We do not retreat from
culture but fully engage in society as citizens and ambassadors of a heavenly Kingdom.
 

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47
 

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:7, NLT
 

Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17
 

One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound wisdom.

Proverbs 18:1
 

Posture Toward Culture
– defensive against
– purity from
– relevant to
– faithful presence

 

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Jeremiah 29:4-7
 

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.”

John 20:21
 

How can we apply this?
– take initiative in seeking community
– pay the social and emotional costs
– truly love one another
 

Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God.

John 20:21
 

REO Town Venue

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.”

Genesis 2:18
 

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47
 

It is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that lead many to put a brand upon us. – Tertullian

 

See how they love one another – Tertullian

 

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brothers and sisters: warn those who are idle, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-14
 

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed when he saw that the city was full of idols.

Acts 17:16
 

So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with those who worshiped God, as well as in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.

Acts 17:17
 

The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’

Luke 7:34
 

Westside Venue

We’re excited to support two of our local partners, Pregnancy Services and Ronald McDonald House, by collecting items to help fill their pantries. Both of these organizations serve our community so well and this is a great opportunity to encourage the teams and those they’re caring for. Checkout the list of items we’re collecting below.
 
Pregnancy Services
– spring and summer baby clothing, sizes 0-3 months through 18 months
– baby toiletries (soap, shampoo, lotion, diaper cream, etc.)
– baby socks and shoes, sizes 0-6 months
– infant car seats
– pack ‘n plays with the bassinet feature 
 
Ronald McDonald House
– individual packaged cereal boxes
– individual packets of mayo, ranch, and pickle relish
– water bottles
– granola bars
– poptarts
– individual chips
– individual cookies
– ziploc sandwich bags
– mini candy bars
– k-cups
– to-go coffee cups with lids

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