The Benefits of Jesus’ Blood: God’s hedge of protection and provision of Passover

Following are the message notes from my message designed to encourage us to live “under the blood of Jesus.”  As you read, may you invite the Holy Spirit to apply Jesus’ blood to your life.

The Benefits of Jesus’ Blood: God’s Hedge of Protection and Passover

The blood of Jesus points in the direction of God and in the direction of Satan.

  • Jesus’ blood protects us from Satan, demons, the demonic, and evil.
  • Jesus’ blood provides the only way for God’s judgment to pass over our lives.

Today we investigate the benefit of Jesus’ blood as your personal Passover.

  • The shedding of the blood.   Exodus 12:6
  • The applying of the blood.  Exodus 12:7
  • The effectiveness of the blood.  Exodus 12:23

Notice the following:

  1. God explains his upcoming action.  Exodus 12:12-13
  2. God explains the actions the people are to take.  Exodus 12:3-11
  3. God explains what his response will be to obedience.  12:13

For some reason, I grew up hearing about the Death Angel of the Passover.  However, in Exodus 12 there is no mention of an angel, nor is there an angel responsible for death anywhere in the Bible.

The judgment of Passover is the judgment of God.

  • For I will pass through the land of Egypt… 12:12
  • At midnight, the Lord struck down…12:29

It is clear.  The shed blood of the lamb, applied to the door, was the sign for which God was looking in order to pass over a family.

God still visits his world with judgment today.

  • For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God.  I Peter 4:17
  • The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment.  1 Timothy 5:24

Just as in Egypt, so in your life today: both the shedding of blood and the applying of blood are required as the sign for which God is looking to Passover your family.

The blood of Jesus is applied to our lives today by a genuine request to the Holy Spirit.  Hebrews 9:14

“Holy Spirit, please apply the blood of Jesus to every area of my life, home, and family.”

MCA Church LIFE Groups

My Story

  1. This weekend we heard that Jesus’ blood effectively protects us from Satan, demons, the demonic, and evil and that His blood also provides the means for God and His judgment to pass over our lives.  Have you ever experienced God’s protection?  Have you known that his judgment passed over you?
  2. Have you asked the Holy Spirit to apply Jesus’ blood to your life?  How and when did you come to that decision?  If you haven’t yet come to that decision, would you like to decide today?

Digging Deeper

  1. There is an interesting component in the Exodus 12 Passover passage about the role of the blood for the entire family.  How many references do you find about the family (household) in Exodus 12:1-6?  What did they mean to the people then and there?
  2. Do you have a role in the application of the blood of Jesus for your family today?
  3. Do you think Acts 16:31 sheds light on this subject for us today?
  4. According to Exodus 12, it is God who judges Egypt with the death of the firstborn.  Why is it difficult for people today to grasp a God who at long last brings judgment even though He reveals over and over again what He is planning to do unless people obey?
  5. Luke, Paul, and Peter all reveal that God is indeed the Judge.
    1. Acts 10:42
    2. 2 Timothy 4:1
    3. 1 Peter 4:5
    4. How do you recommend that Christians communicate to our world that there is a tipping point at which the Judge decrees His judgment?

Taking it Home

  1. Is there something in your family that urges you to request the Holy Spirit to apply Jesus’ blood to the “door posts” of your home?
  2. Is there something in you that is not “under the blood of Jesus” and deserves the judgment of God?  Would you like to place it “under the blood of Jesus” today?
  3. Do you have a friend, relative, associate, or neighbor that is nearing the tipping point of God’s judgment?  Would you like your LIFE Group to pray with you for them?

Celebrate the Year of Ministry with MCA Church Mobilization Ministry

I am delighted to serve alongside of Pastor Mark Burgess and his bride, Valerie.  They are a blessing to me, our family, and the MCA Church family.  Following is Pastor Mark’s Annual Report.  God is good!

Ministry Mobilization Summary of The Ministry Year  – Mark Burgess

Looking briefly at the ministry year in review and celebrating what God has done! Please consider how you can live Local through a variety of MCA Church Ministry opportunities.

Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames Drama.  In July we hosted the HGHF Evangelistic Outreach Drama and rejoiced with people responding to make Jesus Christ their Savior.

EXCELr8 Men’s Ministry – Special Events included the Men’s Super Bowl Outreach, the Alaska Men’s Network Retreat, and the Father’s Day Celebration.   MCA Men’s Ministry sponsored a weekly Monday Night Football Life Group, a Courageous and a Band of Brother’s Men’s Special Interest Life Groups, and a Monthly Pit Stop Breakfast.

Water Baptisms – 37 people were water baptized this year.

Church Members – 48 people became MCA church members this ministry year.

Life Community Venue –9:15 and 11:15 worship services were offered each Sunday.

Adult Sunday School – This weekend teaching ministry was offered each Sunday.

Mobile Food Pantry – Each Wednesday morning at MCA  supplemental food was distributed to an average of 90 families expressing need.

Transportation – Each Sunday this faithful team provided church van transportation to our Sunday daytime services.  This team also provided transportation to special church events.

3rd Wednesday Meal – A monthly dinner meal was provided to MCA members and guests through September 2012.

Ministry Mobilization – Partnering with our Communications Sphere, our Annual Ministry Catalog was distributed and made available on our church web site in August 2011.

Greeting Card Ministry – Each month this ministry honored Birthdays and Anniversaries of MCA church members.

Deacon’s Assistance Ministry – The Ministry Mobilization Director partnered with this ministry for individuals expressing sustenance, material, or other need.

Emergency Cold Weather Shelter – A once a week Emergency Shelter for homeless families needing shelter is planned to begin in October.  It will operate from October through April.

Celebrating The Children’s Ministry of MCA Church

Pastor Greg and DeAnna Jones and the Children’s Ministry Team are celebrating a magnificent year of ministry.  Greg and DeAnna are energetically pursuing the work of our Lord in children’s lives today.  Following is their annual report of God’s faithfulness.

Early Education – FY 2011

                       Early Education at MCA consists of our Nursery Ministry (Birth – 35 months) and our Preschool Ministry (Ages 3 through 5 years old).  These two ministries provide age appropriate ministry for children whose parents are attending one of the MCA Venues.  Pastor Greg Jones leads and coordinates both.  Each area has gone through a period of upgrade and transition with Pastor Greg and DeAnna’s arrival in December 2011.

Nursery Highlights

*The nursery was relocated from inside the CMC back to the original location in room 163.  With a remodel of the nursing mother’s room and some new bright colored foam flooring our nursery is more child/parent friendly and easier to access.

*This year we began a ministry entitled “Grandparent Ministry.”  This idea evolved from the thought that several of our families are separated by a lot of miles from grandparents and what a rich blessing it is when grandparents can be a part of a young child’s life.  Those serving in the grandparent ministry are in the room in addition to our regularly scheduled volunteers and are there to hold and love on the young children.  They are extra loving hands when the room is packed and provide comfort to all.  We are thankful for Larry and Liz Dotson who have championed this team and recently  Gary and Faith Greenland.  You guys rock!  If you would like to know more and are interested, please see Pastor Greg.

* We have approximately 22 volunteers that serve monthly and would be pleased to offer other approved members the opportunity to be part of such a great ministry.    

Preschool Highlights

*This past year has seen several changes in our preschool ministry.  When the nursery moved it caused a domino effect for the preschool class that was being held in room 163.  We relocated those kiddos up the stairs to rooms 270 & 271.

*We have purchased a new curriculum that will start on February 3rd and believe it will be a powerful teaching on the “Big God Story”, Genesis through Revelation in chronological order.  Parental roles are highlighted greatly as primary developer of their children’s spiritual development.

Goals for Early Education Department – FY 2011

*Continue to teach foundational truths in each ministry setting in an age appropriate way with God being at the center of each teaching.

*Appoint a Preschool Ministry Coordinator and Nursery Coordinator.

*Provide training/team meetings as needed to develop/mentor volunteers.

*Provide opportunities to new volunteers in both ministry areas.

Elementary Ministries Department – FY 2011

            The Elementary Ministries Department ministers to children in Grades Kindergarten – 5th grade.  As mentioned in the Early Education report, we have purchased new curriculum for our Elementary age as well.  The focus is to teach God’s word as “The Big God Story.”  Every year we will cover the entire Bible from Genesis through Revelation in chronological order.  The teaching has God as the main character in every week’s lesson rather than teaching on particular topical subjects.  This is a very parent friendly curriculum with many take home tools available to assist parents as the primary role in the spiritual development of their children.

Sunday Morning—29 Eleven Kids (9:15 am and 11:15 am)

29 Eleven Kids is our children’s corporate worship setting.  Each Sunday the children are actively involved in worship and prayer (both for individual needs and the needs of others Our kids are growing in their faith!  This year we added a prayer/blessing wall for our kids to have an opportunity to respond to God in a new way much like how we can respond in the Live services by presenting our needs to God on the crosses.  This addition has been a huge blessing and has given the kids the freedom to express their hearts in a powerful way.  These needs are passed along to our elementary prayer team to help pray for each and every request.  Several children accepted Christ and were baptized this year!

Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge

We regularly teach and discuss the importance of BGMC and it helps our kids see the needs of people around the world and provides them the opportunity to give.   This year we had one of our very own Alaska Missionary couples, Lattis and Sharlotte Campbell come to discuss the importance of giving to BGMC and how it has impacted their ministry over the years.

Kid’s In Training (KIT Team)

KIT Team is our ministry team for children.  This group meets each Monday evening led by Peggy Crowe and Janelle Crowe.  They concentrate on personal discipleship and ministry training.  Ministry opportunities this year included:  FaDazzle Wazzle, an evening trip to Matanuska Assembly of God for a kids ministry launch event where the team was featured and our annual Christmas activities.  We will be going on a KIT Team mission trip in March of this year to Kodiak, Alaska.  Many thanks to Peggy and Janelle for your hard work.

Way Cool Wednesdays

Our Wednesday night programs were reworked some while continuing to utilize the Ranger and Mpact Curriculums.  The name chosen for this year was “Way Cool Wednesday’s.”  This curriculum provides important discipleship component for our boys and girls grades 3 – 5.  Christi Parkinson led our girls program and Chuck Niemann led the boys.  The children work each week on various badges and study basic doctrines of the faith.  Activities this year included our annual pinewood derby, Chili fest, Camp-In, Pow-Wow, and Rake-a-thon. (A twist off the previous Trash-a-thon)  In May we had our awards ceremony and invited all of our parents to come and see their children receive their awards.

Summer 2011

This summer at MCA our programming on Wed. night was “Summer Sports Camp.”  We had a great time with the kids and a big part of the fun was being able to walk to one of our local parks to play.  We enjoyed playing soccer, catching and hitting the baseball, playing on the playground equipment and a few other fun sports related activities.  We sang and prayed together and studied how some of the same disciplines used in sports we can use in our life with Christ.  It wasn’t the sunniest summer I’ve ever experienced in Alaska but we all had a blast together.

We offered two weeks of Kid’s Camp this year for our students, one for younger kids and one for older.  This coming year we are planning a huge camp trip by combining our kids for one week and look forward to us all being together as a big and joyful mca church kids family.  Our summer camps are always very impacting for the children spiritually, emotionally and physically!  Our volunteers always have a blast and come away from the experience with changed lives too.  God is good!

Miscellaneous Activities and Outreaches During FY 2011

This year we had several seasonal outreaches for our kids to participate in.  We had a Back to School Bash, FaDazzle Wazzle, 4th of July Celebration, Christmas activities and the Holy Spirit Conference for Kids.  Our outreach events (FaDazzle Wazzle,  Fourth of July and HGHF) were key events focused on reaching our local neighborhoods and city.

Goals for FY 2012—Elementary Education Department

1.  Continue to provide quality, age appropriate programming for elementary age students.  This includes evaluating and restructuring programs as needed.

2. Provide opportunity for approved caring and loving adult volunteers to work with students in every area of ministry.  Mentor and train those who feel called into ministry.

3. Train and equip new volunteers for the ministry area they are to be involved in.  Meet as needed for planning of events and programming.

4. Continue our partnership with an area school.  Be a blessing to the school and develop a programs we can do within the school to reach and be a blessing to the children and families there.

5. Continue with the great success of restructuring and developing our Wednesday night program for children.  Continue with deeper discipleship through our co-ed program Royal Rangers and Mpact.  Develop relationships with neighborhood kids and their families.

DeAnna and I are excited to be here and we want to say how much we appreciate how each one of you have welcomed us back to our mca church family.  We appreciate all our volunteers and the time you commit to serve and love working with the children of our church and community.  We are honored to be your Children’s Pastors.

Respectfully submitted,

Greg Jones

Children’s Pastor

Never Eat Alone

Back in my study days at Northwest University, Dr. Gordon Fee came through as the Staley Distinguished Scholar. His one week of teaching is permanently stored in my memory.

In the chapel service each day, he taught us how to compare the “vanity, vanity, all is vanity” of Ecclesiastes with the permanence of “The man who does the will of God is forever,” in 1 John.

Dr. Fee gave his attention, in the evening sessions, to the fact that Christians and the Church are the “newly reconstituted people of the Spirit.” We studied some of the intricacies of God’s selection of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the “people of God.” Yet the primary emphasis was upon how in Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection, and sending of the Holy Spirit, God reconstituted “the people of Spirit.”

This holy-day season, I am uber thankful for family. In this newly reconstituted people of the Spirit, one’s family is even more grand than the biological family. Yes, my father lives in Arkansas. Yet I have fathers in our newly reconstituted family too and everyone in this particular family find father in Father God.

As a daughter or son of God you are truly, really, and genuinely related to the rest of our “newly reconstituted family of God.” These sisters and brothers are actual relatives. “The Church family” isn’t just a slogan on the wall or an idea on the pages of an antique text or a philosophy in seminary lecture. The Christian family is related at the deepest level.

Ninety minutes from now our part of the Christian family will gather for a church family meal. Our ethnicities will be diverse. Our skin color will various shades of the palette. Our primary languages will be varied. HOWEVER, we are genuinely and deeply family.

God’s newly reconstituted family is our most powerful evangelism message. Nothing on earth is as powerful as aligning with Father God as a daughter or son who brings joy to His heart.

When we lock ourselves in our homes with our biological family, to the exclusion of the larger family, we silence our greatest Gospel voice. I have noticed that “the happy American family” is rarely effective in evangelism in their homes. It is not the fact that the family is happy and American, it is that our families often become ingrown, isolated, and cut off from the joy of welcoming the God-orphan into our newly reconstituted family of the Spirit.

The stranger in your home gets a taste of the day when, should they come into alignment with Father God, they are welcomed to God’s eternal home and into His fantastic family.

There is plenty of time. Come on over so that neither you nor I eat alone.