Posts tagged Theology
The Grace Initiative
Grace Initiative.jpg

In chapter two of the Apostle Peter’s epistle, God through Peter tells us that we are a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him [Jesus] who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” and to “keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:9, 12, emphasis added).

When it comes to the gospel, God in Christ has called the church to a mission of making and maturing disciples. The method of discipleship can vary from church to church, but at Storehouse McAllen we believe that we exist to make disciples of Jesus by declaring and demonstrating the gospel to our city and community.

THE GRACE INITIATIVE

The Grace Initiative is a three week giving campaign where our goal is to raise $1,000.00 for two things:

  1. Through our community groups, we wish to bless those in our city, community, and missional partnerships with the gift of grace—demonstrating grace provisionally and declaring the grace of the gospel; that in God’s love and kindness, Christ died for sinners not as a result of their merit or performance, but according to His mercy (Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:4-5).

  2. Launch the start of our Mercy Ministries where we provide a variety of services and care toward those in our community and missional partnerships.

Our desire is not only to bless our city and community through the provision of materials and care, but to bless our city and community by making disciples of Jesus, bringing glory and grace to His name. Would you prayerfully consider joining us on mission as we seek the renewal of our city and community for the glory of God’s name?

COMMUNITY GROUPS

Community Groups are families of disciples on mission for the glory of God and through the Grace Initiative, we hope that you’re encouraged and challenged in joining us on mission through our community groups.

The meat of discipleship and care, for su, happens through community and we hope to see you in one of our groups this week! Visit our groups page to learn more.

HOW TO GIVE

You can give toward this campaign (ends March 24th 2019) through one of two ways:

  1. Visit our GIVING page where you can select “The Grace Initiative.”

  2. On Sunday Mornings, write “GRACE” on our giving envelope and drop in the offering baskets.

Why Should Easter Be Important for Christians?
Easter 2019.jpg

The news about the empty tomb and Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead will never be old news. God who became man, dwelling among us, dying for sinners, and then resurrecting will never be a snoozer.

For the Christian, we have an incredible hope grounded in the truth of a risen King who is alive, well, and seated at the right hand of the Father. Easter Sunday is a momentous celebration in the Christian life and here are four realities as to why this matters: 

1.) God Defeated Death for You
Jesus received the wrath of God in the sinners' place, being condemned to death on a cross. On Easter, the empty tomb signifies the reality that Jesus defeated death so that we may have life! Jesus' resurrection meant that He conquered sin, satan, and death.

The paradox is what seemed to be a triumph for evil was actually God's glorious plan of redemption for His people. 

2.) You Cannot Save Yourself
Contrary to many self-help books at the local Barnes and Noble, the truth of the resurrection is that you and I are in need of a savior because we cannot save ourselves. Salvation is unobtainable outside of the mercy and grace of Jesus; no matter how strong, intelligent, willful we may be, there is no salvation apart from the Risen King.

3.) A Beautiful Reminder
Jesus endured the cross for the sinner, the ungodly with joy for the glory that was on the other side. In other words, Jesus paid really good money for the sinner--his own blood. And upon calling us to Himself and reconciling us to the Father, we are called His "prized possession." 

4.) Redemption is Possible
Everyone wants that second chance; another opportunity. The key that makes redemption possible is repentance. When we strive to earn the grace and love of God through morality and works, we can and will become exhausted. This false gospel teaches that what we do will earn us the love of God when in reality God has already loved us through the sending of His son Jesus. 

Repentance (turning away from our sin) and trusting in Jesus is what makes redemption possible. 

Through Jesus, we have redemption and grace; that's undeserving favor. And it's a gift that He freely offers for all who believe. Through Jesus, we are made new and restored. And it is through Jesus' life and work that we can have assurance by trusting in Him and His word and not our circumstances. 

We invite you and your family to join us on Sunday, April 21st for Easter Sunday at the McAllen Incubator at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate the wonderful resurrection of Jesus Christ, our King. 

Marco De LeonTheology, Easter
What's "Good" About Good Friday?
Good Friday-Red 2019.jpg

We're a little over a week away from Good Friday and thought it would be a good idea to walk through a little bit of the meaning behind Good Friday. For many in the Valley, as cultural and religious as this day is, the question "why is it called 'Good Friday'?" is very common.

First, Good Friday is paramount for the Christian because it is the day in which Jesus willingly suffered, was crucified on a wooden cross, and died as the ultimate sacrifice for sinners (1 John 2:2) followed by Easter where Christ, after 3 days, resurrected from the dead conquering sin, satan, hell, and the wrath of God.

Good Friday is so incredibly vital that the Apostle Paul considered it "of most importance" as Jesus suffered, died, was buried, resurrected, and then seen by many in accordance to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-7). Good Friday is the culmination and turning point in redemptive history because when Jesus cried out "It is finished!" he meant that the work by which we are reconciled to God was now satisfied through His atoning sacrifice.

WHY IS IT CALLED "GOOD FRIDAY," THOUGH? 

There are many debates concerning the origin of Good Friday. There are some who say that the word "good" is a derivative of the word "God" suggesting the origin of "Good Friday" was actually "God's Friday."

In any case, here are a two reasons why Good Friday is so good in spite of the terrible sequence of events that occurred leading to the death of Jesus on the Cross: 

1. Good Friday is a Reminder of the Condition of our Hearts
As we begin to examine and learn more about Good Friday, one thing that it should lead us to is recognizing and understanding that we are a sinful people under condemnation. We're worse than we think! 

When we read the law of God, we should be quick to realize how good and holy He is and how depraved we are. Good Friday is a reminder that we are in need of a savior. The gospel of Jesus is what brings us grace and the relief of salvation.

2. Good Friday Leads to the Joy of Easter
 As bad as this day was, we could not receive the joy of Easter without it. On the cross, the wrath of God was poured out onto Jesus, the perfect substitute, in order for forgiveness and reconciliation to take place. 

Paradoxically, the day that is filled with blood shed, grief, sorrow, and looked like a triumph for evil was actually a day where God's glorious plan of redemption had culminated to in redemptive history. 

Good Friday is where Jesus endured the cross knowing that it would lead to His resurrection and our salvation (Hebrews 12:2). Good Friday marks the day where wrath and mercy met at the cross. And that is why Good Friday is so good. 

Join us on Friday, April 19th at the Old Church Winery at 6:30 p.m. as we observe Good Friday and why it leads to our greatest need and hope. 

 

Why Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday V2.png

The Lenten season quickly approaches and many Christians and churches tend to shy away from this beautiful season for a variety of reasons. At Storehouse Community Church, we wish to engage this season of the church calendar by asking ourselves a question: how do we, as the church, prepare our hearts for the approach and celebration of Easter? 

Certainly, we are not advocating that the lenten season is the only way to prepare our hearts, but we are saying that it is a wonderful opportunity.

Lent is a remarkable time in the history of the church and is a cultural value in the Rio Grande Valley. Here are a few thoughts on why we observe Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season:

1. Historical
Lenten is not a time or period that is found in the scriptures, but rather has been a historical tradition of the church where we evaluate biblical truths.

2. Confession of Sin and Repentance
Historically, Lent or Ash Wednesday, has been the 40 day period leading up to the celebration of Easter and in this time the church often reflects on our own mortality, the confession of our sins as we repent and turn to Jesus, and our hope of the Gospel. 

3.  Fasting
Unfortunately, many will view this season as a dietary opportunity rather than a time of worship. During Lent, fasting serves as a time to encounter God not necessarily your struggle with chocolate. 

In the 40 days leading up to Easter, the church has used this time to fast from certain foods, activities, and media as a reflection of Jesus' 40 day fast in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). The purpose of fasting isn't dietary, but worship and communion. 

4. Preparation
The Lenten season is a preparation for the grand celebration of Easter where Jesus conquered the grave and defeated Satan, sin, and the grave. It's a triumphant reminder of the return of our Lord, restoration, and that He will make all things new. 

The tradition of the Lenten season stretches back 2000 years and our participation is one of church history and devotion to personal growth and discipleship.

We invite you to join us on Wednesday, March 6th at 6:30 p.m. at the Old Church Winery for our Ash Wednesday Service at ; hope to see you there! 

RECOMMENDED READING
Journey to the Cross by Will Walker;
Why Bother with Lent? by Chuck Colson (Gospel Coalition);
Remember Death: The Surprising Path to Living Hope by Matthew McCullough

Marco De LeonLent, Theology, For
Adoption | The Hands and Feet of Jesus | Pastor Marco
Toys.jpeg

I remember when I knew that I was going to be a father. I was 27 years old and positive who my wife was to be--Rebecca. However, I wrestled with becoming a husband and a father in the same breath. Rebecca had a 7-year old son, Seth, and I knew absolutely nothing about being a father. One night, a friend asked me a profound question: are you defined as a child of God or as a father? 

Through the power of a Holy Spirit slap, I realized that I am defined as a child of God. God sent His son to rescue and adopt me into His family. And now, he calls me son and immediately after saying that out loud, I knew that I was Seth's father even if he didn't know he was my son yet. 

The Bible teaches that God is a good father who pursues his children despite where they've been and what they've done. And if the church is called to mirror the love of Christ, what does this look like for the life of an orphan? 

THE CALL TO ORPHAN CARE

Let's fast forward almost 4 years and some legal fees. The legal process to adopt my son has been challenging and sanctifying because there's so much to know in order to provide a fair and smooth trial. The constant reminder of God's pursuit has been the fuel for our journey and for my family and I, we know this path is to satisfy our legal system and we will submit to that, but as for Chango and I, there's nothing that can separate me from my son. 

Part of God's identity is that he is a Father who pursues His children (Psalm 68:4-6) and is present in their lives. God, in His love, sent His son to die for sinners; reconciling us to the Father. In other words, because of the person and work of Jesus, we now have a relationship with the Father! As His children, we're called to reflect the same love that He has shown us so that others might come to know Him. 

There's a myth among Christians that caring for orphans is reserved only for the "elite." However, I wish to submit to you that not only is that myth unbiblical, but the call to care for orphans is a command from the Scriptures (James 1:27).  You and I know what it looks like to be rejected, broken, uncared for, unvalued, homeless, hurt, and in struggle. Yet, God in his grace, mercy, and love threw Himself into the chaos of our lives to rescue us.

Earlier and in the same chapter, James writes to be doers of the Word not hearers only (James 1:22) and my observation is that the church equates pew attendance and Amen's to action. Church, we're deceiving ourselves if we consider hearing doing.

The question isn't whether or not you're called to participate in this restoration, but how you can get involved. 

THE GOSPEL

In the great state of Texas there are over 30,000 kids in foster care. Over 40% of kids in Hidalgo county are in foster care and the need for families to come in and provide homes for these kids or temporary relief for foster parents (such as date nights) are increasing every year. 

The opportunity to become involved in orphan care is numerous as one can start by simply getting informed, becoming respite or babysitter certified, or taking the big step toward fostering and perhaps adopting a child. 

All of this is not meant to guilt you, but it is meant to challenge you. Our first evaluation must be that of the gospel and who God is and what He has done for us. We can only move forward if the gospel is the foundation of our walk--otherwise, we will move forward to satisfy a moral checklist. But the call of the believer is founded under the work of the Gospel in our lives, for we, church, are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a dying world. 

GETTING INVOLVED

As we move into the new year, our goal at Storehouse Community Church is to provide practical avenues on how to engage in the restoration of the children in our city and beyond. Our goal is to provide resources and develop partnerships as means for you to get involved.

Yesterday we hosted Compassion Sunday, an annual opportunity where we talk about our partnership with Compassion International and invite members of our church to join us on mission by sponsoring and supporting kids from Guatemala. We have been developing on going relationships with the local churches in Antigua and Guatemala City in addition to several missionaries who serve in the people of Guatemala in a variety of ways. Over the last 3 years, we've sponsored over 100 kids in Guatemala and are looking to take our second trip to Antigua in the summer of 2018. 

Compassion International is a great first step to getting involved in orphan care. If you have any questions on Compassion International or simply looking to learn more information on orphan care, feel free to contact me marco@storehousemcallen.com.