This weekend's services were all about the origins of the Rock. Now if were to look specifically at the origins of the Rock church we would trace it back to Horizon Christian Fellowship where Pastor Miles had preached previously, before he began the Rock church. However, Pastor Dan took us deeper than that to the true Rock, Jesus Christ.
We were each handed a rock as we entered the church service this weekend. The service began a little differently than usual. We began by saying the Shema prayer, which quotes Deuteronomy 6:4-5.
Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
This is a prayer that was very important to the Jews. It was a prayer that was prayed in the morning when one woke up and in the evening before one went to bed. It was also the hope that it was said right before death.
After a time of worship Pastor Dan taught about the Rock. He built off the Shema prayer to show us the salience of naming the church the rock, and the significance it holds in what the Bible teaches about the rock.
God's Weapon of Choice
Often times in the Bible the result of sinful choices was stoning of the sinner. When one would commit adultery, or a son would be disobedient stoning would serve as a penalty for their wrongdoing.
In the story of David and Goliath, David gathered up five rocks. He used one rock to kill Goliath. Something interesting to note was that David didn't pick up five rocks because he thought that one wouldn't be able to kill Goliath, but because Goliath had four brothers.
However, the fact that the rocks served as God's weapon of choice throughout Scripture isn't the reason we call our church the Rock today.
A Stumbling Stone
Isaiah 8:14-15 states, He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be broken, be snared and taken.
Here we see a Scripture in the Old Testament that refers to Jesus. Jesus is the Rock, but He is a stone of stumbling. Have you ever had a rock in your shoe? It is painful. You cannot just leave it there; you have to do something about it.
With Jesus there is no neutrality. You are either for Him, or against Him. If you are for Him, He will be that cornerstone, that solid rock upon which you build your life.
Water from a Rock
When we look back into the book of Exodus and the story of Moses, we see God perform a miracle through Moses when He brings forth water from a rock.
Exodus 17:3-6 states, And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, "Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?" So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!"
And the Lord said to Moses, "Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink."
Now the people had their thirst quenched in the desert because of a miracle. Paul clears this up for us in 1 Corinthians 10, telling us that Jesus was that Rock, and that He supplies all of our needs.
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
Stones and Bread
Matthew 4:1-4 states, Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
The Devil attempts to tempt Jesus when He is fasting to turn stones to bread. However, it was His eternal destiny to say no. His body was broken for us that we may spend eternity with Him.
We remembered that as we took communion. He shed His blood on the cross with you in mind. There was no plan B in His mind. It was God's will that He die so that we can live forgiven from our sin.
The Purpose of the Rock
Jesus is the solid rock on which we stand. If we build our foundation on Him, when the storms of life come we will be able to stand strong and endure, because He is our solid foundation.
At the beginning of the services this weekend each person was handed a white stone. Pastor Dan took us to Revelation 2:17 to explain its significance. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.
We have an eternal destiny. When we choose to follow Christ, we are guaranteed eternity with Him. We will be given a new name, unlike anyone else's name. In light of the future glory that awaits us, our lives should reflect whom we represent. People should recognize our Christian identity by our love for the Lord and by our love for one another.
This week as we go out, Pastor Dan encouraged us to carry our rocks with us. To take them in the car, to put them on our desks at work, or whatever it may be. Pray for opportunities, as people may ask about your rock, to share about the Rock upon which you build your life.