Mother’s Day Weekend!

We’re excited to honor all of the amazing moms that are a part of River Valley this weekend for Mother’s Day! I have a really special message prepared that I think may shock you! It’s not a service you want to miss!

Make sure you honor your mom and let her know you love her. If you have other women (grandmas, aunts, sisters, friends…) who have impacted your life, honor them too and let them know how important they are to you! I know I have an incredible mom – love you, Mom!

See you this weekend!

PASTOR ROB

Costly Grace / wk. 1

Image

We started the sermon series “Costly Grace” this weekend, which is a growth and discipleship series, challenging us to go deeper in our relationship with God. It’s inspired by the book, “Costly Grace”  by John Walker, which is a modern interpretation of “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

I gave a few definitions to start off:

GRACE: unmerited favor, given freely to us from God, “God meeting us at our point of need in the person of Jesus Christ”

COSTLY GRACE: justifies the sinner and says, “Go and sin no more.” / We say, “I want to change whatever I need to in order to be formed into the image of God.”

CHEAP GRACE: “You’re forgiven (not delivered)… don’t worry about changing. Stay like you are, you have a get out of jail free card called grace!”

Don’t listen to the lie of thinking, “Jesus just wants me to be happy,” instead of realizing that we should be formed in His image, which demands us to change our habits, die to our flesh and make sacrifices in our lives! We start to excuse our behavior when we’re living in cheap grace. There is no sacrifice and no acknowledgement of it.

Cheap grace leads to cheap faith in God – knock-off Christianity. Think about cheap grace as knock-off clothing – you can use it a lot, but as soon as it gets too dirty and needs to be washed, it falls apart. After wash, rinse, repeat and tumble dry (the storms in life) the seams fall out and you’re left with pretty much nothing.

Because of grace, we say no to sin. Grace changes everything. God changes everything – we say no to the things of the world and yes to the things of Jesus!

We can’t just choose to follow God when it’s convenient. Sometimes we choose how we follow God similar to how we choose a cable package: missionaries get the highest package (being in danger, giving risking everything), then pastors (give a lot of time, make sacrifices), then elders/deacons (more responsibility and time) and then you think the rest of us just get the basic package (Christmas, Easter, Sundays here and there). That doesn’t work! We are all followers of Jesus Christ. We need to be more dedicated to Him than to school calendars, vacations, time at the cabin… not that we’re opposed to those things, but they cannot run your life. God must come first and we must be obedient to His timing and His will.

Read Luke 9 – We must remember to plow a straight row! If you plow a distracted, crooked row, you ruin it for other people (9:56–62). Don’t be a DWIW “Doing Whatever I Want” Christian!

We will never be perfect, but because of Your grace, we get the opportunity to have true life in You, be forgiven of our sins and say yes to you and no to the things of this world!

I’m excited for the rest of this series and hope that it challenges you as much as it has challenged me!

Scripture References: Romans 6:1-4  /  Luke 9:56-62  //  Listen: https://www.rivervalley.org/default.aspx?page=4204&ItemId=360&ChannelId=6&TopicId=141&ImageId=1d190127-bc4d-47ab-8534-cfe832e69998

PASTOR ROB

ARC

What a great week! Last weekend I was on a “work-cation” with Becca – we went to Florida for a few days away but I also had a few speaking engagements scheduled during our trip. I spoke about “Change Before You Have To” at Randy Bezet’s Bayside Community Church last weekend, which was so good. Bayside is an ARC church, like River Valley. I love being a part of ARC (Association of Related Churches) because of the amazing relationships we get to have with other churches just like us around the country!

Speaking of ARC, the ARC All Access Conference is in Atlanta this week, which I look forward to each year. I’m on the Lead Team for ARC and I always leave so encouraged and full after this conference!

This weekend I’m preaching about how God loves us #somuchmore than we can imagine – you may have seen our staff posting on instagram with a graphic that looks this this:

SoMuchMore

Join us this weekend to see what’s this all about!

 PASTOR ROB

Easter Weekend / “We’ve Come Alive” Release

What an incredible weekend! We celebrated at 21 services at 8 different campuses this year! We saw record attendance at all of our campuses and saw hundreds come into relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s what it’s all about!

We also celebrated the Grand Re-Opening of our GO Kids Ministry at all of our local campuses with balloons, new decor, t-shirts, coffee mugs and of course the release of our first ever GO Kids worship album – “We’ve Come Alive” which debuted at #2 on iTunes. It’s also being featured on FOX 9 News tonight in the Minneapolis area! Our Creative Arts Pastor, Ryan Williams, and our Family Ministries Pastor, Justyn Smith, will be interviewed during the 9:00 p.m. segment, so if you’re in the area, don’t miss it!

We are so excited about what God is doing through our church and are honored that He’s using each of us to reach people for Him!

I truly believe the best is yet to come!

Pastor Rob

GO Kids Album Release / “We’ve Come Alive”

Image

I can hardly wait for Easter Weekend to begin at River Valley! Our services start tomorrow at a few of our campuses. I’m also excited for everyone to see our brand new GO Kids reveal! We’ve totally overhauled our children’s ministry and are so excited to share that with all of you! We’ve repainted, rebranded and upgraded! With this “Grand Re-Opening” as we’ve been calling it, we’re also releasing our first ever GO Kids worship album, “We’ve Come Alive!” 

At River Valley Church, kids are important and when we started River Valley in 1995, we said, “What do we value most?” We came up with two things: lost people and children. Kids matter to us and they matter to God! It’s a joy to serve children and I believe albums like this one will do just that – serve our children and fill them with the love that God has for them and the truth that is found only in Him. My hope and prayer is that these songs and lyrics will have an impact on not just our kids, but our families and the generations to come. 

Albums will be sold at all of our campuses this weekend for $10 and will be available on iTunes this Tuesday, April 2! Get your copy! >> https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/river-valley-church/id448330197 

Pastor Rob

Proximity / Week 3 + BONUS TEACHING ONLINE!

I wrapped up our Proximity sermon series last weekend and man was it hard to cram it all in! I had so much I wanted to share that I decided Saturday night before our 4:30 service that I was going to break the sermon into two separate messages – part three and part four – and post the part four online as a bonus sermon. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you need to! You can find the bonus teaching here:  https://www.rivervalley.org/default.aspx?page=3706

It was such an incredible weekend of services! I had the opportunity to preach live at our Apple Valley Campus on Saturday night and visit our Savage and Edina Area Campuses on Sunday. I decided to show the video from Saturday night at those campuses and I tried taking notes while I watched the video with everyone else – I could barely keep up with myself! There was a lot packed into the message this week. You’ve just gotta watch it!

It was also incredible to see the growth that’s happening at our Savage and Edina Area Campuses! Savage had over 800 in attendance and Edina Area had almost 400! So awesome to see that many people in the presence of God!

Easter is this weekend – get to a River Valley campus! You do not want to miss these services. We’re also revealing our brand new GO Kids look for the Grand Re-Opening! 

 See you this weekend!

Pastor Rob

Proximity / Week 2

In Week 2 of our current sermon series, “Proximity,” I talked about the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament and how it symbolized the presence of God wherever it was.

For Israel, that Ark meant victory in nearly every circumstance, so much so that when enemy armies would see Israel march into battle with this big gold box, they’d instantly concede defeat, “Oh no, they’ve got their big gold box, we’re doomed.”  The problem for Israel came when they started to care more about the blessings of the presence of God than about God Himself. So Israel ends up losing a battle to the Philistines, because they assumed they’ll win the battle because of God’s presence even if it’s not God’s will. Wrong!

When the Phillistines win this battle and plunder the Ark, they find out just how powerful the presence of God is, and how bad it is to be around the presence of God and not worship God. Everywhere the Phillistines take the ark, people are stricken with tumors and hardship until it is finally returned to the people of God, who once again worship God for His presence. 

The presence of God is so powerful that when we encounter it, we’re either driven to submit our lives to Him, or we want to run from it with everything we have.

In Psalm 139 it talks about David’s unbelievable awareness of God and His grace and mercy. I challenged us all to be hungry for God like David was so that with all the blessings we’ve received, we can bless the world! We may not be a corrupt church, but maybe we’re just a sleepy church. It’s time to wake up and take ownership of our lives and the blessings we’ve been given and remember who gave them to us – God! 

Some of the chapters I referenced were: Matthew 6 / 1 Samuel 5 / 2 Samuel 6 / Psalm 139 

Looking forward to Week 3 this weekend at all of our campuses! Check out the archived media page of our website to hear this series: https://www.rivervalley.org/default.aspx?page=3706

 Pastor Rob