Blog Posts by Travis McSherley

Family Quest: The Hope – The Story of God’s Promise (Lesson 21)



“Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” – Luke 24:44–49

Jesus was returning to his Father, but for 40 days he explained to his disciples the full significance of his life among them from the scriptures, and shared with them what their mission would now be. After this he was taken up from them into heaven among the clouds. We see this event in Acts 1:9 from the perspective of the disciples, but in the book of Daniel, many hundreds of years earlier, we were given the view from heaven of this same event.

Download Lesson 21

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ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Doxologies: Shadow of the Cross Interview – About Creativity

What does it mean to be creative? Is creativity reserved only for musicians and visual artists?

In the second part of our interview about the creation of “Shadow of the Cross,” Jason, Melody, and Evan talk about how our creative God has given all of us a measure of creativity, no matter where our gifting is. Melody also shares about how she created the artwork that was used for the “Shadow of the Cross” album cover.

(And if you haven’t watched it yet, be sure to check out the first part of this interview, which was about the writing of the music and lyrics for the song.)

Saving Christmas

The following is the introduction to the book “Saving Christmas: How God Kept His Promise Through the Generations,” written by Pastor Mike and Travis McSherley. You can purchase the book in the RBC Bookstore, or order it online and have it shipped to you using the link below. We hope it will be a blessing to all of you.

Order “Saving Christmas” from Amazon Download the Scripture Reading Guide

This book tells the story of the war on Christmas.

We know what you might be thinking: Hasn’t enough already been written about how everybody says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” these days?

It’s true that we tend to use the phrase “war on Christmas” to refer to our cultural reluctance to attribute any spiritual significance to December 25. Though that may be an unfortunate trend, it is  not what this book is about. And it is certainly not what the Bible is about. The real war on Christmas has much greater stakes—universal stakes, eternal stakes. It is a war that takes place on the grandest of scales between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. And it is a war that has already been fought—and won—by God Almighty Himself.

And where can you find the story of Christmas in the Bible?

To answer that question, your mind might go to Matthew 1 or Luke 2. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

Maybe you would point to the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Or Isaiah 9:6, which says that “to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”

No doubt about it—those are wonderful and precious passages of Scripture on which to reflect when we think about the coming of the Lord. But what about Genesis 3? Joshua 2? Micah 5? The books of Ruth or Esther?

What if we told you that the entire Old Testament is telling the story of Christmas? That Christmas shows up on nearly every page? That each of the narratives is a link in a chain that reaches from Eden to Bethlehem? That the focus of Old Testament history was a war fought because somebody had to save Christmas?

This book provides an overview of that war, from beginning to glorious end, and the good, bad, and ugly people whom God used along the way. Over the span of thousands of years, God employed the most unlikely individuals and the most improbable  circumstances to ensure that a baby would be born to a virgin in Bethlehem one holy night. He called murderers, liars, harlots, kings, queens, peasants, Jews, and Gentiles into His service—all sinners, you might notice. He made use of dreams, famines, plagues, and even governments. He used faithful people and faithless people. Because somebody had to save Christmas.

That’s what we celebrate during this season—not just the birth of the Messiah, our Savior, “God with us,” but also ultimate victory in the greatest war ever fought and the fulfillment of God’s promise to redeem His people from the shackles of sin, death, and hell.

If you are a follower of Christ, we hope that this book will inspire you to worship the one and only King as you see how His sovereign hand has worked in every detail of every story to provide the way for salvation and eternal life. If you don’t yet believe in Jesus, our prayer is that your spirit will be stirred as you learn about the incredible and dramatic events that led to Jesus’ birth.

And may all of us be amazed by God’s power and love as we consider the price that was paid to save Christmas.

Introducing Our New Pastor of Fellowship Groups

This past Sunday, Jim Supp was introduced as the new RBC Pastor of Fellowship Groups, a position that will oversee the Shepherd Group, Men’s, and Women’s ministries.

Jim will officially begin in this role on June 4. If you weren’t able to attend services on Sunday, you can watch the announcement at the video below. Please welcome Jim as you see him around the RBC campus!

Family Quest: The Rock – Peak 5 (Lesson 4)



family-quest-the-rockHow many times have you heard something like this, “God first, others second, I’m third,” or, “God, country, family.” Maybe you’ve even said something similar or worn the t-shirt. I know I have. At first glance it seems like a godly enough thing to say and it sure feels good to think we have our priorities straight.

Unfortunately it is not at all what God’s Word teaches us. God’s place isn’t first in a list of other lower priorities. He is the center and essence of every priority. We need to make sure that our children are not subjected to this wrong thinking. Whenever love for God is mentioned in scripture it is with all encompassing phrases like, “with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” or “in all your ways acknowledge Him,” or “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all,” or “all things have been created through Him and for Him.” There is no sacred and secular for the Christian.

“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11)

Now matter what we do, we are called to do it as a representation of Christ. What would Jesus be like as a schoolteacher, a lawyer, an IT professional, or a manager? What would Jesus be like as a parent, a son or daughter, a husband or wife, brother, or friend? In all our ways, in all our decisions, in all our activities, in all our roles and thoughts, acknowledge Him. This is not an acknowledging in the shallow English meaning either. The Hebrew word means to know intimately by experience. Search your heart this week. Are you knowing God intimately by experience in all your ways?


BIG IDEA: Make God the center of everything and He will guide you on the best path.


1 Peter 4:11
Mark 12:30
Ephesians 4:5-6
Colossians 1:16, 3:17
Psalm 34:8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways remember Him. Then He will make your paths smooth and straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

There is one God and Father of all. He is over everything. He is through everything. He is in everything. – Ephesians 4:6

Ask God to help you give Him control of every part of your life, and to trust His guidance.


  • What does it mean to acknowledge God in all your ways?
  • How do you make Jesus the center of your life?
  • How can you learn to trust God? (knowledge + experience = trust)
  • What things do you let take Jesus’ place on the throne?


  • Have a family sharing time to talk about when you should be seeking God’s guidance.
  • Make a list of your gifts, talents, possessions, and hobbies. How can you dedicate each of these to the Lord?

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ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader.  In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.

Parking Update for the 10:45 Service

Starting this Sunday (March 5), we will be opening up a few extra parking spaces during the second service to help ease congestion and make sure everyone has a place to park.

These spots are in the grass area behind the side parking lot (to the right of the main entrance). You can watch the video below to see how to access them.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to think and pray about ways to improve the parking experience.

The Sacredness of Human Life

This month, we have the opportunity to reflect on the sanctity of human life.

And that is certainly a topic worthy of reflection. Such a phrase represents far more than just a political issue or a cultural debate. Rather, it is a reminder of the value placed on us by God Himself.

All life is miraculous and amazing, a dazzling display of the Creator’s intricate design and handiwork. But human life is uniquely precious, significant, and sacred. How do we know that? Because Scripture, from beginning to end, reveals the profound esteem given to Adam’s descendants.

Human life is sacred because it is made in the image of God. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

Human life is sacred because it is elevated above the rest of creation. “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).

Human life is sacred because God takes special care to craft each one. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14).

Human life is sacred because it is eternal. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).

Human life is sacred because Christ was willing to pay an inexpressible cost to redeem it. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

Human life is sacred because all of heaven celebrates when a sinner repents. “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).

Human life is sacred because it is made for God’s glory. “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7).

Human life is sacred because God loves it beyond measure. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

A question that may be at the forefront of our minds this month is: When does life become precious, sacred, and valuable? Is it when we’re holding a crying newborn at the hospital? Right before birth? When we see little arms and legs moving on an ultrasound? When we hear the first heartbeats? At the moment of conception?

Or maybe long before? “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).

Science may be able to speculate about when life “begins,” but only the Creator of life can assign it true worth. And He has assigned it immense worth. Incomprehensible worth.

So this month, and every month, we reflect on life. We marvel at life. And much more so, we marvel at the One who formed us.

Sunday Rewind | 9.4.16



Come To Me (Matthew 11:28-30)Look and See by Village Church feat. Lauren Chandler

Great Things (Worth It All) (Galatians 6:14) –Wake Up the Wonder by Elevation Worship

But God (Romans 5:8) – Look and See by Village Church feat. Aaron Bleecker

In Your Presence (Deuteronomy 31:6) –Nothing is Wasted by Elevation Worship

TEACHING: Be the Church, Part 2

The church is called to be salt that preserves the world from decaying and light that cuts through darkness. The salt sets the stage for the light.



  1. How would you describe the mission of the church, in one sentence?
  2. Read Matthew 5:13-16. What does it mean for believers to be the salt of the earth? What does it mean to be the light of the world?
  3. Read John 3:16-21. How does this passage, with its imagery of light and dark, describe the hopelessness of man’s condition? What is the hope-filled solution the Lord provides?
  4. Why do most religions offer a performance-based path to salvation? What is Scripture’s response to someone who believes they must work to earn God’s favor?
  5. Why must we act like “salt” before people will be receptive to our “light”? How might that affect your day-to-day life?
  6. What fears or doubts keep you from sharing the Gospel? What truths from Scripture might help you overcome those fears?
  7. Spend some time praying that the Lord would help you to be salt and light to those around you.

Sunday Rewind | 8.28.16

Sunday Rewind


Good Good Father (2 Thessalonians 2;16) – The EP by Zealand Worship

Come Thou Fount (Psalm 16:11) – Public Domain

Unending Love (Romans 8:39) – God is Able by Hillsong Worship

Jesus Is Better (Mark 9:24) – King of Love by Austin Stone Worship

Doxology (Romans 11:36) – Public Domain


TEACHING: Be the Church, Part 1

As followers of Christ, we don’t go to church. We are the church.




  1. Prior to hearing this message, what came to mind when you heard the word “church”? Has that changed at all now?
  2. What passages of Scripture come to mind that describe the design, purpose, or mission of the Church?
  3. What does it mean that we, as followers of Christ, are the Church? Why is it so important to get these terms right?
  4. Have you, or anyone you know, left a local church for any of the reasons that Pastor Mike described? What are other reasons (right or wrong) that someone might leave?
  5. What does it look like for the truth to bring conviction rather than guilt?
  6. How would you respond to a friend who said he was leaving the church because he thought it was boring or irrelevant? What if he thought that the church was full of hypocrites?
  7. Read Romans 6:15-23. What is the difference between how the world defines “freedom” and how Scripture defines it? How does Jesus give freedom to His followers? What should our lives look like in light of that freedom? How should it affect our interactions with unbelievers?
  8. Spend some time praying that your group, and all the believers at RBC, would truly reflect and honor Christ, as His Body. Pray for the unbelievers in your lives, that they would put their faith in Christ and become members of the Church.

Sunday Rewind | 7.24.2016

Sunday Rewind


Our God Is Love (1 John 4:9-10) – A Beautiful Exchange by Hillsong Worship
Good Good Father (2 Thessalonians 2:16) – The EP by Zealand Worship
With Us (Psalm 46:10-11a) – God Is Able by Hillsong Worship
Come To Me  (Matthew 11:28-30) – Look and See by Village Church feat. Lauren Chandler
Rock of Ages (Deuteronomy 32:3-4) – HYMNS II by PAGE CXVI


TEACHING: Between a Rock and a Hard God

Moses struck a rock in the wilderness in order to bring water to a thirsty people. Jesus, the true Rock, was struck so that lost people might drink the living water and never thirst again.




  1. What was something in this message that encouraged or challenged you? What was something that you hadn’t thought of before?
  2. What does it mean that Israel was “putting God on trial” in the wilderness? Who was really on trial?
  3. Do you ever find yourself doubting God that way? How does the Spirit convict you or comfort you in those times? What passages in Scripture help you?
  4. Read Exodus 7:1-7. How does this narrative foreshadow the Gospel? What do the rock, the staff, and the water point to?
  5. Tim Keller has said: “If there were no ultimate judge, what hope would there be for the world? But if there is an ultimate judge, what hope would there be for you and me?” What does this mean? How does the Gospel reconcile this tension?
  6. At the beginning of this message, Chris quoted an atheist who questioned God’s goodness and claimed that his life was better without God in it. How might you respond to him?
  7. Spend some time in prayer seeking God’s help in trusting Him more, and thanking Him for placing upon Christ the judgment that we all deserve.