This Is How We Do at Evident Grace

This-is-How-We-doWith so many thinking that there is a church on every corner, it is fair to ask why any young church should exist. Because of that, a purposeful church should have a purposeful rationale for its existence. Otherwise, just let some other church do the job. So, in light these truths, Evident Grace launched based upon these verses:

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has been made evident, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

In summary, Evident Grace exists because God’s grace made evident in our lives enables us to make God’s grace evident to the world.

But practically, what does that mean for us? How does a church live out that mission specifically for the Spotsylvania/Massaponax community? So, to put boots to that missional ground, Evident Grace lives out these 3 missional pillars: Community, Worship, and Service. That means that everything we do should…

We desire to deepen our ever-growing community,

We desire to focus on growing in and reflecting on the worship that we enjoy each Sunday,

And those things should enable our church to grow in service to each other and our community.

We have activities like (eg)Groups and studies for our men and women for community, worship, and service, but even with that, people still wonder what the actions are that each person should work towards for those missional pillars. Well, we want to help and make those things crystal clear. If we are going to make God’s grace evident through community, worship, and service, this is how each person can do that. They can,

Invite Eagerly: which means we will live lives constantly aware to invite people to both become a part of Evident Grace and to begin a relationship with Jesus.

Pursue Purposefully: which means that we will make a point to always greet new visitors and to meet with each other with the purpose of getting to know each other better and to enable each other to grow in their relationship with Christ.

Serve Selflessly: which means that we will serve however and whenever the church needs and according to the gifting that God has given us.

Give Gladly: which means that we will demonstrate our thankfulness to God for all that we have by giving financially to support the mission and work of the church.

This mission, these pillars and these distinctives are much of why and how EG is going to show the grace of Christ to the Spotsylvania/Massaponax area.

If you are new or curious about Evident Grace, please worship with us at 10:30 on Sunday. We meet at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes or you could just contact us at egfellowship@gmail.com.

If you are already a part of Evident Grace, let’s get together to talk about these things so that we can pray and dream about what God might do among us.

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Entering into Hurt

hugI had a wonderful conversation with someone from EG this week, and we were discussing how many churches (and our denomination specifically) have a hard time comforting and caring for folks when they suffer. He described it in this way.

Most churches do not know how to enter into people’s hurts.

What an incredible statement…and sadly true. We spent the next hour or so discussing the problem. We came up with an analysis, and I hope in this small post to begin to move us towards addressing how poorly churches (including ours at times) enter into grief. In our discussion, church folks typically respond to hurt, harm, and grief in one of three ways.

The Reformed community says: God is sovereign.

The non-Reformed community says: God has a purpose and plan in everything.

And the non-religious response says: It is what it is.

Each one of these is a simplified expression of deeper truths. Unfortunately, they all shut down conversation.

God is sovereign means that we shouldn’t ever dare question what God is doing.

God has a purpose and a plan in everything means that if you wait long enough, either something good will happen or you will figure out what God is trying to teach you.

It is what it is says you aren’t in control of much is this world so why keep talking about it.

I think Evident Grace must be a church that offers more. But what more is there? Well, outside of scripture, we don’t know the mind of God, so assuming on our part or anyone else’s why things are happening is rarely helpful and many times dangerous. So, let me offer a few things that we can do as a church to meet people in their need.

Weep with the weeping – Throwing a party and showing joy when people rightfully have events of joy is great, but we also need to comfort by crying when people cry. So much of grief is the struggle of feeling alone. An appropriate arm of comfort and a shared cry go so much further than empty platitudes.

Be Hospitable – Hospitality is both the opening of our homes to people hurting and the meeting of practical needs to those in need. Hospitality is the meeting of simple needs like clothing, food, and warmth when grief is so great that those needs are neglected.

Neighbor – Neighboring is the constant awareness that you are near to do either of the above two. Neighboring is the offering of one self to another for love and friendship.

While there are other ways to enter grief (feel free to offer some), growing in weeping, showing hospitality, and neighboring communicate care and love to the hurting and represent the love of Christ well.

Christ wept with us and for us.

Christ was hospitable by meeting our need.

Christ was our neighbor because He came to us in our hurt.

Let’s pray God grows this in us more and more, so that at least one person will feel comfort and believe that someone has entered into their grief.

 

 

Life Together Series Launches 07/27

life togetherAs Evident Grace moves into the second half of summer 2014, we are launching a 6-week sermon series entitled “Life Together” on July 27th.

“Life Together” will give a clear picture of what it looks like for us to live out our 3 distinctives: Community, Worship, and Service.

Our series is going to give us the opportunity to explore these “Life Together” distinctives in two different ways.

We are going to explore Community, Worship, and Service by celebrating.

As we study the scriptures, we are going to see that celebrating what God has done is essential to our Community, Worship, and Service. This way, we can speak of the Community, Worship, and Service milestones that God has given us in the past year and half, and we can study and pray specifically about where we might go next.

We have only scratched the surface of the depth of Community, Worship, and Service that we hope for at Evident Grace, so seeing those things as they are presented in scripture and thanking God for what He has done, puts us in the perfect place to pray, plan, and prepare for what comes next.

Celebrating is essential for our “Life Together”.

We are going to explore Community, Worship, and Service by growing in Biblical leadership.

As we study the scriptures, we are going to see that growing in Biblical church leadership is essential to growing in Community, Worship, and Service. The scriptures devote a great amount of time discussing what local church leadership looks like with elders and deacons, so we must understand the scriptures well as we move towards recognizing, training, and installing that leadership.

Multiplied and mature church leadership enables our people to be led well and mobilized well.

Biblical Leadership is essential for our “Life Together”.

Join us as we study and do “Life Together” beginning July 27th. You can find directions to our service as well as many other details about Evident Grace at www.evidentgrace.com.

A Mature Believer is…

matureAccording to Paul, what does maturity look like for the believer?  Maturity is not being held down by the past, believing that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are sufficient even for the worst that you have ever done, and pressing forward in worship and obedience knowing that Heaven awaits.

Remember just a second ago when I said, “Paul knows this and Paul knows that?”  Well, maturity as a believer in Christ is you knowing those things.

So, let’s personalize them for a moment as we head towards a conclusion.  Paul knew that God has removed his sin and guilt, right?  Maturity for you is to say, “I know God has removed my sin AND my guilt.”  Paul knew that he had been called up to Heaven to enjoy Jesus Christ.

Maturity for you is to say, “I know God has called me up to Heaven to enjoy Jesus Christ.”  And Paul knew what pressing forward meant.  Maturity for you means no longer beating yourself up for your past sins, growing in knowing all that God has gifted you, and then growing in obedience and worship.

The excerpt above is from this past week’s sermon at Evident Grace Fellowship where we explored how hope in Christ is so secure, God’s commands, and we can count on it.  The devotional pdf’s, kindle, and audio are up.

You can download the pdf’s for free at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Philippians 2:19-30

Philippians 3:1-7

Philippians 3:7-11

Philippians 3:12-16

And audio for Philippians 1:15-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:19-21 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:22-26 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:1-4 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:5-11 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:12-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:19-30 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:1-7 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:7-11 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:12-16 is here.

Also, we are making all of our devotional pdf’s available on Kindle as well.  Because these are available at places other than Amazon, we have to charge $.99 for these, but all proceeds go back to Evident Grace.  You can find our Kindle devotionals at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Philippians 2:19-30

Philippians 3:1-7

Philippians 3:7-11

Philippians 3:12-16

Thanks for taking the time to look over these with us.  Join the conversation either by worshiping with us on Sunday, getting together with us throughout the week, or discussing these online or at Facebook.

Thanks.

If you are interested in worshiping with Evident Grace, we meet each Sunday at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes off of I-95 exit 126 in Spotsylvania, VA.

Service Preview for 072813

maturityPaul this week is going to tell us that maturity as a believer is not measured by passing theological exams but by applying the work of Jesus.  Please join us Evident Grace this Sunday at 1030 am as we meet in the comedy club above Liberty Lanes.  Until then, enjoy this service preview.

You see, biblical knowledge and theological knowledge find their root in the freshest soil that is free from guilt.  But the soil of guilt and reminding people of their sin is a spoiled dirt that creates theological and biblical self-righteousness and stinks of hell.  It leads to looking down on other believers who are supposedly not as smart and leads to discompassionate judgmentalism towards non-believers.

We are not called to a maturity that is measured by what we do or what we know.  Paul knew a ton and did a ton, and I hope we will know a ton and do a ton.

But maturity in Christ is measured by the tremendous faith it takes to believe just how powerful Jesus’ work is.  Maturity means continually applying Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and continual intercession on our behalf to our sins.  Maturity means offering all of that to those who so desperately need it.

And then, all manner of Biblical and theological knowledge will be gifts from God where we learn about and apply the precious work of Jesus to our lives.  Let’s pray that God makes that true for us at Evident Grace.

If you would like to join us, you can find directions to Liberty Lanes below.

The Free and Terrifying Work of Jesus

terroGang, even as we grow in obedience, even as God transforms us and does amazing things in our lives, all that we are ever going possess that is worth having confidence in is Jesus.
It is a good time to remind us that Jesus says, So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. –John 8:36

Is that thought both terrifying and freeing?  Why is that thought freeing?  That thought is freeing because through Jesus we have everything with we will ever need to trust.

Primarily, we can trust in a secure and loving relationship with God because of all that Jesus has done on our behalf.  Why is that thought terrifying?

That is terrifying because apart from Jesus we have absolutely nothing with which we can ever totally trust.
We can’t trust our talents because they can be taken away.
We can’t trust our possessions and money because it can be gone in a minute.
We can’t trust even the best of relationships because they are fragile and not eternal.
We can’t trust our obedience because even when we do obey, we don’t always have perfect motives and the goal of glorifying God and denying ourselves.

But when we trust the free work of Christ that secures our peaceful and joyful relationship with Christ, then we can do several things.
We can enjoy our talents because Jesus redeems them as we use them to glorify God.
We can enjoy our possessions and our money because Jesus redeems them as we use them to glorify God.
We can enjoy our relationships because Jesus redeems them as we use them to glorify God.
We can enjoy our obedience because Jesus redeems them as we use them to glorify God.

The excerpt above is from this past week’s sermon at Evident Grace Fellowship where we explored how hope in Christ is so secure, God’s commands, and we can count on it.  The devotional pdf’s, kindle, and audio are up.

You can download the pdf’s for free at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Philippians 2:19-30

Philippians 3:1-7

And audio for Philippians 1:15-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:19-21 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:22-26 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:1-4 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:5-11 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:12-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:19-30 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:1-7 is here.

Also, we are making all of our devotional pdf’s available on Kindle as well.  Because these are available at places other than Amazon, we have to charge $.99 for these, but all proceeds go back to Evident Grace.  You can find our Kindle devotionals at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Philippians 2:19-30

Philippians 3:1-7

Thanks for taking the time to look over these with us.  Join the conversation either by worshiping with us on Sunday, getting together with us throughout the week, or discussing these online or at Facebook.

Thanks.

If you are interested in worshiping with Evident Grace, we meet each Sunday at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes off of I-95 exit 126 in Spotsylvania, VA.

God Takes Great Pleasure in Enabling Change in You.

change-sameYou can pray Philippians 2:13 as a personal prayer with great hope that God will answer it.

“Dear God of peace, thank you for raising Jesus from the dead so that He might shepherd and guide me.  And knowing that you brought Jesus back from the dead encourages me to pray that you are able to equip me with everything good so that I might do your will.  Please work within me whatever is pleasing in your sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.”

You can pray that knowing that God works in you and me to work and will whatever is pleasing to Him.  So right now, if you have grown tired in asking God to help repair a relationship, if you have given up on ever conquering a habitual sin, if you have given up on trying to read your bible, pray, share the Gospel or even just getting along with your friends, your spouse, or your kids, you can pray knowing God has promised to work and will in your life.

The excerpt above is from this past week’s sermon at Evident Grace Fellowship where we explored how hope in Christ is so secure, God’s commands, and we can count on it.  The devotional pdf’s, kindle, and audio are up.

You can download the pdf’s for free at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

And audio for Philippians 1:15-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:19-21 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:22-26 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:1-4 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:5-11 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:12-18 is here.

Also, we are making all of our devotional pdf’s available on Kindle as well.  Because these are available at places other than Amazon, we have to charge $.99 for these, but all proceeds go back to Evident Grace.  You can find our Kindle devotionals at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Thanks for taking the time to look over these with us.  Join the conversation either by worshiping with us on Sunday, getting together with us throughout the week, or discussing these online or at Facebook.

Thanks.

If you are interested in worshiping with Evident Grace, we meet each Sunday at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes off of I-95 exit 126 in Spotsylvania, VA.

Bushiban 7am July 27th

bushiban 7.27Godliness and the Godly man.

Those two topics are giant, overwhelming, and often subjects for more despair than hope.  Part of the reason for that is that many men desire a Godly life but struggle to either see evidence of it or struggle to find a place where it is safe to work towards one.

While accountability and committed covenant relationships are key, the stadium event, large scale efforts of the 2000’s have proved to not work in the long term.

So, if a man wants to grow not only in Godliness, but in honesty and effort, where can he turn?  Where can he grow in his thought life, home life, church life, and community life?

Welcome to Bushiban.

What is Bushiban?  Well, men, that will best be answered by showing up at the Evident Grace offices this Saturday, July 27th at 7:00am.  Don’t worry; there will be coffee.

But in the now, what we can say is this.  In Japanese culture, the Bushido was the school for Samurai.  The Bushiban was their home.  Bushiban is going to be the home where our men have a place to be honest, to be encouraged, and to find brothers.

See you Saturday.

Life Imitates Art

imitationBelow is an excerpt from this past week’s message emphasizing that even the smallest amount of faith in Jesus can be used by God to build and transform people and communities.

We seek to glorify God in asking Him to grant us an imitation of Jesus’ heart right here and right now so that many will come to proclaim Jesus as Lord.  We who have bent our knee and confessed with our heart now must do it again asking God to enable us to obey so that other might do the same.

We have to ask God to do that first in our hearts, then in the heart of our families, then in the hearts of this church, and ultimately in the hearts of our community and the world.  We view death to self and death to personal conceit and selfish ambition as an avenue to glorify and reflect Christ, as an avenue to serve others as Christ served us, and as an avenue to bring many to proclaim Jesus.

The excerpt above is from this past week’s sermon at Evident Grace Fellowship where we explored how hope in Christ is so secure, God’s commands, and we can count on it.  The devotional pdf’s, kindle, and audio are up.

You can download the pdf’s for free at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

And audio for Philippians 1:15-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:19-21 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:22-26 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:1-4 is here.

Also, we are making all of our devotional pdf’s available on Kindle as well.  Because these are available at places other than Amazon, we have to charge $.99 for these, but all proceeds go back to Evident Grace.  You can find our Kindle devotionals at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Thanks for taking the time to look over these with us.  Join the conversation either by worshiping with us on Sunday, getting together with us throughout the week, or discussing these online or at Facebook.

Thanks.

If you are interested in worshiping with Evident Grace, we meet each Sunday at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes off of I-95 exit 126 in Spotsylvania, VA.

Small Faith, Big Hope, Glorious Partnership

smallBelow is an excerpt from this past week’s message emphasizing that even the smallest amount of faith in Jesus can be used by God to build and transform people and communities.

As we each own this life of service in imitation of our Savior Jesus that is enabled by our Savior Jesus, as we do that in the church, we more effectively love, serve, consider others more significant, and God blesses us with His presence and the advancement of His Kingdom as we do it together.

One of our hopes to do that is found in 1 Corinthians 14:12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

The Spirit works within us all as we do this together.  If we resolve to work within the community of God, the church, then the Spirit is going to manifest Himself in your life, your family’s life, this church’s life, and ultimately our community’s life.

All of us will be empowered by Jesus to love and serve one another in saying, “You are more significant than I am.”

And we will be empowered by Jesus to love and serve even what in our sin might think of as the rankest of pagans because the Spirit is going manifest Himself in our hearts so that we can say to anyone, “You are more significant than I am.  Let me serve you as Christ has served me.”

The excerpt above is from this past week’s sermon at Evident Grace Fellowship where we explored how hope in Christ is so secure, God’s commands, and we can count on it.  The devotional pdf’s, kindle, and audio are up.

You can download the pdf’s for free at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

And audio for Philippians 1:15-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:19-21 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:22-26 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:1-4 is here.

Also, we are making all of our devotional pdf’s available on Kindle as well.  Because these are available at places other than Amazon, we have to charge $.99 for these, but all proceeds go back to Evident Grace.  You can find our Kindle devotionals at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Thanks for taking the time to look over these with us.  Join the conversation either by worshiping with us on Sunday, getting together with us throughout the week, or discussing these online or at Facebook.

Thanks.

If you are interested in worshiping with Evident Grace, we meet each Sunday at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes off of I-95 exit 126 in Spotsylvania, VA.