Evident Grace Fellowship Launches a New Series Journey to Worship, a Study of Ezra

ezra imageExcitedly, on Sunday, September 7th and continuing until the holidays, Evident Grace Fellowship is launching its new sermon series, Journey to Worship – A Study of Ezra. Why would a young church, or any church for that matter, endeavor to study, what for some might be, an obscure Old Testament book? There are several reasons.

Ezra is a book about a community returning to their homeland to reestablish the worship of God after a period of time where worship had been forbidden. Those that remained at home must now integrate with those returning, and both communities have to manage lots of hopes and expectations. Each hopes for a vibrant life of worship. Each knows their own expectations, but they don’t know what to expect from each other.

What an incredibly practical book to study for a young church like Evident Grace Fellowship. We have been meeting for a year and a half. We are a community gathered from many different backgrounds. We too have expectations, and we too are learning to grow and learn as a new community with a new identity. And we are just like Ezra, God is making something beautiful and united out of gathered communities.

Also, as new people visit us and join our community each week, this study will be ideal for them to walk through with us. We are going to see, in real time, the events of the worship in Ezra’s time, and we will have so many things to learn from: the good, the bad, and the ugly. (This is your invitation constant reader. Please join us.)

Also, the events of Ezra and its companion book Nehemiah, are the final historical events in the Old Testament that lead up to the work of Jesus. It is an anticipatory historical account. We can look at those days, on this side of Jesus work, and learn so much about the joy promised to a community who now fully understand Jesus work. In that, we as a community can grow in greater worship and commitment to God and to each other.

So, why study this book? Ezra was living on a hope promised. We are living on a hope fulfilled.

This study should take us up to the 2014 holiday season. The good thing about Ezra is that you can join it at any point and time and not be lost, but we encourage you to join us for worship on September 7th to experience our series launch. We meet each Sunday for worship at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes, and you can find directions here.

Come as you are. We are neither formal nor casual. And if you desire, we have both a nursery, and we also offer an individual teaching time for children aged 2-5.

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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.

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.

 

 

 

 

Evident Grace Launches Fun, Safe Childcare

nursery 1I want to introduce you to a significant part of Evident Grace Fellowship that you might not be aware of, our nursery ministry.   Each week a group of folks work tirelessly to transform the ‘birthday party room’ at the bowling alley into a fully functioning church nursery.  As you can see from the pictures it’s bright, shiny, and a clean place kids to be watched, engaged, and cared for while their parents are at the worship service.

At Evident Grace we desire to create a clean, fun, and safe environment for the families that worship with us.

nursery 2As we continue to grow and new families come to check out our church we want to provide a top notch nursery to meet the needs of a thriving church plant. We make sure all our volunteers have gone through a background check before they serve in the nursery.

If you would like to volunteer and serve in the nursery please contact Emily Tosh at Emily.m.tosh@gmail.com.  We are always looking for folks to add to our rotation.  This enables volunteers to not be serving in the nursery every Sunday.

nursery 3If you would like to join us for worship, we meet at 10:30 in the comedy club above Liberty Lanes off exit 126.

 

 

What Does a Vibrant Church Community Look Like?

Image

In the Book of Acts, we receive a sense of what a vibrant church community looks like.  In looking at this passage, we get a sense of what a new church might strive for.  Please take a moment and read Acts 2.

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

To help us understand this passage, let’s answer a few questions:

How was the early church’s Fellowship described?  They were devoted to the fellowship of the church.  They were bound together by having Christ in common.  They were willing to make personal sacrifice to meet other’s needs.  They ate meals in each other’s homes.  And God grew them in number.

How was the early church’s Worship described? They were devoted to the Apostle’s teaching, the Lord’s Supper, and prayer.  God answered their prayers and did great things among them.  They met together often for worship and praised God.

How was the early church’s Service described? They gave generously at their own personal expense to meet the needs of any that came to them.  Their worship, fellowship, and service earned them a good and Godly reputation even among those who did not believe in Jesus, and God blessed their service with the fruit of seeing many people come to know Christ.

How would our Fellowship be described? To reflect the early church’s Biblical example of fellowship, we would need to cultivate vibrant home communities that extend the fellowship of our Sunday worship into the homes of our members.  These communities would be both formal in announced gatherings and hopefully informal in reflection of a desire to be among one another.  Here the needs of the gathering are shared, addressed with Gospel hope, and met with practical and spiritual support.  

How would our Worship be described? To reflect the early church’s Biblical example of worship, we too would devote ourselves to being people of the Apostles teachings desiring to make sure that every thought, word, and deed of worship be Biblically faithful.  Our services prior to, during, and even afterwards would bathed in prayer for God’s glory and our transformation.  We would celebrate the Lord’s supper each Sunday and ask that God would be evident among us in both our great petitions to Him and His great blessings poured out to us.  Our music would seek to glorify God by celebrating that He has worked with His people for many ages now, so our music would honor the past while representing the present.  

How would our Service be described? To reflect the early church’s Biblical example of worship, we too would give generously at our own expense to insure that none among went with unmet needs.  We would extend this service in acts of mercy to the community around us as a demonstration of the Gospel so that God would be glorified in our service to others in hopes that He might be pleased by our name in the community.  Our service is not a growth plan, but we do desire for many people to come to know Christ and added to our number by the testimony of Christ represented in our service.  

Join us as we pray that God might do these things among us in the Spotsylvania Massaponax area.  If you would like to know more about New Spotsylvania Church, feel free to join our Facebook group or contact Gordon Duncan at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com or call him at 919-412-8161.

Hello Spotsylvania and Massaponax

You might ask yourself, “Why in the world would the Spotsylvania/Massaponax area need a new church?  That is a great question, and the simple answer is that our area is growing quickly.  And while that growth is great, needs grow at the same or perhaps even a greater one.

So we hope to start a new church that will meet those needs while providing Biblically faithful and grace-filled community, worship, and service.

You might wonder if the church can still do that or if it that was ever possible.  Well, we agree with John Calvin when he said:

“The whole world is a theatre for the display of the divine goodness, wisdom, justice, and power, but the Church is the orchestra, as it were—the most conspicuous part of it.”

So this new, as of yet unnamed, church hopes to do that.  Our purpose for existing is to incite a revolution of Jesus’ radical grace that will manifest itself in the people of God’s fellowship, worship, and service.

In other words:  God’s grace enables us to demonstrate Jesus through Fellowship, Worship, and Service.

Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to our 2013 launch.  Until then, feel free to contact us at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com if you are the least bit curious about this new movement.