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8.27.2006

his kindness leads to repentance

As I've been studying the book of Romans, I've been dwelling a bit on this phrase found in chapter 2, verse 4: "God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance." When I think of what leads to repentance, it usually involves somebody getting in my face and scolding me into making things right. But that's not God's primary method. His primary method is revealing to us his kindness. God shows us his kindness in Jesus and he shows how kind he is by suffering on the cross, and he knows that this will lead us to repent and to turn to him in faith.

So, why don't I sense more of God's kindness? Perhaps it's because I often think of God as angry at me (because I haven't lived up to his standard--which is just religion). But this verse reminds me that God is my kind, loving Father who is ready to embrace me and receive me as his child if I will abandon my religion and instead trust in his kindness.

8.23.2006

he has done great things!

Psalm 126:6 says, "The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." God has done great things indeed. For me, one of the greatest things that God has done is blessing me with a beautiful daughter, Abby. It's awesome to see God's skill in creating her and it fills us with joy to watch her grow and develop.

The joy of knowing Christ is that God not only has done great things for us in the past, but that he will continue to do great things in the future. For all who know and love him, God promises to work all things--even bad things--into good things (Romans 8:28).

What great things has God done for you? What great things would you ask him to do? "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11)

8.20.2006

home groups!

Click here to find a Gilbert home group.

One of the biggest blessings of this past year for Molly and I has been the people that we've come to know and love in our home group. We have grown closer with God and experienced tremendous friendship through the men and women in our group.


I believe that people who are in community with other believers grow more in their relationship with God than those who aren't (just like those who workout with a personal trainer usually see more results than those who don't). If you're having a hard time living out your spiritual convictions and commitments, perhaps you need the connection that will keep you on track (for more on this, view Andy Stanley's message entitled "Missing Ingredient").

If you are not in a home group, I'd encourage you to find one. We have a great online locator for these groups here. Some are even brand new groups (Ambrosia, Golden, Huffman, Pace, Sprout, Schroder, and Starley).

8.17.2006

the power of God

I have just started writing a study guide for home group use on the book of Romans. It's a powerful book, and will be a good challenge to condense the book into an 8 week study. I was amazed yesterday as I considered this well known verse: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).

It hit me that the reason for Paul's not being ashamed had nothing to do with him having a strong personality or a dynamic experience as an apostle--it had to do with knowing that the gospel is the message through which God powerfully frees sinners from their slavery to selfishness and allows them to experience abundant life. It isn't about Paul's boldness; it's about God's power.

For a great explanation of the gospel, click here.

8.16.2006

is this how you view Jesus?

Vintage21 is a church in Raleigh, NC. In 2003, they had a four week series on Jesus Christ, taking a deep look at what He said and did. It was difficult at times to get past their preconceived notions that had been developed by staunch, starched Sunday School classes of old. This is a satirical look at what some people think Jesus is like. Thank goodness He's not.

8.15.2006

men's fellowship under way

Well, we kicked off the first men's fellowship this morning with our theme: "Change or die!" (basically a call to be different men in four months than we are now). We had a great turnout and it was fun to get things going.

We'll have another kickoff this Thursday at 6:30am at 1901 E. Lexington Ave. (Elliot & Val Vista), if you'd like to participate.

If you have more questions, email Luke Simmons.

8.14.2006

why the church exists

Have you ever stopped to consider why the church (either universal or local) exists? Why are we here? What are we to do? One answer is found in Ephesians 3:10, "...through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places."

Why do we exist? To help everyone around us see the manifold wisdom of God.

Do they see it?

8.11.2006

great advice

I heard the following quote yesterday from Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church. He was talking about the tendency to work so hard in business or ministry to the detrement of loving your family and being the husband or wife that God has called you to be:

Never violate the principles of God to gain or maintain the blessing of God.
In other words, don't you dare think that you can neglect your family in pursuit of a blessed ministry or business.

8.10.2006

the untameable tongue

For those of you still considering Tom’s message on the power of the tongue, I direct your attention to this recent article by John Piper:

Talking to People Rather Than about Them

tonight: women's dessert social


Ladies, please meet up with some other women from your community TONIGHT from 7:00-9:00pm at Kathi Bishop's house. Feel free to just show up, and also to bring a friend or neighbor.

Directions are here.

8.09.2006

two things Jesus never did

There is a great deal of talk among church people about living as Jesus lived and doing what Jesus did (i.e. WWJD). I'm all for it. After all, 1 John 2:6 says, "whoever says he abides in (Jesus) ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." Jesus did much that is worthy of imitation. But there are two things that Jesus never did: 1) sin, and 2) repent.

Jesus never sinned, and therefore Jesus never repented.

In contrast, we sin every day in a variety of ways--our thoughts, attitudes, feelings, desires, or actions. But do we repent every day? Let me rephrase it: do you repent every day? Do you daily come before God and agree with him that you have sinned and need forgiveness? Do you trust daily in his death and resurrection to accomplish the forgiveness you need? This is something that I'm reminding myself of frequently, and I hope you'll do the same.

One person that has helped me greatly in understanding the nature of repentance is Tim Keller. Here's one of his articles that might help you too: All of Life is Repentance.

Until we stop sinning, we must never stop repenting.

8.08.2006

starbucks anyone?


Well, I'm off to Starbucks here in a moment to meet up with a home group shepherd. It seems like every time I go into a Starbucks I see somebody studying a Bible, reading a Christian book, or having a small group study with some other people. Kind of interesting...I wonder if the guys who founded it ever imagined that would be the case. They probably don't care, as long as they keep making billions of dollars $3 at a time.

If you're looking for a fix to your caffeine addiction, or merely a different place to study your Bible check out the following links:

Starbucks locations (a listing of all the stores in Gilbert)
Arizona Coffee Shops

8.03.2006

welcome to gilbert area ministry!

The goal of Gilbert Area Ministry is to equip the believers of East Valley Bible Church to minister to one another and relationally reach out to those who do not yet love Jesus.

Jesus said, "As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you" (John 20.21). We are sent by Jesus to this wonderful town of Gilbert. He has strategically placed us here to make a difference for him. Therefore, I hope you'll dive into this ministry with all your energy and passion. There are people who need the love, forgiveness, purpose, life and hope that come from Jesus - and we get to take it to them!

Please save this website in your bookmarks, and check it regularly for updates and the latest happenings in Gilbert. There are some wonderful opportunities to get involved in this community and begin making a difference in this town.

How long have you lived in Gilbert?
less than 1 year
1 -3 years
4-5 years
6+ years
Free polls from Pollhost.com

gilbert community gatherings

Community Gatherings are fun, family-friendly gatherings in your community where you can connect with others in your community or introduce your unchurched friends to EVBC. It takes quite a few volunteers to pull off a Community Gathering, so if you'd like to serve on the team, email Luke Simmons.

Mark your calendars for the following dates and events:

Gilbert Vision Night

  • Come hear what is planned for the Gilbert area and how you can make a difference for Jesus in your community
  • Saturday, Sept. 23
  • 6:30-8:30pm, EVBC Conference Center
Chili Cook-off & Smores
  • Warm up these cool fall nights with chili, smores, and laughter around a fire.
  • Saturday, Nov. 18 (Hosted by zip codes 85296 & 85236)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2 (Hosted by zip code 85233 & 85234)
  • Details TBA
Adult Night Out
  • Enjoy a night out at a local restaurant followed by fellowship & dessert at the church
  • Saturday, Feb. 10 (Hosted by zip codes 85233 & 85234)
  • Saturday, Feb. 24 (Hosted by zip codes 85296 & 85297)
  • 6:00 - 9:00pm in the EVBC Conference Center
Play in the Park
  • Have fun with other singles and families at a local park while eating food, playing games, and enjoying the spring weather
  • Saturday, April 14 (Hosted by zip codes 85233 & 85234)
  • Saturday, April 21 (Hosted by zip codes 85296 & 85236)
  • Details TBA
If you'd like to host an event of your own and want help promoting it, be sure to contact Luke.

8.02.2006

gilbert women's dessert social

All women are invited to Kathi Bishop's house on Thursday, August 10 from 7:00 - 9:00pm for a dessert social. Bring a friend if you want, and just show up.

For more information, call Kathi at 480-981-1776.

For directions, click here.