Friday Elder Update: March 27, 2020
All Grace Bible Church gatherings are canceled through April 6.
I Peter 2:21-25
21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;
23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
Christ suffered like no one has suffered. He experienced a horrific death on the cross. But much more than that, He bore the sins of all who would believe in Him. Wrath upon wrath was poured out upon Him. And not for a moment did He doubt the righteousness of God. Not for a moment did He lose sight of the trustworthiness of the Father. In fact, in the moment of excruciating pain and offense towards Him, His compassion and love was put on display towards the offenders. The first recorded statement of Jesus on the cross as lots were being cast to divide up his garment was, “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”
Each and every one of us should be overcome by thankfulness that Jesus’ solution to the cross was not rushing out of His persecution, it was not rushing out of His trial, it was not relief from the pain and hurt He was experiencing. It was faithful perseverance through it with holiness and unrelenting trust in the righteousness of God. It was the moment in Jesus life when the righteousness of God seemed most suspect that Jesus unwaveringly entrusted Himself to God.
And this is so hard. This is so hard when the doctor’s report is not good. This is so hard when relationships are broken, when jobs are lost, when tomorrow is uncertain. But there is hope. We have a perfect example. And though we may follow this perfect example imperfectly, we have hope. Because we, as a result of Jesus, are no longer under the bondage of sin. And because of Him we can live righteously in the midst of trials and persecutions.
As a result of the dangers associated with the Covid-19 Coronavirus, all Grace Bible Church gatherings are canceled through at least April 6th. This includes Sunday morning service, Equipping Hour, Next Generation Ministries, Student Ministries, smallgroups, 414, BUILD, Wellspring, theTrust, Defenders and Keepers of the Faith, Titus Study, and any other ministries involving groups of people being together.
Grace Bible Church will be live-streaming Sunday services at 9am. We invite you to join us digitally for worship in song, a Next Generation (children’s) Ministry lesson, a Gospel meditation, the reading of God’s Word, and a sermon.
Tentative preaching schedule:
March 29 [Josh Kellso]
April 5 [Josh Kellso]
April 12 EASTER [Smedly Yates]
April 19 [Smedly Yates]
Jeff Maxwell sent out an update on Student Ministries plans for hosting virtual meetings. If you did not receive this email or would like more information please reach out to Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry leaders and smallgroup leaders may choose to host some form of digital gathering. Please reach out to your ministry leader or smallgroup leader to find out more about what these ministries may be doing (other than in-person) to facilitate fellowship, encouragement, teaching, and prayer.
If you are not currently connected to a smallgroup at GBC, we would like to recommend that you select one from this list and contact the smallgroup leader. This will give us as elders and smallgroup leaders the opportunity to communicate with smaller groups of people and to meet specific pressing needs. It will also be the way that we can facilitate opportunities for you to meet others’ needs. Simply call or email one of the smallgroups from the list below and let them know that you would like to be connected during this period of uncertainty.
Smallgroup: Martin: email@example.com/480.703.8932
Smallgroup: Pagel: firstname.lastname@example.org/602.686.4031
Smallgroup: Demarest: email@example.com/480.336.0537
Smallgroup: Miles: firstname.lastname@example.org/504.237.9641
Smallgroup: Kellso: email@example.com/480.390.0571
Smallgroup: Kellso: firstname.lastname@example.org/480.620.2235
Smallgroup: Kovach: email@example.com/480.363.1112
Smallgroup: Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org/480.699.4034
Smallgroup: Maxwell: email@example.com/480.510.5899
You can still give online or mail checks to
Grace Bible Church
7440 S. Priest Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85283
Instructions for online giving can be found here https://www.gbcaz.org/give/
Why is this such a big deal?
This virus is a particularly dangerous one because people who feel very “healthy” become the agents of rapid spread of the virus, which then puts immune-compromised people at real risk. Taking this risk seriously becomes an opportunity to love our neighbors and to “respect what is right in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17). So while you yourself might not feel threatened by this outbreak, a cavalier mindset toward its risks may very well put others in mortal danger.
Please reach out to any of the elders if you have questions or concerns. (firstname.lastname@example.org).