Sunday, April 8, 2018

SUNDAY'S SIMPLICITIES

LifeGroups of EBCI...

One of the highlights and opportunities of EBCI is our weekly LifeGroup (LG) meetings. We are always hoping to expand them to new locations and get-togethers. These group times are for EBCI people to... 

DO LIFE TOGETHER...

We still have some homes who want to host these get-togethers but we need leaders and EBCIers to commit to doing life together with others. Below is the list of current LG's. Let me know if you need further information on location and times.

SUNDAY - Dubai Mall Metro station area --- 7:00 - light snacks - 7:30 - Discuss the Book of acts
MONDAY - AL Wasl and December 2nd area - 7:30 - Group discussion - Meal when done.
TUESDAY - The Greens - 7:00 - food to enjoy - Discussion on 1 John to follow
TUESDAY - Sharjah - 8:00 - Gathering and Group discussion
WEDNESDAY - Silicon Oasis - 6:30 - Gathering and Group discussion

I continue to pray for more LG's to be birthed. With the shifting we have done and the lack of opportunity to meet at our old location, these LG's are essential to the fellowship of those God brings to EBCI. Let's get involved in a LG and let's do life together.
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NEXT WEEKEND...

As we continue our journey through Jeremiah... this coming weekend we jump into Jeremiah 3. As you pre-read this chapter, please recognize the language being used, God is using the easy (though very colorful) to understand words from a physical perspective to convey a more difficult but needed spiritual message. As Jeremiah speaks of "adultery"(the physical) he is referencing "idolatry" (the spiritual).

SIDE NOTE... The only cure for physical adultery is spiritual forgiveness. To shift God's people from there spiritual idolatry to seek God's perfect forgiveness... He uses men to bring His truth. 

In the midst of revealing the sins of the Israelites, God states the following in Chater 3...

And I will give you Pastors... In context with EBCI, this is not speaking of myself and Pastor Matt, only. Just as Jeremiah was not speaking of himself, alone. The term Pastors is plural.  God is saying He will give you the Pastor's He wants you to have. They are a gift from Him.

According to my heart... This is a dynamic many people miss. I am not sure how to best say this so I will attempt it in terms I understand. God is not calling you to love your leaders... He is calling you to love Himself. God knows that it is when we love Him, our love heart towards the Pastors He gave us (according to His heart - not ours) will grow us in Christ.

Which shall feed you with...  I love this term. The way it is used here and later in the gospels. It is a term which means "to tend to". It is saying that God gives you the Pastor He does - according to His heart --- to tend to you --- to have accountable (to HIm) oversight of you. Like a shepherd to his sheep.

Knowledge and understanding... Here is a breakdown of what this means, which I think helps us see the depth of this...

TO THE NEWBORN SHEEP - The shepherd is to make sure they get the milk and exercise they need. The job the Pastor's have is to help them become healthy so they can graze the solids. They can grow without their hand being held.
TO THE ONES WHO HAVE BEEN WEANED - This is where the plurality comes into the verse. I am to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. I am to help new Christians grow off the milk and get into the meat so they can offer themselves to help in the process. As I work to fulfill the scripture and equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:12-16), those who have become mature are called to take up a role of a servant and not be as concerned as they were in getting nutrition for themselves (they ought to know how by now). They are to be like Isaiah and say Here am I, send (use) me (Isaiah 6:8). 
Knowledge - The truth of God's Word. 
Understanding - How it applies to you so you can take what you have been given and share it with others on the milk. 
Let us understand this piece of knowledge... Your Pastor (me) cannot, by myself, feed you all you need in the few minutes we have together each week. God's plan is to have those who have matured in Christ to rise up and fulfill their purpose in the life of the church. To rise up and take on the task of working with baby Christians to help wean them off the milk. We need to know that sometimes what we may get or give as one of the Pastors is elementary to us. We do not do the work of the Pastor for how it benefits us but how it grows the babes in Christs... how it fulfills the Word of God. It is a term akin to what we have been saying for two years now... 
We are to be Disciples who make Disciples.  
In the truest sense - in the service of God - this is what it is about.
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I LOVE MY CHURCH 






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