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Welcoming The Way

Psalm 115:1 “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.”

In His wise and loving providence, God has brought Grace Church of Rancho Cucamonga (Grace Rancho) and The Way Bible Fellowship (The Way) together. After prayerfully considering the future of their church, The Way has decided to dissolve and pursue membership with like-minded churches, with many members planning to join Grace Rancho. The leadership of both churches firmly believe God is guiding our steps. Our Father’s future is always best for His children, so we move forward with a commitment to joyfully and humbly trust and obey.

The leadership and members at Grace Rancho lovingly welcome The Way into the church. We believe that every believer possesses unique gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-7) which will enhance the church’s ability to pursue the mission of making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20) in Rancho Cucamonga and around the world. In this, we rejoice.

Practically, The Way will dissolve as a legal entity, all ministries will cease, and members / regular attenders will prayerfully consider joining Grace Rancho. As God leads, those who choose to join with Grace Rancho will:

  • Walk in a manner worthy of their calling, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:1-3)
  • Submit to the leadership of Grace Rancho (Heb. 13:17)
  • Seek to use their gifts for the building up of the body (Eph. 4:12-18)

The leadership at Grace Rancho commits to the following for all those from The Way who become members of Grace Church:

  • Feed (Ezekiel 34:14-15, John 21:17)
  • Lead (Psalm 78:52, Heb. 13:17, 1 Pet. 5:2, Acts 20:28, 1 Cor. 11:1)
  • Know (John 10:14-15, Acts 20:20)
  • Protect (Acts 20:28-29, Matt. 7:15)
  • Pray (Col. 1:9-13, Eph. 1:16-20; 3:14-19)
  • Assess and affirm ministry giftedness (Eph. 4:11-16, Rom. 12:3-8)
  • Confront sin and restore (Matt. 18:15-17, Gal. 6:1)

Collectively, with the authority of our Risen Savior (Eph. 1:20-23), and in the strength of the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), Grace Church will seek to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20). We humbly and earnestly pray that God’s great name be hallowed, and may His kingdom come and will be done in Rancho Cucamonga, surrounding communities, and around the world as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:9-10)

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The Church Christ Builds, Pt. 8

Sometimes I have counseled people who, for whatever reason, think they have nothing to offer the corporate gathering. Maybe they’re struggling in sin and cannot see how God would ever use them or lack confidence and feel like they can’t teach anyone anything. They begin to wonder what their role is in coming to church on Sunday. Here’s what I like to tell them: “Here’s your ministry. If you do this, you’ll change your life and maybe change a bunch of other people’s lives. Come to church every Sunday. Rain or shine. Busy week or empty week. Football game on or no football game on. Tired or not tired. Show up. Shake hands. Greet people. Sing loudly about Jesus so others can hear you. Listen to God’s Word. Shake more hands. Greet more people. Go home and pray. You do that, and you’ll change your life, change the church, change your family. Now that’s a ministry.”

When this is done that faithfully for years on end, you’ll find that you’re not only contributing to the health of the church but the health of the church is contributing to you. You will find Jesus’ words to be gloriously true: it’s more blessed to give than to receive.

Solomon expressed this as well: “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered” (Prov. 11:25). Want to be spiritually enriched and your soul to be refreshed? Devote your life to blessing others in simple ways. Perhaps the most simple way to encourage your church family is by joining them for corporate worship every week.

Press on in the small acts of faithfulness! Don’t miss the thousands of mundane opportunities to be faithful because you’re hoping for one big, glorious thrill. Impactful lives aren’t a succession of big, thrilling moments, but a culmination of a million small decisions to honor Christ in the mundane. Not every Sunday will be exciting. Not every corporate gathering will be exactly as you hoped. But like the faithful waves that shape a continent, the rhythms of faithful church attendance will shape your life.

That’s why Hebrews 10:23-24 says “And let us consider how to stir one another up to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” We need the church and the church needs us. So we commit to show up, to hear God’s Word, to sing loudly, to pray together, and then to seek the spiritual good of our friends. Remember: Jesus works mightily through the ordinary.

Your’s for Christ,
Eric
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The Church Christ Builds, Pt. 7

Think of the commitments you’ve made in your life. You have family commitments that you’re born into. You can’t change those. You create commitments in your life when you make promises. Young people have parents who make their commitments for them. They sign up their kids for sports, piano lessons, musicals, theater, and similar things. Commitments are made. And what parent hasn’t told their kid, “Listen, we made this commitment and we’re going to follow through”? That’s a good lesson to learn. If no one learns commitment, society falls apart.

Have you made a commitment to the church? Without commitments, the church falls apart. Jesus intends Christians to be committed to one another, like an eye is committed to a hand or a brother is committed to a sister (1 Cor. 12:14-15, 1 Pet. 1:22).

Jesus invites us to commit to one another. Do you know that every time you gather to take communion, you’re renewing your commitment to the people around you? You’re telling them, “I believe the same Christ as you. I am a member of the New Covenant with you. I’m in Christ with you, and I’m here for you. You are my family. I will not abandon you. I will not leave you.” You made that commitment when you followed Christ, you ratified that commitment when you were baptized, and you renew that commitment every time we take communion. Every corporate gathering is an expression of a commitment you’ve made to a specific people.

There comes a point in your life as a growing believer when showing up to church is more than a weekly tune up for your own soul. As you grow in love for one another, you begin to think more of your commitment to actual people-- with names and faces and stories. There comes a point where you go, “My friend so-and-so will be there. He’s going through struggles at home, he’s facing depression, and I need to be there with him” or “My friend is preaching on this topic, and it’s important for all of us to get this, so I’ll be there prayerfully supporting him” or “I heard Bob is bringing his neighbor along next Sunday. Let’s be on time so we’re prepared to welcome him.” We’ve made commitments to one another. We say, “Who knows how God may use me there this morning!”

Jesus is committed to the church. He loves the church and died to purchase it. He calls it his bride. Christians, following Jesus, commit themselves to the church as well.

Yours for Christ,
Eric
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