LifePoint Blog

This Is Church

This Is Church

I wanted to take a moment and fill everyone in with what has been happening here at the church over the last 3 weeks with the new COVID-19 guidelines for the state of AZ and specifically for LifePoint as we have been deemed an “essential” business. As I am sure you are aware we have suspended all meetings here on the campus including small groups, special interest groups, and the Jewish church also voluntarily stopped meeting. The only people here at the church now are pastors and occasionally some staff members, and on the other side of the building, WonderWise continues to operate on a much smaller scale, only occupying one room. My time with the Lord for the last few weeks has been two-fold: 1. To determine what is the best course of action to ensure the health and safety of our most at risk congregants while also honoring the call too, “not neglect meeting together…” Hebrews 10:25. 2. To know what it was God was calling us to do specifically. Not only as LifePoint but what is he calling Christians in America to do during this time? We have been doing what I believe was a good start to being the church in this new era we are living in, which has been to disseminate much-needed food, medical supplies, and toiletries to those who need them. Also, with the help of the Walker Butte school district, we have a lunch program where cars drive through our parking lot and pick up sack lunches for their children, we have given more than 200 lunches per day. We also have a tent set up offering drive-thru prayer and have been taken up on it several times. All of the above is wonderful and of course has been in conjunction with...

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Be the church

Be the church

Community. The church, in the US and all over the world, has always a key part of communities. It may not seem evident today, but the Body of Christ (His church), played a crucial role in the development of the U.S hospital system. If we look again at the Book of Acts, we see the development of a community of Christians in chapter 2, we see the early church band together in homes and not publicly in all instances. But let’s look at another example of how we can and should live in community as believers: Romans 12:4-5. “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to the other.” (NIV) The end of verse 5 makes a powerful statement that not only are we one body, but we belong to one another. In the Koine Greek (the language in which the NT is written), the words used here are μελος (melos) and αλληλον (allelon), meaning members together or in other words, we are in this together! We must band together as a community of believers to care for and love one another and our neighbors. Read through Romans 12, Colossians 3:13-14, and Acts 2 then as a family work through these simple questions: What is one way you are living as the Body of Christ today? How are you bearing up with each other and forgiving others? What are three things you can do in the next week to serve the other members of the Body of Christ at LifePoint? We are praying for each and every one of you during this time; we love you and miss you and can’t wait to...

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The Roaring Lion

The Roaring Lion

I have said multiple times now, how incredible it is that God has us in the book of Daniel and how the chapters we are studying have lined up with current world events. This week we will be looking at Daniel 6, one of the most famous stories in all of scripture…Daniel & the Lion’s Den. The setting of the story is a very familiar one for most, but do you know this story will change your life when you fully comprehend it. Beyond the spectacle, beyond the tradition, & beyond the man lies a truth our creator was wanting to convey to us. C.S. Lewis once said, “you will never tame the lions in your life unless you let God be the untamed lion in your life.” Just like the fire Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego had to endure to meet the Lion of Judah, Daniel met Him in the den of lions. Once again we see this principle that we will see Jesus in the midst of the struggle. We are all currently in the middle of a struggle. A struggle to make sense of what is going on around us, to not allow fear to overtake us, and to trust God with our own health and well-being. I implore you to read Daniel 6 this week and see the trap that was laid before him, how he did not hide his faith nor change his ways. He boldly continued to worship God in the face ion certain death. I firmly believe we are seeing a work of the Lord happening in our nation and the world that will become more evident through the coming seasons. Now is the time to dedicate yourselves to prayer and the reading of scripture. Let your generosity increase and not diminish. As it...

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Coming together in this time of need

Coming together in this time of need

Dearest LifePoint Family, We put a call out to all of our congregants for any excessive stock you may have had in your home a couple of weeks ago and your response was incredible. We as Pastors and Staff would like to thank you for your generosity. Over the last two weeks, we have been able to provide much-needed items to our congregants and community. From the elderly to single moms with multiple children, we were and are continuously able to provide for them. Being able to see the gratefulness in these people’s eyes first hand has really touched my heart. You, my brothers and sisters, are a true blessing for these families. 1 Peter 4: 8-11 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. As we continue to maneuver through these next few weeks, we will continue to keep you up to date on any items that are needed. Please keep in mind two questions you could ask yourself today. Am I in need, or how can I help those who need it? If you are in need or know someone who is, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We have groceries, paper products, hygiene items, some medications, diapers, and wipes. If you are struggling with depression...

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Letter to the Public

Letter to the Public

Acts 2:42-47 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  Bible-believing churches across the country (and likely the world) have been speaking with a loud collective voice about fear. By now, you should have read somewhere on social media or email or somewhere else that, as Christians, we should not give in to a spirit of fear. This is a biblical mandate: fear not. The best ways to counter fear and worry is through being in the Word daily, praying, and fasting. Right now, this is an opportunity for the church—the Body of Christ—to be the shining light. We have a God-given responsibility to care for others in this time of global need. In the account above from the Book of Acts, we have a beautiful example of how the church should be looking inward as well as outward. We need to make sure that the members of the Body of Christ are cared for and we have families at LifePoint who are already on hard times. Many of you have responded to the call and the church is being stocked up on canned goods, long-lasting foods like noodles, and some toiletries. If you have a little extra, please drop it off at the church because we are already helping families in need. In the...

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Day 2 of the Covid Quarantine

Day 2 of the Covid Quarantine

As part of our church’s continued shepherding and discipiling those in our care, I will be sharing daily with you through various avenues. We have continued conversations here amongst the pastors and staff and have some amazing opportunities in the works to meet the needs of the community, as well as to provide paths for you to give and serve as well. You may have heard by now that the Haiti trip was canceled by the host nation/mission, as they assessed that the team would be able to get in the country but would most likely not be able to leave with sweeping regulations and closures of international borders. Becky and her team immediately went to work separating the medicine, food, and materials they were going to take with them and will be distributing them to the places in need right here in our back yard. The Genesis Project, Hope Women’s Center, San Carlos, Christ the Victor, and LifePoint are all receiving these items to help distribute them to those in need. We will still be accepting donations for the items that are currently in high demand in our area. If you are in need of any items and do not have the means to attain them, please contact us at info@lifepointaz.com and we can work to help with any resources we have available. The church is going to move forward mightily in this time, as we put the phrase, “trust the Lord” into action. Peace, Nathan Bentley Senior Pastors Thought of the Day   This is a blog post that was shared with me today and I thought it was incredible on a theological level, practical level and TRUTH level. In the midst of the current state of things take a few moments out of your quarantine and read this interpretation of...

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UPDATED: LifePoint Church & COVID-19

UPDATED: LifePoint Church & COVID-19

Fellow Congregant, In response to Governor Ducey’s recommendation for statewide closures of all gatherings over 50 people and the CDC’s advisory this morning of less than 10, I am recommending LifePoint follow this guideline at a minimum of the next 2 weeks. I know a decision like this is not mine to make alone so I received a consensus from the board and our pastors to stand in agreement with me on this matter, as I believe it is currently the most loving thing we can do for our community. I also want to outline what I see as some next step going forward this week to stay connected with you. Closing our doors for the next 2 weeks for Sunday morning services, midweek Youth Groups, LifeGroups, & Mom’sLife: While the number of infected is minuscule now here in AZ, (only 18 to date), the facts have shown that the spread becomes exponential once full “community spread” has happened. While that still is not a big concern for children or healthy adults under 60, it can be deadly for those with medical conditions and the elderly. So we not only have a responsibility to those members of our congregation and our community to not become carriers ourselves we also have a responsibility to our health care professionals. If community spread were to reach its full potential it will buckle our healthcare system and cause similar situations we are seeing in Italy & Spain. I see it as not only being socially responsible but spiritually as well. When people feel that we are taking care of their physical needs, they will trust us with their spiritual. AS PASTORS AND STAFF WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK DAILY TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OUR CONGREGANTS AND OUR COMMUNITY. WE ARE COLLECTING ITEMS THAT...

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LIFEPOINT UPDATE

I want to take a minute and update everyone on LifePoints position and response to the COVID-19 virus. Based on the recommendation by the Governor’s office we will be having services this weekend, with extra steps to clean and disinfect commonly used spaces and greeters who will wave “Hi,” and limit contact. We have a plan going forward to help the elderly or those who could not get out and get some basic groceries and toiletries this weekend to meet their physical needs along with their spiritual. Common sense is the thought of the times right now. If you are sick or feeling under the weather, then stay home, if you fall into the age range where this can be especially dangerous then stay home, if you have a compromised immune system and it would be unsafe for you to gather with a large group of people then please stay home. But, for those of us that studies have shown will be affected by this virus, like a bad flu…do not let fear stop you from loving your neighbor, giving of your personal possessions when needed, and yes gathering together on Sunday. We are so grateful that you choose to call LifePoint home and are preparing ourselves to move forward boldly in this time and to not shrink back. I believe we are going to see breakthroughs and miracles in this season, let’s ask God for His Holy Spirit and go forth with courage. Peace, Nathan Bentley

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Infectious Fear (A COVID 19 LP UPDATE)

Infectious Fear (A COVID 19 LP UPDATE)

It is no secret by now that we are in the beginning stages of what could be an all-out mass panic with sweeping cancelations and suspensions of recreational events to schools and businesses. While over the last couple weeks there has been much debate over whether this is all media-driven hype or it is a very real pandemic level virus capable of wiping out a large swathe of the population is yet to be seen, however, the panic and fear that are prevalent is very real and we are seeing the effects of that with hoarding of goods, and people self-quarantining. I honestly don’t know what will happen, but as I think of it, I have never known what is going to happen. Only the God that I serve knows what will happen and in His sovereignty, all things will work together as good for those that know The Lord. What does this mean practically? I asked that question this morning amongst the pastors and the consensus was that there has probably never been a better opportunity in our lifetime, except maybe for 9/11, to show people what it means to love our neighbor and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is not the first time the church has faced a massive global crisis and if history teaches us anything, it is in these times that the church has grown, has stepped up and led the efforts to help support the community and bring hope tot he hopeless. Here at LifePoint, we will take wise precautions concerning the cleanliness of the building and surface areas, we worked to have communion cups and bread be in a self-contained unit, but the prices are astronomical high. If you get the Coronavirus from taking communion…God wanted you to have it. 🙂 There...

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Called out of the comfort zone

Called out of the comfort zone

“Does it not stir up our hearts, to go forth and help them, does it not make us long to leave our luxury, our exceeding abundant light, and go to them that sit in darkness?” – Amy Carmichael, 1867-1951, missionary to India. Going on a mission is hard. It’s not easy to leave your family, your bed, your daily comforts to see the world, even just a small section of it, through God’s eyes. When God called me, and you to be faithful, he called you to get out of the comfort zone. With the media scare on COVID-19, previous disruptions on the island of Haiti, and personal fears, it takes everything we have as missionaries to move forward in faith. Believing that God is in control and will do what is best for the Kingdom, no matter our personal agendas and fears, is what faith is all about. None of us are promised tomorrow, but we are all called to serve. If we choose to use our time on earth to glorify God by serving others, allowing God to move us and them, then our lives will be better, as will the Kingdom of God. Now I’m not saying to be reckless about things. But I am saying that you must use some serious discernment, asking the Lord to continue to guide you, as he most likely always has. Believe that he is leading you where he wants you! Have faith in Christ’s love you and for the rest of his children on earth. Tim Ferrara nailed it on the head in his book, Everyday Discernment, when he said, “Christians cannot make their plans and then ask God to bless them. Having discernment sometimes requires you to understand God’s will for your situation before you take action.” Be bold...

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