To Our LIFEGATE Family,
By now every one of you has been made aware of the situation at hand with the COVID-19 virus and how it is affecting our city and country. We, as pastors and the leadership team, including our staff, felt it was necessary to address this from a pastoral standpoint and let you know whats happening this weekend.
Let me first begin by saying that we love each and every one of you. Your health and safety is of utmost importance to us. Everything we decide is with you in mind. We want to honor you in our decisions while we pray and seek the Lord’s wisdom. I ask that you continue to hold our pastoral team and leadership team in your prayers.
Sunday Worship Gatherings – Live Streams @ 9 & 11am
As of right now, we have decided to cancel our physical Worship Gatherings. We will still gather online, so click here to tune into our live stream at 9am or 11am. The online Worship Gatherings will still have a time of worship, prayer and I will be preparing a very specific message about the hope of the gospel in times like this.
In times like this we want to be responsible but also honor the Lord. The church throughout history has always been the place that provides hope in the face of fear and uncertainty. Our prayer is that become such a place.
If you would like a longer explanation about the decision, head to our Facebook or Instagram page where we posted a video. I know there are two sides to this and many people of you may find yourselves on either side. Let us continue to walk in the unity of the Holy Spirit together.
Pastoral Response From Pastor Nirup
2 Timothy 1:7 “..for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
As followers of Jesus, we live in the assurance that God is always in control. I encourage you in times like these to remind yourselves that while we may not know what is ahead, God most certainly does. We have been promised that our Kingdom is unlike the kingdoms of this world. Our Kingdom, Scripture reminds us, is an “unshakeable Kingdom.” My prayer for each of you, and for our church community is that we are aware of the situation at hand while at the same time confident in the sovereign will, power, and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The church in history has been through times such as this and even worse. The global church, in many parts around the world understands uncertain times to a degree far greater that we can imagine – we must learn from them. Their confidence is always in the Lord.
I find it interesting that for the past several weeks we have been talking about our Kingdom Calling. Now, we have the opportunity to actually press into this calling. The gospel will not be limited by this. Yes, we exercise wisdom but we also live in the promise that nothing in all the earth can thwart the plan of God in seeing His mission advance in this world. We are called to love God, love others and make disciples – let’s pray that God gives us the courage to see this happen in our day and time.
I encourage you to take to heart this verse from Scripture. As you read it, let is move deep into your mind and heart. Be reminded that we, followers of Jesus, are not people who live in fear. We have been given the assurance of God’s love, protection and promise. While this does not mean we are to live reckless or careless, it does mean that we can trust the wisdom of God. We are grateful for those who are medical professionals and we will listen to them as we continue to walk in discernment and wisdom.
I for one believe that God is present in all of this. God is not worried. This is the power of our faith. We have been given an incredible promise that within us, our church body, but in each of us….in you…lives the Holy Spirit. This indwelling, energizing, Holy Spirit has given us His:
1. Pray – We are not a people who panic in the face of uncertainty. I encourage you to pray for God’s peace, wisdom and guidance. It is far too easy to buy into the hysteria. I myself at the store yesterday found myself asking if I need to buy enough soup for the next decade! I reminded myself to stop and pause and pray. Use this as an opportunity to pray with others in your home, and the community as well.
2. Read – Stay in God’s Word. Orient your life around it. I encourage you to wake up each morning and spend quality time in God’s Word. Remind yourself that God is sovereign in all things and has given you His wisdom to navigate times such as this.
3. Confess – When you find yourself falling into fear, anxiety or confusion remind yourself to confess to the Lord. This is not about guilt or shame, but rather taking a moment to say, “Lord Jesus I have taken my eyes off of you. Bring me back to your peace.” The beauty of the Gospel is that Holy Spirit immediately brings us back into the power of God’s presence. This is also a powerful practice to do with one another. Confess to one another and speak life and God’s power over each other. We are a community of believers and the promise of “power” has been given to “us.”
1. Take Care Of Yourself And Family – Listen to the advice of the medical professionals. As they give advice on how to remain diligent, with hygiene practices, take these seriously. If you are not feeling well, one of the ways you can love others is by not getting anyone else sick.
2. Encourage Others – Rather than talking about how “crazy, stupid, ridiculous, bad, devastating, etc.” this is, use this as an opportunity to encourage others with the truth of God’s Word and His Promise.
3. Support Others Affected By This – Several people in our community earn their wages through hourly work. When things are shut down their ability to provide for themselves and their family is severely affected. I encourage you to reach out to those in our community that you may know for whom this is a reality and ask how you can help. This is a very tangible way for us to continue to be the body of Christ.
4. Pray for our church and the leaders – We care deeply about everyone in our community, their family and friends. Pray for their health and safety. Please pray that God continues to give us wisdom in the days ahead.
5. Remain Faithful – Continue to give faithfully of your time, financial resources, prayer, etc., because we want to continue to be the body of Christ and help those in our community who are affected by this. We are working on ways where we can continue to help take care of the community, the poor, and those affected economically and socially both here in Denver and across the world.
1. Social Media – Exercise spiritual discernment while on social media. It is far too easy to get caught up in panic and fear especially through social media. If you must, refrain from using this if you notice that it is causing distractions or fear in your heart.
2. Media – I encourage you to spend less time on mainstream media and instead continue to get vital information through medical professionals. Stay alert to the Colorado CDC and health department instead.
3. Take Care Of Yourself & Think Of Others – There is certainly wisdom in taking care of yourself and your family, but please do not go overboard with purchasing things and stock piling. Think of others when you are buying things in excess.
4. Be Gracious – This may seem odd, but we must be reminded that we are a people who believe that God is in control. Therefore, our self-control is under the control of the Holy Spirit. When you are out in public treat others with kindness, dignity, and patience. Practice the fruit of the Spirit.
Church – these are new times and there is uncertainty ahead. Be encouraged that God is sovereign. He is kind and merciful. We still plan to meet on Sundays because at times like this the church must be the church. We must be the place that gathers and declares the hope of Christ and exalt our Lord and Savior. As we prepare to gather on Sunday my heart and my prayer is that now more than ever we would know the power of what it means to be a community of believers. This is an incredible opportunity to encourage one another, our friends and our community of where our hope lies – in Christ Jesus. In fact, I fully believe that this is an opportunity for the gospel to take deeper root and advance in our city and the world. I am praying that we experience the work of Christ both in us and through us.
From my heart to yours,