Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” (Psalm 70:4)

 

Notice the psalm writer says “may all who seek You…”  Are you seeking Him today?  He says, “You will seek Me and find Me if you search for Me with all your heart.”  Seek Him today while He can be found!  Then he says, “may all… rejoice and be glad in You!”  When you seek and find Him, and enter into relationship with Him, you can’t help but rejoice!  Rejoice, Christian!  Then he says, “may those who love Your salvation…”  Do you love His salvation?  Are you amazed by the tremendous gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins?  If so, then it is fitting to proclaim, “God is great!”  Yes, God is great!  Let’s seek… let’s rejoice… let’s love salvation… let’s proclaim His greatness!

 

Please pray for Pastor Justin and Dave Ezell as they headed up to Alaska today to serve a camp aimed at blessing missionary families this week.  Pray God will use them as a real source of encouragement and for effective teaching.  Also of course pray for Lynsey and Trish while Justin and Dave are away!

 

Just a heads up — we normally observe Communion on the first Sunday of the month, but we are moving it this month to the following Sunday, October 8.  So on that day we will remember His death together, as well as have the Communion Care Fund box available.  

 

Our FBC Missions Conference is coming soon – October 21-22!  It’s shaping up to be a tremendous event for the whole family!  Please mark your calendars and plan to come.  There will be programs for kids, opportunities to meet and interact with some of our local and overseas missionaries, listen to a panel discussion, see videos from a few of our missionaries, door prizes, and good food!  So, Saturday from 9am to around 12:30 or 1pm.  You won’t want to miss this.  Then on Sunday there will be a variety of things shared during Sunday School hour, then the Fellowship Hall will again have display tables set up and a chance to talk to our missionaries, followed by a great time of worship and a special message from Doug Hazen from WorldVenture about praying for workers for the harvest.  Hope to see you and your family at this entire event!

 

Trunk-or-Treat is also just around the corner – Tuesday, October 31, 6:00-7:30pm.  So start planning your vehicle decorations, your own costume (if you want), and start bringing in the pounds of candy!  Last year we aimed for 500 lbs… can we beat that this year?  Hopefully the candy contest will be revealed this Sunday so you can know which bucket to put your many pounds of candy in!  Please begin praying for an effective outreach to our community as we try to shine the light of Jesus Christ into our dark world.

 

This Sunday we will continue our series on the 5 SOLAS.  I will be speaking on Sola Fide: Faith Alone.  There are of course numerous verses and passages on this subject, but I’ve decided to zero in on one key passage: Romans 3:21-31.  So please read that in preparation for Sunday.  This is one of the passages that so fired up Martin Luther and helped cause him to boldy proclaim the message that our justification (being declared right with God) is by faith alone, not by our good works.  So I hope to see you Sunday as we explore this critical Christian doctrine together.

 

God is great!

 

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC,

 

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

 

Do you ever find yourself weary?  The above verse includes both a command and a promise.  The command – Don’t grow weary… Don’t give up!  The promise – We will reap (bring in a harvest) in due time (in God’s perfect time)!

 

Many of you have asked how Molly is doing in Mexico.  She is having a great (and challenging) experience so far.  She recently started a “blog”, writing her thoughts about her experience.  You can check it out (and subscribe to it if you want) here:  https://mollyelizabethbeach.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/lost/

Also, if anyone wants to send her an encouraging note or card (her birthday is Oct. 23!), or any financial support for Andy & Monica Alvarez, the missionaries she’s staying with, here is the mailing address:

 

Trunk-or-Treat is a little over a month away!  Elizabeth would still love help with the organizing, so if you can help her, please contact her – 541-979-1774.  Start stocking up on individually wrapped candy and planning how you are going to decorate your vehicle!


Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 17:7)

 

I know, you’re thinking, “What? We’re on chapter 17 of Isaiah already?”  Well, no… we’re going to be in Isaiah 2 in the sermon this Sunday!  But this verse was in our One Year Bible today.  A great reminder that one day, everyone will come to a place of acknowledging the Creator, the Holy One of Israel.

 

This week I’d like to encourage you to read Isaiah 2 in preparation for Sunday.  The title is “No More War”.  That’s an idealistic dream, isn’t it?  Everyone wants a time of peace on earth (well, apparently not everyone.)  But mankind will never, on our own, be able to accomplish it.  But one day the Lord will usher in a time of absolute peace, when He reigns over all!  Isaiah 2 isn’t just about that coming time, though.  It’s also a challenging passage, especially as we start to evaluate the things we begin to make too important in our lives.  Subtly, we allow idols to creep in.  Isaiah 2 will urge us to cast away all idols and worship God alone!

 

Men – remember Men’s Breakfast this Saturday at 7am!

 

Members (and anyone else interested) – we are having a brief business meeting Sunday right after the worship service.

 

Everyone – Remember the youth spaghetti (& meatball!) dinner fundraiser, which will begin right after the business meeting!

 

Parents of youth – remember Sunday at 5:30 is youth group kickoff, and a chance for parents and kids to be together to find out about the upcoming youth group year and enjoy time together.

 

Looking forward again to a great weekend!

 

Grace and peace to you…

 

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC Friends!

 

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7)

 

David’s psalm of repentance is an amazing example to us in many ways.  It shows a contrite heart, on the heels of a dramatic moral failure.  It reminds us of God’s absolutely amazing grace, as David was restored to right relationship with Him in spite of such horrendous sin (this is the psalm he wrote in response to the prophet Nathan confronting him, after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and arranged for the death of her husband Uriah).  It gives us something to read, meditate on, and turn into a prayer of our own in response to our own sinfulness.  If you haven’t read it lately, I’d encourage you to take a look at Psalm 51 today.  Perhaps today would be a great day to get on your knees with Psalm 51 in front of you and pray it as a prayer from your own heart.

 

Psalm 51:7 is also one of the cross-reference verses for what is probably the key verse in Isaiah 1 (which I will be preaching on Sunday).  “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).  The title of the message this week is “When Red Becomes White.”  Please take some time between now and Sunday to prayerfully read through Isaiah 1 in preparation for what He wants to say to us through His Word.


Read more...

Hello FBC (good to be “back in the saddle”)!

 

…as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

 

In this life, we all know that we will face hardships and difficulties of many kinds.  If are eyes are only focused on earthly things, on the here and now, we’ll struggle mightily to experience a victorious Christian life.  The challenge for us is to focus our eyes on the things that are “unseen.”  That seems like a crazy paradox, doesn’t it?  How do you look at something you can’t see?  We need to focus our thoughts on eternal matters.  We need to be saturating ourselves with the Word of God, which He will use to transform us by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2).  Don’t get too bogged down with things that have no eternal value.  Fix your eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2), ask Him to help you daily to have a heavenly perspecitive on life, and worship Him for who He is and for all He has done.  Two key things will last forever: the Word of God (Isaiah 40:8), and the souls of people (Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:46; John 5:29; Acts 24:15).  What are you doing today to help you “look to the things that are unseen,” because “things that are unseen are eternal”?  What are you doing today that will pay everlasting dividends?


Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hello (from the Arctic) FBC!

 

O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells. (Psalm 26:8)

 

As I write this, the church facility is filled with the excitement of kids learning about the wonders of God’s Word in “Operation Arctic” Vacation Bible School.  I am so thankful for all of the faithful volunteers who have given of their time this week, to help children learn about the love of God for them expressed in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Thank you to all who have prayed and given so that this could be an effective week.  It’s fitting that during this HOT week in the valley, kids could come and cool off at FBC!  But we are praying that their time here in the Arctic will light a fire in their souls and that they will be hot for the Lord!

 

This Sunday we will wrap up VBS with a special presentation of “Operation Arctic”.  Kids will share some of the songs they’ve learned, there will be a skit, and I will share briefly from this week’s theme.  The kids have learned that the BIBLE is the Book of books (2 Tim. 3:16), it has Incredible impact (Ps. 119:105), it is a Bedrock base (Matt. 7:24), a Letter of love (Rom. 5:8), and it is Exciting to explore (Ps. 119:162).


Read more...

Love From You Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:14)

 

“The gospel message calls believers to humble defiance of sin’s claim to ‘reign’ in our physical bodies and everyday lives (Rom. 6:12).  Because believers ‘have been brought from death to life’ (6:13), we can ‘present’ ourselves and every part of our bodies to God.  Eyes, ears, hands, feet, voices, minds – our entire bodies, once ravaged by sin (3:13-18), become tools ‘for righteousness.’  Sin’s ‘dominion’ is broken.  The law’s tyranny ended in Jesus’ death.  We do not groan under law, leading to sin; we are ‘under grace,’ which ushers us into God’s ‘dominion’ (6:14) – His own goodness and fullness.  We become fully human again as intended at creation, before the effects of Adam’s fall dimished us.” (Gospel Transformation Bible)

 

This Sunday we will continue our short series, PHILEMON: Reconciled!  We will be looking at verses 8-16 of Philemon in a message entitled, “Once a Slave, Now a Brother.”  This is a powerful letter, full of important truths for our Christian lives!  Please read Philemon again before Sunday, and pray for the Lord to be speaking to us through His awesome Word.


Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:24-25)

 

Today in the One Year Bible we read Romans 1:18-32, which is a powerful, yet disturbing passage.  Speaking of this passage, the Gospel Transformation Bible says, “The gospel gains urgency in the light of God’s verdict on humanity.  Transgression gives rise to divine wrath (v. 18).  Examples of transgression are ingratitude (v. 21) and idolatry (v. 23).  Homosexual behavior is also depicted as odious in God’s sight (v. 26-27).  None of us is innocent of a number of the sins described (see v. 28-31).  Even if we do not practice every sinful deed found here, we may secretly approve and even envy when others cross God’s moral boundaries.  We thereby fail to love God (because we break His commandments) and to love our neighbor (because we support our neighbors in their folly).  The outcome is judgment.

     Behind the good news of the gospel lies the tough news that all people are implicated in acts and attitudes that God has promised to punish unless His means of grace are embraced.  The gospel is the antidote, for through trust in Christ comes ‘the obedience of faith,’ believing as God requires.  Our lives grow in the richness of knowing and being known by Christ.”

 

A few important things to point out for this weekend:


Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know His rules. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 147:20)

 

“There are innumerable reasons why it is both right and good to praise the Lord.  Psalm 147 alternates between two broad categories of the praise of God.  On the one hand, the God of Israel is the one true God who has made and who rules the heavens and the earth.  To pick out one sample statement, He determines the number of the stars; He gives to all of them their names (v. 4).  The vastness and scope of the galaxies and starry hosts of the universe are the result of God’s planning, design, and determined will, and His naming all the stars (there are 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone!) indicates His rightful jurisdiction over them all.  On the other hand, this same God, the Creator and providential Ruler of all, is also the God of His own people, Israel.  Again, to pick out one poignant statement: He has not dealt thus (good and gracious, providing and protecting) with any other nation; they do not know His rules (v. 20).  Indeed, how kind God was to give this people, the people of His choosing, His word, His law, His rules that are a reflection of His character and care, in that God’s commands outline a safe and good path for God’s people (cf. Psalm 19:7-11; Psalm 119).

     These, then, are some of the reasons why God should be praised and why His people should be thrilled, awe-struck, and amazed, that they are His people and He is their God.  What a God this is!  What a privilege to be the people of God, ultimately the very body of Christ!  The one true and living God, the Creator and Ruler of all, is our God.  Praise be to the Lord!” (Gospel Transformation Bible)

 

Men, I want to tell you about a few great opportunites coming up:


Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.” (2 Kings 4:7)

 

The miracles we read about in 2 Kings 4 today are fascinating and have some great implications.  Once again I love how my Gospel Transformation Bible puts it:  “The author of Kings was writing to an audience perhaps already experiencing the tragedy and difficulty of life in exile.  As such, the several miracles recorded in this lengthy chapter would have functioned to remind God’s people of His power to restore the blessings forfeited due to repeated infidelity and covenant breaking.  Even in the midst of famine or the death of a husband, the Lord can and will provide.  He can make the barren fertile and restore life by the power of resurrection.

 

Until our Lord returns to make all things new, His people will live like aliens in a world to which they do not fully belong.  For believers living in this fallen world, we live in exile.  As resident aliens, tragedy and suffering will be a normal part of our lives in this fallen world.  But even here, the Lord desires to set before the eyes of His people the hope of all things being made new.  The miracles recorded in this chapter continue to remind us that we look forward to greater things.  One day we will be satisfied at the table of the Lord.  Death, hunger, and debt will no longer have any place.”  Amen to that!

 


Read more...

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.