How glorious! Another beautiful reminder this morning that though our sins are like scarlet, God in Christ Jesus has done everything necessary for us to be washed whiter than snow. May your heart rest today in the great promise that, "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1.9).
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.
The week that it was decided that I was going to be the teaching pastor at FCC, Isaiah 66.2 was quoted to me by various people. Only one of the people, who quoted this verse to me, knew that I was being asked to be the teaching pastor at FCC. The other people just brought the verse up in conversations about different circumstances and people. But, I did not find this phenomena of having the same verse mentioned to me accidental, especially when I was praying about taking the responsibility of teaching pastor.
Over the years this verse has reminded me of where I need to stay, not simply as a leader and teacher, but as a follower of Jesus. I must stay humble and contrite. Being in a leadership position brings with it the temptation to want to be noticed. We all want to be noticed—noticed for our looks, our fashion, our accomplishments, our social standing. But, all of these ways of getting noticed, are to be noticed by people. And, though peer reviews and social pressure are strong motivators, the look we are made for and searching for is the look of God.
It's remarkable and gracious that God notices us. But, he notices us not because of our accomplishments. He notices those who are humble. He notices those who aren't seeking to be noticed by others.
This truth is at the very heart of Christmas. Mary was of humble estate (Luke 1.48). Mary was young, lower middle-class, and from a fly-over town. God looked on Mary, not because Mary was accomplished. God looked on Mary, because Mary had the one thing that catches God's eye—she had nothing. The way, that the eternal Son entered into the world to save us, is all about humility. Jesus was not born in a castle, but in a barn. Had it not been for angels making an announcement to shepherds (who were not highly regarded), Jesus' birth would have gone unnoticed. God looks on the humble, because, as the most glorious being in all existence, he is also the humblest.
Seek not to make a name for yourself. Seek not to draw attention to your skills, gifts and accomplishments. Seek to be noticed by the one who made you. Because God is a God of grace, glory and humility—seek humility.
This Sunday, Tim Prince will be preaching from Luke 2.1-15. We will learn from shepherds about how the gospel of God's glory moves us from fear to joy. The sermon is titled, Unexpected Joy.
A Children’s Choir will be singing during both worship gatherings on Sunday. A big thank you to FCC’s Katelyn Peterson for directing this group! We may have many visitors with us to listen to the choirs, so please be looking for guests and welcome them in the name of Jesus!
We have two books for Advent available to purchase for $10 each in the resource area near the cafe:
Last Sunday, FCC covenant members approved FCC’s 2018 budget. Thank you for your prayers for the elders and pastors as we have worked through this year’s budget process. And, thank you for your participation in the meetings! And, thank you VERY much for your continued generosity!!!
At FCC, our mission is to make more and better disciples, and we want to follow Jesus’ example. We want to make disciples who make disciples. For the past few months, we’ve been offering workshops to help equip FCC with practical, hands-on training to live out this mission.
The next As We Go Discipleship workshop will be held following both services in The Refuge Room THIS Sunday, Dec. 17. Two of FCC’s leaders, Jim Duffey and Josh Graham, will lead a discussion on the Five Stages of Growth in discipleship. The Five Stages were developed in response to the question: “How would I know what to study/work through with someone that I’m mentoring?” This has been a really helpful tool, and this workshop will help you learn how to apply the Five Stages in your mentoring relationships. The workshop is FREE and there’s no need to register!
Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year, so we will have our regularly scheduled service times of 9 and 11 a.m. We will also offer a candlelight and carol service at 8 p.m. that night. You may be thinking about a neighbor or friend that you’d like to invite. Did you know that one study found that eight out of 10 people, who don’t regularly attend a church, would go if invited? To help you invite the people you know to our Christmas Eve services:
Thank you for helping us spread the word about our service times!