Thank you, Faith Community!
On Sunday night, we gathered together as covenant members to look back over the year. A resounding theme of the night, is God is kindly working in and through us. Thank you for catching the vision for discipleship in small batches. I am very encouraged by the stories I am hearing of change and mission in Jesus' name.
Thank you, as well, for praying for 21 days for your neighbors and neighborhoods. God is answering our prayers in so many ways. Each Sunday since I have been back preaching in January, I have been in anticipation, wondering what God was going to do. Let's keep praying together and keep reminding one another of the gospel of Jesus!
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Because we live in a hyper-sexualized culture, when we read Paul's phrase above, “desires of the flesh,” we tend to think about sexuality. This is especially true if we read older translations that speak of “lusts of the flesh.” Though desires of the flesh may lead to sexual immorality, Paul is speaking about an important way to understand how we operate as human beings. At our core, we are our desires.
What does that mean? It means, that at our core, the reason we do what we do is because we want what we want, when we want it. The Bible's view of human motivation is "What the heart desires, the will chooses, and the mind justifies" (This is attributed to Thomas Cranmer). In other words, if I want something, I will choose it, and then mentally justify that it is good to choose it. This works not only with desiring evil things, but with desiring good things too much. We are gratifying the desires of the flesh, not only when we desire evil and then choose it, but also when we desire a good thing too much and choose it, and then sin.
Let me give an example: comfort is a good thing. But too easily, I can desire comfort too much so that on a bad day I can eat too much or eat very poorly. Why did I eat poorly or gluttonously? Because I wanted comfort too much. My desire for a good thing (comfort), led to choosing a sinful behavior, which my mind justified as a good idea. This is what it looks like to gratify the desires of the flesh.
But putting on Jesus is a regular activity for the Christian, and is the way to restore order to our disordered heart desires, so that we obey Jesus instead of rebel against him. How do we do that?
It goes something like this. I desire comfort too much, so I am tempted to sin by gluttony. But instead of seeking comfort in food, I remember Jesus. During a stressful day, I remind myself and seek to have another remind me of the gospel, so that I seek comfort in Jesus and not in overeating. I pray. I remind myself that Jesus is Lord and he will provide; he cares for me, and he restores and redeems me. I remember his love for me, and I remind myself of past ways Jesus has delivered me from my fears. As I am doing that, my heart begins to turn away from wanting comfort in food to experiencing comfort in Jesus, and then I don't over eat.
This is the battle for the heart: submitting our disordered heart to God in Jesus, and asking the Spirit through the Scriptures and trusted counselors, to restore order to our desires so we don't gratify the desires of the flesh.
We continue on in the Just Like Me series this week by learning of an essential component of relational healing, confessing our sins to one another. We will be talking about some of the reasons for why we are tempted not to confess our sins. If you are just like me, you will sin against the people around you, the people you love most. And if you are just like me, you will need to confess your sin to begin the process of relational healing. This Sunday, we will learn how and why to confess our sins by reading James 5.14-18 and putting it into practice.
FCC ADULT COURSES ON ALPHA COMMUNITY NIGHT START FEB. 8
JOIN WITH OTHER ADULTS ACROSS THE SPECTRUM OF LIFE AT FCC TO:
Want to help serve with meal prep or cleanup for Alpha Community Night? Please contact Gary Nourse at 651.260.7236 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Along with the Just Like Me series, we are asking that everyone read “The Art of Neighboring” during the first quarter of the year. We have copies for purchase in our café area, or you can order your own following the link above.
January is a great time of year to review your FaithBase account and update it with any new information. Did you move this year? Change your name? Add to your family? Get a new phone number or email address? If any of those apply, could you please take a few moments to go online and update your contact info in FCC’s FaithBase. Just visit fcchudson.com, and look for “FaithBase” at the bottom of the screen. Click on “FaithBase” to login to your account. If you don’t have an account, yet, you can start one. Thank you!
For many years, Faith Community has partnered with Options for Women-River Falls, a prolife non-profit organization supporting women and families facing an unplanned pregnancy. We’re offering the baby bottle fundraiser again this year as another way to support Options for Women. If you picked up one of the baby bottles a couple weeks ago, please place your change into the baby bottle this week and bring it back to FCC on Sunday. If you’d like to include a check, please write the check to Options for Women.
Volunteers for help in the office or with clients are always welcome at Options for Women. Currently, there is also a need for a volunteer nurse. Learn more about Options for Women at ofrwf.com or at Facebook.com/Options-For-Women-River-Falls, or call 715.425.8539. Thank you!