Good afternoon, FCC! Here's another weekly update!
For the grace of God has appeared,
bringing salvation for all people,
training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions,
and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age
What motivates you to obey God? What reasons do you give your children or those you disciple for why to obey God?
In this section of Titus, a letter Paul wrote to a church planter, Paul tells us that grace changes us, grace trains us to renounce ungodliness. This seems unintuitive. For example, we can reason, if grace means our sins are forgiven, then wouldn't grace actually become a reason to keep on sinning? But this logic reveals a failure to understand grace and its experiential power to transform us. When we experience grace, God's grace, it doesn’t lead toward tolerating ungodliness in our lives. Why? Because we see how much it cost God to give us grace. It cost him his son. Second, when we experience God's grace, we see the beauty of God's goodness, which awakens in our hearts a desire to be like him—to be godly.
Here's a way in which grace is training me. Recently, I was becoming increasingly impatient with someone close to me. I knew that impatience is ungodliness, and I knew I had to grow in patience. So I confessed this to an elder, and asked for prayer. As I was praying, I started to reflect on God's grand patience with me. His patience with me is because of his grace and love toward me. As I remembered his patience with me, I was in awe. I remembered his goodness and his beauty, and I wanted to be more like him. My heart changed, I was motivated to extend patience toward another, as I had been shown patience.
In the past, maybe I would have shamed myself into being patient—good people are patient, I would say. Or maybe used fear of man to become patient—what will people think of me? Or I would have just increased in impatience, and self-justified my lack of patience. But in this instance, and thankfully increasingly with other godly virtues, I am learning to be trained by God's grace.
How is grace training you today?
WATCH the new sermon series video!
I believe strongly in a plurality of elders and pastors for a local church—a plurality of elders and pastors to teach and preach and shepherd. This is why we seek to train up elders in missional communities and elders and pastors for leading, shepherding and preaching and teaching for the whole of FCC. In light of this, Pastor Tim Prince will be preaching again this week on “The Gospel and Freedom” (Romans 8.1-13). Some of the most glorious words of the gospel are recorded in this section of Scripture—“There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8.1). Absolutely astounding!
FCC’s mission is to make more and better disciples of Christ. Part of living out this mission is working together with other gospel-centered churches through Converge Great Lakes to plant churches. On Sunday, Glenn Herschberger, the Executive Director of Church Planting with Converge Great Lakes will be here in the services. Converge Great Lakes is a district office of Converge Worldwide, which is a network of nearly 1300 churches throughout the United States. Glenn is an experienced church planter, and we look forward to welcoming him to FCC.
Monday, JULY 24 through Friday, JULY 28 – 9 a.m. to noon each day
Watch this video to learn more!
Gear up for an over-the-top underground adventure! At Cave Quest VBS, we’ll ground kids in the rock-solid foundation of God’s love, a love that carries us through life’s dark times. Kids will sing, have fun and experience Jesus.
VBS is open to children entering Kindergarten through entering 5th grade in the fall of 2017. Cost is $15 per child. Registration includes a t-shirt, sciency imagination station equipment, snacks, and one “Cave Quest” CD per family. Online registration is now closed. REGISTER at the DOOR starting at 8:30 am on Monday, July 24!
VBS volunteer registration is currently closed. We have received an outpouring of loving and faithful volunteers already, but thank you for your longing to be a blessing to the children of the St. Croix Valley!
If you have any questions, please contact Brigitte Feia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715.386.4070.
With the Romans series, we have a schedule for memorizing key verses—together as a church—which are crucial for helping us preach the gospel to ourselves and encourage one another as we seek to live out the gospel in all of life. The verses all come from Romans, and correspond to the preaching schedule. Pick up a memory verse card this Sunday to help you memorize the verses each week:
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25a)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.