Happy Wednesday, FCC! We're half way through the week! And VBS is halfway through their week, too. It has been a great joy to see so many investing in the next generations of followers of Jesus. From retirees to middle school students, people have been leading and serving 275+ children. Please pause and pray for energy and strength for these leaders and for God to soften hearts, that children would give their lives to following Jesus as Lord.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
One of the more remarkable verses of the Bible is that God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8.28). Notice that this verse does not say that all things a lover of God experiences are good. Instead the wonder of this verse is that everything in human history from the greatest joys to the most horrific of evils will be worked together by God to serve our good. In Romans 8.29 Paul tells us the good toward which God is working all things. It is that all whom God foreknew or foreloved, would be conformed to the image of his Son.
What this means is that today, whatever we are facing, God will subjugate it and force it to do us good, and that good is that we would look more and more like Jesus in our attitudes, our desires, our thoughts and our behavior. Nothing in life is wasted—it will all be used by God to conform us to Jesus.
So, today, in joy, in grief, in stressors, in delights, in burdens, in the mundane, even, let us fix our eyes on becoming more like Jesus. Jesus is patient, kind, self-controlled, gracious, truthful, faithful, joyful, sacrificial, loving, humble, gentle, forgiving and grateful. These are the virtues God is committed to see worked into our lives. If God's purpose is our purpose, then who or what can be against us? God is for us!
WATCH the new sermon series video!
Pastor Steve Holsteen will be preaching on “The Gospel of Hope” (Romans 8.14-25). In this sermon and my sermon next week, we will be looking at how the gospel gives us resources to endure trials with hope and an experience of God's steadfast and immovable love. As much as you are able, make sure and hear these two sermons. They will give you hope in the midst of any difficulty.
In addition, the FCC elders have recommended Josh Graham as an elder apprentice for the River Falls Missional Community. On Sunday, we will be commissioning him for this new role. Josh is a proven tested and proven servant leader. He is a fruitful discipler and has a desire to bear the burden of shepherding a missional community as an elder. Please pray for Josh and his family. Please see the attached brochure, “SHEPHERDING GOD’S FAMILY: Faith Community’s Elders & Elder Apprentices” for more information on FCC elders and elder apprentices. You can also pick up a copy of the booklet on Sunday.
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:
1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)
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)