Good morning, FCC! What a beautiful summer day today! May your heart be filled with gratitude and thanks for God's kindness today!
A crucial aspect of the creation of our culture of discipleship and its sustainability is empowering local leaders, who are learning to live out Jesus' discipleship principles. To that end, it is a great joy for me to let y'all know that this last Sunday in our worship gatherings we prayed for Eric Lent as an Elder apprentice for Faith Community. Also, between the services, the membership of FCC affirmed Josh Graham to be an elder for the River Falls Missional Community. We are grateful to God for giving us humble, gentle, and bold leaders.
Please join me in thanking God and also asking him to fill these men with his Spirit for this new task!
“…in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him,
not having a righteousness of my own…”
In the original motion picture “Rocky,” the protagonist, Rocky Balboa is a boxer trying to make it in the sport. Rocky makes an important statement. He says, “If I just go the distance and hear that bell… then I’ll know I am not just another bum from the neighborhood.” Now you might be wondering what this has to do with the verse I referenced above. Well, it has everything to do with it. You see, we all have something that we are striving for that proves to ourselves and others that we are not just bums from the neighborhood. That desire to prove ourselves is a desire for righteousness. For Rocky, it was to go the distance in the ring. For the apostle Paul, it was a righteousness that came from obeying the Law and being a strict Pharisee.
We can take anything and make it our attempt to establish a righteousness on our own. It can be athletics, our career, our children’s successes, our beauty—all kinds of things. But this isn’t real righteousness. Real righteousness comes to us, by belonging to Jesus, who lived the life we were made to live (but we have failed), and died the death that we deserve to die (in our place), and rose again and is seated with God awaiting the day when he brings the world to rights. Jesus’ righteousness is the only righteousness that saves, and we only get it by being found in him, by giving our lives to him, by trusting in him and his righteousness. And this also means that as we trust in Jesus for our righteousness, we turn away from our own righteousness. This doesn’t mean that we don’t pursue excellence at work, for example. But it means that our work is no longer our righteousness, it is simply our work that we do to glorify God and love and serve others.
Jesus has done everything we need to be righteous before God. It’s our choice: will we trust his work or try to establish our own? If we try to establish our own, we won’t be righteous, we’ll find ourselves condemned.
Other than in Jesus, where are you tempted to find your righteousness? What are you doing to consider that form of false righteousness as rubbish, and actively trusting in Jesus’ righteousness?
This Sunday is Father's Day, and this Sunday we get to listen in on a conversation in Proverbs of a Father to a son, instructing his son on what is most essential to live a wise life that avoids stumbling and avoids the pains of wickedness. The Father tells his son that above all other things, he must guard and keep his heart. This Sunday we will be learning from the Bible how to guard our most treasured and valuable possession, our own heart. You can start getting your heart ready for this sermon by reading Proverbs 4.10-27. I am really excited about this passage and what God may do as we gather together to worship and respond.
In the current sermon series, Proverbs: Seeking Extraordinary Wisdom, we’re talking about wisdom: what it is, how we can get it and what it looks like to live a wise life in the world today. We have a couple of resources available in the café area to go along with the sermon series:
FaithWorks starts in just 5 days! Part of our vision at Faith Community is to see Christ renewing neighborhoods and the valley. One way we live that out is through FaithWorks, a week we set aside each year with an intensive focus on short-term missions across the St. Croix Valley.
And, please register to work by noon TODAY, June 13. There are opportunities to serve as laborers, on the food team, as nursery workers, on the prayer/evangelism team, and as administrative assistants. You can also register in person at the church building, starting on Monday morning, June 18.
Find more information on FaithWorks, visit fcchudson.com. Please click on REGISTRATIONS to:
We also need coolers and various tools and wheelbarrows for use on the projects. So if you have any of these types of items that you could loan for use during FaithWorks, please bring them to the Kids Room by next Sunday, June 17. The Kids Room is located just behind the Community Room. Please mark all of your items.
And, if you’d like to help with the items that go in lunches for workers, we would appreciate donations of bottled water, packaged snack items and home-baked goods. Just drop them off in the kitchen by next Sunday, June 17.
We’re also doing another metal collection in support of FaithWorks. Drop off is available from Saturday, June 16, through Saturday June 23, 2018, at dumpsters located at the house just south of the church building. You can find all the details for the metal collection inside today’s worship folder.
If you have questions about anything related to FaithWorks, please contact Randy Lau at 715-441-1515. And, if you have any questions about the needed food items or bottled water, please contact Karen Garden at 715-220-2507.
On June 24, 2018, at 4:00 p.m., all the St. Croix Valley LEAD Team churches will gather together at Lakefront Park (505 First St.) in Hudson, Wis., to celebrate what God has done and to cast vision for our continued partnership on mission. You're invited to this special event called Vision for the Valley. This will be a time of smoked BBQ, worship through singing and hearing stories of God's work through us to expand the kingdom of Jesus. We will also hear about some big and strategic opportunities that God is placing before us. We will be asking you to pray; pray for God's leadership in all of this and for how God might invite you to make it all happen.
God has done so much already, but there is still more to be done. We can't do it without God, we can't do it without prayer, and we don't want to do it without you. Pick up a copy of the "Vision for the Valley" magazine to learn more about our vision for what's next for our partnership together and make plans to be at Vision for the Valley on June 24. The Vision for the Valley magazine is inserted into the summer edition of “Faith Hudson” magazine.