Happy Wednesday, FCC! I don’t know about you, but I am torn about this weather. I would love to have some big and beautiful snow storms. But I love that I am able to go out over lunch today and get in a vigorous bike ride. This is the day the Lord has made; let's rejoice in it!
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another,
for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
1 Peter 5.5.
God gives grace. That line still causes my heart to flutter. God is good, so he will not let sin go unpunished. And God is so good, that he gives grace and mercy. God has made a way for him to be just in giving us grace, and that is all wrapped up in Jesus. Jesus takes the punishment for our sins, and since God's justice is satisfied, he pours out grace on us. He is poised to give us grace. God is so good, he delights to give us grace. Remarkable. That is the gospel message!
How do we get this grace? One word: humility. The biggest heart barrier between us receiving grace is our pride. Pride doesn't like to receive anything but praise from others. But the gift of grace from God is a gift that causes us to become humble and increase in humility to receive it. The gospel message is sort of like getting a healthy lifestyle book from a friend for Christmas. To receive the book, you have to acknowledge that your lifestyle is unhealthy, and you need help to change.
To receive grace from God, we have to acknowledge that pride is wicked (so much so that God opposes our pride with all of his goodness), that pride is the greatest problem in our lives, and that we are proud. Looked at this way, we start to see that our biggest problems and dangers are not out there, but inside our hearts. The greatest joy for us becomes ridding our lives of pride. Our ambition becomes clothing ourselves every day with humility toward others and God.
The great promise attached to all of this, is that we receive grace, God's grace. The great warning in this passage, if we pursue pride, God will oppose us.
What is your ambition today? Is it to increase in humility? God's grace will be yours. Amazing.
We're continuing our Christmas series this Sunday by looking at Mary and Elizabeth. The theme of joy and the question “how can this be” runs through this section of Scripture (Luke 1.8-47). No one wants to build their hopes and dreams on things that are untrue. This week we will be looking at the authenticity of the Joy of Christmas. The Christmas message is the message our Joy-seeking hearts long to hear. There is a world coming without injustice, without tears, where joy is not interrupted. Our search for Joy longs for this type of world to be true. Is it true? Is the message of Christmas true? That's what we'll talk about this Sunday with Authentic Joy, Luke 1.8-17, 39-47.
We have two books for Advent available to purchase for $10 each in the resource area near the cafe:
Thank you, Faith Community, for praying as the elders and I have been working through the budget process this fall. Please pick up a copy of the 2018 budget proposal to see what’s planned for next year.
On Sunday, Nov. 19, we celebrated baptisms during the worship gatherings. And the video (above), featuring stories of transformation, was also shared.
HEART FOR THE VALLEY is a student-led service event that seeks to provide a Christmas meal for those in need during the holidays, as well as giving extra food to stock their cupboards. Students will be packing and delivering meals on Wednesday, December 20. A $60 donation will provide a meal and additional pantry items for one family. Please DONATE online at fcchudson.com/hftv before November 30th! Thank you!