Happy Wednesday, FCC! We’re almost to Sunday, and I can’t wait to be with you all on Sunday morning to worship the Living God!
An aspect of our vision as a church is to see Christ transforming individuals and families. This weekend, husbands and wives will be gathering together at the Lodge at Crooked Lake in Siren, WI, to learning about intimacy in marriage. A trusted friend and former pastor for FCC, Tim Haugen, will be teaching at the retreat. Would you please join me in praying that God would transform marriages this weekend?
We would love for you to join with us as a covenant member. The Covenant Membership Class is our introduction to membership at Faith Community Church and is required for anyone wishing to pursue membership. This class covers our purpose, mission, vision, discipleship paths, Missional Communities, covenant and statement of belief. REGISTER online to attend the class and also for child care at fcchudson.com.
FCC covenant members will vote to affirm new covenant member candidates following the 9 a.m. service (starting approximately at 10:30 a.m.) in the Refuge Room on Sunday, Oct. 7.
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love,
According to your abundant mercy,
Blot out my transgressions.
What do we do after we have failed? How do we start the road back to relational repair with God and others when we have sinned? Whether our sin was a sin of the heart or our sins have us trapped in a web of pain, the first step to wholeness is toward God.
King David models for us the way back to a restored relationship with God, which will lead us to restored relationships with those against whom we have sinned. Psalm 51 is prayed by David after Nathan the prophet confronted him about his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba, and his murderous plot to take out Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, was successful. In Psalm 51 we see David repenting from the heart and seeking forgiveness from God for all the wickedness and injustice that he unleashed with his actions.This psalm is a great example for us of entrusting ourselves to the steadfast love of God, and seeking forgiveness from God, when we have sinned. Over the next few weeks, I would like to dedicate the gospel reminder to focusing on how to repent from the heart, when we have sinned.
Repentance from the heart, begins where David begins. It begins with a recognition that all we have to trust in is God’s steadfast love and abundant mercy. David doesn’t begin his request for forgiveness with asking God for mercy, on the basis of his own kingship, or because he has been faithful most of his life, or because he defeated Goliath, or some other reason in himself. Instead, David realizes that before God, and because of his sin, there is no basis in himself that he could ask for God to forgive him. Instead, one of the most liberating and terrifying things to do, David does. He appeals for mercy from God, on the basis of God’s steadfast love and abundant mercy alone.
This is liberating, because God is rich and generous with mercy. God delights to forgive. But it is also terrifying, because we are trusting in God’s mercy, not in our own sense of achievement. David experienced what we now call coming to an end of ourselves. David realized that he can’t deserve forgiveness. Forgiveness is a gift, sourced in God’s mercy and grace.
The way back to a restored relationship with God is to put our whole trust or whole hope in God’s steadfast love. When we realize we can’t and we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, when we recognize that God delights to give forgiveness—we can let go of our pride, and we humbly receive forgiveness from God. This type of forgiveness, this quality of grace, leads us to be transformed.
This Sunday I will be preaching on Ruth 3. The sermon is called Renew. The three main characters in the book of Ruth—Naomi,Ruth, and Boaz—show us the full dimensions of how God renews broken lives and brings life into death. Renewal requires courage and loyalty. The courage and loyalty of Ruth,Naomi, and Boaz shine like a beautiful light in the midst of an age, where the people were characterized by doing what was right in their own eyes. I look forward to seeing how God will shape and change us as we are called to take more steps of courage, or more refined to be loyal to God and one another, all because of the steadfast love of God.
One part of the vision of Faith Community is to empower global missional leaders. One way we live that out is through partnership with SERVE India, which supports the expanding missionary effort in India, specifically in Andhra Pradesh, a state in South East India. You can stop by their booth in the lobby on Sunday to learn more about SERVE India. There will also be Kwik Trip cards available to purchase in support of SERVE India.
One of the initiatives from our strategic plan is to multiply disciples of Jesus Christ through extension. Our goal with this initiative is local and cross-cultural church planting based on discipleship principles and practices. Over the next five years, by God's power and kindess:
Please make checks out to FCC and put Vision for the Valley or VFV in the memo section. You may also give online at fcchudson.com. THANK YOU!