Happy Wednesday, FCC! Our ministries are beginning to kick into full gear. AWANA is beginning its 30th year with FCC, Alpha is up and running, Refuge is beginning its orientations and registrations, and so much more! Would you please pray for God to work powerfully through leaders and disciplers? Pray that more and more people would be gripped by God’s grace in Jesus our Lord!
Even the wind and sea obey him?
Sometimes I feel like everything in life is falling apart. I can get extremely stressed, and anxious, and I feel all alone, and God is distant, absent, silent. I call out with the disciples,as they are in the boat with Jesus as a great storm is threatening to destroy them and Jesus is sleeping, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing”(Mark 4.38)?
I have often wondered why Jesus intentionally brought the disciples out on the boat and let them endure the storm and to see Jesus sleeping. How is this building their faith? As I’ve walked with Jesus now for a few decades, I am getting more and more of an understanding of why.
Why? Because there are times in our lives, when it seems like God is asleep and doesn’t care that we are perishing.But though circumstances make it seem like the storms of life will overtake us,God will calm the storm exactly when he means to. God refuses to be rushed and refuses to be hurried. In the stormy circumstances, he wants us to take our eyes off of the circumstances, see him, and rest our hearts securely in him. InMark 4, Jesus shows that he is more than able to calm the storm. The wind and sea obey the voice of Jesus. If the storm is raging, it isn’t because he doesn’t care, but because he is calling out trust from our hearts in the midst of the storm. He is showing us our hearts can rest in his goodness, just asJesus slept in the boat.
May our hearts rest in the midst of the storm, as we see Jesus, who can speak to the storm and bring about peace,but is waiting to do so until he sees fit.
Last Sunday, we started a new series on two Old Testament books, called Courage andLoyalty. The series is on Ruth and Esther, heroic women who show us how to live, even when God seems hidden. This Sunday, Tim Prince will preach from Ruth2 with a sermon called Refuge. Ruth took refuge in God, and he showed steadfast love to her. Through Ruth, he began to show his unceasing kindness for Naomi,Ruth’s mother-in-law. As we continue to learn from Ruth and Esther how to live with courage and loyalty, the great hero of these stories is God, and his steadfast love.
On Sunday, I mentioned that for us to trust God, we need to know that what the Bible says about Jesus is true—that these things really happened. That Jesus really did live, die, rise again, and ascend to heaven, at God’s right hand. But we also need to know what God is like. That he is trustworthy and good. Ruth and Esther show us glimpses of God’s goodness and trustworthiness.
Look around and prayerfully consider friends and family members who are wondering what God is really like. See who God is drawing to Jesus, and graciously invite them to attend our worship services. We will be focusing on God’s goodness together. Pray and invite, and follow up.
Just a reminder about FCC’s Marriage Enrichment Weekend, planned for Sept. 14-16 atThe Lodge at Crooked Lake in Siren, WI. This year's theme is INTIMACY IN MARRIAGE, and the speaker is Tim Haugen. FCC’s Marriage Enrichment Weekend is designed to deepen and enrich the joys you share together in a Christ-centered marriage. The weekend is for all marriages, whether you are new to marriage orwell-seasoned. Couples come for a variety of reasons, from setting aside time away to focus on their relationship, to setting goals for the next year, to reconnecting with other couples. The weekend includes a mixture of solid biblical teaching, social interaction, time alone as a couple and good meals. Space is limited! LEARN MORE and REGISTER by SEPT. 9 at fcchudson.com.
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!