This Month's Messenger
Greetings Fairview Heights!
First, thank you for allowing me to fill the position of Interim Pastor. I promise to work to always be in God’s will and to do the very best in the position you and God have entrusted me. I am looking forward to assisting FHBC’s transition into the next phase of it is enduring and proud history.
Sometimes I get frustrated with my life; things are going well then something comes up and sabotages the good moments. Sometimes it seems like I am making no headway in becoming more compassionate towards others and more forgiving when wronged. Sometimes it seems like I am not changing, not being transformed by Jesus, as I continue to make this journey of faith.
The Sermon on the Mount is a good reminder of a positive way to walk with Jesus. The sermon is a collection of truths from Jesus that call us to a higher ground when following His way. This will be the series we will start this Sunday.
There are times when others treat us poorly and our first impulse is to fight back, either with words or actions, but Jesus says that is not God’s way. God is more concerned about growing relationships, not tearing them apart. That may mean even when justice is compromised, we are to turn the other cheek. Taking that thought one step further, is to willingly give others what they need even at our own expense (Matthew 5:38-42).
For a general guide in life we look to the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12), “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” We can do this, however, without necessarily growing in our faith. So, it would be helpful if we had some other evidence that we are growing into Christ’s likeness. In Galatians, the first letter Paul wrote to believers, he said we are not only to serve one another humbly in love, but we are to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:13 & 16). It is this walking with the Spirit that produces the “fruit” that is the evidence of God’s transformation in us and of our maturing in faith. So, in Galatians, Paul says the fruit of a Christian’s walk is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
After we study the Sermon on the Mount, the nine fruits of the Spirit will be the subject of our next sermon series. We will explore each of the fruits as they are discussed in scripture and then hear the challenge to exhibit these fruits. There will be times when this fruit just seems to grow; as we recognize God’s hand in our past, his faithfulness encourages us to be faithful as well. As we are given unexpected kindness so we, in turn, become more kind. For example, the time a stranger paid for my lunch because I made sure he could go before me in the food line. Then there are the times when we can choose whether to treat someone with goodness or not. We can decide if we will go out of our way to offer someone a ride, give their car battery a jump, or to donate blood.
How is your transformation going? Are you stalled in your growing love for others? Are you having a hard time finding peace in your current circumstances? Take some time as summer ends and explore areas of opportunity to grow in your faith. Come, listen and be ready to hear the Spirit speak to you about how you are growing already and how you can grow even more in your faith. Join us for worship, as we discover how to be transformed from the inside out.
Pastor Danny Moore