From the Pastor
Men’s Movie Night
Women’s Night of Worship
Outreach Vision for FBC
Reach Out to International Students
Sons and Daughters of the Most High
by Jack Arrington
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people. (NET)
I recently read the verse above in my personal devotions. Several parts stopped me in my tracks and called for my attention.
First, Jesus’ words probed my motives for doing good and for loving. If I am to love my enemies, then my motive for loving can’t be that the people I love are my friends. Nor can it be that I expect something tangible, here and now, in return if I do good, lend, and expect nothing from those people in return. Nor can my motive be the expected gratitude and appreciation that I might receive from them. Not, if by definition, the people to whom I am to be kind are ungrateful and evil people.
So why should I love, do good, give generously and be kind? Because in so doing, I would become a son or a daughter (masculine gender used inclusively) of God Most High.
Wait. I thought we became children of God by receiving Jesus through faith as our Savior?
We do. Galatians 3:26 says, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Jesus is not teaching that we earn the right to become children of God by doing good deeds. So what’s going on here? Look at the following verse: (Mark 3:17) “James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder).”
Jesus is using a figure of speech. To be a son of means to reflect similar qualities and characteristics. James and John had thunderous personalities.
Have you ever heard a mother say, “Well, he’s his father’s son.” The idea is the same thing. It means to be like our Father. When we show love to our enemies, give to those who will not or cannot give back, and are kind to the ungrateful and evil, then we are acting like our Father who is God Most High.
So why do it? It’s a motivation every child knows who has a loving father. I want to be like my dad. Yes, I want to be like my Father.
Then there’s an added bonus: our Father will reward us. Longing and striving for heavenly reward is a good biblical motivation (see 1 Cor 3).
But there’s something disturbing about this verse. Are there times you are ungrateful? Sometimes I’m ungrateful. What’s uncomfortable, disturbing really, is how ungrateful and evil are linked together. I think Jesus is saying that to be ungrateful is to be evil. Lack of thankfulness is evil? Wow.
More than that it seems to me that the connection as the verse turns back on itself is that I show my gratitude to God by loving my enemies because when I was his enemy he loved me. He does good to me and I cannot pay him back. He continues to be kind to me when I am ungrateful and evil.
That messes with my mind. It is deeply disturbing and deeply comforting at the same time. And you know what? It makes me all the more want to be like my dad. I want to be a son of my Father in heaven. Don’t you?
Men’s Ministry Update
Men’s Movie Night
Join some FBC men to watch the movie Courageous and have a discussion about being better dads and husbands. This movie and discussion will be especially good for dads with kids at home. The event will be Friday, March 9th, 7:00 p.m. at the home of Vijay Paul (140 Settlers Bend Court, Lexington). We need an RSVP by Wednesday, March 7th. Please contact Jeff deBessonet if you’d like to come (351-1067 or email@example.com). Depending on the number of respondents, we have a second viewing location. Please note that we welcome those who have already seen the movie! It will be great to watch it again together and talk over our impressions and ideas with the movie fresh in our minds. Please join us!
Women’s Ministry Update
Salad Supper and Night of Worship
Please plan to come and bring a friend to FBC on Friday, March 16, 2012 for a SALAD SUPPER, CONCERT, AND night of WORSHIP with One Purpose. One Purpose is a group of three ladies, Beth Greer, Miriam Beacham, and Laura Christy (our retreat worship leader), who are connected with Crossover Ministries. Supper will be served at 6:00 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7:00 p.m. The cost for this special evening together is $5.00 per person. Make your reservations in the church foyer or online at: One Purpose Sign-Up. Childcare is available upon reservation.
What Others are Saying:
“The ministry of One Purpose is touching the hearts of women all over the country. The talent, giftedness and spiritual anointing on the lives of these women come through with every note they sing. I have been encouraged by their music, challenged by their heart for ministry and, most importantly, touched by their integrity.”
Bible Teacher & Motivational Speaker
Cedar Hill, Texas
For more information/reviews please visit: http://www.onepurpose.com
Outreach Ministry Update
Our Vision for Outreach
FBC exists both to meet the needs of our families and to win the world to Christ.
“People in a healthy church are always prayerfully searching for uniquely personal ways to show others the love of God and draw them into a saving relationship with Jesus.”
Just as Jesus left the 99 and went after the one, we will do for at least one person or one family what we wish we could do for many.
By the end of the year each of us will have a new story to tell that begins with our prayers and shows how God used us to become a link in the chain to draw others to Christ.
We will pray regularly:
…that Jesus would break our hearts for people who are lost
…that he would give us faith to take risks and sacrifice
…that God would open doors to share Christ
…that he would use us to bring many into a saving relationship with Jesus
The Outreach Team and I would ask each of you to commit with us to this vision and strategy. –Pastor Jack
Missions Team Update
Reach Out to International Students
FBC has the opportunity to assist International Friendship Ministries (IFM) in their ministry to international students. We are partnering with IFM to provide a meal on Friday, March 30th, for their weekly Friday night outreach on the University of South Carolina campus. This well respected ministry has been sharing the love of Christ to international students for over 30 years through friendship, fellowship, practical helps, English culture classes, trips, Bible studies, and other activities (check out their ministry on Facebook!).
We need people from FBC to provide main dishes, vegetables, salads, fresh fruit, desserts, or monetary gifts to put toward paper products and beverages. A sign-up sheet will be in the foyer, or you can contact Jean Dix at 606-9770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be three drop-off sites:
- FBC during the Thursday women’s Bible study on March 29th from 9:30-11:30 a.m.,
- Jean Dix’s house in Chapin on Friday until 5:00 p.m., or
- Columbia Evangelical Church basement until 6:30 p.m., located at 1727 Pendleton Street. Parking is free on Pendleton after 6 and there is a church parking lot on Barnwell. The address for the front of the church is 1015 Barnwell.
IFM encourages the churches that provide the meal to stay and share the food and fellowship with the internationals. God has brought the world to our doorstep! This is truly a cross cultural outreach right here in our city, and one that could yield eternal results.