September 22, 2016

Dear First Pres,

   We had another excellent gathering last night for Wednesday Nights @FPC. In the grown-ups' class,Saturate, we talked about knowing and believing the Gospel. The author argues that if we want to be successful at being a Great Commission church that helps to saturate our community with the glory of God, we have to know and believe the Gospel. Now, most of you would probably say that you already know and believe what the Gospel is all about. But I found some questions in the Saturate Field Guide very helpful in thinking about my own belief in the Gospel. I encourage you to take a few moments today to prayerfully consider these questions from page 19-20 of the Saturate Field Guide (the book we're using for our Wednesday night course).

Do you believe - or live as if - you have to perform well for God in order to receive his loving acceptance? Do you believe God loves you more when you obey and less when you disobey? If so, how can this be understood as disbelief in what Jesus has already done?
Do you believe - or live as if - your holiness is enabled by your own power and strength? Do you truly believe the Spirit of God is alive and living in you today, who alone has the ability to work in and through you? If not, how can this be understood as disbelief in what Jesus is currently doing?
Do you believe - or live as if - the future is unsure (even paralyzing)? Do you truly believe that eternity has been secured for you, by the death and resurrection of Jesus? If not, how can this be understood as disbelief in what Jesus has promised to do?

   Last night, while leading the group, Diane referenced the passage in Mark 9 where the father brings his demon possessed boy to Jesus and asks him if he can help the boy. Jesus told the father that everything is possible for the one who believes. "Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'" (Mark 9:24). If you're like me, after reflecting on these questions, you resonate with the father's words in Mark 9. Oh Lord, we believe, but help us overcome our unbelief.
 
   May you more deeply believe the Gospel today: what God has done in Christ, what He is doing now by the Spirit, and what He has promised to do in the end.

Blessings,