Posts by Valerie Austin

Posts by Valerie Austin

May 5, 2021 Midweek Update

Dear Brothers and Sisters, The early Christians knew that Jesus had given them a calling: “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). They also knew that they didn’t have it in themselves to meet the demands of this call. When Peter and John are told not to speak in the name of Jesus anymore, they boldly tell the leaders that they must obey God rather than men. They then…

April 28, 2021 Midweek Update

Dear Brothers and Sisters, The sermon text for this Sunday (Acts 4:1-22) continues the powerful story of the healing of the lame man at the temple in Jerusalem. While Peter and John are still speaking to the amazed onlookers, the temple leadership arrest the apostles specifically because they are offended by the message of the resurrection and the teaching about Jesus.…

Midweek Update: April 21

Dear Faith Community Church Family, Our God does great things we sometimes simply don’t expect. He works surprises that lead to great joy. In Acts 3:1-26, Peter and John come upon a man, lame from his birth, begging for money. Peter and John stop to help this poor man by giving him something even greater than a little cash. By the power of the resurrected Jesus, Peter…

April 14, 2021 Midweek Update

Dear Faith Community Church Family, On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples, three thousand people became followers of Jesus. What a day! As a diversity of pagans and Jewish people alike joined the people of God, certain common features began to distinguish these ethnically diverse followers of “the Way” (Christianity). In Acts 2:42-47,…

March 31, 2021 Midweek Update

Dear Brothers and Sisters, The events of Passion Week changed the world forever. It began with the entrance of the humble King into Jerusalem and concluded with his death on a cross outside the walls of the city and his burial in a newly hewn tomb. On that cross “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6). But death could not defeat him. Jesus dealt…

Midweek Update: March 24

Dear Faith Community Church Family, Our recent Called to Community sermon series answered the question, “Who are we as Faith Community Church?” Our church’s identity statement spells this out: We are a people called out by the gospel and called into community with the triune God, who share a common King, a common authority, a common Spirit, a common life, and a common…

March 17 Midweek Update

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Does the gospel cut you to the heart? This is how Luke describes the response of those who heard Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost. “Now when they heard this,” Luke says, “they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” (Acts 2:37). The crowd realized that they were responsible for…

Midweek Update: March 10, 2021

Dear Faith Community Church Family, At several key points in the book of Acts Luke tells us that the Word of God was continuing to “increase” or “multiply” (Acts 6:7; 12:24; 19:20). In other words, the Word of God was powerfully drawing people to faith and transforming lives as the Gospel spread from community to community throughout the ancient world. The Word of God,…

March 3 Midweek Update

Dear Brothers and Sisters, We serve a God who keeps his promises. Before Jesus ascended, he told the disciples to return to Jerusalem and wait for the “promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4). The disciples obeyed. They spent the next ten days in prayer, preparing for the arrival of the Spirit. On Pentecost (one of the Jewish festivals), the Holy Spirit descended, and was…

Midweek Update: February 24

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Consider this quote from A.W. Tozer, a writer and pastor: The popular notion that the first obligation of the church is to spread the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth is false. The first obligation of the church is to be spiritually worthy to spread it.  (From A.W. Tozer, Of God and Men). Now Tozer is not saying, “Get your spiritual…

Midweek Update: February 17

Dear Faith Community Church Family, This evening we will hold our Lenten Prayer Service (6:30pm; no livestream, see below). Whereas during the season of Advent we prepare our hearts for the arrival of Jesus Christ, it is during the season of Lent that we prepare our hearts for the celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Our time together will in large part…

February 10 Midweek Update

Dear Faith Community Church Family, The book of Acts tells the exciting story of the early days of the church after Jesus’ ascension. It details everything from the conversion of the masses on the day of Pentecost to the martyrdom of Jesus’ disciples, such as Stephen and James. It follows the early Christian community as they bear witness to the truth of the Gospel. In…

Midweek Update: February 3

Dear Faith Community Church Family, On Sunday we concluded our series Called to Community: Five Features of Christian Fellowship, where we have been focusing on key passages of Scripture that help us understand what Christian community is from a biblical perspective. God himself has called us into community with one another and with his Son: “God is faithful, by whom you…

Midweek Update: January 27

Dear Faith Community Church Family, Our final sermon in our “Called to Community” series is this Sunday, when we will explore our call to a common mission (Matt 28:16-20). Christians are not just saved from sin, we are also saved to a life of purpose in joining with God in his intentions to bring all things under the lordship of Christ. As a church, we are…

Midweek Update: January 20

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Christians need fellowship. The theme verse for our Called to Community sermon series says, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:9). In a sense, fellowship with Jesus and with his people is something we already have as believers. However, fellowship is also something we…

Midweek Update: January 13

Dear Brothers and Sisters, In 1 Corinthians 3:16, the Apostle Paul says, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” The word “you” here is plural. In the South (being from Alabama), we would probably translate it “Do y’all not know that the Holy Spirit dwells in y’all?” Paul is emphasizing the one Spirit that…

Midweek Update: January 6

Dear Faith Community Church Family, I was greatly encouraged by both our time of worship Sunday morning and our congregational meeting Sunday afternoon. It was exciting to come together in-person and online to share with you more about our church’s priorities following Refocus 2020. In particular, I shared “Our Community Core,” a summary of our purpose (Why are we here?),…

December 30 Midweek Update

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9 Dear Faith Community Church Family, A year’s end is an appropriate time to reflect on God’s faithfulness, especially at a moment when many people are revisiting the difficult things about 2020. I hope you join me in thankfulness for God’s…

December 23 Midweek Update

Dear Faith Community Church Family, We have traveled the Advent journey together through Isaiah’s prophecies of hope and healing and now have come to the week when we celebrate the birth of the promised Savior, Jesus Christ. He has come as our “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). At tomorrow’s Christmas Eve services,…

December 16 Midweek Update

Dear Faith Community Church, In the Old Testament, when God’s people were exiled from the Promised Land, the reason was clear: God’s covenant people had refused to listen to his messengers, the prophets, who were urging the nation to repent of their waywardness and return in obedience to their covenant God. The captivity in Babylon that Isaiah predicts in Isaiah…

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