Posts by Valerie Austin

Posts by Valerie Austin

Midweek Update: September 16

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Faith Community Church, This Sunday, we’ll be exploring the famous passage wherein the Apostle John writes, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). There are few passages of Scripture more often pulled out of context than this! As a congregation seeking to submit to the authority of Scripture, when we say, “God is love,” we…

September 9 Midweek Update

Dear Faith Community Church Family, In 1 John 4:1-6, the Apostle John emphasizes the importance of discerning truth from error in the Christian life. Apart from a firm commitment to the truth, we cannot live obediently and faithfully as God intends. In particular, John is concerned that Christians would be firmly committed to the biblical view of Jesus, to the commands…

Midweek Update: September 2

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Psalm 97:11-12 states, “Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!”  This past Sunday evening we had the privilege of gathering together to reflect on God’s sovereignty in Psalm 97 and to lift our voices in praise during our outdoor worship service.…

August 19 Midweek Update

Dear Brothers and Sisters, In Sunday’s sermon, we looked at the biblical example of the antithesis of brotherly love: Cain. This coming Sunday, we turn our attention to Jesus in 1 John 3:16-18: By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother…

Midweek Update: August 12, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Which do you think is more important: what you believe about God or the way you live your life before God? Is making sure our theology is lined up with the Scriptures more important than our actions, or does God care more about how we act than he does about who believe him to be? Notice what John says in 1 John 3:11, “For this is the message…

Midweek Update: August 5

Dear Brothers and Sisters, This Sunday we have the privilege of welcoming Pastor Nick Swan to our pulpit. Pastor Nick is on staff at Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Winnetka. He will preach from Genesis 8:20-9:17, a passage which emphasizes the faithfulness and sufficiency of our covenant keeping God in each and every circumstance. The title of his sermon is aptly…

July 29 Midweek Update

Dear Faith Community Church Family, On Sunday, I compared these last several months to being on a boat in unsettled waters, where each month (even each day) can feel like another huge, wearying wave coming at us. During this time, each one of us, to one degree or another, has battled the waves of hardship, loneliness, anxiety, and loss. We naturally ask, “When will it…

Midweek Update: July 22

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Is there anything in this life that can provide greater comfort than knowing that we are children of God? More than ten times in his letters, the Apostle John calls his readers “children.” Yes, John refers to them in this way in order to express his concern and care for these believers, but on an even deeper level, he calls them “children”…

Midweek Update: July 15

Dear Brothers and Sisters, In 1 John 2, the Apostle teaches that Christians have been “anointed by the Holy One” (1 John 2:20). In fact, in our passage for this Sunday, 1 John 2:18-27, he mentions our “anointing” three times. Clearly John wants his readers to take to heart this important truth. John’s words become especially urgent when we realize that he is instructing…

Midweek Update: July 8

Dear Brothers and Sisters, When you hear the word “Sabbath,” what comes to mind? Do you think of keeping the Sabbath as a duty, a day when you must rest simply because God has required it in the Ten Commandments? Or maybe the word makes you feel anxious because it’s a day when you want to rest, but you also feel the weight of all those things you have to do in the week…

Midweek Update: July 1

Dear Brothers and Sisters, We live in a culture of constant consumerism. When we are flooded with social media and advertising, we can easily begin to see ourselves and others as commodities instead of precious images of God. But this is not the way of Christ. We are told by the Apostle John, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the…

June 24 Midweek Update

Dear Faith Community Church Family, Last week several of us witnessed a beautiful example of God’s unifying grace at work when over 70 people from multiple churches in West Chicago came together for a bilingual prayer walk for our city. As we walked the city, we prayed for local business owners who have been affected by the coronavirus quarantines, we prayed for our mayor…

Midweek Update: June 18

Dear Faith Community Church Family, It was wonderful to be able to join together for worship this past Sunday after so many weeks apart. I was greatly encouraged by our time together and was reminded once more of just how important it is to come together on a weekly basis to worship our God and to fellowship with one another as his redeemed people. This week, we will be…

Midweek Update: June 10, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters, God has created us as people who yearn to be in fellowship with others. We have all experienced this deep desire for fellowship especially during these last several months. In fact, we long for fellowship because we reflect our God who has always, from all eternity, been in fellowship and relationship with himself: The Father, the Son, and the…

Midweek Update: June 3, 2020

Dear Faith Community Church Family, This week has been an extraordinarily difficult moment for our country in what has already been a challenging season. The recent unjust deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd demonstrate the continual issue of racism in our nation. As believers in Jesus, who is the Creator of all people, we mourn over the existence of…

Midweek Update: May 20, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Faith Community Church, Listen to these words of Jesus from the Gospel of John: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). This statement is both bold and beautiful. First, Jesus is claiming that he alone is the source of life. If we want life, we must go to him for it. Second, the life that he offers is not a bare,…

Midweek Update: May 13, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Does this Proverb teach that if we simply hand over our plans to God we can be sure that he will put his stamp on them? What if we find our plans changing unexpectedly, whether they be financial plans, marriage plans, or college plans? What…