That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,
in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye
shine as lights in the world
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ
P H I L I P P I A N S 2 : 1 5 , 1 6
GOOD MORNING FRIENDS OF FCC!
Last week’s headline from the University of Colorado grabbed my attention, “THE UNIVERSE IS MISSING LIGHT.” Based on observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope, the scientists are amazed and more than a little concerned, “Something is amiss in the universe. There appears to be an enormous deficit of ultraviolet light.”
I’m thinking, if there is an enormous deficit of light in the universe—you ought try finding light right here on earth! The inky moral opacity of our insanely sinful world has rendered this generation blind to the truth and oblivious to the immenent danger that lies before us.
Those familiar with the sweep of history remind us that there have been times when things have been as bad or worse. They point out to the brutality of ancient times, the sensuality of Athens and the wickedness of Rome. Nudity, sexual licentiousness, degenerate perversity, unbridled cruelty, insatiable greed, and the veneration of vice are comfortable in the shadows—when the Light of God is dim.
But the power of technology—computers, satellites, lasers, robots, drones, nuclear weapons, and surveillance apparatus—not only enables the virtuous, it also empowers the wicked.
Add to that the pervasive influence of media and entertainment—music and movies that are demoralizing, pop icons and entertainers that are unashamed of their gross sensuality and godlessness, internet sites that promote sex and lies, and respected news sources that are biased against the truth—and it’s no wonder so many are stumbling in the dark.
To top it off, those institutions and individuals who have been tasked to tell the truth—the Church and the Schools—have surrendered to the spirit of the age and adapted their message to fit the times. The objective Word of God has been attacked as irrelevant and discredited as a relic of a bygone era. Opinions are presented as facts and facts are discredited as opinions.
IF THERE WAS EVER A GENERATION THAT NEEDED GOD’S PEOPLE TO SHINE AS LIGHTS IN THE WORLD IT IS THIS GENERATION! AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO!
HOLDING FORTH THE WORD OF LIFE
The Apostle Paul links “Shining as lights” with “Holding forth the word of life!” How brilliant!
The Word of Life enlightens the mind. The Psalmist declared, “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.” (Psalm 19:8).
The Word of Life directs our path. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path…” (Psalm 119:105)
The Word of Life keeps us from sin. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11) “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” (Proverbs 6:23)
The Word of Life is effective. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
The Word of Life is powerful and revealing. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
The Word of Life is perfect. “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORDis pure, enlightening the eyes.” (Psalm 19:7,8)
Honoring and obeying the Word of Life is the way to blessing, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:25
So here then is our Scriptural strategy for “shining as lights.”
We will bring the “Word of Life” to bear on every aspect of our lives. “Ye are the light of the world… a city set upon a hill cannot be hid,” Jesus said. We will let God’s Word rule.
We will faithfully teach the “Word of Life” to a generation that is looking for answers.
We will uncompromisingly preach the “Word of Life” to those who are longing for life with purpose and meaning.
And, we will staunchly defend the “Word of Life,” from every detractor and critic.
THIS IS NO TIME TO DIM THE LIGHTS!
THIS IS NO TIME TO CHANGE THE LIGHTS!
THIS IS NO TIME TO TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!
SHINE, CHURCH SHINE!
RUN TO THE DARKNESS!
Several years ago we sang, “Carry your candle, run to the darkness!” I liked the idea of carry your candle—carrying the light. But I love the idea of running to the darkness. We need bold, confident, assured, loving Christians who will not be intimidated by the darkness wherever they face it. With God as our helper we have been doing just that this summer here at FCC.
GREAT COMMISSION young people converged on St. Louis and delivered 4,000 Gospel tracts and invitations to FCC and to Vacation Bible School! We had over 25 visitors who came as a direct result of their efforts. We have nearly 100 new contacts who have requested information and a visit from the Pastor. THAT’S WHAT I CALL RUNNING TO THE DARKNESS!
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL was a power packed 4 days of Scriptures and Bible Stories and Christian music. The kids loved it and the crowds grew to a record 124 on Thursday. Then on Sunday Morning the children sang some of the music they learned and recited Scriptures they had memorized. THAT’S CALLED RUNNING TO THE DARKNESS!
FCC is now just under 70 days from our SEPTEMBER 21st 18TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION and REVIVAL. WE’RE NOT RETREATING. This year has been especially challenging for us financially, but we’re not going to stop running toward the darkness. In fact we’re going to pick up the pace. Our Sunday School is increasing. Our ministry team is building. Our outreach is growing. Our use of digital media and internet broadcasting is expanding.
HOPE TO SEE YOU THIS WEEKEND AT FCC! If we can help you in any way please let us know. We love and appreciate you every one!
Pastor Richard M. Jones
FAITH COMMUNITY CHURCH – A Crusaders Church of America
2969 North Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, Missouri 63074
Telephone (314) 298-5840; Cell Call or Text (314) 607-1424
E-mail: PastorRick@FCCStLouis.org firstname.lastname@example.org
FINANCIAL UPDATE: Thank you for giving to our St. Louis Mission. Someone who visited recently was amazed that we could meet our expenses. I explained, “we cannot, but God can!” Last month we urgently needed to raise $13,000. God’s people rallied and $13,500 was given. We come to the last two weeks of July with $100 in the bank and our $2900 mortgage, $850 power bill, and several other bills totaling $2400 coming due. Thank you for giving. Thank you for praying.
You may give by bringing an offering, by mailing your gifts (FCC, 2969 N Lindbergh, St Louis, MO 63074) or by logging onto our web page at www.FCCStLouis.org. The online gifts are much appreciated and immediately available. The downside is that there is a fee that we must pay for each online gift. However you decide to give, or if you cannot give but you can help us pray, be assured of our sincere appreciation and deep gratitude.