Favorite Verses

1. John 3:16

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2. John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

3. Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...

4. 2nd Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousnes...

5. Matthew 11:28

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

 

 

 

 

Leading us in worship:   Rev. Matthew Froeschle 

Sunday Worship Schedule 

Worship Service
9:30 a.m.
Children's Church
9:45 a.m.
(after Children's Chat)
 

 

  “Fruits of the Spirit - Kindness”
   A sermon by the Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle

OLD TESTAMENT READING - Jeremiah 31:1-6 
“At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.”  This is what the Lord says: “The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel.”

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt.  Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.
Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit.  There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, ‘Come, let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.’”
NEW TESTAMENT READING - Romans 2:1-11
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.  Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?  Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.  God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.  But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  For God does not show favoritism.
SERMON - “Fruits of the Spirit - KINDNESS”
I remember learning about the idea of “mercantilism” in my high school world history class.  Mercantilism is the belief that a nation needs to accumulate as much gold and silver as possible, and protect what they gain.  To a significant degree, that thought continues to propel current market and economic forces in our world.
Mercantilism is based on the idea is that there is a limited supply of valuable commodities on earth - and so as one nation increases in value, other nations must be losing the capacity to increase their wealth.
We could argue about the wisdom or ethics of mercantilistic thought.  I only mention it today to make a contrast between market philosophy and spiritual reality.  In “mercantilism”, the more you give, the less you have.  But when it comes to the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc.), the more you give, the MORE you have.
For a Christian to say, “I’ve used up all the love I have” would be a ridiculous statement.  God is love.  Are we going to say that God is finite?  That God gets tired of being God?
And remember our creation story.  God creates all things - out of nothing.  As humans, we make things out of pre-existing things.  God, on the other hand, brings things into being.
All this to say - you may feel like you can run out of love or kindness, but that’s not true if you are connected to the God who is infinite love and rich beyond reckoning in kindness.  As we continue in our study of the spiritual fruits, let’s not think of them in a mercantilistic way, as if we could run out.  God is good.
We’re considering the spiritual fruit of KINDNESS today.  As usual, it’s good to begin by looking at Scriptures to get a clearer definition.
That reading from Romans talks about kindness as laying down the tendency to condemn someone else, and instead recognize that we are of the same KIND as the person we are passing judgment on.
We generally become friends with someone when we recognize a commonality - some shared experience or ideal or love.  We discover that we are alike - we are of a kind.  The more we share in common, the closer the friendship tends to become.
Think for a moment that God became a human being - and how much that means God gave up to be a friend to us.  God became as much like us as possible when He came to earth as Jesus Christ.  He was like us in every way, except for sin.  He became one of our kind.
God’s plan was articulated ahead of time through the prophets - like Jeremiah:
“At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.”  This is what the Lord says: “The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel.”
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt.  Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.
God became of a kind with us - one of our human family.  And in Jesus’ teaching, he especially wants us to see that how we treat each other then is in a very real sense how we are treating him.
As always, a helpful way of defining one of these spiritual qualities is to consider its opposite.  The opposite of kindness would be the tendency to treat someone as an ‘OTHER.’  To see someone else as somehow less worthy of love - as more deserving of judgment instead of a chance to repent and get better. 
Notice how telling it is that the Scripture from Romans tells us that God’s kindness is meant to bring US to repentance.  The thought that other people may be taking advantage of God’s underserved kindness - that others obviously need God’s kindness (whereas we somehow deserve it) - is something that WE need to repent of.
True kindnesses are not born from self-righteousness, arrogance, or condescending attitudes.  Rather, true kindness springs from the recognition and compassion on one’s own self when seen in another person.  It is born of the recognition that WE need the same grace as that other person.  We are two of a kind.
“Treat others as you would be treated.”  See how the root of all Jesus’ most memorable teachings about human relationship spring from this virtue of kindness?
And as I was thinking about this virtue of kindess, I couldn’t help but think of some other quotes from literary fiction.  As a nerd, I quote Albus Dumbledore in saying that kindness is a trait that people never fail to undervalue.
And if that’s not enough, I’ll now go on to quote Gandalf in saying:
“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check.  But that is not what I have found.  I have found that it is the small every-day deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.  Small acts of kindness and love.”
But back to Scripture, and one last thing I’d like to draw out in defining kindness - that “God does not show favoritisim.”
As I mentioned above, this favoritism is an hindrance to true kindness.  For favoritism, whether it’s a self-righteous favoritism for oneself without recognizing one’s faults or a more general favoritism for only those who share specific things in common with you, can prevent this fruit from growing.
God wants to expand our idea of those who are of a kind with us - to unite all tribes and tongues - to make a family of us all.  That’s clear enough in the Scriptures printed in your bulletins today.
As I will mention pretty much every week in this series, these spiritual qualities are found in abundance in Jesus, and therefore rub off on those who spend significant time with this amazing friend.
To truly understand the gospel - to understand the great debt that we have been forgiven - to ponder the amazing truth of the God who humbled himself to become one of us - is to find an inexhaustible source of kindness to share with others.
Whether it is small acts, or a kind attitude, kindness keeps the darkness at bay.  It cannot be valued highly enough.  And it is one of the traits that will be evident in the life of someone truly following Jesus.
And it is to be extended even to those we might consider enemies.
And, having received it, can truly change our minds and hearts.
Amen!

 

 

 
 

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Adult Bible Class

The class meets at 8:30 am on Sunday morning.  Please join for this lesson and lively discussion time before the worshp service. 
Everyone welcome.

 Worship Service

Please join us for Sunday Worship at 9:30 a.m.  Let us be your church as you're passing through town, or your church home throughout the year.  We invite you to worship with us.  Children may stay in the sanctuary or go to Children's Church after the Children's Chat with the Pastor.  During the worship service, we worship God through scripture reading, listening to the sermon, prayer, responsive readings, hymn singing, special music, and reflection.

Children's Church

During the 9:30 a.m. worship service, Children's Church is offered for children ages 4-12.  Childlren are in the sanctuary until after the Children's Chat with the Pastor.  Children's Church is a service where kids learn through scripture, stories, and music tailored to their age group.

 

First Presbyterian Church is a Family of Faith. 

Like many families, we:

*Support one another.  Troubles are shared and burdens are lifted hrough requests to the Prayer Team, prayer requests made during worship, and conversation over coffee, etc.

*Share a common outlook.  Presbyterians are dedicated to hearing and acting on scripture.  We listen to what the Bible has to say through sermons and studies.  We carry out what we learn and believe through our daily lives and in missions at home and abroad.

*Nuture Children.  Outreach within and outside our church happens through Sunday School, Kids' Club, Youth Groups, LOGOS retreats, Camp Carew, and Vacation Bible School.  We help children "grow up in Christ."

*Care for the Elderly.  Members of the "Sunshine Brigade" conduct Christian care visits with shut-ins and those who live in skilled care settings.

*Help neighbors in need.  Friends and families reach out to others in the Church when help is needed.  In addition, members of the First Presbyterian family serve the community through programs like the Food Bank, Peace Meals, PADS homeless and transient shelter, etc.

*Grow.  Families have a habit of growing.  Our Family of Faith grows with those who are beginning or renewing their trust in Jesus Christ.  Please consider what Christ means to you, and experience God's love through First Presbyterian Church.