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."

 

 

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From the Pastor's Desk:

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Spirit of the Flesh vs. The Spirit of Christ
Reflections from the Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Galatians 5:13-26 (NIV)
In some of the Old Testament battles, the Israelite army’s strategy was to spread fear and confusion among their opponent (usually a much larger army) so that the enemy army fled or turned their swords on each other. That is an effective battle strategy. If your enemy’s unity is wrecked through fear, they might just destroy themselves without you having to lift a finger.
Do you suppose our enemy, the devil, uses this strategy against us, Jesus’ church? Think about that for a moment. When we bite and devour fellow believers, who wins?
The conflict and the wars around us in the physical world are a macroscopic reflection of the deeper battle that is raging within us between the flesh (our sinful, selfish desires) and the Spirit of Christ. The spirit that we feed will become stronger. It’s foolish to complain about the conflict around us if we fail to see the source of that conflict within us.
We are in the midst of a sermon series on the fruits of the Spirit, in which God’s Word is encouraging us to remain connected to Christ, so that Jesus’ Spirit will grow within us. But we can be easily distracted into starving that Spirit. We exchange humble
listening time (prayer and Bible study and Christian fellowship) for time gathered around teachers who tell us only what we want to hear - or what is most amusing. We feed the flesh, not the Spirit.
The good news is that the fruit of the Spirit is so much more filling than the works of the flesh. Once you’ve tasted of true love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, the works of the flesh became insipid. As we call Jesus Lord, there is less space for idols.
Unity is found in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Unity is found in prayer - not just for each other, but with each other (“Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them.” -Jesus). This is why you will hear us pastors harp about the importance of small groups and prayer fellowships in addition to Sunday morning worship. On our own, we are easy for the enemy to pick off and pick apart. Together, we are far more aware of the supremacy of Jesus.
Speaking personally, I know I am not very effective in ministry if I’m not in fellowship with spiritual friends. I need more than personal quiet time (that is vital, of course); I need the perspective other Christians bring. In Christian fellowship, fear and confusion diminish. We are far less to confuse a dear friend for an enemy if we’ve sat with them in prayer and shared communion with Jesus.
Of our emotions, attitudes, and behaviors throughout the day, let us ask: “is this the Spirit of Jesus - or the spirit of the flesh? Am I feeding the Spirit of Christ in me, or am I feeding a spirit of arrogance and self-righteousness?”
Grace and peace, dear friends! I’m so grateful for you, for your prayers and your kindnesses. I need you so much. We need each other so much. We need Jesus’ Spirit most of all. I become very joyful when I pay attention to the fruit that Jesus has already
grown in this fellowship, and I get excited when I consider how much more He can do.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Matthew