Growing Deeper in Christ: Essentials for 2018

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In the craziness of life, as we rush from one activity to the next, it is easy to let spiritual priorities fade. We have good intentions and plan to grow in our relationship with Jesus, but our busy schedules overwhelm us. As the new year approaches, here are a few essentials to help you refocus on growing closer to Christ.

First, make your relationship with God a priority. You must carve out a regular time in your schedule. When can you set aside some time on a daily basis to read the Bible and pray? Maybe you’ll set your alarm earlier or take some time after the rest of your family has gone to bed or use your lunch break to read God’s Word.
BOTTOM LINE: Find a specific time to read the Bible and pray daily.

Second, have a Bible reading plan. Find or develop a plan to read through the Bible or the New Testament or selected books of the Bible over the course of the year. There are a lot of great Bible Bible Reading Plans. At FBC, we are encouraging members to read through the Foundations reading plan during 2018. This plan will take you through highlights of the entire Bible over the course of the year. Also, there is a version available for children and teenagers that corresponds with the adult version. In this way, your whole family can study the Bible together
BOTTOM LINE: Follow a Bible reading plan.

Third, don’t give up. If you miss a day of prayer and Bible study, jump back into God’s Word the next day. If you’ve missed a few days, don’t surrender. Instead, pick up the Bible and take time to develop your walk with the Lord.
BOTTOM LINE: Keep going!

Growing deep in our love for Christ certainly takes more than spending time in Bible reading and prayer, but surely not less. A daily time alone with God is essential for growth in Christ. Let’s make this discipline a part of our daily schedules. What a great way to start the new year!

FBCU Folks: If you are interested, we are making the Foundations Study Guide available in the church office for $5 (children and teen versions are available as well).

The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case: Why It Matters

Close-up of figurine couple on wedding cake

Last week the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In this case, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, declined to create a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding celebration. Mr. Phillips gladly serves same-sex customers but could not in good conscience create a cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding.

When Phillips declined to make the cake, the couple filed a sexual orientation discrimination claim with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The same-sex couple prevailed in this claim. Since then, courts have upheld the commission’s ruling.

Through the years, Mr. Phillips also declined to make cakes for other events including cakes with messages related to witchcraft, adult-themed parties, anti-American themes, divorce celebrations, and more.

To comply with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Phillips no longer makes wedding cakes. Of course, wedding cakes were a significant source of revenue, so his business has suffered greatly.

The Supreme Court will announce their decision in June. This case has obvious implications for others who provide wedding services such as florists and photographers, but the results will inevitably have implications for religious liberty far beyond the wedding industry.

Please pray for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of religious freedom, allowing space in the public square for Christians to live out their values.

For more on this case, click here.