40 days of prayer

june 22-july 31

Please join us at FBN in fervently praying for God's direction and provision over these 40 days leading into our capital campaign.  May God be praised in our humble submission to Him and His will over and through FBN!


See below for the latest devotional from one of your FBN Elders

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms by Mike Hogan //  Elder Devotion // July 7, 2021


Deuteronomy 33:26-29

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.


These words were stuck in my head today so I went searching to find out more about what inspired the

musician to write these lyrics. The musician, Anthony Showalter, referenced Deuteronomy 33:27 while

writing a consolation letter to two different pupils who had lost their wives unexpectedly. He ended up

penning the refrain in an attempt to comfort those who were going through a tough time. Regardless of

the season you find yourself in, time with your Creator is the prescription you need to get you through.


Deuteronomy 33:26-29 is a declaration by Moses towards the end of his life. Moses had experienced

some amazing trials and triumphs with God. He had experienced an encounter with God on the

mountain that you and I will likely never come close to experiencing. While we will likely not find

ourselves talking to God in the form of a burning bush, we can rest assured that we carry his Spirit with

us on a daily basis. We go into no trial without him. Nothing we face is too big for Him.


That same God who Moses was worshipping over 3,000 years ago is the God whom we are leaning on

during this time of prayer and consideration of an important opportunity for the people of FBN. While

we’re unsure what it is He has in store for us in the coming months and years, we know that we can find

comfort in His arms. We can find refuge in His presence. If you would, keep these lyrics in your mind

today and remind yourself of the fellowship and peace we have in His arms. Instead of choosing to be

distracted with something of less significance today, run to His arms and rest in his presence. While

you’re with Him, ask Him to guide FBN wherever He choose over the coming months. Ask Him to grant

us wisdom during this season. May we lean on His everlasting arms today.

Have a great day, my friend.

Michael

The Faithfulness of God by Brandon Pittenger //  Elder Devotional - June 22, 2021


In Exodus 3:7 The Lord said to Moses, “I have observed the misery of my people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I know about their sufferings and I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…”


God heard his people and He moved.  God saw where they were. He knew that they couldn’t stay there any longer and He knew where He was going to take them. To a place better than where they were.  He had a plan.


Fast forward to Exodus 14:11-12 where we find the Israelites in the wilderness after being lead out of slavery from Egypt. “They said to Moses, ‘Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the Wilderness? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Isn’t this what we told you in Egypt: Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.’"


This was the first of many grumblings and complaining that the Israelites would make against Moses and God. They could have spared themselves a lot of grief in their time in the wilderness had they trusted God fully. 


This story of God’s people and their faithless attitude towards Him is one that should cause us to take a step back and evaluate our attitudes towards what God has done and is doing in our lives.  Like the Israelites, each one of us who has placed their faith in Christ has been brought out of slavery into freedom.  God made a way for us by sending His Son Jesus. He had a plan.


However, the process of leaving the old place of slavery behind isn’t as easy as it may seem.  Often times it is pretty tough.  While Christ indeed set us free, we find ourselves struggling to let go of the things that once bound us. When God’s pathway seems too hard or brings with it things that cause us to be uncomfortable we turn back to the things of the old self. Why? Because they are comfortable or more convenient. We like the Israelites, at times, long for the old as if we’ve forgotten about the chains that enslaved us.


But God’s faithfulness is so much greater than ours. He accomplishes what he sets out to accomplish.  While the grumblings and complaints brought about some avoidable hardships, God still fulfilled his promise to His people and he eventually brought them to the land that He promised. 


Here at FBN we fully believe that God is leading us through this building project. We believe that he has a plan for FBN and we want to faithfully follow Him though this whole process.  He has been faithful to us through all these years, and has blessed us abundantly.  We know that change is hard but this past year has also showed us that change is inevitable. So who better to entrust our future to than the Lord and to follow him as he changes us to be who he wants us to be?


My encouragement for us through this is two fold: 


First, in our personal walks with Christ, let us not go back to the things of the past simply because they’re more convenient or more comfortable.  Let us trust what God is doing in our lives, even if it brings things that inconvenience us and our comfort. His ways are greater than ours so let us trust in Him.


Second, as we move forward as a church here at FBN, let us trust that God is taking us where he wants us to be.  While it may cause some to be inconvenienced at times or to be made uncomfortable, let us trust Him fully, knowing that where we’re going is better because He’s leading us all the way. 


The Fields Are Ripe For Harvest by Brett Parks //  Elder Devo  June 29, 2021


John 4: 35-36 34 My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work,” Jesus told them. 35 Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.”

 

In this passage in John 4, Jesus has just finished his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, and is now talking with his disciples.  He wanted them to know that there is always gospel ministry to be done, because God is always at work.  God is actively drawing people to Himself this very moment, as He has since the moment He created mankind. 

 

To prove this very point, just after this conversation, many Samaritans from the local town came out to Jesus, and after hearing the woman’s testimony and talking to Jesus himself, placed their belief in him.  The fields were ripe for harvest indeed.

 

We at FBN know that God is still at his work, to this very day.  Right now, He is drawing people to Himself, preparing them for hearing, receiving, and believing upon the gospel. He is allowing experiences to shape who they are, and preparing them for future areas of service to Him that they don’t even know exist yet.

 

We desire to be a ministry that recognizes the fields are ripe.  The death of the church has been vastly oversold, because the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church of Jesus.  Therefore, we want to make a move for the kingdom of God, setting FBN up for more fruitful ministry to more people, because God is at work.  We want to serve, love, disciple, and send those in our midst right now, and we want to serve, love, disciple, and send those we haven’t met yet but whom He is preparing at this moment.

 

This vision of becoming a sending church for the glory of Jesus is not a small vision.  The vision of expanding our physical building is no small step.  But we want to take these steps, together as the unified body of Christ at FBN, because we know that right now, God is ripening the fields for harvest.  And we would love to be used by Him to bear Him fruit.

Let the Children Come by Paul Asay  //  Elder Devotional - June 24, 2021


Luke 18:16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.


If you take a good look at the FBN Building Project you can quickly see that the emphasis is on expanding our ministry from nursery through elementary school.  Couple of good reasons for this: 

  1. FBN has been, and would like to continue to be kid and family friendly.  You could even make the suggestion that this is a Divine Appointment given our history.

  2. Barna Research study indicates that nearly half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their savior do so before reaching the age of 13 (43%), and that two out of three born again Christians (64%) made that commitment to Christ before their 18th birthday. One out of eight born again people (13%) made their profession of faith while 18 to 21 years old. Less than one out of every four born again Christians (23%) embraced Christ after their twenty-first birthday. Barna noted that these figures are consistent with similar studies it has conducted during the past twenty years.

If we were to take a poll of the congregation and ask them when they accepted Jesus as their savior, my guess is the results would be similar.  If we just stop for a second and consider the eternal ramifications.  What could we do of more importance than this?   


Other parts of this project including an addition of an elevator, expanding the sanctuary and updating common spaces are more for adults.  All in, nobody is really left out.  


Just as Jesus said, and FBN is trying to take to heart, let the children come.



Prompted Hearts by Adam Conner  //  Elder Devotional - June 22, 2021


So the Israelites brought a freewill offering to the Lord, all the men and women whose hearts prompted them to bring something for all the work that the Lord, through Moses, had commanded to be done. Exodus 35:29


I say it all the time, and I believe it wholeheartedly…what an exciting time it is to be at FBN!  God has brought us to a holy time of transition.  He has primed us for such a time as this through years of prayerful leadership, congregational growth, and healthy financial provision.  We are opening pockets of ministry that were previously put on hold due to the pandemic and social distancing.  And now we are officially and humbly heading into a season of prayer and pledging so that we may increase and improve the square footage of our building for the cause of further Gospel ministry through FBN for His Kingdom!


A similar time of transition occurred among the Israelites when God called His people to build a tabernacle of His own design.  In Exodus 35 the time had come to build the tabernacle, so Moses calls the people to a mass gathering devoted to worship through the offering of personal possessions for the building of the tabernacle; everything from precious metals, to yarn, to the oil needed to light the lamps.  Moses calls for the offerings of everyone “whose heart is willing,” a sentiment used repeatedly in the record of offerings for the tabernacle (Ex. 35:5,21,22,26,29; 36:2).


Were their hearts moved?  Absolutely!  Such an overflow, in fact, that Moses ordered to stop all offerings because “the materials were sufficient for them to do all the work.  There was more than enough” (Ex. 36:7). 


Like the Israelites, God has given FBN a vision for a future of long-lasting Gospel ministry, which includes an increased and improved building to be used now and beyond for His glorification and good purposes.  We know that times of transition are not always the most appealing to many due to a variety of reasons - skepticism, opposing opinion, fear of change, financial reservations, even distrust, to name a few.  No one is fully immune.  There is always a calculated concern when it comes to any form of cost and sacrifice for the Kingdom of God.  After all, if sacrifice were a mindless venture disconnected from the realities of the cost, then it wouldn't be a sacrifice.  However, it is the Lord who will lead and build according to the sacrificial "freewill offerings" of time, resources, and giftedness among all “whose hearts were prompted."


May we all use this season of prayer to genuinely lay our hearts bare before the Lord and invite Him to prompt and move us as He sees fit and to the glory of His name!