This is ... Most Certainly True!
The Church honors governing authorities.
Wisdom from God helps us to see the relationship between the Church and the government and the respect we owe to all who govern.
O Lord, our God, govern the nations on earth and direct the affairs of this world so that your Church may worship you in peace and joy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
God gives us government as a gift and as his servant. Even when we can’t see it so clearly, God is working his plans and purposes for us and for all people through government. Church and state have different tools, different roles, and different goals. We would do well to keep these differences in mind. When we expect the government to accomplish what the Church has been called to do or vice versa, we will be left disappointed. Whether we have a government that is good, fair and equitable to us or not, we can rejoice that God is in control. Christ is King of both kingdoms and nothing can take from him his throne in either realm. Join us for a discussion on chapters 3-4 or Civil Government.
The Church is composed of those who believe the Gospel.
The Church is not made up of the good and the great, but only of those who
put their faith in Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
Almighty God, you invite us to trust in you for our salvation. Deal with us not in the severity of your judgment but by the greatness of your mercy; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
The message of Paul to the Galatians is a precious treasure! Cling to Jesus and don’t let anything get in the way! He’s the only Savior and worshipping him and him alone is the only way! Don’t add works to the salvation equation, because to do so robs Christ of his glory! Paul masterfully and wonderfully holds up Jesus as the hope and salvation for the Galatians and for you!!
Christians live by faith, loving God above all things.
Today, Jesus reminds us that Christians often must make difficult choices, but learn to love God above all things. For no matter what we leave behind because of our love for God, in him there is only gain.
God of all power and might, you are the giver of all that is good. Help us love you with all our heart, strengthen us in true faith, provide us with all we need, and keep us safe in your care; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Paul had a close relationship with the man to whom he writes this letter. Probably a man that Paul converted through his preaching, Titus is referred to as “my son” by Paul. Paul writes to encourage him in his ministry and to build him up in his faith. One of the “pastoral epistles” that Paul writes to a pastor friend, yet there is plenty for all to soak in from these encouraging words! Tune in to review the history behind Titus and his home turf, the island of Crete, and then let the truths of God’s word found in this comforting letter be a source of hope and strength for you as well!
The ministry of the Gospel will face opposition.
When we participate in the ministry of the gospel, we can expect that many will oppose us. In today's Gospel, Jesus warns his disciples that those who hate him will also hate them. The persecution we face is subtler than what the first disciples faced or even what believers endure today around the world. But whether our persecutors are subtle or notorious, Jesus encourages his followers: Do not be afraid of them.
O God, because your abiding presence always goes with us, keep us aware of your daily mercies that we may live secure and content in your eternal love; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Same Page Summer continues with a discussion on the Gospel of Matthew. For a man that held a job (tax collector) that made him an outcast, God sure used that job and that place in life and the experiences that Matthew had (including his encounter with Jesus and call to discipleship) to form and flavor his Gospel for the people of his day and for the Church for the rest of time! The man with the job that everyone hated and caused him to be hated too, became the right man for the job of writing down the truths that Jesus is the King of the Jews all the same the Savior of the Gentiles. He’s the one that the Old Testament foretold and the one who could shine the light of God’s love through Christ onto the waiting people of Israel, onto the outcasts and sinners with whom he could relate and onto the Gentiles as well! Jesus is the Savior of All Nations!!
The Ministry of the Gospel is carried out with compassion for God's sheep.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, has such compassion for his flock that he cares for them through "under-shepherds" so that all may be nourished and fed by his promises of forgiveness and eternal love.
Almighty, eternal God, in the Word of your apostles and prophets, you have proclaimed to us your saving will. Grant us faith to believe your promises that we may receive eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Paul writes so beautifully to his friends who lived in the city of Ephesus. Six chapters that display Paul’s love for the people of Ephesus and his love for his God. The book flows smoothly from truth to truth – from Election to Salvation By Grace to God’s Grace for All, to Unity in the Body of Christ to Living in the Light of Christian Love to Carrying out our Vocation to God’s glory and then culminating in the beautiful picture of the armor of God. There’s so much to see and to experience and celebrate in the book of Ephesians this short podcast doesn’t do it justice! Get comfortable with Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and read it often, because in it you’ll find new treasures and old and you’ll never be left without reason to rejoice in the love of God for us!!
The Ministry of the Gospel Proclaims the Triune God.
Today marks the end of the first half of the Christian calendar: The Time of Christ. Beginning in the season of Advent and concluding with Pentecost last Sunday, the Lutheran Church repeats the great plan God prepared to save the world through his son. From one Sunday to the next, the Holy Spirit has strengthened and deepened our faith through the Word and the Sacrament. On this day, we look back and remember the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and rejoice in God's great gifts to us.
Almighty God and Father, dwelling in majesty and mystery, filling and renewing all creation by your eternal Spirit, and manifesting your saving grace through our Lord Jesus Christ: in mercy cleanse our hearts and lips that, free from doubt and fear, we may ever worship you, one true immortal God, with your Son and the Holy Spirit.
The guys gather together and introduce a new effort being done at Grace Lutheran Church this summer called Same Page Summer. Get on the Same page with us and join us in our effort to read through the New Testament. They begin by discussing some current events, a major Grace milestone and then the gospel of John, which was the reading for this first week of the summer. Due to some technical difficulties (and a button that wasn’t pushed – but we’re not here to assign blame, Pastor Strong’s microphone wasn’t turned on. So he was here and had some great things to say, but they could not be heard. Some edits were made to pass along the conversation to you anyways. My – I mean our collective – apologies to Pastor Strong. And the Pastors H are not going senile when they talk to a person doesn’t appear to be in the room, that’s the skinny on what happened!! Whoops!!
Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to his Church.
On the Day of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter, the ascended Lord Jesus sent the Holy Spirit in a visible and audible way to commission and equip his people to carry out the ministry of the gospel in the world. The Spirit's approval and power rests on us still today as we carry out our mission to preach the gospel to every creature.
Holy Spirit, God and Lord, come to us this joyful day with your sevenfold gift of grace. Rekindle in our hearts the holy fire of your love that in a true and living faith we may tell abroad the glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, now and forever.