A Belated Thanksgiving Devotion

 

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever.  Amen.”

Revelation 7:12

 

Jesus.EmptyTomb.John11So do God’s servants praise God in heaven.  “Salvation belongs to our God” cry out the great multitudes (Revelation 7:9-10).  The saints in heaven sing this glorious song.  But also do we, as saints on this side of heaven, have reason to sing such a hymn.

Salvation does belong to our God, who sits upon the throne!

We have reason to give thanks, not only for the Lord’s bountiful goodness for the needful things of body and life.  God also gives salvation through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

In His Word, God declares it.  In Christ’s Supper, God gives it.  In Baptism, God calls us His own special people.

Yes!  We do have reason to give thanks, knowing that God loves us.  We know this because of Jesus Christ!  To God be all the glory!  Amen.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, receive our thanks to you, not for our sake, but only for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ.  Forgive us for our selfishness and for taken for granted all which you freely give us.  Help us to use your gifts for the benefit of others.  Amen.

 

 

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Announcements for Week of March 11, 2018

The Close of the Commandments

TwoTabletsWhat does God say about all of these commandments? He says, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Exodus 20:5-6).

 

Luther on Hebrews

He who fears death or is unwilling to die is not a Christian to a sufficient degree; for those who fear death still lack faith in the resurrection, since they love this life more than they love the life to come. Properly speaking, they are those about whom Ps. 106:24 says: “They despised the pleasant land.” He who does not die willingly should not be called a Christian. Therefore Chrysostom, with reference to this passage, censures those who mourn the dead. He says: “Those who truly deserve to be mourned are those who still fear death and shudder, who still do not believe in the resurrection.” Therefore when such people pray “Thy kingdom come,” they either do not pray at all or they pray against themselves; that is, they mock both God and themselves, and they have been baptized in vain, since, according to what the apostle says in Rom. 6:3–4, as many of us as are baptized into the death of Christ are certainly baptized to accept death quickly and to attain to the image of Christ more quickly. But you might say: “I do not fear death, but I do fear an evil death, because ‘the death of sinners is the worst, and evils shall destroy the unrighteous man’ ” (cf. Ps. 34:22). But he who says this proves clearly that he is deficient in faith in Christ, for he does not believe that Christ is “the Lamb of God who takes away his sins” (cf. John 1:29). For the less firmly this is believed, the more death is feared; and the more firmly it is believed, the more confidently death is despised. For it is true that only the awareness of sin makes death dreadful, because “sin is the sting of death” (1 Cor. 15:56). But only faith in Christ removes the awareness of sin; for “the victory has been given to us through Jesus Christ,” as stated above (cf. 1 Cor. 15:57). For God makes death, judgment, and hell manifest in order to show the power of faith in Christ, so that a Christian may overcome these through faith. For those dreadful things are nothing else than exercises through which faith should become “strong as death and hard as hell” (cf. Song of Sol. 8:6), although they try vigorously with might and violence to separate the heart from trust in Christ. (Luther’s Works Vol 29, 137–138)

 

18-03-11, Lent 4, BA-2018B

Announcements for the Week of November 6, 2016

Luther’s LARGE CATECHISM, the 3RD ARTICLE


faith551 This is the sum and substance of this phrase: I believe that there is on earth a little holy flock or community of pure saints under one head, Christ. It is called together by the Holy Spirit in one faith, mind, and understanding. It possesses a variety of gifts, yet is united in love without sect or schism. 52 Of this community I also am a part and member, a participant and co-partner in all the blessings it possesses. I was brought to it by the Holy Spirit and incorporated into it through the fact that I have heard and still hear God’s Word, which is the first step in entering it. Before we had advanced this far, we were entirely of the devil, knowing nothing of God and of Christ. 53 Until the last day the Holy Spirit remains with the holy community or Christian people. Through it he gathers us, using it to teach and preach the Word. By it he creates and increases sanctification, causing it daily to grow and become strong in the faith and in the fruits of the Spirit.


54 Further we believe that in this Christian church we have the forgiveness of sins, which is granted through the holy sacraments and absolution as well as through all the comforting words of the entire Gospel. Toward forgiveness is directed everything that is to be preached concerning the sacraments and, in short, the entire Gospel and all the duties of Christianity. Forgiveness is needed constantly, for although God’s grace has been won by Christ, and holiness has been wrought by the Holy Spirit through God’s Word in the unity of the Christian church, yet because we are encumbered with our flesh we are never without sin. (51-54) [The Book of Concord]

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Announcements for the Week of October 30

THE APOLOGY OF THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION ARTICLE IV. JUSTIFICATION


“The service and worship of the Gospel is to receive good things from God, while the worship of the law is to offer and present our goods to God. We cannot offer anything to God unless we have first been reconciled and reborn. The greatest possible comfort comes from this doctrine that the highest worship in the Gospel is the desire to receive forgiveness of sins, grace, and righteousness. About this worship Christ speaks in Christ 6:40 , “ This is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life.And the Father says ( Matt. 17:5 ), “ This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”(¶310)

16-10-30-reformation-ba-2016c

It’s good to be in church!

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

 

From Luther’s Large Catechism, The 3rd Article

 

Concordia-TheLutheranConfessionsI believe…in the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints… 51 This is the sum and substance of this phrase: I believe that there is on earth a little holy flock or community of pure saints under one head, Christ. It is called together by the Holy Spirit in one faith, mind, and understanding. It possesses a variety of gifts, yet is united in love without sect or schism. 52 Of this community I also am a part and member, a participant and co-partner2 in all the blessings it possesses. I was brought to it by the Holy Spirit and incorporated into it through the fact that I have heard and still hear God’s Word, which is the first step in entering it. Before we had advanced this far, we were entirely of the devil, knowing nothing of God and of Christ. 53 Until the last day the Holy Spirit remains with the holy community or Christian people. Through it he gathers us, using it to teach and preach the Word. By it he creates and increases sanctification, causing it daily to grow and become strong in the faith and in the fruits of the Spirit.

54 Further we believe that in this Christian church we have the forgiveness of sins, which is granted through the holy sacraments and absolution as well as through all the comforting words of the entire Gospel. Toward forgiveness is directed everything that is to be preached concerning the sacraments and, in short, the entire Gospel and all the duties of Christianity. Forgiveness is needed constantly, for although God’s grace has been won by Christ, and holiness has been wrought by the Holy Spirit through God’s Word in the unity of the Christian church, yet because we are encumbered with our flesh we are never without sin.

55 Therefore everything in the Christian church is so ordered that we may daily obtain full forgiveness of sins through the Word and through signs appointed to comfort and revive our consciences as long as we live. Although we have sin, the Holy Spirit sees to it that it does not harm us because we are in the Christian church, where there is full forgiveness of sin. God forgives us, and we forgive, bear with, and aid one another.

56 But outside the Christian church (that is, where the Gospel is not) there is no forgiveness, and hence no holiness. Therefore, all who seek to merit holiness through their works rather than through the Gospel and the forgiveness of sin have expelled and separated themselves from the church.

57 Meanwhile, since holiness has begun and is growing daily, we await the time when our flesh will be put to death, will be buried with all its uncleanness, and will come forth gloriously and arise to complete and perfect holiness in a new, eternal life. 58 Now we are only halfway pure and holy. The Holy Spirit must continue to work in us through the Word, daily granting forgiveness until we attain to that life where there will be no more forgiveness. In that life are only perfectly pure and holy people, full of goodness and righteousness, completely freed from sin, death, and all evil, living in new, immortal and glorified bodies.

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Listen to the sermon on John 2, Jesus changing water into wine…

Luther’s Large Catechism

6th Commandment

Cross-rings206 Inasmuch as this commandment is concerned specifically with the estate of marriage and gives occasion to speak of it, let us carefully note, first, how highly God honors and glorifies the married life, sanctioning and protecting it by his commandment. He sanctioned it above in the fourth commandment, “You shall honor father and mother; but here, as I said, he has secured it and protected it. 207 Therefore he also wishes us to honor, maintain, and cherish it as a divine and blessed estate. Significantly he established it as the first of all institutions, and he created man and woman differently (as is evident) not for lewdness but to be true to each other, be fruitful, beget children, and support and bring them up to the glory of God.

208 God has therefore most richly blessed this estate above all others and, in addition, has supplied and endowed it with everything in the world in order that this estate might be provided for richly and adequately. Married life is no matter for jest or idle curiosity, but it is a glorious institution and an object of God’s serious concern.

For the sermon, click link to the right, “Sermons on YouTube”

Announcements for the Week of January 17, 2016

 

 

“The natural knowledge of God cannot deliver us form an evil conscience.  The Christian knowledge of God, however, calms the troubled conscience” (F. Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, Vol 1, 378).

16-01-17, Epiphany 2, BA-2016C

 

 

Freedom of  a Christian

 

 

How To Live a Christian Life, 2nd ed–Lutheran Press

 

 

 

 

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