Proclaiming the one true God to all

Why Good Friday?

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11 ESV.

I apologize for this blog coming out early, but I will be out of town this coming Friday.

Have you ever asked, or have you asked, this question, “Why is this Friday called Good Friday, it wasn’t good for Christ died that day?” This blog came to be as my grandson asked me this question. This eight-year-old looked at me being as serious as possible. His question does make sense, for the world to say, that someone died for them is good. How could anyone call dying for the sins of the world, that is, yours and mine, good! But as Christians know and believe, without Jesus dying for our sins we would have no hope of eternal life and salvation. This is why we call this Friday, Good Friday. After explaining this to him, this made perfect sense to him.

In our Bible passage for this blog, it came from last week’s Epistle lesson. I really wasn’t sure what Bible passage I would use for this blog. As I sat in the pew and heard these words, my dilemma was solved. This is talking about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He became true man for our sakes. It was this God/Man that came to earth on Christmas Day, which we celebrated a few short months ago. Here we see Christ as a servant, sacrifice, for our sins. When Adam and Eve sin we became enemies of God and were in full rebellion against Him. The only solution to our problem was that we could live a perfect life without sin, and this is impossible for us to do. God knew this and sent his only son into the world to take upon himself each and every one of our sins.

It is truly a Good Friday. We remember the words from the cross and if we go to church this Good Friday, we will probably hear them again. When Jesus spoke the words, “It is finished.”, we knew that his sacrifice had redeemed us from sin, death, and the devil. This is the Good News of Good Friday. And then as Jesus finished these words, he gave up his soul and died. You may notice that Jesus gave up his life, it was not taken from him but he gave it up for you and for me. This is the love of God, the one and only true God, for all those who believe in him. This is why we as Christians celebrate Good Friday.

What happened next? He was buried and they large stone was rolled over the entrance. Then Easter! And he rose from the dead on the Sunday morning. We were buried with him and will rise again upon our death. But do we really look at the end of our life as death? I don’t believe so. For he has promised to each and every one of us like he did to the thief on the cross, that we would live with him in all eternity.

As we celebrate this Good Friday and look forward with all the joy of the Easter resurrection, we look to the one true and only God knowing he has bought us back from sin.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Thank you Lord, for paying for all of my sins past, present, and future and giving to me life and salvation. May I ever walk with you! Have this mind among you.

Happy Easter – Spread the Good News

Proclaiming the one true God to all

Remembering

35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:35-40 ESV.

I think back to the year 1963 and my confirmation. It was a very important time in my life, for come that September, I would go to Concordia St. Paul, Minnesota, to study for becoming a pastor in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. I remember two gifts that I received on my confirmation day; one was a Thompson Chain Reference Bible, and the other was an Olympic Portable Typewriter.

I remember the day itself as we were questioned during the first service. Because I was enrolled at St. Paul’s Lutheran School, we had the hard questions to answer. In the second service we confirm our faith by the power of the Holy Spirit. On the following Thursday, Maundy Thursday, we received our first communion. I remember the day as being April 13. I also received my own Lutheran Hymnal. These gifts I would use as I began my study in what I thought I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Think back now of your own confirmation. What was it like? What was important to you? How was it done? I know confirmations are done differently in the different denominations. As I began my life as a student in High School and College, I thought I really knew something. How about you? I discovered that my learning and living the faith had just begun as a Christian.

I remember setting up an early communion class. This changed the order of things, but I believe it helped demystify confirmation.

Take time to read over Luke 19:35-40 again. What is really happening here? Do you see Jesus, the Son of God, entering Jerusalem, the city of the King? Here we see another role of Jesus, the King. This is the way the kings of Israel from David’s line would enter Jerusalem. In short Jesus was doing exactly what was done before Him.

A couple of days earlier Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. This word had spread throughout Jerusalem. As Jesus answered into the city, the people worshiped him as the one true God; Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Of course the Pharisees had their own take on all of this. They were threatened by the possibility of a riot. In that case they would lose their power for there had been a bargain struck between the Romans and the Church Leaders. As long as the Jews would be non-rebellious, the church leaders could keep their power.

I believe everyone finds what Pharisees said to Jesus very interesting. They wanted to shut it down and said, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”. Why would Jesus even consider doing this? He fulfilled prophecy made in the Old Testament time and time again. I believe Jesus’ answer would quiet anybody as he said, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” We witnessed these events happening on Good Friday. The graves were opened, and people came forward telling the Jews of the city the good news that Jesus had died for their sins, the final sacrifice.

Walk in the glory of the Lord as Jesus walks with us each day.

Proclaiming the one true God to all

Are you saved?

10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:10-14 ESV.

One day I was out cutting the lawn and two people walked up to me and asked me the question, “Are you saved?” That was an easy question to answer, and I said, “Yes”, said without any hesitation. I believe deep down in my heart that I am saved by God’s grace because of his love and mercy for me. Jesus died for me!

The problem of how we are saved has always been frustrating to me. Are we saved by what we do or are we saved by God? The frustrating part of all of this came out in last week’s blog. In Ephesians 2:4-5 we read, But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved. It has always been this way from the time of Adam and Eve until the time when Christ comes again. This is so simple and that’s what it is so frustrating.

Then again, I look at how people want to have a part in their own decisions. Salvation is not dependent upon us and what we do. We will never be made justified by God in what we do, say, or think. Jesus, by fulfilling the law for us, has given to each of us eternal life and salvation for all those who believe in the one true God.

In this season of Lent, this is something we all need to consider, Jesus died for each and every one of our sins, past, present, or future. As God gave this process to Adam and Eve, He has given it to each and every one of us. As we reflect upon our sins, we know we are unable to pay for them in this week’s blog. Jesus Christ was the last sacrifice that God demanded because of the law.

We are redeemed and made just before God. What does this mean? God the Father is the judge who judges us on our life. When God sees us, He sees not our sin, but the payment of our sin and declares us not guilty! I know this is hard for people to believe, but they have no part in making themselves right before God. We are all cursed because of sin and fall short of ever going to heaven. Jesus took upon himself all of our sins and became cursed for us. We have received the promise of faith through the Holy Spirit. In our salvation, we see the presence of God; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

What is so difficult about this? Man has no place for their participation in salvation from sin. This is what we find it hard to accept. The old concept of pulling ourselves up by our own boots has no part in this way of thinking. It is all the word of God for all the people of this planet we call earth. Jesus took our penalty out of love for us, He could have walked away at any time, but he did not because he loves us so much.

This should be our message to the world, just as it was in the day of St. Paul.

This next week is Holy Week, a very big time in the Christian church, as we remember how Christ received us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.

Spread the Word, walk in the Word, live the Word. The righteous shall live by faith!

Proclaiming the one true God to all

The Gift

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Romans 2:1-10 English Standard Version.

Gifts are a great thing is to receive! What have you done with the gifts that you have received throughout your life? Have they been given away are throwing out, and they been lost and forgotten about, or are there certain gifts that you remember and hold dear as you live your life. Today, this is about a very special GIFT.

As the disciples went out into the world, especially into the Gentile world, they proclaim the good news of what God had done for them. In our section of Scripture for today, Paul is talking to the Gentiles and Jews. He reminds them of what it was like before they became brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ and children of God. Paul is very blunt, they were children of wrath. They were enemies of God and served only Satan, the world, and their own selfish nature. When they heard the word of God, many repented of their sins and believe through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today, in our society, if you are born into a Christian family you are usually baptized as an infant. Many of us have heard the verse telling us we were conceived in sin. This is the wrath we were born into, but God has different plans for us. This Christian family then proceeds with teaching you about the one true God. As you grow up knowing what God wants of you, you to repent of those times when you chose to rebel against God in what you say, do, or think. Hopefully, as you continue to grow in the word of God; go to church and give God thanks and praise for what he has done, pray for what you need and confess your sins, continue to study the word of God, and share this glorious word with those you know.

If you were not born into a Christian family and grew up not knowing the one true God, then you are like the Gentiles and the Jews who do not believe in the one true God. Maybe a friend or a family member has mentioned the one true God to you. Maybe this word of God has caused you to repent and seek to hear more about Him. You open to Ephesians chapter 2 and begin reading what God is telling you through St. Paul. You have lived a life of wrath against God, but now, you are a new person in Christ. Things change for you, for you no longer want to serve Satan, the worldly desires, and your own sinful nature. You want to serve God in all you do, say, and think.

As you continue reading you hear of God’s great love and mercy upon you. This reminds me of the story of the sinner as he goes to confess his sin before God. He lays prostate on the floor, not even been able to lift-up his head. The one true God hears him and forgives him. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

This is all God’s work in you, you do nothing not even received God. It is the Holy Spirit that brings to you the GIFT of faith, and this faith enables you to believe in the one true God. You see the love and mercy of God. It is by grace, this undeserved love we receive from God. There is nothing we can do to earn it. It is a GIFT. What about our good works than? 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

It is only because of God’s plan of salvation for you. Jesus came into this world to do what we could not do, and that was to save us from sin, death, and the power of the devil. Jesus, as he was on the cross, completed the payment to God for all of the sins we have committed. It is through, and only through, Jesus’ atoning work for us on the cross that we have been given eternal life and salvation. In Jesus’ resurrection on that Easter morning, we were raised with him to eternal life. In these ten verses,  Paul has summarized our past, present, and future life with the one true God. We were born in wrath toward God, then through his mercy and love we received the GIFT of grace and will live with Him forever and ever.

This gives great comfort to the children of God, even in this time of COVID. I’m sure there have been many who have died, who have this GIFT of grace, but I am also wondering how many died without this GIFT as they remain an enemy of God. I’m sure this saddens you as it does me. What can we do about? We can continue to share God’s word with those who do not know him; sharing with them that they are sinners but through God’s mercy and love they can receive the GIFT of grace, which is the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

I think three of my favorite verses in the Bible close out this reading, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Live in the grace, GIFT, of God through Jesus death and resurrection in this season of Lent. Share the good news of God’s grace with friends, relatives, and enemies.

Proclaiming the one true God to all

How does God describe a child of His?

33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Mark 9:33-37 (English Standard Version)

When Judy and I went to the Holy Land, one of the places our tour stopped at was Capernaum. Today, the town that was in Jesus’ day is nothing but partially constructed buildings and a lot of rubble. What a difference 2000 years make. One thing I was truly impressed with, was what remained of the synagogue. In Jesus day when the rabbi would talk, he would sit down on a large stone block. I can just imagine Jesus sitting there as he spoke in the synagogue as a visiting rabbi. However, our lesson from Mark does not take place in a synagogue but rather a house.

While Jesus and his disciples were in the house, he asked them a simple question, “What were you discussing on the way?” Of course, Jesus knew what the answer was for he is God, but he had a lesson to teach them. As a teacher I have often heard kids talking about something quietly, but when you asked them what they said, all of a sudden they were quiet because they did not want to tell me. This was usually because it was something that wasn’t good, and they knew it.

This is the same way that Jesus’ disciples reacted when they were asked what they were discussing. They were talking about who was the greatest among them. Sometimes we like to show our importance in the church. After all, when someone is an elder, they are certainly more important than a congregational member, aren’t they? How about the pastor, isn’t he the most important one in the congregation? How about the ladies in the church who cook and prepare meals for different occasions, what is their importance? Maybe this message is for more than just the disciples that Jesus is teaching.

“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”, Jesus told them and us today. Hey, wait a minute, this doesn’t make sense! We don’t look at a leader or someone of great importance as a servant, do we? Better yet if we think about it, this makes perfect sense, for a leader takes the best interest of those he or she leads as great importance. We as Christians therefore are made to serve in any capacity that our Lord calls us to do. Here we see the first leaders of the church, the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, as servants to the world.

Remember, when Peter would not let Jesus wash his feet in the beginning of the Passover, because that was a job for the servants. Here again, Jesus was teaching them that they are called to be servants in the world. The disciples heard this lesson over and over again, as they walked with Jesus during his earthly ministry. We too need to hear it over and over again, for we are servants of God. Again, Jesus goes back to a child to teach this important lesson.

36 And he took a child and put him, in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” We again see the Trinity and this section of God’s Word. Through Jesus’ suffering and death for our sins we are forgiven in the sight of God the father and made saints through faith by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is the suffering servant who came and died for each of us! This is the forgiveness that God gave to the world, and because of this, we have been saved by grace alone. Thank you, Jesus, for paying for my sins with your death on the cross.

Walk as a servant of the one true God.

Proclaiming the one true God to all

What are you afraid of?

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he (Jesus) was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even when and see obey him?” Matthew 8:23-27

This is a familiar Bible story for those who have been raised in the church. How often do you think of this incident in the life of Christ and apply it to your own life? We see that the son of God has power over the elements of nature. This isn’t such a strange idea for those who know Genesis 1. We see all three parts of the Trinity in Genesis 1 as God created all things.

The Sea of Galilee is impressive when you see it. You look over this vast body of water and then see how the boats of that day were not huge. While visiting in Galilee and watching this, it would not take much to swamp a boat and sink it. Some of Jesus disciples were experienced fishermen from that sea. Fishing was usually done at night and they were traveling at night from one town to another. Storms on this sea can come up quickly. These men were terrified that they were about to die.

Can you imagine being in a storm like this? The boat must have really been rocking even though Jesus was asleep. These disciples had seen Jesus and his miraculous work with the sick and casting out demons. Yet, when it came to their own lives, they looked for help believing they were going to die. They didn’t know what Jesus was able to do to help them, but that didn’t stop them. Jesus responded to them and this fear by saying, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”. We know the rest as Jesus calm the seas and the wind and they continued sailing to their destination. The disciples just marveled.

We have had COVID 19 with us for almost a year. Some of you may have had this virus affect you. I was very sick last March and wondered if I had it, but I didn’t. Sometimes I feel like Paul as he tells us during the persecution that the Lord was in control. If he were to die it be good, for he would die in Christ. If he were to live it would be good, because God still had things for him to do. Fear is something we all experience.

What are you afraid of? This could be many things such as; diseases like heart and cancer, financial loss, loss of friends and family, loss of your job and your plans for the future, and failure. I’m sure you could come up with other fears that you may have.

How many times in our life are we like the disciples? We look at our situation and all we can see is fear. Then the words of Jesus come into our heads; “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”. After all, being children of God, means we have nothing to fear because God is with us. We don’t have to fear what is going to happen when we die, for we will receive eternal life with God. We may go through different kinds of suffering, but God will be with us.

It would be easy to be like the disciples and trust in ourselves to get us out of the situations. This is the way the world looks at it. This is our message to the world in times of suffering. Jesus came into the world in order that we might be right with God, righteousness. We know John 3:16, but now look at verse 17; “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Through faith we are able to trust in the Lord! This is our message to the world, go and spread it.

Walk with God this week and talk to Him.

Proclaiming the one true God to all

The Struggle

18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. Romans 7:18-20.

What a dilemma. The life of a Christian is a constant struggle and Paul puts it well. As Christians we all want to do good but so often, our best intentions do not materialize the way we see they should. As Paul puts it very bluntly; I intend to do good but end up doing evil. As this passage concludes, we see the reason why. It is sin and sin alone.

Why doesn’t this happen the way we think it should happen? This reminds me of the old cartoons. There is a big dilemma the character is facing; on the one shoulder is the devil, on the other shoulder is the angel. This devil and this angel are both leading the character in what he should do. This is all well and fine for a cartoon, but this is not how real life works.

This goes all the way back to creation to find an answer. As it tells us in Genesis that God created man in his own image. And we like to think that’s how it’s done today. This was all changed when sin came into the world through Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve became sinful and enemies of God, therefore their children all the way down the line are born in sin. Scripture tells us in sin in our mother conceived us. When we come into this world, we are sinful and enemies of God.

God in his mercy and grace enabled us to be reborn. Nicodemus, a Pharisee at the time of Jesus, came to him and asked how this change could happen? On Pentecost we see the realization of this happen. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Helper. Through the waters of Holy Baptism our old Adam, our sinful self, was drowned. As this happened, we became children of our heavenly Father.

It was then the role of those around us to lead us to hear the word of God. As you were raised in a Christian family you probably went to Sunday school, confirmation, and became an adult member in your church. In Holy Baptism you received the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you and gives you faith and develops that faith throughout your life.

What does all this mean? For those children who were baptized and did not grow up hearing the word of God, they did not grow up in Christ. They were condemned to sin, death, and hell. Hopefully later in their life they will hear the word of God and faith will develop and grow. It is the Holy Spirit that makes you holy. But you still live in a sinful world and being human, your human nature wants you to live in sin. Christians are constantly battling the unholy trinity; the devil, the world, and our own sinful nature. So as long as we live on earth, we will be struggling with trying to do good.

Where does that could come from? It comes from the Holy Spirit who has sanctified us and made us holy. It is the Spirit that leads us to do good in this world, not for ourselves, for the purpose of glorifying God and bringing others to know our good and gracious God. We are used by the Holy Spirit to lead others to know and love the one true God! This brings us to the concept of we are both sinners and saints in this world.

We are saints because God through the work of his son Jesus Christ has made us holy. We have been purchased from our sins as Christ paid for each and every one of them on the cross! We know that when we die, we will receive God’s promise of eternal life and salvation in Him for all eternity.

It is by God’s grace that we as sinners do good in this world. After all, we know that God defeated Satan on the cross and he has no power over us.

Have a God pleasing week.

Proclaiming the one true God to all

What is your role in the church today?

Romans 10:14-17 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

As I considered many different passages for the second blog, I was led to what Paul had to say in his letter to the Christians in Rome. It begins with the question, how can one know the one true God and call upon him if they had never heard of him? This brings up a very important point! How do we let others know about the Triune God; Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit? We know in the first commandment that there is only one God, and this one God is of one substance but three persons. Sounds confusing right? It is not confusing for those who believe and know the one true God, but for those who don’t know him this doesn’t make sense.

How many out there are great preachers that sit in the pews? I would wager most of us think this is the job of the person who stands in the pulpit. But is that really true? How can the everyday Christian lead those who are not Christian to know nothing about the one true God, come to faith? The third question that Paul is asked in Romans 10:14 is simply addressing all Christians’ job. How do you feel about that? Do you feel equipped to go and preach to those people who don’t know about Jesus and his work on the cross that saved us from our sin?

So how are we equipped to tell others about the one true God? We hear Paul’s words from Ephesians 4 beginning at verse 11: 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. We are equipped as we hear the word of God and read the word of God in church or over the Internet or participate in Bible study which can occur in many different ways. This is why we have personal or family devotions that we may hear the word of God and be equipped.

Then we have a quote from Isaiah which is a warning for those who hear the word of God and turn away. We all know Jesus’ parable about sowing the seed. As we speak or show our faith in our actions and deeds, we communicate to those who have not heard God’s word. In the parable some of God’s word falls on good ground while in other cases God’s word falls on ground that does not nourish the seed of faith. Don’t get discouraged for God’s word goes out and it will accomplish his purpose.

In our final verse for this week, we look to faith. Faith comes from hearing the word of God as it nourishes us. This is the work of the Holy Spirit as he works through the word to bring faith in the hearts of those who do not believe. This is the faith that you communicate to those who have not heard. The Holy Spirit does the rest. We know that those who hear the word may reject it, but you are still doing what God has called you to do. We are all messengers of God’s word to those who have not heard is word! God uses you as his messenger in this time of Covid 19.

You might suggest to those who haven’t heard the word of God to tune in to your church service on Sunday on the Internet. If you have church, you may ask them to join you. Don’t worry about your words for God will give you what you need to say in all situations.

The peace of God be with each and every one of you as you continue to grow in God’s word as the Holy Spirit continues to strengthen your faith. Amen.

Proclaiming the one true God to all nations

Proclaiming the one true God to all

Children of the Lord

Mark 10:13-16: People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

            Being retired, I wanted to continue to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ death and resurrection to the world. After much prayer and talking with my children, blogging was where I was led. I am not sure of all the rules for blogging, so pardon me in advance if I make mistakes. These blogs will be based on the writings of both the Old and New Testament and are meant for; both Christians and non-Christians, young and old, men and women, rich and poor, etc. I will attempt to put one blog out per week, the Lord willing.

          What do you first think of when you hear the words child or children? Do you consider that to mean a young child; like an infant, or toddler, or preschooler? In our text from the book of St. Mark we hear Jesus talking to his disciples. They were preventing the parents from bringing their children to Jesus. Note the words sternly and indignant. We don’t think of these words as positive or complementary, do we? Jesus, in no uncertain terms, told his disciples that they were doing something definitely wrong. In their defense however, the disciples thought they were protecting Jesus. They did not understand at this point, that Jesus had come to save the lost children of Israel and the world.

          I want to go back to who you think children are. You hear throughout the Old Testament that Israel and all believers were called children. They were the children of Israel and had been called by him to bring this good news to the world. What was that good news? It goes all the way back to the book of Genesis when Adam and Eve sinned against God by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Man had fallen into sin. This means, in very simple terms, that they would suffer for all eternity, separated from God. God had mercy on the children of the world, and from the very beginning he had a plan to save them from their sin. We know and believe that all children born of Adam and Eve were born into sin.

          This is why God sent his only begotten son into the world. Jesus came into the world to do what we are incapable of doing. He came in order that he might atone for our sins, that is buying us back. The only way this can be done is for him to live a perfect life without sin, and that’s what he did. And then he went to the cross, that very ugly cross, where he took upon himself the sin of the entire world. He paid for it with his own death, that we might have life.

          This is where children are back in the picture. As children of God, it is our calling to tell the world what God has done for us. Children in this case, not only refers to infants, toddlers, or preschooler’s; but to all children who have been baptized and believe through the power of the Holy Spirit that God has forgiven us. We have received God’s righteousness as we have put on Christ. Our life is changed! From this point on we no longer serve the world, our own sinful nature, for Satan himself. Rather we serve God in all that we do, say, or think.

As you look over the text from Mark 10:13-16, consider it from your perspective as a child of God right now. Consider yourself if you have children, are they hearing the word about the only true God or not? Do you teach them in your own house about Jesus and why he came? Are you actively involved yourselves and set a good example for your children, no matter what their age?  To this day Jesus gets indignant and stern with those people who keep his children from coming to him. This means children of all ages, for we look at ourselves as the children of God. In verse 15 it says; Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” We enter the kingdom of God as his children at different ages in our lives. It makes no difference how old you are. We all know what it means when St. Mark said; And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. We hear these words, or words similar to this, at the end of our worship services. The Lord bless you and keep you and may you always be children of the Lord.

Go in peace and serve the Lord.