Proclaiming the one true God to all

Praying the Lord’s prayer at night.

Pray then like this:

     “Our Father in heaven,

     hallowed be your name.

10   Your kingdom come,

     your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

11   Give us this day our daily bread,

12   and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13   And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil. Matthew 6:9-14 ESV.

How many times have you said the words of the Lord’s Prayer without thinking about what you are saying, what are you thinking about? I know I have done this. I remember way back, in the beginning of my teaching career, I had a Pastor that would pause after each petition so the members of the congregation could think about what they were praying for. When we say the Lord’s Prayer in church, we call that corporate prayer. This way we can all pray the same words together. But what about our individual prayers to God and night and in the morning? I believe we can change the Lord’s Prayer to make it more individual, and this is what I have been doing for many, many years. I would like to share this with you at this time, as I let my thoughts lead my prayer.

I come to you God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; as your dear child needing to talk with you. I know you have promised always to listen and hear me and so I talked to you. You are my God, three persons one substance and you will do what is best for me. I pray and thank you God the Father, for giving me all that my body and soul needs each day. I pray and thank you Jesus Christ for fulfilling what God has demanded for my sins. You have redeemed me a lost and condemned person. I pray and thank you Holy Spirit for giving and building my faith daily through Holy Baptism as you have sanctified me, and made me holy.

Holy is your Name in heaven and on earth. I pray that you may keep your name holy in my life. Help me to lead a holy life in all that I do, say, and think. I know there are many who don’t believe in you and do not hold your name sacred. Help me to share your Name with all the world.

Your kingdom comes and I pray that it will come to me also. I thank you my dear God for your Holy Spirit who has come to me, by your grace. On this earth I pray that I may always live a godly life, but I pray that your Spirit would give me the strength to change my life when I am not living holy.

Oh my God I asked from the bottom of my heart that your will be done in my life all the time. I know I am sinful and do not deserve this. I thank you so much for what you have done for me. I pray that you would stop every evil plan that comes to me in my life and turn it into good. I know I will physically die sometime, but I know that you strengthen me in your Word and faith until that happens.

As I pray each night, my thoughts very as I pray this prayer. It is so amazing how God’s word comes to me as I pray the Lord’s Prayer. It is good that I remember what I was taught in Confirmation and also taught, but it is a good practice to review the Lord’s Prayer as printed in the Catechism. Next week, I will continue and finish the Lord’s Prayer. Let your thoughts be led by the Holy Spirit as you pray this prayer. Sometimes my thoughts go off-track, into other thoughts, but I return to the Lord’s Prayer. I know that the spirit is with me and when I am unable to pray, He prays for me. I will finish verses 11-13 in next week’s blog.

Pray Without Ceasing!

Walk in the Lord each day.

Proclaiming the one true God to all

“Who do people say that I am?”

27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him. Mark 8:27-30 ESV.

Who is the one and only true God to you? This is the question that Jesus asked of his disciples and of you. We know Peter’s answer, “You are the Christ.” We also know that no one can say “Jesus is Lord” without the Spirit of God being in them.

In our world today, we hear the statement that many people are spiritual or religious. To me, if they don’t believe in the one true God, then what do they believe in? Is it a man-made God that they can go to in times of trouble? There are many false gods out there today and our language speaks too many of them. What has God called all Christians to do – proclaim His Word, which is taken from the Bible, to all people!

There are so many people out there, who do not have the true hope of eternal life, but rather a man-made hope which is based on them doing good. What is wrong with this, you may ask? It simply leaves out God. It is based on them attaining their own salvation by what they do, say, and think. Our salvation does not come from what we do, say, and think; but rather it comes from what God has done for us. He has taken our sin upon himself and offered himself as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. We are not capable of this, for we are sinful creatures and natural enemies of God. It is only by God’s grace that we have been saved!

Throughout my life I have heard so many people say, “I am a good person and so I will go to heaven.” We are all unworthy of God’s forgiveness and our good works are like filthy rags in the sight of God. Yes, there are people who believe they are doing good, and they look as if their good works are going to save them. We believe and confess that our good works do not come from us, but come from the Holy Spirit that is in us.

Who do you say that I am? In Jesus time they looked at him as a deliverer from Roman oppression, a healer of diseases, and as a bread King. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world, and this is true. All of this world we know of, will pass away and be destroyed when Christ comes again. This world has no hope for us, for if we believe in this world our hope is destroyed.

Who do you say that I am? Just look at the world’s religions today. I think there is no other religion out there that simply tells us that God has done and completed all the work for our salvation and eternal life. All of the other religions have us doing something to save ourselves. Christ has done it all on the cross, he has taken all of our sins and died for them. We have put on Christ and our baptism and receive the helper, the Holy Spirit. When God looks at us he does not see our sin but rather what Christ has done for us. It is Christ, who was raised from the dead, that gives us eternal life. This is what we need to proclaim to the world. Jesus died for our sins and risen giving us eternal life and salvation, the work of Christ is finished. We are no longer to keep silent as he told his disciples.

Do not fear how you will communicate this message to family, friends, enemies, and the world. God will lead you as you proclaim Him!

Walk each day in God’s forgiveness as you look forward to being with him eternally. Amen.

Proclaiming the one true God to all

The Word

12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:12-17 ESV.

Have you had your Covid 19 shot, yet? Did you have any reactions to it? How can this shot affect you in today’s world? Has it changed it for you? When can I feel comfortable about going to church? Do I dare go to Bible study? These are some of the questions you may have asked yourself recently.

I have had my two shots and in three days and then three days I will have waited two weeks after the last shot. I have been going to church and just recently have started to go to a Bible study on Ruth and Esther. I noticed that the people attending Bible study were mostly older, possibly because they have had their shots. Last Sunday, being Easter, I noticed more children in church. I hope this trend continues, but most of the time the first Sunday after Easter, I have seen a big drop in attendance. Why?

In my thoughts for this blog I looked at second Timothy 3:12-17. Also in my thoughts was the hymn 578 in the Lutheran Hymnal, “Thy Strong Word Did Cleave The Darkness”. This hymn I don’t remember singing very often, but while at Concordia Seminary we sang this hymn quite often. This is our foundation on which we take all of our beliefs. This faith that we have in Jesus Christ who suffered and died for us on the cross, is built on God’s Word. It is only because Christ has bought us back and has redeemed us from sin, death, and the devil, that we have salvation and eternal life.

Isn’t it strange at just the right time in our lives, we hear or read God’s Word and something just really hits home. This happened to me this morning as I was listing to KFUO radio. Their meditation was on Hebrews chapter 12. There were so many words and phrases that struck me. God, who is really unique, comes to us in our time of need.

Being a retired Lutheran educator, I am 100% in favor of studying and listening to the word of God! Hopefully, I will be able to lead a Bible Study in the near future on the book of Romans. It is great that we once again are able to meet and study God’s Word, children and adults. Things are going back to a more normal lifestyle. To me, I much appreciate the fact that we hear God’s word over video and radio, but I do miss gathering together as the church of God proclaiming the one true God to all.

What is the situation where you are living? Are you able to join together or do you still remain at home? I am truly afraid that many during this Covid 19 persecution, some have fallen away. God has called us to serve those who may have fallen away during this time. Pray for them and talk with them that they may return to what God has called them through baptism!

If you are lonely and have missed this fellowship in God’s Word, talk to members of your church and your Pastor to help you. That’s what they are for.

May God give you the strength and the faith to remain strong as we again transition in a post Covid 19 lifestyle.

Walk each day in the assurance that God loves you and has forgiven you because Jesus redeemed you and the Holy Spirit has made you holy. Have a God pleasing day!

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


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.