“Present Yourselves As Slaves to Righteousness"

Pentecost 3
June 26, 2017
Romans 6:12-23

Last week, I met with some folks from another congregation who were concerned about the dwindling numbers of people at their worship services.  While they wanted to focus the blame upon the conduct of the pastor, they were conspicuously silent concerning their own role in the matter.  They asked if I had any insights as to what might be causing their decline in membership, and my answer was to pose to them the question of how they became members of the church in the first place?

“Through Baptism,” they answered.  And, I commended them for an absolutely correct response!  As we heard in last week’s text,

“Compassion Without Question"

Pentecost 2
June 18, 2017

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”—Matt. 9:36

It seems like hardly a week goes by without hearing that someone we know is struggling with still another physical ailment or affliction, often in addition to other conditions that they are already dealing with.  Our hearts go out to them.  We try to share a consoling word with them.  We most certainly pray for them.  And we are confident that our heavenly Father is aware of their situation and that He will always answer our prayers according to what He knows is best for them.

“Behold, How Good and Pleasant It Is."

April 30, 2017

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!—Psalm 133:1

Each week, we confess together that we believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church, otherwise known as the communion of saints. There is no more joyful fellowship than that which exists solely by the grace of God.  Through the working of His Holy Spirit, He has called each and every one of us to saving faith; with the result that we now are part of God’s family, sinners who have received Christ’s own righteousness as a gift, and who—as this Easter celebration has been about—look forward to spending eternity together in the glory of the Lord’s presence.  …

“Fear Not — Rejoice Greatly"

Palm Sunday
April 9, 2017
John 12:12-19

A close comparison between our Old Testament reading for today and the Gospel reading reveals what seems to be a slight discrepancy.  The prophet Zechariah says, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! … behold, your king is coming to you.”  But, when St. John echoes the words of the prophet, he changes the wording just a bit. “As it is written,” John says, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming.”   Zechariah said, “Rejoice greatly,” but John replaces thos words with, “Fear not.”  

Now, rather than seeing that as a contradiction, the two thoughts actually go together hand-in-hand.  …

“If the Spirit of Him Who Raised Jesus From the Dead Dwells in You"

Lent 5
April 2, 2017
Romans 8:11

We deal with a lot of difficult things in our lives—worries, concerns, frustrations that consume our thoughts and our time.  There is the matter of dealing with various sicknesses and what seems to be an increasing number of maladies that we endure as we get older.  There are worries about financial security.  There is also that stress that we encounter when we have had a run-in with friends or family, so that we are upset, and even consumed, over the words that have been spoken and the offenses that have been committed against us.

But all of those concerns come to a screeching halt when news about a death suddenly is announced.  …

“How Are Your Eyes Opened?"

Lent 4
March 25, 2017
John 9:1-41

“Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind.  If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”  That was the conclusion—the correct conclusion—that was reached by the blind man who had been cured.  Only God Himself could perform such a wondrous healing.

And our Lord uses this miracle of restoring sight to the blind to also speak of spiritual healing, of being able to see with the eyes of faith; with the result, that should you be asked the same question that was posed to the man in the text—the question, “Then how were your eyes opened?”—we too may give glory to God and tell those who will listen to our wondrous story that it is only because of God’s amazing grace.  

“The Father is Seeking Such People to Worship Him"

Lent 3
March 19, 2017
John 4:5-26

It started out as a rather uneasy conversation; for, as St. John makes us aware, under normal circumstances, “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.”  But here was this Jewish Rabbi engaging this Samaritan woman in dialogue as they encountered each other at Jacob’s well. 

The talk started out innocently enough.  Jesus said He was thirsty.  She had come there to draw water from the well.  But then, the conversation became a little cryptic as the Lord told her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

“But Through the Righteousness of Faith"

Lent 2
March 12, 2017
Romans 4:16

Poor Nicodemus.  First, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God,” implying that Nicodemus was not born again and, therefore, far from the kingdom of God.  But then the Lord rubs salt into the wounds by saying, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?”

Any sure footing upon which Nicodemus assumed he was standing, as a Pharisee and as a ruler of the Jews, was suddenly pulled out from underneath him.  With one swift stroke, Jesus had placed the certainty of Nicodemus’ spiritual life into doubt.  And you can practically see him scrambling for his life as he searches for clues in questions like,

“But Deliver Us From Evil"

Lent 1
March 5, 2017
Matthew 4:1-11

The greatest temptation that you will ever face in your life is the temptation to sidestep the cross.

That was what every temptation was designed to do that the devil hurled at Jesus in the wilderness.  They were all meant to tempt Jesus into taking a different path—the path of least resistance, the path of glory, instead of the path of suffering and death.

But, in the wilderness, and throughout His life, Christ had you in mind.  He knew that the only way in which we could be delivered from sin, death, and the power of the devil, was if He paid the ultimate price.  Therefore, the Scripture tells us,

“Ash Wednesday – 2017”

March 1, 2017
Joel 2:12-19
 2 Corinthians 5:20b—6:10
 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

For our mid-week Lenten services this year, we will be looking at the sons of King David and how their characters compare with and contrast to our Savior Jesus.  But, tonight, as we begin our Lenten devotion, we are going to leap forward about 100 years after David’s death to a time when the once mighty Kingdom of Israel was shattered in two.  The fall of the kingdom came about through Israel’s rejection of the true God.  In His place, they devoted themselves to the false gods of the surrounding nations.  

The northern half of the divided kingdom, which retained the name Israel, had become completely pagan.  …

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3234 Mishicot Road  Two Rivers, WI 54241  920-793-1716