Jesus Came For You

June 18, 2018

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:10-13

The Pharisees did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. They didn’t accept him as the one God had promised to rescue them from sin’s curse and deliver them from their enemy Satan. As proof of their position, they pointed to Jesus’ activity of dining with people of ill-reputation (tax collectors) and eating with those whose lifestyle opposed God’s law (“sinners”). Their logic was that if Jesus is God, he would know what kind of people he was associating with and avoid them.

Jesus responded to his unbelieving critics, “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” The Pharisees considered themselves spiritually healthy because they strived to live good and obedient lives before God. They didn’t think they needed Jesus for spiritual healing to save them. So Jesus told them that he couldn’t help them because they wouldn’t admit that they were sick with sin. However, Jesus made it clear that he was glad to minister to those who admit their guilt and look to him as their only hope for salvation.

Jesus quotes God’s word recorded in Hosea’s prophecy, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Salvation from the condemnation we deserve as sinners doesn’t come by sacrifices that we make—by good things that we strive to do and wrong things we seek to avoid. Not at all! Rather, rescue from the curse of sin comes only by everything Jesus has done for us. The “mercy” that God desires is to sincerely admit that we are sinners and trust Jesus alone for full forgiveness of sins and free salvation from eternal death.

Jesus came to call sinners. That’s me. That’s you. He is our Savior!

Prayer: Help me realize, dear Jesus, that I am sick with sin. Open my eyes to see you as my Savior and my heart to put my complete trust in you for salvation. Then open up my mouth to speak your praises for all your great goodness. Amen.


Father’s Day

June 17, 2018

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Guest Preacher: Rev. Walter Otten

Divine Service I, Page 136, Lutheran Worship

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Vacation Bible School 2018

June 14, 2018

Monday, July 23, to Friday, July 27, 9-11:30 a.m.

Visit our Facebook event page or click here to register your child or to volunteer!

I’m Heaven Bound

June 11, 2018

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:21-23

Many people think being a Christian is all about treating people fairly, doing to others what you want them to do to you, always doing the right thing in your life. While those are all good things, none of them makes a person a Christian.

Jesus said there would be people who do miracles and preach in his name and still not go to heaven. Only those who do the will of God are going to heaven. If I keep the Ten Commandments then, does that make me a Christian?

No, because I can’t keep the Ten Commandments. For God requires that not only my actions be perfectly conformed to his holy will, he also commands the same for my words and even my thoughts! Don’t murder includes not yelling in anger at the crazy driver who cut me off in traffic. Don’t steal includes not complaining about the lack of things in my life that I see others having in theirs. Don’t commit adultery includes not doing anything that hurts my marriage—ignoring or criticizing my spouse.

Despite my many failures to obey God’s commands, I know I am going to heaven. I’m absolutely certain! How can I be sure?

Jesus gave his life for me. He kept all the Ten Commandments in my place. He offered his life as payment for all the sins I’ve done—the complaining and hurting and yelling and thousands of other sinful actions, words, and thoughts.

I’m going to heaven because of Jesus. Nothing I do. Nothing I can do. Jesus has done it all for me. Not because I founded an orphanage, or gave blood numerous times to the Red Cross, or did other “Christian works.” Jesus will welcome me home because hefulfilled God’s will perfectly as my substitute. Heaven is his gift to me.

Even better, heaven is Jesus’ gift to you also. Being a Christian is not about what you do. Being a Christian is trusting Jesus who has done everything for you. He has forgiven you at the cost of his own life.

Prayer: Jesus, forgive me for taking false pride in the Christian things I do. Thanks for your unearned love and forgiveness, and the gift of heaven which you give to me by faith alone. Help me do the right things and treat people fairly as a simple way of thanking you for your gift of heaven. Amen.

Third Sunday after Pentecost

June 10, 2018

Divine Service II, Page 158, Lutheran Worship

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What You Know Versus What You Need to Know

June 4, 2018

“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:7-8

How long do you think the line would be if God came down to earth to answer questions for a day? Maybe you’ve had a question someone couldn’t answer so they said, “You’ll have to ask God when you get to heaven.”

We all have questions. We question why things happened the way they did. We question why God didn’t tell us this or that; why didn’t he let us in on the secret. The disciples asked him one of those questions. And Jesus said, “It’s not for you to know…” Why Jesus wouldn’t answer the question we don’t know. We just know that there are some things that aren’t for us to know.

But there’s plenty that we do know. We know that we’re sinful and need a Savior. We know that God sent Jesus to be our Savior. We know that God sent Jesus to be born as a man, to stand in our place, to fulfill all of God’s Law perfectly. We know that God sent Jesus to endure the punishment we deserved by suffering and dying on the cross. We know that Jesus did exactly as God planned, and he rose from the dead on Easter Sunday to prove it. Everything Jesus did was just as God planned, just as God wanted, and just what we needed to be saved.

Everything we need to know for life with God, God has given us in his Word. And now that we know it, he wants us to share it. He wants us to start at home and work our way out—to our families, our neighborhoods, our communities, even to the ends of the earth. We don’t need to know the answers to all of life’s questions. What we know about God from his Word is all we need to know!

Prayer: Gracious Lord, we thank you for telling us all we need to know for salvation. Help us to share that good news of Jesus’ living, dying, and rising with all those we know. Amen.

Second Sunday after Pentecost

June 3, 2018

Divine Service, Page 6, Hymnal Supplement 98

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