Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

July 31, 2016

Order of Service Printed in Today’s Bulletin

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Vacation Bible School Closing Service

July 29, 2016

The Program

 


Getting Your Priorities in Order

July 25, 2016

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42

There’s so much to do, and there’s so little time. Are you a busy person? Even if you’re not, you’ve certainly come to realize that there are always plenty of things to worry about.

When Jesus visited the home of his friends Martha and Mary, we hear that Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. You can imagine, I’m sure, what that felt like. Jesus was not only their friend, but also their Lord and Savior. Wouldn’t you want everything to be just right for his visit? So Martha frantically tried to take care of all the business of cleaning and cooking and serving, but she did it to the point that she got distracted from the real point of Jesus’ visit.

There’s nothing against paying attention to many things. The problem is in the way we let those things fill our hearts with worry. Then we lash out at those around us as Martha did: “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” But we’re the ones with the problem. Whenever we set God aside as though we’re in charge of everything, we always learn the hard way that we can’t manage things as well as he can.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord said, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.”

Do you ever get worried or upset over many things? Do you ever get distracted from Jesus? Don’t be afraid. Jesus has never let himself get distracted from you. He went to his cross and suffered and died for you. He has covered all your sins. In a life where it seems like nothing is ever finished, the most important thing is. Jesus has paid for your sins. He said it himself from the cross: “It is finished.”

So find that Martha inside of you, the worrier who is full of anxiety, and tell her to take a hike. You have a Savior named Jesus. He has suffered and died and risen from the dead for you. He speaks to you in his Word. He’s the only thing you need.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, forgive my sins, calm my anxious heart, and lead me to trust you in all things. Amen.


Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

July 24, 2016

Order of Service Printed in Today’s Bulletin

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The Privilege and Opportunity to Do Mission

July 18, 2016

Calling the Twelve to him, Jesus sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.” They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. – Mark 6:7-13

Wouldn’t you have just loved to be one of those first disciples! Every day you could wake up and literally follow Jesus, listen to him preach and teach, see him do miracles! Learning from Jesus was very important for those first disciples (and for us), but there’s more to following Jesus than only learning his word. He has work for us to do – mission work.

Jesus sent his disciples out on a mission, but he didn’t send them out empty handed. He gave them the most powerful tool any missionary is glad to have: the Word of God. Jesus told them not to worry about provisions or extra money. Bags stuffed with many changes of clothing were not required; just the clothes on their backs and the sandals on their feet. He sent them to preach that people should repent. Jesus wanted his disciples to show compassion and share God’s love. This is what they did, and God granted them tremendous success.

The mission work of Jesus is still essential. For everyone, including you and me, need to repent because we are sin-sick sinners who need the cure and remedy Jesus won for us at the cross. We need to know that our sins have been paid for, that we are forgiven, that Jesus has established an everlasting peace between God and us.

Just as in Jesus’ day, God grants success when his Word is proclaimed. But can God use you to do mission work? The answer is: absolutely! The words of this Gospel account clearly show that the authority, the power and commissioning for you to do his work is from God, and so are the results which he will grant. You have a mission field – people you know and meet who need Jesus. Share with them the message of repentance and forgiveness. You may not see results right away. It may take time for the seed of God’s Word to germinate in people’s hearts, but as it does, that’s God at work.

You have been given the finest tools. You have the best support, Jesus, who is with you at all times. And as you follow Jesus, God will bless you as you share his Word and do his mission work among the people you know, and as you support his mission work in places all over the world.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please bless your words – both the Scriptures I read and hear as well as the words I share. Grant success to those who share your word in places where I cannot go so that many more souls may come to worship you as their Lord and Savior. Amen.


Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

July 17, 2016

Divine Service I, Page 136, Lutheran Worship

Today’s Bulletin

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Every Day – Rejoicing in the Lord

July 11, 2016

“Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” – Luke 10:20

Rejoice – it is an invitation repeatedly offered in the Bible. It is something I want for my life, yet, it is hard to do, especially when so many things work to rob me of it.

Rejoice – it is what the disciples did when they returned from their travels. Jesus had commanded them to go and do some amazing things in his name. As they reported back to him what they saw and accomplished, they were filled with joy.

Rejoice – it is what I do when I see similar blessings in my life. There is joy in knowing the Lord. There is joy in being committed to his will. There is joy in what I do in his name.

Rejoice – it is what I would like to do all the time. Unfortunately, too often I see my joy wane. It is difficult to rejoice when dull routine overtakes me. It is hard to rejoice when obedience becomes tedious. It is even more challenging to rejoice when blessings succumb to challenges, disappointments, and failures.

Rejoice – it is what Jesus reminded his disciples to do, not because “the spirits submitted to them, but because their names were written in heaven.” It is a reminder I daily need. Regardless of what I do, or see, or accomplish, regardless of what challenges try to rob of my joy, I can always rejoice. My joy comes from the Savior who rescued me. My joy comes from the Lord who provided for my release from sin’s dreadful judgment. My joy comes from Jesus who defeated death and the grave, and destroyed the tyrannical grip of the devil. Through his precious work he has even provided the guarantee that my name is written in heaven.

Rejoice – it is what I can do, not because of the things I have done. It is what I can do because of the great things Jesus has done for me.

Prayer: O blessed Jesus, I thank you for making me yours. I especially thank you for the joy and blessing of heaven. Keep me in your loving care until I receive what you have secured for me. Amen.