Tuesday, September 25, 2018
1st Corinthians 13:4-8a: Love is patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its' own way. it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things endures all things. Love never ends.
This coming Sunday, we are wrapping up our summer long series about our Vision and Mission. Faith Lutheran Church and School of Huntsville, Texas is the people "Where the Love of Christ lives." The five arteries of our heart are, "Loving Jesus," "Loving God's Word in Action," "Loving our Community," "Loving our Children," and "Loving one Another."
How do we make this Vision heart beat vigorously? Through each artery, this mission flows: Equip the faith, Encourage the hope, Engage the love.
Where is Love?
Watch the news. Watch how people treat one one another. Do you observe love? I don't when I watch. I watch selfishness, impatience, rudeness, arrogance, pride, vindictiveness. I see people always angry, always afraid of the next shadow or the next accusation.
I sometimes see this behavior amongst the people of God. Believers are human beings, too. We still struggle with ourselves. We have to remind our sinful nature that through faith in what Jesus did, and the love He gave, the sinful person has been drowned and is dead. The new person, the one who knows God's love through Jesus' sacrifice, repents when love is not lived out, confesses to God and pleads for forgiveness. And he or she receives God's love and forgiveness and starts over.
Love is Here!
It is "in, with, and under" God's people; people who believe in the sacrifice of Jesus' life for theirs. Love is in the people whose lives are reborn by the Grace of God given freely through Jesus, the Son of God. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the love as God describes through St. Paul is in you.
You believe, right? Then love is here. It's in you. And love is everything.
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Luke 12:29-31: [Jesus is saying to the disciples,] "And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead seek His kingdom and these things will be added to you."
What is Worry?:
Basically, worry is an unnecessary fear, or concern, about something. Worry comes when we are afraid of something happening or we're not going to receive something we thought we should. For example, little Jimmy is worried about getting the newest Playstation or XBox. "My life is ruined if I don't get the new system." Jimmy wails to mom and dad.
Jimmy's life is ruined if he doesn't get the game machine. Really? The nations, as Jesus says, worry about things like this all the time.
Jesus is telling us that that Father knows what we need and He provides for those needs. Does little Jimmy need a game system, or the newest IPhone, or the newest something? No, in the scheme of life, no. He doesn't need it.
What We Need:
What we need is house, home, family, food, and water. We need the staples of life. And God makes sure we get that. We need work and employment. God the Father provides that, too.
These are all basic necessities. They are available. Yet what do we REALLY NEED? We really need the Kingdom of God. That is, to know and believe that God is here and active in your life. We need to believe and know that God is in charge, to surrender our lives to His leading and direction and to open our lives up to Him. And how will we be a part of God's Kingdom?
Believe and know that God the Father sent God the Son, Jesus, to give up His life in order to save yours from selfishness, worry, fear, and doubt. These are all facets of sin that is in your life. Jesus came, is the perfect obedience to the will and law of God, Jesus is the sacrifice that took away your sin and freed you to see and believe, and Jesus rose to promise you a brand new life free from worry and fear both now and forever.
God's got this. He is carrying you in His loving arms. Let go of the worry and fear. Grab hold of His love and mercy and provision.
Monday, September 17, 2018
Colossians 3:12-14: Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
God's Chosen Ones:
What does God, through St. Paul, mean when He uses the phrase, "God's chosen ones?" In this case, the people that believe in His life and promise. AND, those who don't.
Think about this for a minute. God chooses EVERYONE to be saved. God WANTS everyone to be saved. Because of the stubbornness of people to choose not to know this, not everyone WILL be saved. So God is speaking to His Church, His people who believe in all that God did for them, especially the salvation from sins by means of Jesus. We are "holy and beloved" because we believe in Jesus and what He did.
Every aspect from God to demonstrate by words and actions what He continues to do for you and the rest of the world.
In other words, put your life as a Christian out there for all to see. Exercise compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forbearance, and forgiveness. Put into practice everything to makes you a Christian. Including, the love that comes from God through His Son, Jesus, and radiates out from you and through you. Be Jesus with each other. Set aside all that is not Christ in you. As we love one another, we see Christ in each other and we show Jesus to the world.
This is our calling. This is our life. Let's do this.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Will we ever forget the horror? I won't. I was at a prayer meeting when I heard that a plane hit one of the World Trade Center towers. I initially thought it was a Cessna or other small plane. Little did I know at the time that the plane was a 737.
For the rest of the day, we watched as the first of the Two Towers burned, the second plane hitting the second tower, and then the eventual collapse of both.
God says through David in Psalm 55:1-5,
Listen, O God, to my prayer! Do not ignore my appeal for mercy! Pay attention to me and answer me. I am so upset and distressed, I am beside myself because of what the enemy says, and because of how the wicked pressure me, for they hurl trouble down upon me and angrily attack me. My heart beats violently within me; the horrors of death overpower me; terror overwhelms me.
It was a very difficult time for the United States and even for the Church. We tried to make some kind of sense of senselessness. All we, the Church, could come to was the grace and mercy of God.
Our enemies tried to destroy the financial center of the United States, and potentially the world. It didn't happen. In spite of horror and terror, anger and fear, we have rebounded. We now have the Freedom Tower.
The Freedom Tower stands in the place of the former towers reminding our country that we will persevere and we will come back. It stands for victory.
We also have two other symbols as Christians that stand for victory. The first is the cross of Jesus. Jesus died on an instrument originally design to humiliate and to curse. It now stands and a symbol of forgiveness and peace with God.
The second symbol is the empty tomb. Jesus sanctified the graves of all who believe because of His being laid in a tomb. The victory is in His resurrection. That is why the tomb is empty. He is not here. He is risen! And David continues to share from God the victory starting in verse 16 of Psalm 55.
As for me, I will call out to God, and the LORD will deliver me. During the evening, morning, and noontime, I will lament and moan, and He will hear me. He will rescue me and protect me from those who attack me, even though they greatly outnumber me. ... Throw your burden upon the LORD, and He will sustain you. He will never allow the godly to be upended. But You, O God, will bring them down to the deep Pit. Violent and deceitful people will not live eve half a normal lifespan. But as for me, I trust in You.
Trust in the Lord God, lean on Him through the horrors of life. And He will give to you the victory of life in Jesus Christ.
Monday, September 10, 2018
Acts 2:46-47: And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Billy Graham was a follower of Jesus. God worked salvation through him. Decade after decade this man of God continued to bring the message of Jesus to the world. Thousands of people came to hear him speak. He spoke with the power and grace of God. Thousands over those decades came to believe in Jesus' saving grace.
For all the success that God brought to the Kingdom of God through Billy Graham, even his ministry could not keep up with the Apostles. The reason why was, the Apostles were amongst the people of the community, DAILY. Every day, God sent the Apostles out amongst the people. Every day, God blessed the community with salvation through the Apostles. Every day people were being added to the Kingdom of God.
The Church: (AKA, you and I)
The question then becomes, Can the growth of the Church that was under the Apostles, be duplicated in the United States? It is being duplicated in Asia and Africa. Why not here?
The answer is simple. IT CAN BE DONE HERE simply by being "Jesus with skin on" where we work, live, and have our being. When you are, at the very least, well respected as a Christian man or woman, when your life and words show and share Jesus' forgiveness and life, then it can be done. Let go of your concerns and let the Holy Spirit work through you. It is that simple.
So let us see what God will do through us as we Love One Another.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Colossians 1:27-28: To them [Gentile Christians] God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of his mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
Why Do We Teach?
It is to bring people, whether they're preschoolers, elementary kids, middle schoolers, intermediate schoolers, high schoolers, college students, and beyond, the power and riches of the wisdom of God encapsulated in Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus told the remaining 11 apostles to make disciples by means of baptism AND teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
We teach in order to get the riches of the life that is Christian into people's lives. That is why we have a school. That is why we have Sunday School classes for children and adults.
We want people, all people, to experience God's love. Sometimes love says, "No, that is wrong. That is sinful. Do you not know this? You were taught the laws of God. Did you chose not to remember?" Love says, "I'm sorry. I was wrong. I know that is sinful against God and against you. Will you please forgive me?" Love also says, "I Do forgive you because Jesus forgave you of all your sins. You are a saint, forgiven and love by means of the sacrifice of Jesus. NOW, go and sin no more."
This is maturity of faith and life with God through Jesus.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Matthew 11:25-26: At that time, Jesus declared, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children, yes Father, for such was Your gracious will."
Rally Day 2018:
It's a day that kicks off the beginning of a new year of Sunday School instruction for children and those who receive Jesus like a little child. For we are the ones to whom God, through His Word, is revealing what we need.
Futility of Wisdom:
You see, the "wise and understanding," those who think human wisdom and knowledge is the pinnacle of all we need, don't get God. They're too proud to catch the simplicity of the wisdom of God. They're too full of themselves to see the folly of their "wisdom." All their wisdom does, is lead them to eventually see the futility of it. It's "chasing after the wind." They can try to be "like God" all they want. And they never will.
Come to the Revelation:
Come to realize God's will for your life. Come to read and learn from the revelation of God's Will. Come and see that people for thousands of years, rebelled against the wisdom of God. Come and see how God brought them to contrition, confession, and repentance. Come and see how God saved them in Jesus Christ. Come and see it all in God's Word. Come and read His Word, powered and written by the Holy Spirit through men throughout the ages. Come and let God reveal Himself and His wisdom and understanding. Come and hear it, believe it, and live it.
See you Sunday for Rally Day 2018.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.