Pastor's Blog

Everything You Need

Do you have everything you need? There always seems to be something else that we need in order to be happy. A better job. Another “toy.” A bigger nest egg.

In Psalm 34:9 David writes, “Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.”

To fear God means to trust in him. In particular it means that we trust in the descendant of King David, Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus we have full forgiveness for our sins and the promise that God will never leave us. And there’s more. David says that those who trust in the Lord – you – lack nothing! You have the best possession ever. You have the eternal promises of God. You are released from a meaningless life as a slave to sin; you belong to God and serve him daily. All the other “stuff” is small when compared to the richness that is yours in Christ Jesus. Live in the peace of knowing that you lack nothing because you know Jesus – and he knows you!

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



Keep Reading >>

Bold Because of Jesus

Regardless of your personality type, whether you are shy or outspoken or somewhere in the middle, Christians share a common trait. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

This passage does not mean we all have the same personalities, but that we have a similar outlook. Because of Jesus Christ, we are bold to live our lives according to God’s will regardless of what our society thinks is good. We are bold to trust his promises, even when we face severe hardships. We don’t give up on God because we know that he’s always blessing his people. We are always eager to serve, because Christ’s love fills our hearts. The cross of Jesus has set us free from being timid about God. We are absolutely sure that Jesus Christ loves us. Be bold with God’s promises this week — God will keep them! Be bold to live in a way that glorifies God — he will bless you!

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



Keep Reading >>

The Greatest Christians

The "greatest" Christians are the humblest servants. In Mark 9 Jesus said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last and the servant of all” (v. 35). Jesus’ words flip our way of thinking and living upside down! I, me, and my are not the key words in my vocabulary. Like Jesus, Christians a heart that is focused on others and puts their will and ways ahead of our own.

This godly attitude can only exist in a heart that knows and believes what Jesus has done. He was so focused on others that he willingly died a most horrible death for them. He endured unthinkable agony and pain. He accepted the rejection of his Father and torment of hell. By his death he has removed the curse of our sins. We will not be punished for our failures. Jesus’ resurrection announces that we are raised to new life. Now we are free from sin to do the things that please God — like humble service to others.

The people around me are the people that Jesus served. He served them by dying on the cross. We’re not called to do that (or even able!), but we too can serve them. We serve when we put others first. In your home, yield your opinion for the sake of another. Look for ways to show selfless Christian love as you help and serve your friends or coworkers. Be a good neighbor to the people in your community.

We are called to follow Jesus. All that he has done as our Savior makes it possible for us to serve others because he has set us free from our sinful selfishness. Be great in the eyes of God as you make yourself a servant of others.

 

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



Keep Reading >>

Hidden Problem

Our spiritual problem runs deeper than just what we can see — although what we can see often isn’t very good. At times we must hang our head in shame that we willfully, knowingly acted in a sinful way.

Hidden inside us, God also sees sins. At times we may recognize our inner sins like greed, lust, or pride. Other times we may not even realize that our actions were guided by selfishness or another sinful attitude.

Repentance is more than just listing the sins that we remember. True repentance recognizes that our natural condition is that we are fallen sinners who need help.

In Psalm 19:12–13 we read:
Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

Most importantly, in true repentance we cling to the grace of God in Christ Jesus. His forgiveness for us is complete — including even our hidden sins.

Don’t carry the burden of guilt. Because of Jesus, every bit of your sin has been washed away. Through faith in him you are fully forgiven. Today is another day to bask in the glory of Christ and shine with his brightness so that those around us see Christ in all we do.

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



Keep Reading >>

Most Valuable Possession

What is your most valuable possession? A house? A car? A family heirloom? An electronic device?

Jesus offered a stinging warning to the Pharisees that deserves a moment of our attention. He said, “What is highly valuable among men is detestable in God’s sight” (Luke 16:15).

The warning to us is that we dare never lose sight of what has real value in this life. The spiritual treasures that God freely gives through faith in Jesus are of eternal value. The peace of forgiveness of sins is worth more than all the treasures the world has to offer because with forgiveness not only do we live our days on earth at peace with God, but we also will live forever in heaven.

Don’t let your life be defined by earthly things. You are defined by Jesus, your Savior. You are a child of God whose service to him and others matters because you are part of God’s kingdom. Give careful thought to your priorities and choices and be sure they reflect the real you — a believer who life now and forever is meant to glorify Jesus.

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



Keep Reading >>

God's Promise

When Noah and his family emerged from the Ark, God made a wonderful promise to them and to all who would follow them. He said:
“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.” (Genesis 8:22)

How often aren’t we tempted to worry about paying bills or providing for the needs of our family in the future? Problems always seem to loom large.

But God’s beautiful promise about the fact that his creation would continue to function and that he would provide for us is the answer to our fears. God provides for his children (in fact, he graciously provides for unbelievers too!). “Give us this day our daily bread” is answered as God graciously provides for all our daily needs.

Rather than be afraid of what we don’t have (or don’t think we will have at the right time), be thankful for what we do have! God has a proven track record of doing what is best for his people. He won’t blow his perfect record in your life. So trust his ways and be thankful for his love.

And if the promise to you that was spoken to Noah isn’t enough, you need only look to Jesus, your Savior. His death and resurrection are the greatest acts of love in the history of the world. Paul writes in Romans, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (8:32). Jesus’ love is proof that God will care for you. As Paul rhetorically asks, How could he save us only to abandon us?

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



Keep Reading >>

Grief to Joy

Reasons for grief are everywhere! Sad events occur every day in our world. You have experienced tragedy and sorrow in your life. Add in our own personal failures and the guilt they bring and we have many reasons to hang our heads.

Jesus said in John 16:20–22:
I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

These words of Jesus were spoken as he was concluding his time with his disciples in the Upper Room on Maundy Thursday. His cross was near at hand. The disciples would be filled with grief.

But that grief would be crushed by Jesus’ resurrection. They would see him again! The joy of the resurrection would overshadow any grief that they knew. Sin and death would be utterly defeated, and God’s people would know his eternal love.

View your world through Jesus’ resurrection. You have reason to be filled with joy too! By faith, you see your Savior as he comes to you in the Word and the Sacraments. Tragedy and reasons to be sad will not last; the glory of heaven will. Sorrow for sin is washed away in the promise of forgiveness through faith in Jesus.

Today is another day to know the joy of Jesus Christ and to live in the great hope that is yours through faith in him.

 

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



Keep Reading >>

A Matter of the Heart

Christianity is a matter of the heart. In order to see the glory of God, the heart needs to change. Jesus spoke about this in Luke 11:33–36. He used the illustration of the eye: “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”

If your eyes cannot see, you will grope around in darkness.

Are you filled with light or darkness? Through faith in Jesus, you are filled with light. You have been set free from the darkness of sin by Jesus Christ who took away your sins. No longer do you need to fear punishment for your sins. No longer do you need to be controlled by sin’s power. The light of Jesus purifies you as you see his crucifixion as what saves you!

Filled with the love of God, your view of the world is changed — it is different from what the world sees. You see glory in service; greatness in humility. You see God at work in a world that he created. You see a church and family that are gifts from God that you can love and serve.

Let the light that is in you be what comforts and guides you today.

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



Keep Reading >>

God Has Blessed America

God has blessed America and especially American Christians! The freedoms we enjoy as Americans are wonderful blessings. Chief among these blessings in that we can worship God freely.

That doesn’t mean that government is unimportant to us. The Bible instructs us to be obedient citizens.

Below are two important sections of the Bible that remind us of our duty as citizens. As we thank God for the blessings we enjoy in our nation, it is good to recall what God expects of us.

Romans 13:1–7 (NIV)
Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience. And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks. Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.

1 Peter 2:13–17 (NIV)
Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor.

 

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



Keep Reading >>

The Main Purpose of the Bible

One of the most common misconceptions about the Bible is that its main purpose is to tell us how to live. But that is 180° wrong. The Bible is primarily about Jesus and what he has done to save.

Even the parts of the Bible that were written thousands of years before Jesus was born are still about him! The Old Testament foreshadowed and foretold the coming of Jesus in countless ways.

The message of the Bible remained perfectly consistent too. In the Old Testament, people were saved through faith. Granted, their faith didn’t see the details about the life of Jesus that we have from our historical perspective but they believed the promises God made to send a Savior.

When Peter met with Cornelius, a gentile believer, Peter pointed him to Jesus. At the end of his sermon, Peter said, “All the prophets testify about Him that through His name everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 10:43) Other passages in the Bible say the same thing.

Since the Bible is primarily about Jesus, growing in our knowledge of him and faith in him is of utmost importance. Faith saves.

Faith is also the only true motive for godly living. There are parts of the Bible that talk to us about how to live. But these sections are built on the foundation of faith in Jesus as the Savior. No faith and there are no good works. But with faith, good works will naturally follow.

Grow in your faith in Jesus. Worship and attend Bible Class. Read the Bible on your own. As you grow closer to Jesus and see his grace, you will also see changes in yourself as you put off the old ways and daily rededicate yourself to serving God.

 

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



Keep Reading >>

Older Posts >>

 

Archive

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? ~ PSALM 27:1