Pastor's Blog

February 2015

And There Was Light

St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4, “God made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” When you and I look out into this world we are bothered by the darkness of sin because it reveals just how imperfect everything is. Every day we are fighting the effects of imperfection. Some of us feel our bodies are wearing out. We look at our work environments and see how the boss is demanding more work from us in the same amount of time. We hurt other people with words and actions. We get carried away by greed because we’re not content. We can’t even drive our car down the road without a sign telling us how fast we’re supposed to drive. If we were perfect, we’d never have to worry about it. So all day long this darkness of imperfection is there.

The effect of all this is bad news for us. We get stressed out because we can’t cope with everything. We become jaded or cynical about this world and even each other. We become disillusioned and wonder if the next generation of people will even care. We become depressed or filled with anxiety. It’s dark out there and so many times it’s dark in here—in our hearts.

That’s why we need the light of Christ to shine into us. But have you ever asked yourself why Christ shines with a bright light? I mean, any one of us could get 10 million candle power light and shine brighter than the sun. So what’s the big deal with Jesus? It’s not so much the intensity or the brightness of the light. It’s the source of that light. His bright light comes from his absolute perfection which runs in him and through him and from him. When we call Jesus holy we are saying that there is something about him that makes him stand out from all the others. That’s his perfection.

His perfection is what he gave to us at the cross. Do you want peace from the violence or terror out in the world? Christ gives you his gentle spirit. Do you want a body that won’t wear out? Christ gives you a new and perfect body in the new heavens and new earth. Do you want some hope that the imperfection of this world will one day be gone forever? Christ gives you the promise of eternal life in heaven where there will be no more darkness. Christ’s light doesn’t mean we become perfect in this life. But it does mean that God treats us as though we were perfect. The eternal light of Christ has shined down upon you and now you shine with that light forever.



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He served....You

How can you and I stay on the path of serving God and serving other people when it’s so full of obstacles and pain and heartache? How can we serve like Jesus?

Well, you have to imagine waking up with the disciples one morning and looking for Jesus... You’ve looked all over town for him but he’s nowhere to be found. Where could he be? “There’s a small path that leads out of town, maybe he’s down there.” And sure enough, you come around a bend and there he is, just a stone’s throw off the path, sitting down in prayer. He hears you coming, “Jesus! Everyone’s been looking for you.” And he looks at you with those eyes of love and concern and he says with a twinkle in his eye, “Let’s go somewhere else.” Whatever else was on his mind, whatever prayer he was right in the middle of, it all gets put on hold because some people came to him who needed him. He served.

“Let’s go!” Do you sense the excitement Jesus had for his work? He wanted to get out there and reach the people with God’s message. He wanted to go someplace else, where he hadn’t been, where they hadn’t heard him preach yet, where there were sick people and hurt people to help, —more people that he could serve. Because that’s why he came, right? To serve and to serve and to serve…

…To serve where we couldn’t serve. To serve where you wouldn’t serve. To serve in ways you never dreamed. To serve in your place and offer to God the perfect service that you so very much want to do in your heart, but so very much know you can’t do. Many of us are so sincere in our service to God. So eager or at least we try our hardest. We’re so busy in our life but we just…can’t…do…it…all! But Jesus did. He saw you and he said to himself, “I want to go and serve where she can’t serve. I want to go and endure that challenge, that frustration, that hard work, that medical problem and endure it perfectly in their place.” He served and he served and he served.

He served you. Won't you serve him and each other?



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Amazed Yet?

In this world that so desperately needs to hear the message of forgiveness, now is not the time for Christians like you and me to deny our Savior. Instead, now is the time for us to give a clear answer, a reason of conviction that rests on the authority of Christ.

It’s time for us to be amazed again. I think sometimes the reason we don’t give such a clear confession, is because the amazement of what Christ has done is diminished for us. Be amazed!

Be amazed because Christ’s message has the authority to save you. We see a glimpse of that authority when Christ cast out a demon from a man in the synagogue at Capernaum (Mark 1). Did that demon know what was happening? You bet he did! He said to Christ, “Have you come to destroy us?” Notice the demon says “us”—us demons, the powers of hell, the power of Satan. Yes, Christ had come to destroy you all! And with one word of authority, the demon submitted to Christ. Amazing!

Here we stand in our lives, confronted with the demons of sin everyday. We fall to temptation. We give an unclear confession of faith. We sin. We are powerless to stop sinning. But Christ comes and with one word he casts sin out of your life. Sin must flee before Christ’s authority. It happened in baptism. There the authority of Christ was invoked as you were baptized into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And Satan fled. Christ declares to you: “Forgiven! Now go and leave your sin.” And Satan flees before Christ’s authority. Christ stands with hands and side pierced, his blood staining a cross, and making payment for sin so that no sin could own you, so that no sin could trouble you, so that no sin had power. His authority makes sin flee. As Luther said in A Mighty Fortress: “One little word can fell him!” Amazing!

Friends be amazed at Christ’s authority. Be amazed that sin has no place in your life. Christ puts you on notice today that your sins don’t master you. Be amazed that you’ve been saved by Christ’s authority. And then cling to that authority.

Then there is nothing to fear when we make our stand. In amazement you see what Christ has done for you. In amazement you know his message is true.



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For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ ROMANS 6:23