Pastors' Blog

March 2022

New Life

We will soon be celebrating Jesus’ resurrection! Actually, the entire Christian life is an on-going celebration of Easter. It is true that we await the fulfillment of Jesus’ victory over death that will come on the Last Day. At the same time, we get a taste of his victory in the new life that is ours through faith in him. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2: "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved (vs. 4-5)."

God . . . made us alive. This new life we live is only because of God’s grace, but this new life is real. During the repentant season of Lent the Church thinks of sins we can “give up for Lent.” Repentance is more than just saying “I’m sorry,” but includes a desire to turn from the sin. Easter gives the Christian the power to turn from the old ways to follow God’s will. You are connected to Jesus’ resurrection through your baptism (Read Romans 6 to see how closely God views your connection to Jesus). You are made alive in Christ and set free from slavery to sin. This is the grace of God! This grace of God is what leads us to want to live as God’s people.

As the Easter season continues, the Christian can focus on the new life. What new habits can you form? What selfless actions can you take? What kind words can you speak? How can you support the work of your church? How can you be a better parent, spouse, friend, or employee?

The new life that is ours through faith in Jesus leads us to seriously consider these questions. We are not called to complacency, but to growth as God’s people.

Let the season of Easter be about the new life that is yours because God made you alive through the resurrection of Jesus. Cling to the hope that yours for a future in heaven. Cling also to the power of Jesus’ resurrection to change your heart. In your new life of service you are celebrating the power of the resurrection.

Christ is alive! Because of him, so are you!

 

Pastor Tim Wempner



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Fruits of Faith

You have the Spirit through faith in Jesus! These fruits are yours because Jesus has renewed your heart and set you free from sin. During this season of Lent, give conscious thought to how you can better show these fruits in your life. “Keep in step with the Spirit” means that we live and act like the people of God that we are. Put your faith into practice as you show these fruits to the people in your life.

In Galatians 5:22–25 we read, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (NIV)

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



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Lent - An Abundance of God's Word

According to the weatherman, we’re still in a drought. It surprised me a little to hear that, since there’s either snow on the ground or melted runoff gathering in puddles. There’s plenty of water in either frozen or liquid form all over the place right now. And yet - according to the weatherman - we’re still in a drought.

This drought actually stretches back to last year. Last summer and fall we didn’t get as much rain as we normally do - but to be fair it was obvious then. I remember walking through the woods all last year (hunting for mushrooms) and leaves that were supposed to be green and vibrant were instead wilty and drooping. The evidence of the drought was obvious then, I could see it all over nature. But it’s not so obvious right now - what with the snow piles, ice patches and freezing rain. 

We are, apparently, still in a drought. We don’t have the snow accumulations we normally have by this time. That means less melted water for the spring, which in turn means less groundwater for the plants to start blooming. That lack of water can turn into a famine.

A drought or a famine can be unpleasant - in fact, it can be downright dangerous. 

But a lack of water is nothing compared to a different kind of drought. This kind of famine is the absolute worst - it’s a drought of God’s Word. God threatened this kind of drought to Israel in Amos 8:11-12. 

“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,

    “when I will send a famine through the land—

not a famine of food or a thirst for water,

    but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.

People will stagger from sea to sea

    and wander from north to east,

searching for the word of the Lord,

    but they will not find it. (NIV)

The worst kind of drought possible -  a famine of God’s Word! To be cut off from the life giving Word of the Lord. No one - and I mean NO ONE can survive that. 

And yet dear friends, we are able to rejoice because that’s not happening to us. We aren’t experiencing that horrible kind of drought. In fact, as we begin the season of Lent we realize that we don’t have a famine of God’s Word - we have an abundance! In his grace God has lavished us with His Word. During this Lenten season, rejoice in the truth that every time you go to Church, every time you have devotions with your family, everytime you look over and reach your Bible sitting on the nightstand - God is giving you his precious Word. He’s reminding you of his eternal love. During this Lenten season we are being lavished in riches - we are enjoying the abundance of God’s precious Word. 

We may still be in a drought of water, but we are not in a drought of God’s Word.

Pastor Joshua Zarling



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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. ~ 2 TIMOTHY 3:16