Pastor's Blog

April 2024

Washed Clean

Have you ever seen a highlight video of a famous athlete? When the editors compile the highlights, you don’t see any missed shots, dropped passes, strikeouts, or mistakes of any sort. Every clip shows success; failure is nowhere in the highlights.

In Revelation 14:13 we read:
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

Christians have been washed clean through faith in Jesus Christ. They are blessed, even when they die, because Jesus has taken away all their sins. In fact, the verse pictures a highlight video of a believer’s life. All the failures and sins are gone because of Jesus. All that is remembered is the deeds — the acts of service that flowed from faith.

Using the gifts and situations God has put in your life, you are making a highlight video! Love and serve others. Be selfless in all you do. Trust in your Lord to bless every situation you encounter.

From God’s perspective in heaven, your sin is gone. All that remains are the good deeds you do in Jesus’ name. So serve with joy because Jesus has taken away all your sins!

 

Pastor Aufdemberg

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



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Guilt

Guilt can be a debilitating force in people’s lives. The reality of sins is difficult (or impossible) to forget. The consequences may remain for a very long time.

Jesus said in John 3:17–18: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

Jesus didn’t come so you would feel guilty, but so that by believing in him you would know that your sin is washed away — you are not condemned! Read through John’s Gospel and notice how often the word “believe” occurs. The word crushes doubt because it announced that forgiveness isn’t based on you, but on Jesus Christ, your Savior.

The answer to guilt is Jesus Christ. Through faith in him, you are truly God’s child!

 

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



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Doubts and Fears

In a sermon on John 20:24-31 about “Doubting Thomas”, Martin Luther addressed the doubts and fears that we may have. His answer was this:

"When the Law comes and accuses you of not having kept it, direct it to Christ, and say: 'There is the Man who has done it; to Him I cling; He has fulfilled it for me and has given me His fulfillment.' When sin comes and would kill you, direct it to Christ, and say: 'As much as you can do to Him, you can do to me, too, for I am in Him, and He is in me.' When death comes and would devour you, say: 'Dear Death, do you know that Man over there? Go, bite out one of His teeth. Once upon a time He made biting sour enough for you. If you long for a fight, then rub yourself against Him again. You thought you should also have a share in Him when He hung between two murderers and died a shameful death, this Man, condemned before God and before the world. But what good did it do you? You took a bite at that time which did not turn out well for you. To this Man I belong. I am His, and He is mine; and where He stays, I, too, stay. You were not able to do anything to Him and will nicely leave me undisturbed too.' When the devil comes and would also have a share in you, and hell would devour you, direct them to Christ, then you will silence them." (What Luther Says, pages 202-203)

Psalm 108:4 (NIV)  "For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies."

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



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he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. ~ TITUS 3:5