Pastor's Blog

May 2024

Such a Hope

"Since we have such a hope, we are very bold."
2 Corinthians 3:12 (NIV)

You have the glorious hope – such a hope – of knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior. He has purified you and made you to be his child. You live in the peace of perfect forgiveness and love that is yours though faith in Jesus.

This hope makes us bold. We are bold to face the troubles of life with the confidence that God’s love is without limit. We are bold to face ourselves – including the guilt of our own sins – and know that God has removed every spot of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus and he considers us his very own. We are bold to live as God’s people – guided by his Word and will – in a world that often rejects the things of God. We are bold to love and to forgive and to give.

We are bold because we know Jesus . . . and Jesus knows us!

 

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



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Work of the Holy Spirit

We celebrated the Festival of Pentecost. In the Large Catechism, Martin Luther wrote about the work of the Holy Spirit in his explanation of the 3rd Article of the Creed:

"Now this is the article of the Creed that must always be and remain in use. For we have already received creation. Redemption, too, is finished. But the Holy Spirit carries on His work without ceasing to the Last Day. For that purpose He has appointed a congregation upon earth by which He speaks and does everything. For He has not yet brought together all His Christian Church or granted all forgiveness. Therefore, we believe in Him who daily brings us into the fellowship of this Christian Church through the Word. Through the same Word and the forgiveness of sins He bestows, increases, and strengthens faith. So when He has done it all, and we abide in this and die to the world and to all evil, He may finally make us perfectly and forever holy. Even now we expect this in faith through the Word."
(paragraphs 61-62)

The work of the Holy Spirit continues even today as he strengthens your faith and creates faith in the hearts of new believers. He carries this work out through the church and as the gospel message is proclaimed. You continue to enjoy the blessings of Pentecost as you hear God’s Word, recall the blessings of your baptism, and receive the Lord’s Supper. The Holy Spirit is truly at work in these to strengthen you in faith and empower you to live as God’s child – whether you feel it or not. Make time in your life – both personally and as a member of our congregation – to regularly hear the Word of God so that the Spirit’s ongoing work comforts you by pointing you to Jesus.

“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.”  John 15:26  (NIV)

 

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



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Wait for the Lord

Wait for the Lord;be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14 NIV)

At one time or another we have all struggled with waiting for the Lord. His timetable isn’t always the same as ours. Faith, however, is the solution to our impatience. King David, who wrote Psalm 27, also wrote Psalm 62. There we read:
One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that you, O God are strong,
and that you, O Lord are loving.
(vs. 11-12)

The One who is strong enough to do anything, is also filled with love for us. Guided by love, God’s actions are always perfect for us.

So wait. Wait for his timing and his ways. They are always right!

Martin Luther said it this way in a sermon:
We should learn to praise and thank God even though He does not come to our aid when we would like to have Him come. We should accustom ourselves to His way and be patient even though He delays. For it is a trifling achievement to praise and thank Him for giving what we desire and allowing matters to go as want them to go. But real praising and thanking must be done by being still, holding on, and patiently waiting for His help; for the nature of God is such that He does not permit us to determine the person, the time, and the place, the what, the when and the how, of his giving. (What Luther Says, p. 629)

 

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



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Remain Faithful

Confirmation Sunday is important for the newly confirmed, but is also a good reminder for all Christians of the commitment we have made to Christ. The confirmation vows should not be taken lightly, not when first spoken or for the rest of life.  Paul wrote to Timothy about making an effort to remain faithful to God:

"But you, man of God, run from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all, and of Christ Jesus, who gave a good confession before Pontius Pilate, I charge you to keep the command without fault or failure until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. God will bring this about in His own time. He is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, the only One who has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light; no one has seen or can see Him, to Him be honor and eternal might. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:11–16 NIV)

He’s worth it! The Lord is the only true God. He is the only Savior. And he is more committed to you than you could ever be committed to him! Trust in the goodness, grace, and promised salvation of God. Make the effort to fight the good fight against the influences of sin, but above all, stand firm on his unchanging promises to you!

Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling



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My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. ~ PSALM 62:1