Pastor's Blog

July 2021

Things Change - But God's Love for You Does Not

August is upon us - which means it’s "back to school" time. Now whether you’re excited for this time of year or dreading it doesn’t matter. Whether you’re actually in school or your school days lie far in the past doesn’t matter. What matters is that this time has been turned into one of the sharpest divisions in our year. The change is as palpable as the seasons, it’s as abrupt as the day after Christmas. “Back to school” is a phrase everyone readily understands because it's so indelibly marked on us. It’s part of how our culture now marks the passing of time. 

To this day I get wistful when I listen to “A Summer Song” and think of my first dorm room at Prep. 

And the change can be difficult. For kids it means saying goodbye to the freedom and promise of summer afternoons in the backyard. For adults it means saying hello to the freedom and promise of not having kids in the house all day. For everyone it means sports start up, shopping needs to be done, schedules need to be adjusted. Even the Holidays seem like they are starting to peek into view.

So we fire up our grills and plan one more weekend of fun to tenaciously hold on to whatever Summer we have left (which is why Labor Day was invented in the first place). But it doesn’t work. The change comes.

But God does not mark the passing of time like that. Instead, he marks the passing of days through his love for you. He notes the changing of the seasons by reaffirming his grace for you. He sees the "back to school" season as just another opportunity to embrace you in his righteousness and mercy. And all of these things he continues to hold out to you in his Word. Though days pass and things change for us, He does not. 

So it’s "back to school" time. The year goes on, things change. But God’s love for you does not. It never will.

Pastor Joshua Zarling

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Blessings Through Our Nation

During July we are reminded of the blessings God gives us through our nation and through good government. We are kept safe and we are able to freely worship the true God without fear of the government interfering with our worship. For these and many other blessings that God gives us through our nation we ought to be thankful to God.

God is clear in his Word that we have a responsibility toward our government:

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. (1 Peter 2:13–14 NIV)

This and other Bible passages remind us to respect our leaders. Proper respect will show itself in attitudes and in words. How we talk about our leaders reflects the attitude of our hearts. Let God’s Word set your attitude as you are moved by God’s grace to show respect to our leaders.

At the same time, the Bible warns us not to put our faith in our leaders. They are God’s servants to do good for us, but that doesn’t mean that they have replaced God. The Psalmist says:

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. (Psalm 118:9 NIV)

Or Isaiah was inspired to write:

Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? (Isaiah 2:22 NIV)

In particular, this reminds us that the right leader is not what will solve all our nation’s problems. God is still God. His grace is what we need, not a “prince” who belongs to the right political party. To trust in people is foolishness.

In Isaiah God said:

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord. (Isaiah 31:1 NIV)

What a vivid picture for God’s people. Political alliances don’t lead us to prosper. Trusting in our mighty military is a misplaced trust. Look, instead, to the Holy One, the Lord! He is hope and your Savior. He provides “daily bread” for our earthly needs and his grace for our spiritual needs. Looking at him first, you will see even more blessings in our nation for you will see how he provides you opportunity to grow closer to Jesus. That is a blessing for this life and for eternity.

Pastor Tim Wempner

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Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. ~ LUKE 12:32