Showing posts from October, 2011

David's Son Is David's Lord

The text for this morning is our Gospel, Matthew 22:34-46, which has already been read.
Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I’m sure you’ve heard speakers or teachers who are trying to encourage discussion say: “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.”I must disagree.Just try asking one of them a stupid question, and watch their reaction.If not by their words, you’ll see by their facial expression or body language how even they don’t believe such nonsense. No, not all questions are created equal.
If you’ve sat in on enough question and answer sessions, you know this is true.Most people won’t ask any questions in a large group setting for fear of looking foolish.So when someone asks a good question, there is an almost audible sigh: “I was hoping someone would ask that question!”Or “I’m glad they asked that question!I had never considered that idea before.”
But there’s often the negative side, too.Someone asks a question where they al…

The Things of God

The text for today is our Gospel lesson, Matthew 22:15-22, which has already been read.
Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows.That’s certainly the case here.The Pharisees—ardent nationalists who opposed Roman rule—team up with the Herodians whom they despised for their cooperation with the Roman government.This would be kind of like the Tea Party movement suddenly aligning itself with the campaign to re-elect President Obama.You know that something fishy is going on here.
The Pharisees try to trap Jesus between a political hard place and a religious rock.“Teacher, we know that You are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and You do not care about anyone’s opinion, for You are not swayed by appearance.”Anyone who starts off a sentence like that can’t be trusted with the keys to the house, much less the tenets of theology.
But here’s the kicker: “What do you think, Jesus, man of integ…

Prayer for Strength, Knowledge, and the Fullness of God

The text for today is our Epistle, Ephesians 3:13-20, which has already been read.

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Here’s a key to properly interpreting passages of Scripture: context.Look for what is happening and being said before and after the passage.And consider the time in which it was originally written.Understanding the literary, cultural, and historical contexts will help you to better understand the author’s intent.

Permit me to illustrate.Suppose your seven-year-old son walks up to you when your back is turned and asks, “Mom, can I kill this?”What’s the first thing you must find out before you can answer him?You can never answer the question “Can I kill this?” unless you’ve answered a prior question: What is it?
This is the key question.You see, if your son is holding a bug in his hand, you might say, “Go ahead.”But if he’s carrying his new puppy, you’re going to freak out.You might even have to consider seeking psycholog…

Rich in the Love, Mercy, and Grace of God

Here is the message I prepared for the opening devotions at our October 1, 2011 Lutherans For Life of SD board of directors meeting based upon Ephesians 2:1-10

There’s a very basic doctrine of Christianity that your sinful flesh wars against.The truth is that God is merciful to you solely because of who He is, not because of who you are or what you do.And that’s a good thing because you’ve done nothing to deserve God’s mercy, nor could you, because mercy is, by definition, not treating someone as harshly as they deserve.
Spiritually speaking, you were a still birth.You were born dead in your trespasses and sins.You were sinful from the moment your mother conceived you.You were unrighteous, an enemy of God, altogether worthless, unable to do good, unwilling to understand, unable to seek after God.Such was your desperate plight, and really the universal plight of mankind.
Whether they are open or secret, blatant or subtle, sinful actions, thoughts, and desires infect every man, woman, and …