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Showing posts from November, 2011

Thankful Even for the Detours of Life

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Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It’s not good for a pastor to talk about himself too much in a sermon.The sermon can easily degenerate into a speech like those essays from elementary school: “What I Did During Summer Vacation” or given the holiday we are observing today, “What I Am Thankful For.” Or it can easily turn into a Joel Osteen pep talk on how to have your best life now if you just follow my example.A proper sermon should be focused on Christ, and Him crucified.”No, it’s not good for a pastor to talk about himself too much in a sermon.But this time, for the sake of illustration, I’m going to risk it for a little bit.I pray that it will help you view your own life’s detours from a Scriptural perspective.
This is the second Thanksgiving in a row that I have had the privilege and pleasure of preaching at ChristLutheranChurch.Certainly, two years ago, I would not have expected to be standing here today.I was the pastor of one…

Come, You Who Are Blessed by My Father

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

Are you ready for a pop quiz?I’m going to read a quote and I want you to determine whether it is a statement of sound doctrine or false teaching.Don’t worry.I’m not taking grades.I’m not even going to ask you to raise your hands.Just listen and answer in your own mind.Give yourself bonus points if you can identify the source.“At His coming all people will rise again with their bodies and give an account concerning their own deeds.And those who have done good will enter into eternal life, and those who have done evil into eternal fire.This is the catholic faith; whoever does not believe it faithfully and firmly cannot be saved.”
So, is it sound doctrine or false teaching?It’s sound doctrine.In fact, it’s part of one of the three ecumenical creeds confessed by the Church. If you turn to page 320 in Lutheran Service Book, beginning at verse 38, you’ll see that they are the closing words of the Athanasi…

On the Other Side of Glory

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The text for today is Revelation 7:9-10: “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”
Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
St. John gives us a glimpse of the other side of glory.But be careful.Don’t miss this brief opportunity by focusing on the wrong thing.Look beyond the great multitude to the object of their focus.Notice how they are all staring in the same direction, with the same look of astonishment and awe and love upon their faces.
This certainly is a very diverse group.They come from all economic strata, ethnic heritages, skin tones, and eras of history.Some struggled with this sin and some with that.Some thought one thing a…