Showing posts from January, 2012

Jesus Is the Fulfillment of Religion

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

Recently, Jefferson Bethke, a young Christian man, made a video that went viral on YouTube, entitled “Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus.”It sounds good, doesn’t it?Jefferson professes to love Jesus, and it is a good thing to love Jesus.Not only that, but as you watch the video you can tell he really does love Jesus, and he is zealous for his faith.He wants to share his love for Jesus, and just judging by the numbers alone, he has been very successful at that.To date his video has been viewed over 12 million times. I have to say, there is much in the video that is good.Unlike many of today’s popular preachers who teach what one critic has called “moralist, therapeutic deism, Bethke does share the real Gospel.He proclaims salvation by grace through faith apart from works.He confesses Christ crucified for sinners.He also comes close to the truth in much of his criticism of the modern church… if only h…

So Glorify God in Your Body

Here is the devotion, adapted from a sermon by Rev. John T. Pless that I will be sharing at the Annual Meeting of Lutherans For Life of SD. The text is Epistle for Epiphany 3 that many of our congregations will be using on Sunday, January 15, 2012: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20:

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes on…

A Prayer for My Pastor

The Small Catechism includes a section in the Table of Duties on “What Hearers Owe Their Pastors.”Among the duties cited are financial support, respect for the office, and submission to their spiritual authority.But I’ve always thought that one thing is noticeably absent from this list: prayer.
I must admit, when it comes to praying for my pastor, I’ve failed miserably.But I want to add this to my daily prayer discipline.I’ve found prepared prayers help me maintain the proper focus and provide the framework for growth and adaptation.Unfortunately, there seems to be a shortage of resources that include such prayers for pastors.Most of the ones available are not very personal or specific.So, I’ve developed one of my own and offer it for your consideration.
Lord of the Church, bless ____________, my pastor.Enable him to be a true teacher of Your Word.Put the power of the Gospel into his heart so that he always preaches and counsels in a way that is consistent with Your saving will.I espe…