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Showing posts from July, 2013

You've Got a Friend in Me [Jesus]

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The text for today is James 2:23: “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.” Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! The Toy Story movies are among my favorites.Which is a good thing, because with Abbott around, this Papa has seen each one at least 100 times.Much like my own children, I’ve watched Andy grow up from an imaginative little boy to a young man headed off to college.I’ve enjoyed the antics of Woody, Buzz, and the supporting characters.And I’ve heard the same theme song: “You’ve Got a Friend In Me.”That’s very fitting, because in the end the predominant theme of Toy Story is friendship.And that is our theme for today as well. We begin with Abraham, the patriarch of the Hebrew people.Called by God’s grace out of idolatry and unbelief, Abraham left his home in Haran at the age of seventy-five and headed for the Promised Land.Through many trials and errors …

The Merciful Lord and the Unrighteous Steward

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The text for today is our Gospel, Luke 16:1-13. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! A while back I read an article in Christianity Today, entitled “What Makes a Good Bible Study?”The author states: “Remember that the point of all Bible study should not be to simply impart knowledge. It should produce change... We can study the Ten Commandments until we’ve completely dissected them, but if we don’t figure out how to obey them, that will be meaningless.” Fuddy duddy Lutheran that I am, I disagreed.I replied online: “I need a Bible study that shows me Christ as He is revealed in all of Scripture.”That, to me, is what makes a good Bible study. It has to show me Christ.It has to teach Law that shows me my sin; and it has to teach the Gospel, showing me how He came to save me and a world of sinners with His perfect life and atoning death. Jesus told the Pharisees: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you…

Distracted? Anxious? Sit at Jesus' Feet!

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The text for today is our Gospel, Luke 10:38-42, which has already been read. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! “Martha was distracted…”Now there’s a phrase we can relate to.Finally, here’s a person in the Bible we can really understand.Martha is a woman after our own hearts.Distracted… and there is much to be distracted about.Jesus has come to her village.She has “welcomed Him into her house.”He is an honored guest and that means much preparation.We don’t know how many have come with Jesus, but there could perhaps be dozens.That takes a lot of food.And in the days before carryout, refrigerators, or microwave ovens, that means first going to the market or garden to get fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables.And then preparing everything from scratch, spending hours over a hot stove. Well, you get the idea.There are simply a lot of things that need to be done.“Martha,” the text says, “was distracted with much serving.”She …

Ask a Law Question, Get a Law Answer

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Click here to listen to this sermon.The text for today is our Gospel lesson, Luke 10:25-37, which has already been read. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Live by the Law; die by the Law.Ask a Law question, and you’ll get a Law answer.The question (two of them, actually) comes from a synagogue “lawyer,” one whose job it is to make the Bible reasonable and doable.His question to Jesus is naturally a Law question: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” It is a reasonable question.It is the most fundamental of all religious questions.One asked by spiritually inquisitive people throughout the ages.What must I do to get to heaven?What do I have to do to be saved?What do I have to do to be good with God?It’s not a bad question in itself; but it is a dangerous question to ask Jesus, especially when asked this particular way: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Parse the original question for a moment.Start with the word “inherit.”What do you have to…