Dballa's Weblog

Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God

Faith Clings to the word and promises of God

Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Pentecost 19C

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Most people don’t like to be told what to do, especially if they are wrong. A standard joke about this is that there are two ways of doing something, the right way and the husband way. To which I usually respond, yes dear. From teenagers who rolls the eyes, to the yes dear, we really like our way of doing it, until it fails. Keep this in mind as St. Paul tells Timothy and us:

2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

We may tolerate teaching as long as it is exciting, but reproof, correction, those words are very challenging to us.

Why would the Holy Spirit lead St. Paul to say these things, if everyone knows we don’t like it. Because there is something more important at stake. What is more important? Eternal Salvation.

Consider St. Paul writing to the Romans 10:17 (ESV) 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Faith is a gift from God, how do we receive this gift, through the Word of God. Hearing that word of God, being watered in the Word of God and eating the Word of God. So if Faith comes from the Word of God, faith is maintained in us because of its source. Likewise Faith naturally will Cling to the Word and Promises of God.

Just like the refrigerator in your home which keeps your food lasting longer. When it is installed, it does nothing until it is plugged into the source of electricity. Without that gift of electricity your food will spoil much faster. But with that gift, food lasts longers. Would we ever say, I feel bored tonight, for some fun lets up plug the refrigerator for a bit of excitement. No, but yet this is exactly what some people do with the gift of faith. So St. Paul tells Timothy and us, don’t unplug from the gift of Faith, even if there is a cost. Electricity does have a cost, and being connected to Christ through His Word, the Word will correct us, rebuke us. Are we willing to admit that we need these things to continue to be connected to Christ or do our own ideas refuse to allow it.

Where was the disconnect? St. Pauls continues by saying 2 Timothy 4:1–2 (ESV) 1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

This was Timothy and every pastor’s marching orders. Proclaim the word of God, because the Word of God is powerful, maintaining God’s Gift of faith in us. So was it Timothy’s sermons that needed to be improved, no. This charge was not necessarily for Timothy’s benefit. Sure he like all pastors could use the reminder, but the next verses tell us who these words are intended for.

2 Timothy 4:3–4 (ESV) 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

This is the unplugging from God’s Word. Not enduring sound teaching and having itching ears, that say honey let’s unplug the refrigerator for this week we can plug it in again next week, but only for an hour, for we don’t want to waste the electricity.

Who would say and do anything like this? We do. We want some excitement, we want something special, we want something different. We are looking for the great spiritual mountain top experience, and we are afraid we not getting it here at Peace Lutheran Church in Plainfield. So our ear get itchy and we start looking elsewhere. God knows who we are and our natural reactions, so let’s look to Jesus again for the answer.

Matthew 17:1–5 (ESV) 1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

You can’t get a better spiritual mountain top experience than this. Jesus, shining along with Moses and Elijah. No wonder why St. Peter wanted to make tents and stay there, but as the words were coming out St. Peter’s mouth, God the Father redirects St. Peter and us from the mountain top, God says

5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

God redirects our itching ears back to Jesus, back to listening to Jesus, just as St. Paul directs Timothy to redirects the hears back to Jesus and God’s Word, for Faith clings to the Word and Promises of God, not to the great mountain top experiences.

But are we willing to come away from the great mountain, and cling to the words and promises of Jesus. Where else would we go?

2 Timothy 4:4 (ESV) 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Like the previous follows of Jesus in John chapter 6 when Jesus gave them sound teaching:

John 6:66–68 (ESV) 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

Simon Peter got it right, faith clings to the words and promises of God. I don’t know if this was one of the many accounts that Luther had in mind when he wrote the explanation to the

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

But it seems to fit our text for today. Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God. For it is in the Word and Promises of God that we see our Savior Jesus being delivered for you.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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Written by dballa

October 19, 2019 at 1:50 pm

Funeral Sermon for John Kevin Carlton

John Kevin Carlton

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

As someone dies, we grieve. It is as if part of is also dies, for something is missing within us. We may have many memories, some of the may have been happy and some may have been sad, but we are faced with the reality that no more memories will be created. There is also another part of all of this that we too will also die. We may start asking the question, is this all there is to life? For John it may seem that life was working, husting and fishing. Is that it? We may be satisfied

with this for our life and say it is a good life, which it is, but there is much more.

 

John was baptized, meaning that God’s name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, was placed upon him with water. Does that make a difference? Yes, it does, for God’s name is God’s promise upon John. Consider what God says through the Psalmist:

 

Psalm 103:15–18 (ESV) 15 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

 

God’s love is an enduring love that surpasses death. God’s love and forgiveness of John is always there. John first received it through Holy Baptism, John received it again through the Lord’s Supper. For the forgiveness of sin if God’s free gift given to us as St. Paul says in

 

Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

 

At Peace Lutheran Church were John receive Christian instruction, John boldly confessed this is what he believed. However, as we go on with our daily lives we often get distracted from the forgiveness that Christ Jesus won for us on the cross. As we may get distracted from God love and forgiveness for us, God is never distracted from us, for we are the reason why God even takes on human flesh and blood being born in Bethlehem and eventually dying on Calvary’s cross for the forgiveness of our sins.  We are always loved and forgiven by God as St. Paul reminds us in

 

2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV) 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.

 

God cannot deny Himself for the Bible notes that God is love.  God is love God is faithful, for this is who God really is.

 

It is us who don’t freely forgive others, because we get distracted by the things in this world. We are the ones that hold grudges all because of our life in this world.

 

But God’s name placed upon us re-focuses us. So that we can reflect the love and forgiveness that comes to us first from God to other people around us. Why would we do this? Because we trust in the promises of God that tell us there is something beyond this physical life. We do this be we know that Christ Jesus first loved and has forgiven us so that we can love and forgive others.

 

Jesus said John 14:3 (ESV)  3   And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. What will this place look like? St. John tells us in:

 

Revelation 21:4–5 (ESV) 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

 

So, we trust in the promise of God, we gather to head the grace of God given through His Holy Word.

 

Ephesians 3:20 (ESV) 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

 

Amen.

 

Written by dballa

October 16, 2019 at 12:55 pm

Posted in Sermons

Sound Words

Sound Words
2 Timothy 1:1–14
Pentecost 17C
October 6, 2019

 

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sound which are vibrations that we may be able to hear with our ears is exactly what is going on here with words from the sermon for today. However St. Paul may not have had this part of sound in mind when he wrote to Timothy

2 Timothy 1:13 (ESV) 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

The Greek word the St. Paul uses for the word sound is not that of vibrations, but of that of accuracy and correctness.

But how accurate do we want to be? I guess it depends on the circumstances. When we read or hear the weather report, how accurate are they? Do we get upset is they are not 100%, maybe a little, for we even joke about it. If we are going to a medical surgeon, we would that that surgeon to be 100% accurate, no mistakes? Yes, why because our life depends upon it. But what about pastors, who handle God’s Word. Does it matter if the soul is fed God’s Word based upon the accuracy of the meteorologists or that of a surgeon? Remember we are not talking about if you are going to enjoy the picnic outside, but rather if you are going to be at the eternal banquet in heaven above or torment in hell.

St. Paul gives the command, not a suggestion, to follow or to have the pattern of sound words. Why, well St. Peter said it best

John 6:68 (ESV) 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

Words of eternal life. St. Peter notes that words can have life in them, and the opposite is also true words can bring death. Back to previous question: Does it matter if the soul is fed God’s Word based upon the accuracy of the meteorologists or that of a surgeon? St. Paul would answer that with 100% accurate, no mistakes and instructs Timothy to do the same:

2 Timothy 1:14 (ESV) 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

Guard another command word of St. Paul. Guard what, the good deposit by the Holy Spirit. Well what did the Holy Spirit give you? Faith!

3rd Article of the Apostle’s Creed Luther reminds us

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel (word of God), enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.

In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith (this is also accomplished through the word of God).

In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers.

On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.

This is most certainly true.

This is exactly what St. Paul is telling/commanding Timothy. Yes, Luther was a good student of God’s Word.

So where is the problem. Notice what St. Pauls says

2 Timothy 1:8 (ESV) 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,

Why would we be ashamed? The answer

2 Timothy 1:12 (ESV) 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.

St. Paul was suffering because of the Christian faith. Likewise as we live in a world that is becoming more and more critical of the Christian communion, we also may be ashamed of the Christian faith. World wants us to be less accurate with God’s Word for the convenience of toleration with more people. The words of Satan spoken to Eve in the garden ring true in today’s world just as well, when Satan said in Genesis 3:1 “Did God actually say.” As our society continues to question what God did say in the Holy Scriptures, St. Paul encourages not to be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, for that is why St. Paul was in prison.

But St. Paul didn’t not command Timothy to be a people pleaser, but to be accurate with the Words of God. By the way who taught Timothy the faith. His Grandmother and Mother, St. Paul just build upon that which was already taught.

The accuracy of God’s Word is important, why?

2 Timothy 1:14 (ESV) 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

Can a deposit by the Holy Spirit be withdrawn? Just like a bank where you can deposit money and you can withdraw the money. The Bank like the Holy Spirit will want you to keep the deposit, but in the end you can withdraw the money, likewise as we continue to rebel against God and the deposit by the Holy Spirit of faith, can be withdrawn. We see this is the Psalmist words:

Psalm 51:10–11 (ESV) 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

So we gather today at Peace, surrounding ourselves with Sounds Words, guarding the deposit that the Holy Spirit has given, Because God’s Words are life, here, now and for eternity. In His name. Amen.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

October 5, 2019 at 1:52 pm

Posted in Creed, Sermons

The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy

The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy

The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy

The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy
Luke 16:1–15
Pentecost 15

Philippians 1:2(ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I will admit this is one of the toughest parables of Jesus. It is tough to comprehend. I will also admit I dont have the perfect interpretation for the parable. So we take Holy Scriptures as it presents itself, as we see what God is trying to teach us. We have to start near the end as Jesus tells us what He is trying to teach us.

Luke 16:13(ESV) 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

While it may seem obvious Jesus does need to spell it out, by the way this is also related to the 1st commandment

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

The second point of this parable are the characters. The rich man we will say is God. For God created all things out of nothing in six days. The manager, what that is us.

Job 1:21(ESV) 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

It is all belongs to God and God gives it to us. We didn’t come with anything of our own, we don’t leave with anything on our own.

The Manager was guilty of “wasting the Master’s possessions” and will no longer be a manager.

Now before we start trying to justify ourselves like the Pharisees

Luke 16:14–15(ESV) 14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.

All of us have misused mismanaged God’s creation given to us to manage. None of us are perfect. Remember the purpose wasn’t who is the most frugal, but Jesus is teaching us that we cannot serve God and Money. So the manager was allowing the money to be his god so to speak.

So we need to go to the 4th petition of the Lord’s Prayer for clarification.

The Fourth Petition

Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean?

God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What does God what us to realize? As the title states: The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy.

God gives grace and mercy to us without our prayers and even to all evil people. God gives to underserving people like us, for the purpose as Luther reminds us that we receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

God wants to be know as the Good gift giver. That is who He is for the Lord is Rich in His Grace and Mercy.

Than why take way the manager’s position? God can create more money, He is rich isn’t He? Yes, God is rich in His grace and mercy, why take away the position, because the manager wasn’t trusting in God, but trusting in the money. The Manager was serving his self with money, reason for the firing, it is not about the money. It is about the heart.

For us: What does it mean when we hear that: “The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy”

Does it mean what can I get away with regards to sin and self-serving actions?

Or as Luther said in the explanation of the 4th Petition: God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

For Us it first means to be thankful for what we have.

The next point is in Luke 16:9(ESV) 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

Verse 9 teaches us that we can’t take it with us. Wealth will fail. So use it, leverage it for the purpose as verse 9 teaches that your friends may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

Friends in heaven, Christians. As in your own life, who taught you the Christian faith. Who utilize their resources so that you believe that The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy. Who gave of themselves so that you may believe? Many people with money, time, energy and other resources, they gave of themselves, instead of being selfish. They worshiped God instead of the gifts that God gave them.

We also, like the Christian witnesses who nurtured our faith, have the opportunity to take what God has given to us to help other learn that The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy.

So we come, confessing our sins, we haven’t always served God, we have been selfish with what God has entrusted to us. But we also trust that The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy and has forgiven us. So we thank God through Jesus Christ that He Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy in forgiving us our many sins and still providing for us here on earth, and we are bold to declare to a struggling world that: The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy. In His Holy Name, Amen.

Philippians 4:7(ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

September 21, 2019 at 2:48 pm

We Are Humbled and Exalted by the Cross of Christ

We Are Humbled and Exalted by the Cross of Christ
Hebrews 13:2
TWELFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Proper 17C
1 September 2019

Philippians 1:2(ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is some truth to the phrase I have heard on occasion, “If I ever walked into a church the walls will fall in on me.”

In order to be in the presence of God, we need to realize that we can’t because of our sin. The truth of the phrase is that here at Peace Lutheran Church we are in the presence of God. However there is also a misunderstanding or missing information so that we can come to Peace Lutheran Church without worrying about the walls falling in. The missing piece is that Jesus came to forgive our sins, Jesus paid the price for our sins so that we can stand in the presence of God. So we don’t come to Peace Lutheran Church proudly thinking that I haven’t sinned yet today, and that God won’t zap me because of my perfection. Instead we come as people who realize their sinful condition, confess their sins, and Christ speaks the words of forgiveness with love.

We Are Humbled and Exalted by the Cross of Christ. So when we look at the cross of Christ we see our need for a Savior and our Savior. Let me start with part of our reading from the book of Hebrews:

Hebrews 13:2(ESV) 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Do angels need help? No God Provides the for the angels. God doesn’t need us to take care of the angels, besides the angels are sent for us. We are the ones that need the help. What is the author of Hebrews talking about then, remember We Are Humbled and Exalted by the Cross of Christ as we look at:.

Genesis 19 Two angels come and Lot welcomes them into his house, these angels then warn and ultimately deliver Lot from the town which was about to be destroyed.

If Lot had not humbled himself by showing hospitality to two strangers, things would have been different. But Lot did humble himself and it turn was delivered.

Jesus teaches the same thing in our Gospel reading: Luke 14:11(ESV) 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

This is a tough concept. Like Moses we would rather see Moses in the iconic movie The Ten Commandments played by Charton Heston, with a strong voice, and tall figure leading the people of Israel, instead of the way the Bible describes Moses in Numbers 12:3(ESV) 3 Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.

Again, Christ isn’t looking for people who say, I haven’t sinned, but as 1 Timothy 1:15(ESV) 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

When we hear this teaching in Hebrews about not forgetting to show hospitality and looks at our lives, we realize that we haven’t lived the way Christ wanted me to live. I haven’t shown hospitality the way I should have. I haven’t as St. Paul says in: Philippians 2:3(ESV) 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Wow, I have failed to keep that one also.

So what should our goal be: to strive better, to be more giving, so that I can come back next week and say I haven’t sinned yet? So that God won’t zap me because I am doing better this last week compared to the previous. NO!

Our goal should be to come back next week with the humility of understanding our sinful nature while receiving Christ’s never ending forgiveness and love. As Christ Himself states in the Gospel reading:

Luke 14:10(ESV) 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.

We Are Humbled and Exalted by the Cross of Christ. This is why Jesus says in:

Matthew 11:28–29(ESV) 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

So we come to Peace Lutheran Church to receive Christ’s wonderful grace and mercy.

In His name, Amen.

Philippians 4:7(ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

August 28, 2019 at 10:17 am

Posted in Confession, Sermons

The Trojan Horse

The Trojan Horse

 

The Trojan Horse
Propers 14
August 11, 2019

Philippians 1:2(ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Trojan Horse is a story that the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse, and hid a special force of men inside. The put the horse outside the gates at Troy, whom they were trying to defeat and then pretended to sail away. The people of Troy, the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, ending the war.

A cunning idea, leading to a military victory. What is the moral of the story in connection with Psalm 33, it is what is inside that counts, not the outside.

Psalm 33:16–17(ESV) 16 The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. 17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.

The things and ideas of this world do not save us. Only Christ saves. As Christians we know that we are in Christ and that Christ is in us, but how well do we trust Christ?

The Psalmist tells us:

Psalm 33:18–19(ESV) 18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, 19 that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

Alive in Famine? When everything around seems to be dying? Even if people are dying? Yes. By seeing the soul connected with the body and not just the body alone.

John 17:21(ESV) 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Notice is this a lot more than just the body. The nature of the Holy Trinity: Father Son Hoyl Sprit, three person one God. Incomprehensible to us as humans. And yet Jesus says that they also may be in us. So our bodies are the temple of the Lord St. PAul reminds us and at the same time we are also in Christ, while Christ is in us.

True communion. So while the body is starving even to death of the body, what about your soul, it lives in Christ. So while Jesus was talking with the woman at the well, his disciple were getting food. When Jesus said it wasn’t hungry they were puzzled, becuase they hadn’t eated for a long time, but

John 4:34(ESV) 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

So do we give up food, no. do we give up the things of this world no. We receive whatever gifts God sends to us in joy and happiness.

Psalm 33:12(ESV) 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

Blessed can be translated as Happy. Notice where our happiness our blessedness comes from Christ is us and us in Christ.

The parallel to our lives Do we trust in our cunning, wit, nation’s military for salvation, no but Christ. Do we need sharp minds, more than ever! Do we need a strong military more than ever! Do we need Christ even more than ever!

Without Christ it doesn’t matter how cunning our military plans are for our soul will be in death.

1 John 4:4(ESV) 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

You are from God, Christ is in you and you are in Christ.

Like the Trojan Horse it is what is inside that counts. Christ Jesus. For Christ inside of us give us the victory and we are in Christ.

There is no better conclusion to this message than the closing words from this Psalm:

Psalm 33:20–22(ESV) 20 Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Amen.

Philippians 4:7(ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

August 10, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Sermons

Receiving Good Gifts

Receiving Good Gifts

Receiving Good Gifts

Receiving Good Gifts
Luke 11:1-13
Proper 12

Philippians 1:2(ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Who doesn’t like to receive a good gift? Good gifts yes, bad gifts, well we can repurpose them, recycle them, donate to charity or just throw it out with the rest of the trash.

Yes, we like to receive good gifts, just like we give a gift we want it to be appreciated. No one want to spend the time to pick out a gift, buy the gift, wrap the gift, only to gift out that the recipient didn’t even open the gift.

Receiving Good Gifts, that is exactly what God wants us to do, for God is the giver of every good gift.

James 1:17(ESV) 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

However, how many times have we asked God for something it seems that God failed to deliver. Even though our Gospel reading for today says, Luke 11:9(ESV) 9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Like a little child very eager to get what they want, jumps up and down, we quote verse 9 and say here, is says right here Ask and it will be given to you.

Now the pastor or the parent says, what is the greatest gift. If the pastor is asking, the response is Jesus. Which is the correct response. Notice what Jesus says in verse 13 of our Gospel reading.

Luke 11:13(ESV) 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

The Holy Spirit points us to Jesus, without the Holy Spirit we could not even believe in Jesus. The greatest gift, you have already received, the gift of faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus. Actually we receive a lot more than just Jesus.

We do receive many good gifts from God, but do we perceive them all as good? Verse 13 hints at the answer, If you then, who are evil. Am I evil?

Cyril an ancient church father summarize this statement with “you whose mind is capable of being influenced by evil and not uniformly inclined to good like the God of all.”

Our sinful flesh is influences by the world. However the World wants to re-shape what God calls good. Hence the world says God isn’t good, just because the definition of good was changes by the world.

Isaiah 5:20(ESV) 20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Where does all this come from, sin yes but better the influence of the devil.

John 8:44(ESV) 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

But when we look at our own life, do you see the many good gifts from God? If we understand the things and ways of God yes, but if we continue to look at the ways and workings of the world around us, then no.

Genesis 2:16–17(ESV) 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Being touched by evil leads to death. Being touched by God leads to life.

Titus 3:5(ESV) 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

God is the one who takes our sin and pour out His wrath on Jesus. So that those who are baptism, bear the name of Jesus and are cleansed by Jesus through Holy Baptism. There was a punishment for sin, but Jesus took that, so that God gives good gifts.

But here is the hard part. Do we realize the many good gifts that God is still giving to us? The answer is no, because the world is trying to pull us away from seeing God and His many gifts as good.

The Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Martin Luther explains it this way:

What does this mean?

God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

Receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. Yes, God is giving Good gifts, and by God’s greatest gift of faith, we see more and more how God is giving good gift. We receive God’s good gifts, and we say thank you. We ask God to strengthen our faith so that we may realize even more of God’s good gifts.

Philippians 4:7(ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

July 27, 2019 at 2:35 pm

Posted in Lord's Prayer, Sermons