Dballa's Weblog

We Praise God for Sustaining Life in and through His Word

We Praise God for Sustaining Life in and through His Word
Deuteronomy 8:1–10
Thanksgiving C

As our Nation gathers around a National Day of Thanksgiving, we ask for what are we thankful, and to whom are we giving thanks?

As Chirstians we can answer the latter question to whom are we giving thanks, the answer of course is Jesus. The answer to both questions can be found in Luther’s explanation to the 4th Petition of the Lord’s Prayer

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.

Do evil people thank God for their daily bread, no. But believers do.

So on the National Day of thanksgiving, there may be a difference in what and to whom you are thankful, verse the rest of the nation.

Consider

Deuteronomy 8:3 (ESV) 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

These words may sound familiar, since Jesus quotes them when tempted in the wilderness, which should reinforce what it says, we live by God’s Word.

The Christian who possess God’s Word, that is who believe and trust in the promises of God, needs nothing nor lacks anything. For what more could humanity ask for that is better than God’s Holy Word?

Philippians 4:11–13 (ESV) 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

But what about food, health, family and friends. You know the typical stuff people around the Thanksgiving table say that they are thankful for.

The Christian is never really in want as long as we keep our trust in Jesus. Why, for we know that we go to Jesus and ask for and receive whatever we need from the Father, the creator of all. Of course just as parents teach their children the difference between needs and wants, so also God teaches us adults and children the differences between needs and wants as God generously gives us our daily bread.

And we can also enjoy whatever God gives to us as our daily bread, realizing all of it is a gift from God.

As we are leaning in our Thursday Bible Study on Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 5:19 (ESV) 19 Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.

Enjoying God’s Daily bread also frees us from the envy of others because through faith we see God direct intervention in our lives.

But without faith, we see things, relationships, which never really satisfies us, so that there is an ache for more. But with faith we see as the Psalmist says in

Psalm 63:5–6 (ESV) 5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, 6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;

But when was the last time we thanked God for the gift of faith, as St. Paul states in 2 Corinthians 9:15 (ESV) 15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Picture it this way. You give a child a present. The child is happy with the gift and says thank you, and then uses the gift everyday for the rest of their lives. That would be the ideal situation. But what would happen if the child would say, “I don’t want this gift” or “I wanted a different gift instead” or maybe the child says thank you, but then ignores the gift. Would we be likely to give the child another gift? But yet, God still gives us our daily bread.

But what are people typically thankful for, family friends, their health, the physical blessings etc.

But Moses states that we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. God’s Holy Word.

Your faith and trust in God is the greatest gift you will ever receive. But when people gather around the Thanksgiving table, are we quick to thank God for the gift of faith, and boldly tell others what a wonderful gift we have in Christ, and state Peace Lutheran Church is a wonderful place to learn more about God’s greatest gift given.

We Praise God for Sustaining Life in and through His Word, for it is only through His Word that we have life now and for the rest of eternity.

Enjoy the daily bread, the physical gifts, family and friends during this national day of Thanksgiving. But also to continue to remember the Gift of Faith that God has given you. So if anyone asks you this Thanksgiving what you are thankful for you may say, the Christian Faith, for it is my life. 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

November 27, 2019 at 5:41 pm

Posted in Sermons

Jesus Friend of Sinners

Jesus Friend of Sinners

Jesus Friend of Sinners
Reformation Day
October 27, 2019

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

I can’t make everyone happy.

Setting the right expectations, well what do you expect of me as their pastor? That is a good question that will have many different answers. Setting the proper expectations is a good start. But even when they are set, not everyone is going to be happy. Even the only perfect human who is also true God couldn’t please everyone, even after setting the proper expectation.

Matthew 11:19 (ESV) 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

The opponents of Jesus got it correct, Jesus is friend to sinners.

You know when your opponents get your message correct, then you have done all things well. The message has gotten out, that even your opponents can clearly articulate it. While the opponents do state the message of Jesus correctly, that Jesus is Friends of sinners, they were not happy. Why? This is the promise of old fulfilled, but it wasn’t their expectation.

What were they missing? St. Paul says it:

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.

Jesus even names it Himself in

Luke 5:32 (ESV) 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Question to consider: Who would oppose Jesus who comes to save sinners?

Those who don’t want to be saved, who don’t want sins forgiven, who doesn’t think of themselves as sinners.

Those who want a different message, even though this was the promise promised of old.

Why didn’t they want the old or first promise of God? Why, well it is because of our previous friends. Who are or were the previous friends? That is the promise of old. After Adam and Eve sinned, God promised a Savior. So let’s look at that promise in:

Genesis 3:15 (ESV) 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

The promise of a Savior to defeat Satan is in the part “he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” While on the cross Satan had Jesus killed even buried, but Jesus rose from the dead. Satan would be the one ultimately defeated. That is the promise of Old. But let’s return to the issue of friendship. Embedded in this promise that Satan would be defeated is another promise that bring us joy. When God says I will put enmity between you and the woman. After Adam and Eve sinned, they joined Satan’s side, becoming friends of Satan. But the promise of old states that God is going to destroy this friendship, have humanity to be enemies of Satan. What is great news if we want to be with Jesus Christ in heaven above for the rest of eternity. However this promise can be rejected, and humanity can return to Satan.

Who would want that? Those who don’t want to be Jesus to be the friend of sinners. Who don’t realise their sin with its consequences.

Jesus is the friend of sinners, without a cost to you. It cost Jesus, His death on the cross, but for you, there is no cost.

The color is red because it is Reformation day, the day we remember that Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses church door in wittenberg.

What did people see in Luther? That answer depends again on your expectations.

The reformation was a start for many things. Educational reforms, Music and Art reforms, Cultural reforms, and even Political Reforms. These things happened, but if that is all you expected from Luther, you really miss out.

Luther pointed the people back to Jesus, as being a friend of sinners. Previously people thought Jesus to be an angry God. But Luther risked his own life, to point the church back to Jesus. Luther realized that Jesus is a friend to sinners without a cost for you. However the church very much like today is always in need of money to sustain itself and even to grow.

Sure we have our own fundraiser, I am sure you noticed even when you walked into Peace Lutheran Church today. But during the days of Luther they were holding the forgiveness of sins hostage to those who would contribute to the fundraiser. It was call an indulgence, which was paying for sins to be forgiven. However Jesus already and completely pain for this forgiveness, so Luther challenged the church, to return the God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures and realize that you can’t do this, it diminishes the person and work of Jesus.

For this isn’t who Jesus is. For Jesus is the friend of sinners not an angry judge that you can appease with money.

So what is your expectation of Jesus and the Reformation? Is it a Political, Social, Cultural, educational reforms? Vs. Jesus being the friend of Sinners.

The correct answer can be seen in Luther’s words in the explanation of the 2nd Article of the Apostle’s Creed:

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteous- ness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.

This is most certainly true.

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

October 26, 2019 at 2:50 pm

Posted in Creed, Sermons

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.

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