Dballa's Weblog

Archive for August 2019

We Are Humbled and Exalted by the Cross of Christ

We Are Humbled and Exalted by the Cross of Christ
Hebrews 13:2
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.


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