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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

A Troubled Soul

A Troubled Soul

A Troubled Soul

A Troubled Soul John 12:27-28 April 14, 2019

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

Have you ever had trouble with prayer, where you didn’t know what to say or how to say it. Well you always have the Lord’s Prayer. But sometimes because of the circumstances, you may need a shorter prayer. The Kyrie, Greek for Lord as in Lord have mercy is only three words. But even if 3 words still seems long, there is a one word prayer. To which most people would reply with the word HELP. But I as thinking of another one word. Today is the day in which the church celebrates Palm Sunday, in which the people were shouting

John 12:13(ESV) 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”

Hosanna, the one word prayer is translated as Save us now.

Save us from what? The Roman occupation of the time? Well Jesus didn’t have an army. Jesus never showed any military prowess. There was a different enemy that Jesus was going to save the people from.

Out text

John 12:27(ESV) 27 “Now is my soul troubled.

Does God have a soul? Well not really, but we need to remember that in Jesus God took on human flesh and blood, and humans have a soul. But why would the soul of Jesus be troubled? Our souls are troubled, because of sin. Our Own sin, and the effects of the sins in the world around us. Especially near death. Jesus was near death, but

The death of the a believer, knowing that we are forgiven brings some uncertainty, as a new experience. But the death of a sinner, who had to bear the weight of their many sins, bring a much heavier weight.

But Jesus didn’t sin you may say. True. But the crowds saying Hosanna save us now did and so do we. Save us from what? Not from the Roman occupation, Hosanna save us now, is the deliverance of our sin.

How do you undo the past? You can’t. So also with sin, you can’t undo it, you need your sins transferred to Jesus. So now we have Jesus, true God who has taken on human flesh and blood which comes with a soul is about to die carrying the weight of the sin of the entire human race.

So yes the Soul of Jesus is very very troubled.

What do you do when your soul is troubled? When you see your mistakes, the evils of your life, the outbursts and rage. Notice where Jesus goes with this troubled Soul, to the heavenly Father.

John 12:27(ESV) 27 “And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.

This isn’t about Jesus’ personal comfort, but about our salvation. This is why Jesus is here, no thoughts of turning back, for the shouts of Hosanna drive Him forward.

Like athletes who hear the 60,000 plus fan roar with excitement which gives strength and encouragement to the athletes, Jesus hears our Hosanna and even with a troubled soul, continues closer to the Cross.

But we need more than just hype in our lives. So Jesus teaches us what we truly need.

John 12:28(ESV) 28 Father, glorify your name.”

Yes, that God’s name would be glorified. Consider again the shouts of the Hosanna, shouts of people, trusting in God to deliver them. Isn’t that what a God should do, deliver the people from sin death and the devil, yes. This is how God’s name is glorified.

So the shouts of the people’s hosanna was reason for the for Jesus to go to the cross. Yes it was a the Father’s plan of salvation.

Matthew 7:11(ESV) 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Well the shouts of the Hosanna were asking.

Did the people know what they were asking? Probably not

As Jesus will say as He is dying hanging on the cross

Luke 23:34(ESV) 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The crowd shouting Hosanna, would have no idea, what they were asking for, but they got it.

Hosanna Save us Now equals the death of Jesus.

What about us, when the troubles of this world consume us. When we are in agony and dread of what is happening around us.

We go to the Father, in Jesus’ name.

Knowing that the shouts of Hosanna, save us now has ultimately been completed, but now we need to realize it daily in our lives. Nothing wrong with saying Hosanna when we are grieved, Nother wrong with saying Lord have Mercy or even the Lord’s Prayer. For often we struggle in asking for mercy, but we have a Savior is gives much more mercy than we can ever ask.

Jesus continues

John 12:28(ESV) 28 Father, glorify your name.”

Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

Consider the name of God. It was first placed upon you with the water of Holy Baptism. You are a child of God, born a new of water and Spirit.

Titus 3:5(ESV) 5 he saved us (Hosanna), 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,

Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.

Because of God’s name placed upon you, God will glorify it again.

Revelation 3:5(ESV) 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.

When the chances and challenges of this world begin to consume us, we turn to Jesus, because just like Jesus we know how it will end. We know the Hosanna, and God name will be glorified.

Which gives us strength when our soul is troubled in this world and we don’t know what to say.

So it is fitting, that we also shout Hosanna, For Christ Jesus saves us now. 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

April 14, 2019 at 5:26 am

My devil against the devil

Who is the one who bullies the bully? So when we see injustice being done in today’s world, and the bad guy is getting punished, we may celebrate with an arm fist pump, and a verbal “yea.”

Maybe this is what we should so when we enter church on Sunday. Some people quietly walk in, reverence the altar and sit the pew. But if we consider what Christ has done, and Martin Luther puts it, “For Christ is my devil against the devil, that I might be a son of God,1” maybe when we enter the church we should do an arm fit pump with a yea.

For Christ defeats the devil when Christ died on the cross. So Christ is victorious. But Christ does even more.

Luther in his explanation to the Seventh Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “But deliver us from evil.” writes: “What does this mean? We pray in this petition, in summary, that our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation, and finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven.”

Even though the devil is ultimately defeated, until the last day, the devil is still trying to create chaos for us in our lives. But we pray in the Lord’s Prayer that Christ would frustrate the plans of the devil and rescue us, and Christ does. When Christ disrupts the devil plans, it is like the devil saying, “Curses, Foiled again.”

So maybe, we should come to church with an arm first pump, but instead of “yea” we should just say “Amen.” For Christ defeats the devil and continues to frustrate the devil plans for us.

 

1 Luther, M. (1999). Luther’s works, vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4. (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald, & H. T. Lehmann, Eds.) (Vol. 26, p. 164). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

Written by dballa

January 18, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Bless the Lord for the Good Land He gives you

Bless the Lord for the Good Land He gives you
Deuteronomy 8:1-10
November 22, 2017

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

Happy Thanksgiving! Your favorite Bible passage for your Thanksgiving celebration is the Old Testament reading Deuteronomy 8:10 which says, “And you shall eat and be full.” So at the end of Thanksgiving if you are sitting on a couch with a full tummy, then remember, you are just following what the Bible says, you shall eat and be full.

You may notice that the Bible verse doesn’t end with the word full, but continues with, “ and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.”

What does it mean to Bless the Lord? To Thank God. Do you remember the days when you were little and you had just received a gift, to which your parents would prompt you with the words, “what do you say?” To which the proper response would be saying “Thank you.”

From God to Moses to you, that is our response which is to say, “Thank You.”

Martin Luther explains this in the Fourth 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.

To receive everything with Thanksgiving. Why is receiving our daily bread and teaching our children to say thank you so import?

Think of it this way. Every time you say thank you to God, you are resisting the devil. Even by coming to the Divine Service tonight you are resisting the devil. The devil doesn’t want you to thank God for anything. The devil is trying to convince you to think that is no need ever to thank God, that you have gather and accomplished all things by your own doing, and that you deserve them because of who you are. But by coming here tonight you defy the devil and at the same time glorify God for what He had done.

But it is not easy to remember to give thanks to God. Consider for a moment the people of Israel when they left Egypt. What did God do for the people of Israel, notice our text. While they were wandering for 40 years God fed them and their clothing did not wear out. I am likely for my running shoes to last 1 year, let alone 40 years. But the people were not always thankful to God, instead they grumbled against God. But notice that God was testing them to know what was in their heart, if they were keeping the commandments or not.

So it wasn’t as easy as sitting on the couch with a full tummy, no you need to remember to Thank God.

The testing was there as our reading from Deuteronomy notes so that you would realize that you do not live by bread alone, it is not about the full tummy. Remember during the Reformation there was Three Solas, Sola Gratia (“only by grace alone”), Sola Fide (“only through faith alone”), and Sola Scriptura (“only through the Scriptures alone”). Please note there was no Sola Panem that would be for bread alone.

Jesus Himself would quote this passage in the great temptation from the devil, man does not live by bread alone but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord, again it is not about the full tummy.

Just as we prayed in the Collect, the prayer of the day, which reminded us the God provides for our needs in Body and Soul, not just the tummy, but also the soul. Again the needs of the Soul is not what the devil wants us to be concerned about. Again we hinder the devil and glorify God as we come the the Eucharist, that is Holy Communion which feeds and strengthens the soul. Eucharist which is the Greek meaning “thanksgiving”,

As St. Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 11:23–24 (ESV) 23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” The term “Eucharist” (thanksgiving) was used by the early Christian by the last 1st century. So giving thanks to God is not just of the things for the body, but also of the soul.

It is good to remember this National Day of Thanksgiving, by gather together in the Divine Service. Weather our tummies are full, or even if there is still want, we gather and celebrate the Eucharist, where Christ remembers us, as feeds us His Body and Blood. As our Lord Jesus Christ gave thanks we also give thanks, regardless what the past, present or future would be, we thank God. Remember what Christ has done. We realize that soon after Christ celebrated the Eucharist, He was betrayed, and crucified, but still, He have thanks.

So we celebrate the Eucharist, Blessing the Lord, giving thanks to God in all circumstances.

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

November 22, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Another Chance

Another Chance
Psalm 80:7–19
October 8, 2017

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

In the early Christian church, Christianity was still illegal. So if you neighbor through you were a Christian, the neighbor could just turn you in. Then came the judicial question, how do you know that the person is really a Christian. This question plagued some judges, until they realize that if you clear the room accept for the accused, and asked the accused if there were a Christian, you may get a positive answer of “Yes”, even though the sentence was death, you had Christians saying admitting they they were indeed a Christian. But what would happen when the Christian would deny their faith in a court room. The judge would often let them go, which then created a dilemma for the early Christian church. Would you receive back into the fellowship of the church someone who just renounced the Christian faith, especially after performing many Christian funerals for those who didn’t renounce the faith. Besides the Christian community was also trying to take care the of the families of those who had just lost a loved one. It wasn’t an easy answer, the but church, remember that even Peter who denied knowing Christ three times, was also restored by Christ after the resurrection. Another chance give by Christ, while we as humans often struggle with giving others another chance.

This look into early Christian church history gives us a glimpse into our Psalm text for today. From Psalm 80. The opening and closing verses of our reading has the first word as Restore, restore us. The first word says it all, restore, we need that restoration, that second chance.

But the Psalmist uses an illustration of a vine, which is symbolizes God’s people. v8 brought out of Egypt, given the promised land by moving out other nations. God’s people took root and filled the land, Where the vine even covered the mountains, showing how God’s people prospered, but then something happened. The walls which protected the vine were broken down, and the vine was ravaged. So there is a plea from the Psalmist for God to look down with references from your right hand and the son whom you made strong for yourself. Which is a beautiful reference to Jesus at the right hand of God, as we confess in the Creed. We know that Christ Jesus did come down from heaven and defeated devil by dieting on the cross for our restoration, but I am getting ahead of myself. The vine was burned with another call out to God, from the Psalmist The why behind this is coming, just like when God’s people would go into exile, because of their unbelief, vs 18 notes “Then we shall not turn back from you (if I may add again) give us life and we will call upon your name. You have to admire the Psalmist in his faith, knowing that God gives another chance.

While the Psalmist did not know the detail of God’s people into exile, nor the great salvation of Christ Jesus taking on flesh and blood and sacrificing Himself on the cross so that we have forgiveness, but the Psalmist did know of the gracious love and forgiveness that God brings.

While we may know the details of Christ atonement better than the Psalmist when the Psalmist wrote these words, however we may not always realize how much God loves sand restore us, like the Psalmist did. Why did I say that, well we like the early Christians, may also struggle with forgiving others, even after Christ has freely forgiven us.

Let’s take a look at the The Fifth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer: And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Luther writes: What does this mean?
We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins, or deny our prayer because of them.

We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment.

It is the last line that is the one that trips us up. Luther writes:
So we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

Ouch. Now we can see why the early Christians struggle with welcoming back those who denied the Christian faith. We also struggle, when someone sins against us.

This is why the prayer of the day, the collect has:
Gracious God, You gave Your Son into the hands of sinful men who killed Him. Forgive us when we reject Your unfailing love, and grant us the fullness of Your salvation. We realize that we will sin and reject God’s love.

When the Lord’s Prayer says forgive us “as we forgive those who trespass against us” may haunt us, but that is not the intent. God freely forgives our sins. Everyday we sin greatly, and God graciously forgives. You are forgiven. Period. You are forgiven not because you so freely forgive, but because of Christ. As we prayed the Collect we admit that we don’t freely forgive. We struggle with forgiving others. But when we do forgive, we have a confirmation, an assurance that we ourselves are also forgiven by God Himself, since God’s forgiveness is flowing through us to other people. As we can see that forgiveness flowing through us to others, we also see God forgiveness for ourselves, which is our Restoration.

The Psalmist begins and ends our text for today with Psalm 80:7 (ESV) 7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! God graciously shines His forgives upon us. Another Chance given by Christ. 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 7, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Lord’s Prayer

From Issues Etc

 Thy will be done
Listen Here

Forgive us our Tresspasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
listen here

 

Lead us not into temptation
Listen here Direct LinkListen Here

Written by dballa

September 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Posted in Lord's Prayer

2nd Petition of the Lord’s Prayer

Issues Etc
1726. Morning Chapel from Kramer Chapel, 6/22/17

Second Petition

What the Kingdom of God isn’t

Not a worldly kingdom

John 18:36 (ESV) 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

But since we are part of this world we often seek God’s Kingdom in this world. We do this by focusing on the improving this world environmentally.

“Caretakers of God’s Creation is a grassroots community of United Methodists who believe that a relationship with God’s creation and a ministry of caring for and healing the earth are integral to what it means to be a Christian and a United Methodist.”

Nothing wrong with taking care of the earth, it is ours to be caretakers of, but that is not God’s Kingdom.

Genesis 1:28–30 (ESV) 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

We also seek God’s Kingdom in this world by improving society. There is nothing wrong with feeding the hungry, helping the poor, for Christ directs us to help our neighbor, but it is not God’s Kingdom.

Deuteronomy 24:19–22 (ESV) 19 “When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over them again. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. 21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. 22 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this.

We also seek God’s Kingdom in this world through politics, when we think that certain political ideology will bring about God’s Kingdom. Nothing wrong with good government, actually the government is God’s gift to us, but it is not God’s Kingdom.

Romans 13:1–4 (ESV) 1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

Jesus reminds us that His Kingdom is that of Righteousness, not a worldly kingdom, even though the world is part of God’s Creation.

Colossians 1:16–17 (ESV) 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Paul tells us that God’s Kingdom is of righteousness, that is of Grace.
Romans 14:17 (ESV) 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Matthew what does Jesus say about the kingdom of heaven?
K not just in heave but something that takes place here and noe
It grows like a mustard seed
Leaves the lump
Treasure hidden in a field found and purchased
Way of salvation.

When j dies there was a sign the king of the of Jews

Their remember me when you come into your kingdom
K of go is j reigning over us have purchased us with his blood

How it comes
Strange let me come into your kingdom
But
We pray we cannot come into the kingdom the k must come to us.
Send in the troops
A prayer for freedom sin temptation
Into our lives now though his Word
Weapons not of the flesh

2 Corinthians 10:4–5 (ESV) 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

We pray for The ability to hear God Word which sets up his kingdom
Destroying false belief and setting up true faith.

When Christ comes again he will set up his k not just invisibility but visibility and permanently

Isn’t taking care of this world nor social gospel
Isn’t Christian nation

Is as Mathew notes when Jesus says the Kingdom of God is like….Christ saving activity

Thy

Written by dballa

August 5, 2017 at 6:41 pm