Without Me you can nothing

One could not help being impressed with the skill, endurance, the determination, the speed of the participants in the Olympic games and competition.  “How fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) is a godly conclusion as one observes the skill of the gymnast, the precision of the diver, coordination of the ball player, the strength of the lifter, or the speed of the runner.  Noticeably absent however, as these events were televised and the medalists congratulated, was any reference to God.  The viewer was left with the impression that success is only the result of hard work, determination, and good coaching, and the goal that of the Biblical Tower of Babel builders, “Let us make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 11:4).

When God is left out there is room only for a proud and arrogant spirit.  Confessing one’s sins doesn’t fit.  Admitting one’s helplessness before God is an incongruity.  Yet the Lord Christ reminds us, “Without Me you can nothing” (John 15:5).  Scripture is clear, “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:9).  “Whoever exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).  All the glories of mankind will fade away.  The gifts of God in Christ will endure forever.   Come to Peace Lutheran Church.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

Everyone does what is right in his own eyes

The “Dear Abby” column printed in the TEXARKANA GAZETTE reflects a change in standard.  The Christian milieu assumed that God gave a standard for sex life in the commandment, “You shall not commit adultery!”  This standard protected God’s order for marriage, “One man for one woman in a life- long, exclusive relationship.”  Now our nation has come to a new standard, which is not new:  “Everyone does what is right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:5).  As in the “Abby” column, men complain about girlfriends refusing to have sex with them, or a woman wanting to revert back to a same sex relationship to the considered abandonment of husband and  children, and “Dear Abby” makes no judgment of what is right or wrong.

This may sound to some as having achieved a new freedom, but one need only go back to the Bible book of Judges to see the heartache, murder, war, and misery when “everyone did what was right in their own eyes.”  In THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE the author recognizes the abandonment of God’s standard of sexual morality as one of the main causes.  This nation will be no exception.  God give us the grace to repent, seek His forgiveness, and walk humbly in conformity to His standard.   Come to Peace Lutheran Church.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

Conflicts In Life

Conflicts that divide are the result of sin, whether these conflicts are in families, between nations, races, or neighbors.  It has been so since the fall of Adam into sin.  Christianity, on the one hand, is a source of healing and reconciliation.  As with Jew and Gentile, the Apostle Paul writes, “He (Christ) is our peace who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us…to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace” (Ephesians 2:14-18).  Peace is possible through the example and power of Christ: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).

On the other hand, Christianity is a cause of division and conflict.  Jesus said, “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth?  I tell you, not at all, but rather division” (Luke 1251).  The first two brothers born into the world experienced this division (Genesis 4:3-8).  “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which He obtained witness that he was righteous” (Hebrews 11:4).  We have no record of Abel taunting his brother, “Na, Na, God likes me but you are going to hell!  He merely did what every Christian is called to do, proved his life of faith by love and kindness toward his brother.  Nevertheless, Cain became angry to the point of killing his brother.  This is played out in the world today, especially in Iraq and Syria, and will be seen in America as more people turn to unbelief.  Christians must be strong in the Lord, because as Jesus warned, “You will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9).   Come to Peace Lutheran Church to be made strong in the Lord, for enduring the hatred of the world and to be messengers of reconciliation.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

Don’t Worry

Our Lord Jesus Christ admonished His disciples, “Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will put on.  For life is more than food and the body more than clothing” Luke 12:22-34).  Simply stated He is saying, “Do not worry!”

In our socialistic climate government and politicians also tell us not to worry.  They seek to relieve all worrying by promising to redistribute wealth in such a way that there will “be a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”  The problem with these promises is that they make government god, and these gods can be excessively cruel as seen in communist Russian, Nazi Germany, or today’s Venezuela.

Our Lord is inviting us to trust in our heavenly Father who provides for the birds and clothes the lilies of the field, so relieving us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.  He further promises, “Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).  Combine this with the promise: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32).  Trusting His promises we shall not worry.  Come to Peace Lutheran Church.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

The Blessing of Marriage

Recently at a wedding in Casper, Wyoming, over 400 people came together to pray for and cheer on a young couple as they vowed  to be faithful to each other “for better for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, hold to each other until death us do part.”  In a time when marriage is being redefined, when many of the younger generation despise marriage by choosing to live together apart from the marriage vows, when “no fault divorce” undermines the marriage commitment—it is refreshing and uplifting that so many come together to affirm the Biblical definition of marriage:  One man for one woman in a life-long, exclusive relationship.

What a blessing to the culture, to the nation, to the neighborhood, to children when this definition of marriage is upheld!  What a blessing to the Church, for it is in this setting that children are most readily brought up in the Christian faith.  May God give to every confessing Christian the courage to openly and publicly affirm God’s definition of marriage!  Come to Peace Lutheran Church for encouragement.  Sunday Service time is 10:00 a.m.

Pray for Those in Authority

When the news media repeatedly report that police kill unarmed and innocent men, many unthinking people will begin to see the police as the enemy.  Not only does this place a target on the back of the police, it dissolves the one restraint of evil intent such as murder, stealing, and crimes of passion.  With such one sided reporting the media must accept much of the blame for the recent murder of police officers.

God gives government to restrain evil in this sinful world (1 Peter 2:13-14; Romans 13:1-5).  When government, of which police are an arm, fails, the evil person is no longer afraid to murder, steal, or destroy. This is chaos.  History has shown that this opens the way for a totalitarian regime which people will welcome with open arms, preferring tyranny over chaos.

The problem arises from the fact that government is made up of sinful people.  Our founding fathers, familiar with the Bible teaching that all people are sinful, provided a system of checks and balances.  The Bible teaches us to pray for “all who are in authority that we may lead quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Tim. 2:2).  Come pray at Peace Lutheran Church.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.