Praying With Jesus: Good Friday

Today is one of the most important days of the year. It is Good Friday the day Jesus died on the cross. I am always asked by the kids in chapel why is this day called good, when the most terrible thing happened? Here is the answer.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

I remember a story told by St Jerome who was an early translator of the Bible. As told by him he went to Jerusalem and Bethlehem for a time of study and prayer and one night he had a dream. In this dream Jesus appeared to him and Jerome gave him everything he had. Jesus did not want those things. Then Jerome gave him all of his money. Jesus did not want that. What would you like? Jerome asked. Jesus replied, “Your sins.”

The day is called ‘good” because we find that Jesus takes our sins upon himself so that we might have the righteousness of God. In ways we do not always understand Jesus became our sin so that we might know the amazing love and grace of God.

Thank you for this day Jesus. For all that you did for me I am amazed by the magnitude of your grace. This day truly is good.

Pastor Dave

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Praying With Jesus: Turn Me To You

We have started Holy Week and one of the things Jesus did this week caused quite a commotion in the Temple.

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it `a den of robbers.” The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. (Mark 11:15-18)

Have you ever been challenged on something you are doing? The chief priests were taken aback by the boldness and the words of Jesus. Was it a den of robbers? Jesus found that the Temple had lost it’s way and became an institution and not a house of prayer. We always have to take these words to heart and be reminded that the church is here to be a house of prayer. That is connecting people to God in the various newer methods of today and the tried and true ways that have worked in all of history. Lent is in fact one of the oldest seasons of the church year and goes back way before people celebrated Christmas. This week reminds us that faith is never business as usual. Sometimes church and our lives walking with God can get stuck in a routine. Maybe there is a table in your life that needs to be flipped. It looks to be messy but it can open up new ways of seeing Jesus in faith and how he impacts your daily life.

Jesus, you turned many things upside down. Turn me so that my life is filled with your presence and help make my life a life filled with prayer.

Pastor Dave

Don’t Judge Me! – Sermon Follow-Up

matthew7_3-5“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
-Matthew 7:1-5

“Don’t judge me!” has become a common phrase in our society.  When someone does something that considered inappropriate or just plain wrong and sinful, but they want to keep doing it, they just pull out this verse and declare that no one should judge their actions.

That’s not what this passage is really about, though. [Read more…]

Old Testament Tuesday: The Sweet Allure of Sin

genesis3_6When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
-Genesis 3:6

Ah, sin.  It’s vile.  It’s evil.  It’s destructive.  It’s…so…attractive.

When satan tempted Eve in the garden, she looks at the forbidden fruit and it seemed good to her. [Read more…]

What Did I Do?

james4_17“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
-James 4:17

When God gave the Israelites the 10 Commandments, there were a lot of “Do not”s.  Do not murder.  Do not steal.  Do not lie.  However, sin isn’t just about doing things that are wrong.  We also sin when we don’t do things that are right.  When you read Luther’s Small Catechism, you see that every commandment that was negative also had a positive.  Don’t murder, but do help to protect your neighbor from harm…and so on. [Read more…]

Blasphemy!!

2372380026_8da882963a_z“And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”
-Matthew 12:31

Hey, wait a minute, pastor. If Jesus died for all sins, why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit not forgiven? [Read more…]

As a Dog Returns to His…

4451707157_15d8e883ff_z“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
-Proverbs 26: 11

Some Proverbs hit you right between the eyes, this is one of those. I have to confess that I am a dog lover. Our dog Buddy I have to think is the most popular member of the family at all times. Still I have seen dogs do this in my lifetime and it is a shocking behavior. [Read more…]

I’d Never Do THAT!!

matthew7_3-5Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
-Matthew 7:3

There are some really rotten people in the world aren’t there?   Like those people who use foul language.  I’d never to that!  Or those people who have driven after drinking too much.  I’d never do that!  Then there are those people who… [Read more…]

The Wage or the Gift?

romans6_23Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wages are something that you earn. Gifts are something that you are given without earning.

The book of Genesis in the Bible says that a long time ago everything was very good. That was right after God created people. He looked at His creation (everything) and said that it was very good. The first two humans, Adam and Eve, were living in a perfect world, in a perfect creation. They were given the gift of life and they were given all creation as an inheritance from God. [Read more…]

Devotion – February 4, 2016 – Natural Consequences

proverbs1_29,31Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD … they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
—Proverbs 1:29,31

As a parent, there are generally two ways I discipline my daughter.  Sometimes I impose a consequence for her actions such as sitting in time out or losing electronics for the day.  Other times, however, I don’t have to impose anything.  Nature takes care of it for me.  I simply have to get out the way, just not step in and prevent the natural consequence. [Read more…]

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