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A Perfect Prayer from Our Perfect Lord

DEVOTION – LORD’S PRAYER

“Our Father who art in heaven.” 

We address the heavenly Father who sent His beloved Son to save us from our sins and in His amazing grace chose us to be His children. Just as a three-year-old child is unafraid to ask her dad for whatever is on her heart, let us boldly bring our prayer to the Father Who made us and saved us.

“Hallowed be Thy name.” 

What we say and do can either ruin our family name or bring glory to it. Jesus teaches us to pray that the Father’s name, which we carry with us as His children, would be holy among us by what we say and what we do. Because only the Bible identifies who our Father is and describes all that He has done to save us, we pray that His Word would be taught faithfully among us. Pray for our pastors, professors, teachers (Sunday school and parochial), and missionaries who proclaim the Father’s name to you.Read More »A Perfect Prayer from Our Perfect Lord

On Watch

DEVOTION – ADVENT

 “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”  (Mark 13:37)

“Place your order today to receive it by December 24.” Modern shipping services are pretty remarkable. Most orders we place online arrive on our doorstep three days later. If we’re in a real pinch, we can pay extra and receive that package by the very next day. Using our smart phone or computers, we can even track those Christmas gifts we ordered and learn the day of their arrival. The more important the package, the more we want to be aware of when it will arrive.

Each Sunday, the church keeps tracking another, more important arrival—an arrival that will change everything forever! “He shall come again to judge the quick [the living] and the dead” we confess to one another in the Apostles’ Creed.Read More »On Watch

A Fruitful Christian Life

In our family, there are few things we enjoy more than a freshly picked tomato out of our garden. As I write this article, the soil has been prepared and the tomato plants are in the garden and have been caged. We know that we will have to make sure the plants are watered and protected from little hands over the coming months. Our hope is that by the time this August edition of the Lutheran Spokesman arrives, we will be harvesting some of the first-fruits from our tomato plants.

However, those fresh tomatoes are not going to magically appear in our backyard. Nor are those plants going to survive if they are not regularly watered. We need the plant first, and then we need to take care of the plant in order to enjoy those delicious, vine-ripened tomatoes.Read More »A Fruitful Christian Life

Our New Life in the Risen Christ

DEVOTION – NEW LIFE

The year is 1753, in America. As long as you can remember, you have had to obey every whim of your master. He determines everything you do. He tells you when to get up and when to go to bed. He determines what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat. He even picks your spouse for you and sells your children at the slave market. You have no rights and no hope of freedom. There is no underground railroad to freedom, no Abraham Lincoln defending your cause, and no hope of an Emancipation Proclamation.

You are a slave.

But then someone comes along, someone you’ve never met, someone you’ve never done anything for, and says he will help you. He will pay the ransom price to free you from this horrid, hellish slave owner. Having been freed, what then? Would you choose to go back to that slave owner and serve him again? Wouldn’t you instead want to use your newly given freedom to live for the one who set you free?Read More »Our New Life in the Risen Christ

“He is Elijah, Who is to Come”

There are few Old Testament Bible accounts that captivate one’s imagination more than the story of the prophet Elijah.

Elijah served as the Lord’s mouthpiece in the northern Kingdom of Israel during the reign of wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. The nation was rife with idolatry. The Lord used Elijah to show the folly of worshiping Baal (the rain-god) and Asherah (the moon-goddess and consort of Baal), and hoped thereby to call the people to repentance. At Elijah’s word, there was no rain in Israel for three and a half years, and at his word, rain returned to the land. At Elijah’s word, the Lord sent fire from heaven to consume the waterlogged sacrifice and stones on Mount Carmel. When the Lord’s work for Elijah was complete, the Lord took His faithful servant, body and soul, to heaven.Read More »“He is Elijah, Who is to Come”

Election Coverage

Election coverage seems as if it has been going on “forever.” But in reality, it was only last spring when candidates began announcing their campaigns to be the next President of the United States. Since then, the news media have been covering the campaigns and discussing things like polls, “favorability,” and “electability.” Such coverage will continue until the election on November 8th.

Let’s consider a much grander, more glorious kind of election. This election really has been from “forever.” The Apostle Paul writes that this election took place “before time began” (2 Timothy 1:9), “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).Read More »Election Coverage

The One Thing Needed

This year it is especially heartening to note that there are three schools in the Church of the Lutheran Confession that are either starting up fresh, or have plans to reopen.

“And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her’” Luke 10:41-42

Parents find plenty to worry about. We worry about what our kids are eating, who they are playing with, where they are, and where they have been. Having seen so many changes in society in our lifetime, we worry what the future of our community, our nation, and our world will look like for our children and grandchildren.Buildingblocks_small

In Luke 10, Martha was also worried and troubled. She was trying to be a good hostess for Jesus, while her sister Mary just sat at His feet listening to Him. But Jesus commends Mary’s choice: “One thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” While Martha was busying herself with things that would come and go with time, Mary had eternity on her mind. She chose to sit at the feet of Jesus, and hear the words of eternal life from the Lord of Life. Nothing, not even death itself, could rob her of this “good part” which she had chosenRead More »The One Thing Needed

FAITHFUL

DEVOTION – FATHER’S DAY

FAITHFUL

On the third Sunday of June, we are given the opportunity to reflect with thanksgiving on the blessings of our fathers. We buy cards, neckties, and golf balls to show our appreciation to those who worked so hard to raise us, train us, and provide for us.

We are especially thankful for faithful Christian fathers who took seriously the Lord’s call to “. . . bring [their children] up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). In addition to making sure their children had food, clothing, and shelter, these faithful fathers made sure they heard the Word Read More »FAITHFUL

“…A Savior, who is Christ the Lord”

AnointedOneReading through the four Gospels—particularly during the days leading up to the birth of Jesus—one often finds many of God’s people anxiously looking for ‘the Christ.’

The good news which the angels brought to the shepherds was that a Savior had been born “who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

Simeon was promised that before he would die, he would see “the Lord’s Christ (Luke 2:26).Read More »“…A Savior, who is Christ the Lord”

The Reformation Blessing Above All Others

Martin_luther_BWartMany blessings of the Reformation of the 1500’s still affect us today.

We could mention having a Bible translation in our native tongue, having many hymns to sing praises to God, putting into practice the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers (that Christ has given every believer—not just to the pope and his priests—the keys to forgive or to retain sins), and parents and pastors using Luther’s Small Catechism to instruct children in the basic Bible teachings.Read More »The Reformation Blessing Above All Others