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Pastor Paul Krause

God’s Gift Giving

Years ago in my hometown an elderly woman crafted new pairs of mittens for my brother, my sister, and me every Christmas. It wasn’t that this lady had forgotten what she had given us the year before. But she knew that the mittens she had made the previous year would likely wear out over the winter. She also knew that we children were still growing and would need larger sizes. So out of the goodness of her heart she dedicated her time and effort to keep our hands warm.

But our family friend isn’t the only one who has given us the same Christmas gift every year. Our heavenly Father has too—for countless years! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”
(John 3:16).

Of course, we know that Jesus is not born as a Bethlehem Baby each and every year. Our annual Christmas celebration is a remembering of the first time God’s Gift was given, when Jesus was “born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

That one-time, God-given Gift should remind each of us every year of what changes…and of what doesn’t change!Read More »God’s Gift Giving



That may not have been the exact word that the prophet Ananias spoke, but it does convey his incredulity at the Lord’s instruction.

There is none better to do mission work, to share the gospel
of the Savior with others,
than you and I. 

The Lord had commanded the prophet in a vision to go to the place where Saul of Tarsus was waiting for him. But the only type of “waiting for him” Ananias could envision was in line with what Saul was known for doing:

“Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name” (Acts 9:13-14). 

It was as much as to say, …Him?!”

…Him?!” Ananias saw an enemy of the Savior. But God saw one who would be a great witness to His love, grace, and forgiveness.

Ah, yes! Things had changed concerning Saul since the last time Ananias had heard of him—for now Saul was praying! He was no longer the rabid enemy of Christ and His people that he had been, but he was a “chosen vessel” of the Lord “to bear [His] name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel” (9:15).Read More »“…Him?!”

A Remembrance of Sin— a Remembrance of Him!

 What comes to mind with the word

Before the horrific event that occurred two months ago, a person may well have associated that city’s name with the Tea Party or the marathon or even the music group popular in the 70s and 80s.

That was until April 15, 2013! Ever since then what people will associate with the city of Boston has drastically changed. That was the date those bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston marathon, killing a few and seriously injuring many others.

What comes to mind with the word

The divinely inspired author of the epistle to the Hebrews tells us what the answer would have been among the Jews in the centuries before Christ. In their sacrifices there was a constant reminder of sins (10:3). Year in and year out—even day after day—countless animal sacrifices on the altar at theRead More »A Remembrance of Sin— a Remembrance of Him!

Noah, Daniel, and Job can’t save!

“…Even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in [the land], as I live, says the Lord God, they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.” (Ezekiel 14:20)

What do Noah, Daniel, and Job have in common? Each was well known for his righteousness. We read that “Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations” (Genesis 6:9). Of Job we are told that he was “a blameless and upright man (Job 1:8). And by the time of the prophet Ezekiel, Daniel’s life had also shown him to be a righteous follower of the Lord in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (see Daniel chapter 1).

And why are these three men in particular mentioned in the book of Ezekiel? For the simple reason that, as our text says, even if they were in the land, they would not be able to save the Jews from the destruction to come at the hands of the Babylonians.

God had sent prophets through whom He warned, encouraged, and pleaded with His people, but still they continued their idol worship. In His loving grace the Lord had shown great patience with them, but the Jews continued to rely on themselves for strength, to depend on their physical ancestry as an “in” with God. Read More »Noah, Daniel, and Job can’t save!

Love Your Enemies

It has happened that in the process of pursuing a worthwhile goal something else happens which was also good.
Several inventions have happened in such an “accidental” way. Play-Doh was initially marketed as wall-paper cleaner to get rid of soot from solid-fuel stoves. Post-It notes came about when one man who had concocted a “low-tack” adhesive which remained sticky after several uses met another man who needed bookmarks that wouldn’t slip out of place in his hymnal. Read More »Love Your Enemies

Children of God By Grace Alone!

As we read in the Gospel of Luke chapter 1, when the eighth day came for Zacharias and Elizabeth’s new baby boy to be circumcised, it was assumed that he would be given his father’s name,  according to the custom of the times.Such was not the case here—not even close! When Zacharias had been struck speechless for his unbelief regarding his fathering a son in his advanced age, we are told, “They all marveled” when Zacharias wrote: “His name is John” (Luke 1:63).

Read More »Children of God By Grace Alone!

A Lenten Devotion “Jesus … went forward” A Lenten Devotion “Jesus … went forward”

By the time candidates for public office have thrown their names into the ring, they have already thought things through long and hard. They know from previous election cycles just what to expect on the campaign trail, especially when running for the presidency. Knowing what is ahead, they have to decide if they want to go forward in spite of all. Read More »A Lenten Devotion “Jesus … went forward” A Lenten Devotion “Jesus … went forward”

Are we ready yet?

Our family has never been good about leaving home–not to mention starting on time!

It is certainly not for lack of practice. Living some 1,500 miles from “family” in the Midwest meant an almost-annual cross-country pilgrimage.

But practice never did make perfect. When we had high hopes of leaving by 7:00 a.m., maybe 8:00 at the latest, we usually had the last things stowed and the last child buckled in closer to 10:00 or 11:00 a.m.Read More »Are we ready yet?

The Beatitudes

“1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you….” Matthew 5:1-12 Read More »The Beatitudes

Worthless Worship

Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, Read More »Worthless Worship