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Reformation—An Act of God’s Grace!

COVER STORY – REFORMATION

When we think of the Lutheran Reformation, we no doubt think of great men like Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Johannes Bugenhagen, and others. They were all front and center in bringing back the glorious truths of “Scripture Alone,” especially our salvation by “Grace Alone,” through “Faith Alone.” However, the Reformation was not just about the grace of God, the Reformation itself was a wonderful act of His grace.

Mankind always has a propensity for turning away from God but has no power to turn back to Him. Psalm 81:11-12 says of the nation of Israel, “But My people would not heed My voice, and Israel would have none of Me. So I gave them over to their own stubborn hearts, to walk in their own counsels.” (ESV)Read More »Reformation—An Act of God’s Grace!

The Real Normal

 

DEVOTION—BACK-TO-SCHOOL

“Welcome to the new normal!” “I wish things could get back to normal!” “Finally, we’re getting back to normal!”

I have heard (and even expressed) similar sentiments since new guidance, mandates, and rules began to upset our lives a year ago last March. But I would ask you, what is “normal,” and do we really want to return to it? This question is especially fitting when it comes to our Christian schools, which will be opening their doors to students again this month.

“Normal” describes that which is expected, that which is considered typical. So, what was normal before the pandemic? Parents murdering their children, legally and illegally; people cheating and stealing from one another; political turmoil; areas of our world devastated by war and poverty; and, oh yes, we did have disease and death before COVID-19! Is this a world that we can call “normal” by any stretch of the imagination? Is this what we want to go back to?

God had a much higher standard for the world when He created it. “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) In the beginning plants, animals, nature, and mankind all worked together in perfect order and harmony with the Creator. That was God’s idea of normal! Yet man had a different idea from God’s. His rebellion against God in the Garden brought nothing but the disharmony and destruction mentioned earlier.Read More »The Real Normal

“Welcome Back to Church!”

COVER STORY – RETURN TO CHURCH

During the past year of pandemic isolation, we all have been very thankful to God that He has provided us with the means to share His Word through live streaming and other venues. Thanks be to God that He has spared the large majority of our members from severe health problems due to the virus! Now that restrictions have been eased and the danger has subsided somewhat, it’s a good time to remind each other of the blessings of in-person fellowship.

The word fellowship has to do with sharing. Church fellowship can be described as “whatever Christians do together as spiritual partners.” Examples include worship, prayer, singing hymns and spiritual songs, sharing the Lord’s Supper, Christian education, mutual encouragement in God’s Word, and mission work.

God wants to bless His believers through the interactive exercise of their faith with others who share the same beliefs in Jesus, founded on the truth of His Word. This fellowship that we share was never meant to be purely passive. Yes, it’s possible to do these things in a limited way from a distance, but the best blessings come when you give as well as receive:Read More »“Welcome Back to Church!”