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Church Year

Christmas reminds us that…THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY SEEM

Pastor Paul Naumann • Tacoma, Washington

“Appearances can be deceiving.”

No one knows the truth of that statement more fully than does a Christian.

Most people understand the principle. They keep it in mind as a salutary warning against the false and deceptive product advertising that floods the media in our day. They use it to bolster their defenses against the subtle tricks of con men on the street and scam artists on the internet.Read More »Christmas reminds us that…THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY SEEM

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!

Where is Heaven?

Forty days after His resurrection Jesus
made His triumphant return to heaven.

At an elevated place on the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12) the apostles witnessed the extraordinary, supernatural sight of Jesus being “carried up into heaven” (Luke 4:51). They saw Jesus rising bodily from the Earth to disappear from human view as “a cloud received Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9).

According to Holy Scripture and as confessed in the three ecumenical Christian creeds (Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian), at Jesus’ ascension He “sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). 

According to Holy Scripture and as confessed in the three ecumenical Christian creeds (Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian), at Jesus’ ascension He “sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). Having completed His earthly mission of vanquishing sin, death, and the devil for us, Jesus assumed His exalted Read More »Where is Heaven?

Easter Customs or Jesus?

One gets concerned with all the baskets, eggs, and candy displayed before the eyes of our children this time of year. Long ago I tired of this blatant attempt to dishonor and discredit the most important day in the Christian church year, so my children and I used an old shoebox to make a replica of an Easter tomb. After the children had done some earth-tone painting on the box, I would painstakingly cut an opening in one side and then reseal the opening.

My children would wake up to see that during the night “miraculously” the tomb’s door would be open and the insides found EMPTY!
It helped teach them a great lesson. Our Lord’s PHYSICAL resurrection is the crowning proof and assurance from the Father that all Jesus came to accomplish has been accepted as payment in full for the sins of the world. Therefore our salvation is certain. Our children were not confused about the Easter Bunny playing any part in our salvation.

Now, the Christian faith is lacking something that almost every other religion in the world has: a dead man’s bones! Whereas other religions have a grave or a tomb containing the bones of its “saint,” the tomb of Jesus Christ is empty! Read More »Easter Customs or Jesus?

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!

The Privilege of Prayer

“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them” 

(Psalm 145:18-19)

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could pick up the telephone and talk to the President of the United States and share our problems with him? Wouldn’t it be even better if he could actually give individual attention to each and every one of us?

Of course, there is no way the President could address the individual concerns of over 300 million citizens. The current President and others have gone to the scene of some calamity to share in the sorrows and to comfort the stricken, but even as the national leader arrives at one scene, other scenes of loss and distress are occurring elsewhere.

Now let’s consider that we do have the “open access” privilege with the King, the great God, our Father in heaven, who can indeed help us and who can and does care in a very personal way about each and every citizen of His Kingdom.

We have a Ruler in heaven who has power to deliver us from every evil, for He has loved us and sent His Son to redeem us. We can come to Him with all our hurts, all our concerns, and He promises to hear us. He sympathizes with us in our weaknesses and in our sorrows.

How wondrous it is that our Heavenly Father cares about and has compassion Read More »The Privilege of Prayer

Jesus’s Baptism

Seeing Our Lord’s Glory

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”   (Matthew 3:13-17)

We have now entered the season of Epiphany.Epiphany means “to show forth or manifest.” It is a time in the church year when we see our Savior as the One in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

We want to see Jesus as the almighty Savior-God who came with all power to save our lost and fallen world. During the Advent and Christmas seasons we witnessed our Savior through the eyes of faith as the lowly Christ-Child born in a stable and laid in a manger—seemingly helpless. But now it is time to see our Savior as the eternally blessed God who came with all power to save sinful mankind through His holy life and innocent death in our place.Read More »Jesus’s Baptism