A meditation presented by Chaplain Pastor Mark Gullerud to the West Central District Delegate Conference of the CLC, Grace Lutheran Church, Valentine, Nebraska (May 24, 2011)
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:1-4, ESV Read More…
Post Tags christian life, daily life, missions, witness
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
In the first chapter of Acts we read the account of how Jesus, in the weeks leading up to His ascension, appeared to His disciples on various occasions and confirmed for them His great Easter victory. At this time He also informed them that He would soon bless them with power from on high that would enable them to serve as His gospel witnesses. After His departure to heaven He would use them as His instruments to broadcast far and wide in the world the news of His death-destroying, life-restoring work as mankind’s Savior. Read More…
When you read the following Bible words, you can be certain they are talking specifically about your heart—that it “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked...” (Jeremiah 17:5).
At first you might feel insulted. It’s normal—just your sinful flesh acting up. The original Hebrew words are frightening (the English is bad enough!). The situation is serious; you may have forgotten how and why.
In your heart there are two religions. Both come from superior beings. Both give revelations. Both have doctrines and writings. Both claim rulership over you. Both talk of sinfulness and forgiveness. Both have a doctrine of justification. Both have commandments. Both of them promise advantages (good) and to ward off disadvantages (evil). Both use the idea of fear, promise to provide knowledge, and promise to give eternal life. And both encourage worship and praise to be directed to them.
You are a Christian, and you believe that things in the previous paragraph pertain to Christianity. And so they do. Read More…
Dear family and friends of the bride and groom, and especially today, dear Jackie and Mac:
The text you’ve chosen is a most appropriate one for your wedding day. The setting is Old Testament Israel, where the people had recently conquered the Canaanites under the leadership of Joshua. The Lord, going before them, had won the battles. He had kept all of His promises to His people, to the last word.
Then the aging Joshua, after all the military campaigns, was about to retire from his post as commander in chief. They had reached a milestone, and they faced a fork in the road for their future. Joshua presented them with a choice—one of two options. They could choose to blend in with unbelieving world around them, OR they could resolve to remain faithful to the true LORD, their Deliverer.
Post Tags christian life, holy spirit, sanctification
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
According to our time-honored custom, we Christians celebrate three main festivals each year during the course of the Christian church year.
At CHRISTMAS we remember how God sent His Son Jesus to our world as a tiny child at Bethlehem that He might serve as our Redeemer from death, hell, and sin. With hearts brimming with joy we commemorate the birth of Christ. Read More…
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…
It seems that people of most every culture enjoy a good contest and/or an award.
Every year in our country we have Miss America and Mrs. America contests. There is the ‘Man of the Year,’ ‘Woman of the Year,’ and Person of the Decade. Various voters choose the Best Picture and Most Valuable Player.
Surely somewhere there must be a Valentine’s Day contest of some sort: best looking couple, most-in-love couple, best dancing couple. Even the late Paul Harvey had a daily most-years-of-wedded-bliss couple.
So why can’t we have such an award? Only instead of concentrating on cupids and hearts, flowers and candy, Hollywood love and Larry King’s marriage numbers, it would serve our purpose well to focus on the lives of some Biblical couples who were, no doubt, very much in love. In doing so, we stand to gain some insight into what true love is all about.
And the nominees are…
1) Adam and Eve
Not only was their wedding attended and officiated by God—they were the first married couple! Adam was a one-woman man and Eve a one-man woman. If not married the longest, their marriage was certainly in contention for being the longest!
2) Isaac and Rebecca
These two might be the poster couple for an ‘arranged marriage’ that worked and lasted! After Abraham’s servant had journeyed far, found Rebecca and brought her back to Palestine, we are given to believe that almost at first sight Isaac ‘loved her.’ Isaac may have been somewhat of a ‘mamma’s boy’ before, but Rebecca likely changed that quickly.
3) Joseph and Mary
Angel messengers, public scandal and contemplated divorce, heavenly intervention, miraculous conception and virgin birth, the Babe who was the Savior and Son of the Highest…. Surely these two were strong contenders based on the wedding/birth/Savior elements alone.
All in all, three couples
worthy of consideration!
And the winners of our Valentine’s Day contest are…a fourth coup:
Priscilla and Aquila!
If you disagree—and before you cry ‘foul’ or ‘obviously rigged’—consider the following. These two Christians were evidently close friends of the Apostle Paul. They had first met Paul in Corinth after they had been expelled from Rome by the Emperor Claudius (see Acts 18:2).
Their relationship with Paul was not hurt by the fact that all three of them were tentmakers. Obviously the couple was hospitable, for Paul stayed with them in Corinth while he taught there and preached Christ crucified and risen again. The Scripture records also indicate that church meetings were held in the home of this hospitable couple.
It seems likely that sometime during Paul’s stay in Corinth, Aquila and Priscilla put their lives on the line for the apostle. In his Epistle to the Romans Paul wrote: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles” (16:3-4).
And when Paul departed Corinth for Syria, Aquila and Priscilla were with him. At Ephesus this dynamic couple met the equally dynamic Apollos who, though he was “fervent in spirit” and “spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord,” yet “he knew only the baptism of John.” Hence Aquila and Priscilla “took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:25-26).
After further travels, Aquila and Priscilla ended up back in Ephesus.
We don’t have all the details, but it seems obvious that this couple served God effectually and faithfully for years. And when all is said and done, this is what a truly Christian life and marriage is all about, is it not?!
In what might be called a ‘love’ chapter (1 John 4), John testified that ‘God is love,’ ‘love is of God,’ and ‘everyone who loves is born of God.’ He also said that ‘we love Him because He first loved us,’ and God ‘sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
Working, hosting, helping, evangelizing for Christ, praying, sacrificing, serving, teaching, suffering and traveling together—always together for a lifetime! Always together in Christ—giving honor and glory to God in everything!
If that’s not true love, what is?
Aquila and Priscilla – our Valentine Life Award winners!