December 28, 2007
Earlier this month I was listening to the KFUO program Law and Gospel with host Tom Baker. He mentioned briefly during his program his study “Ten weeks of JUST WORDS”. Tom’s words persuaded me to buy the study. When I went to the website to buy the book there was an order page but there was no shopping cart or secure ordering that I am so used to when I order books. It took me a few minutes to figure out that he sends the order and then you send in a check after you receive the order. First I thought… Wow! Then I thought if you can’t trust a Lutheran who wants to study Christian/Lutheran materials who can you trust?
All of that to say, I finished the the study and I found it to be outstanding. I would recommend it to laypersons like me who need to review their Lutheran roots or who once in a while just like to get back to the basics. It was not just a study for the head but It really speaks to the heart. Each of the ten studies take a biblical word and unpacks each word so that you end up with a renewed appriciation for God’s work of grace in our lives.
I also ordered “Ten weeks of MORE JUST WORDS” and I am starting this study with the same enthusiasm I had with the first study.
Now to the main point of this post. I have been having these thoughts for a while. While doing the study of “Ten weeks of JUST WORDS” my thought of late became all the more magnified. Why aren’t Lutherans more open and vocal about sharing the Gospel? If it is such good news don’t we need to tell somebody?
December 21, 2007
I received my first 30 pocket sized booklets of the Gospels of John from http://www.pocketpower.org. I am looking forward to using these as a tool to share the good news of God’s free gift of eternal life throught Jesus Christ.
I printed a small insert that I glued to the the front inside cover.
Just like this FREE Gospel of John, the gift of God’s grace and pardon for sin is also free. You can’t buy it. You can’t earn it. You simply accept it. Jesus Christ did it all.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. – Gospel of John Chapter 1 Verses 12-13
How can we keep the good news to ourselves when each day we grow in our realization of what God has done for us.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10 (ESV)
December 17, 2007
I recently purchased the New Testament on CD to listen to while I am driving. I bought the English Standard Version. I really like it because it is only narration without music or sound effects. It’s hard for me to listen to a dramatized version or versions with music because I find myself analyzing the musical scores, the instrumentation, and not listening to the Scriptures. I enjoy listening to the ESV. I have listened to many of the discs over and over. One day as I was listening to the Gospel of Luke. The narrator was reading chapter 22. I love this portion of Luke. This day I did not like what I heard.
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is… given …ban ban mu ne na na na… This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
What? “…ban ban mu ne na na na…” What is this? Did I hear this right. I listened again. “…ban ban mu ne na na na…” Having some experience with sound editing I knew what it was but I did not want to believe that I heard it on my disc. It couldn’t have been in a more awkward place. The Lord’s Supper! When narrators make a mistake they will say something that will allow them to get back into the flow of the narration. Sometimes they will say something like “…1234…4321…” and pick up the narration. The sound engineers will edit and remove all of this and you get a nice clean final product. This narrator (Max McLean) used “…ban ban mu ne na na na…” They missed this one. I started thinking about solutions. I could “rip” the cd to an mp3 file and then edit chapter 22 and take out the “…ban ban mu ne na na na…” and then everything would be perfect.
That’s when I realized we can’t “edit” and “clean up” everything that happens in our lives. We seem to strive for a nice clean final product. We make mistakes. We are human. We sin. The way I see it we have two options. We can cover things up or we can come before our Heavenly Father and say to Him… “…ban ban mu ne na na na…” and receive His mercy and forgiveness.
Since that realization I now listen to my disc with Luke 22 on it with a smile. I thank God that He fully loves us in our raw and unedited version.
December 10, 2007
Read – Mt 3:1-12
I have heard and read this gospel reading so many times and I was always the one saying… “Go John!” “Give it to those Pharisees!” I always saw myself as the bystander watching the forerunner of Christ really giving it to those guys and I really enjoyed hearing them get what they had coming to them. “Preach it John!” But, this year there has been a great shift. As a result of learning and understanding more about God’s holy attributes I could now see that John is talking to me. It’s true. All that I can bring to God is my sin. Because of Christ, it is removed and I now have Christ’s righteousness. Now my lips can sing praise to God for what He has done. Praise to God is the fruit of my repentance.
December 7, 2007
For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. – Phil 3:18 (NIV)
Lately I’ve read a lot or articles and heard Christian radio programs mocking the prosperity preachers we all know. I would never side with any of these Theologians of Glory who preach ME, ME, ME. My concern is that I have not seen any tear stains on their articles or heard weeping coming from my radio speakers. It has to break your heart to think of the numbers of people coming to hear the “ME Gospel”. In place of the mocking, the sound bites, and the “clever” commentary about these “money changers”, we should be moved to tears in the same way Paul was for the Philippians who let the things of this world rob them of the truth.
December 5, 2007
The Pocket Testament League is a ministry that mobilizes and
equips Christians to read, carry and share the Word of God.
December 3, 2007
Read – Luke 17:11-19
I have been thinking about the ten lepers that Jesus healed. I began wondering what the ten lepers were thinking after they realized they were healed. The Bible only tells us what one of the ten did. Preachers ponder and preach these scenarios and I bet we all muse over the way it might have gone down. Here’s what each leper might have been thinking on their way to show themselves to the priest…
“I‘m going to hang out at the temple and never leave. I’ll be safe there.”
“My first book deal. I sense a best seller. I’ll be rich.”
“Now I can party with those chicks I always see hanging around the temple.”
“Why should I go show myself to a priest? That’s never been my thing.”
“Now it’s all about me.”
“My skin is looks ok but I know a doctor near the temple who can work wonders.”
“I knew my positive attitude would make it all work out my way.”
“I’m going to be the next American Idol.”
“I need to be appointed to public office to keep all lepers off the streets.”
“I must run back and fall on my face at the feet of God to worship Him and give Him thanks.”
December 1, 2007
Lutheran By Choice
In Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation in May 1518 Thesis 26 states…
The law says, “Do this,” and it is never done.
Grace says, “believe in this,” and everything is already done.
After you meditate on these words a while it puts our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in proper perspective. We can do nothing. God in His mercy has done everything. All praise to God!