Monthly Archives: March 2011
24 hours of uninterrupted study of Holy Scripture. Live. In person at Issues Etc.org This is one of the best shows out there in Christian Talk Radio. And for 24 hours straight, without interruption, you will hear nothing but pure Gospel awesomeness, as Pastor Todd Wilken discusses 12 books of the Bible with 12 of the best and brightest Pastors and Seminary Professors God has gifted to the LCMS. Isaiah, Revelation, Daniel, Mark, Ephesians, Psalms, and 1 Corinthians will be covered. Wilken and guest will spend two full hours on each book.
Make some time with the family, your youth group, Bible Study class, men’s group, women’s group, spouse, friends, etc. and study the Scriptures for a couple of hours. It will be the best time you have spent on a Friday night in a long, long time. Your kids always beg to stay up late on a Friday night, now you have no excuse not to let them. Mark April 8, 2011 beginning at 4:00 p.m. Central Time until Saturday April 9, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 9, 2011, a fundraiser is being held at the Factory in Franklin, Tennessee to benefit Our Savior Lutheran Academy. The cost is $35.00 per person, Grandparents $25.00. The price will be $50.00 at the door. There will be dinner and entertainment featuring our very own Jennie Williamson and Ben Glover, 2010 ASCAP Christian songwriter of the year. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Micah Glover of Trust Guy Ministries. Dr. Parker is a featured speaker at the wildly successful Lutheran Hour Ministries Regional Outreach Conferences. He also speaks at youth conferences, apologetic conferences, and other outreach gatherings throughout the country. You can find out more information about him at his website. At Cross.tv, there is an interview with him telling how he got started speaking. Come out and support our school. Proceeds will go to fund technology upgrades, and art and music programs in the school. To view the flyer with all the details, click the link below.
In this week’s Sunday School Lesson, Jesus meets with Nicodemus, a pharisee and leader of the Jews, and teaches him of the birth of the new Adam through our new life in Christ. Jesus talks with Nicodemus about the Spirit, Baptism, and Faith in instructing him about salvation. Click here to listen to the interview with Deaconess Pam Nielsen with Pr. Todd Wilken on Issues, Etc.
Lent. We follow Christ to the Cross in this season. It is 40 days long (not counting Sundays or Passion days), just like the time Jesus spent in the wilderness where the devil tempted Him. We hear little about the devil these days, Satan, that old wicked foe. But he is real, and working his evil in this world. He tempted Jesus, the God man, thinking, quite possibly, that he could get the Son of God to choose as he did and reject His place, and seek the throne of the Father. Jesus, however, as he demonstrates and models for us time and time again, holds fast to the Word of God, and rebuffs Satan at every turn.
Matthew 4:1-11 is the text for our lesson today. Jesus’ temptation shows how He, the new Adam, did what Adam and we cannot — overcome the temptation of the devil bringing with Him life and forgiveness for those who believe. Listen to the Issues, etc. interview with Deaconess Pam Nielson of Concordia Publishing House discussing this week’s Sunday School lesson.
In Matthew 17:1-9 Jesus takes Peter, James, and John the brother of James, up onto a high mountain. The disciples did not know the purpose for doing so. Usually when Jesus went to lonely places like this, He went to pray. There is something different about this scene. In Matthew 16, Jesus has dealt with the Pharisees who demanded a sign from Him. They wanted proof that He had the authority to teach as He did. Jesus told them that they would receive no sign, but the sign of Jonah already given to them.
Christ was concerned about the influence the Pharisees could have on the disciples and the church so He warned them, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,” for such an attitude that demanded physical proof that one could hold onto, touch and see, could affect the whole church, cause many to doubt their faith, and lead many away from the Word of Christ. Jesus then asked who people said that He was and who His disciples said He was. Peter, never one to be shy, boldly proclaimed, “You are the Christ!” This, Jesus told Him, is the faith, is the confession that the Church shall be built on. Peter thinks he knows Jesus and He knows who THE CHRIST is: why He is the King who will restore the fortune and glory of King David, of ancient Israel. Jesus then tells His disciples that (1) He must suffer, die, and rise again, and (2) if they truly want to be His followers, they too must take up their cross and follow Him. In Mark, Peter rebukes Jesus for saying He must suffer and die, and Jesus calls Peter Satan. Mark’s account shows Jesus following Peter’s rebuke with the statement that His disciples must take up a cross just like Him in order to be true followers.
Do you think Peter really understood here who Jesus was and what He was telling His disciples? Do you think that Peter thought he would have to suffer like Jesus? Carry a cross like Him? Hardly. The Mount of Transfiguration tells the story. It is there that we find Peter, James, and John with Jesus when suddenly, Jesus was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes were as white as light. Mark tells us that Jesus’ clothes were so white, that no one could bleach them that white on earth. Moses and Elijah then appeared, and Peter offered to make three tents so that they could hang out for a while. It is then that a bright cloud descends upon the mountain top. It is not a big gray storm cloud, or a fluffy cloud you see on a sunny day but a bright cloud. Moses had seen it before. In fact, he met God the Father in such a cloud. This cloud comes down upon the mountain, and overshadows them, it envelops them, gathers them into it. The voice of God the Father booms, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!” The disciples fall flat on their faces when they heard the voice! They could not get up. They were in the presence of the Triune God, and the fear was one of awe, respect, and honor for the majesty and presence of the Creator. But yes, the disciples were probably very scared too and felt unworthy of having this honor shared with them. They do not get up until God the Son physically touches them and tells them, “Rise and have no fear!” The disciples eyes were opened a little wider now to see that Jesus was really more than what they perceived Him to be.
O Lord, Deliver My Life
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments; according to The Sheminith.
A Psalm of David.
1 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O Lord—how long?
4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?
6 I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
David has a way of capturing the terror and trouble sin causes us in our lives, how it works on our consciences, daily gnaws away at us. He recognizes in verse one that he, the King of Israel, is a sinner, and his actions are deserving of discipline and correction. He is languishing over the wrong he has done. His “bones are troubled.” The sin eats into the very core of him – no matter where he is, he cannot escape it. His guilt, anxiety, and worry sap all his strength. David feels death and hell close at hand. There is a separation from God, a gulf becaus of his sin. David is brought low under the weight of his sin. Humbled.
But David is sorry for his sins. What he has done causes him grief and sorrow, leading to physical pain and sleepless nights. David pleads with the Lord to spare him. He knows what he has done; he knows that he deserves punishment; he knows that he deserves the wrath of God. God’s words given through His servant David, bring to life what we feel when we are wracked with guilt and sorrow for the wrongs we have committed. This is the “anfechtungen” of Martin Luther: the trouble of the conscience that plagues believers. It is not a wrestling with God, but a battle with our sin – which is always with us – when confronted with the holiness and righteousness of God through the Cross of the crucified Christ. No matter how good we are, no matter how righteous we are sin remains with us and points to the obvious conclusion that apart from Christ we are dead, helpless and powerless. It is knowing what one should do, but, time and time again, giving into the desires of the flesh and doing something else. It is the paradox of being simultaneously a saint and sinner. It is the Spirit working through the Word of Life, driving us to our knees so that we may repent and call upon God. Read the rest of this entry
Do Not Be Anxious
25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 7:25-34, ESV.
Do you worry? Maybe you worry about a test you have to take, or getting your homework done, or what clothes to wear, or whether you will make the team, or get the job.
Life is full of worries. Many things press on us from all sides, each clamoring for our attention. The things of this world draw our focus and attention from God and His Christ. They are much less important than what He has in store for us. Those things that draw our attention from God lead us to trust in people and things instead of God. In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us comforting words about a Father who takes such good care of His creation that he provides food for the smallest of birds, and clothes the flowers in the fields. Jesus tells us that we are more important than they are, and if God shows such great care for the flowers and birds, how much more DOES He care for us? Yet too often we do not trust in God to care for us and we get in the way, rejecting the help we so desperately need. Yet He is always there, caring for us, and providing for our needs.
Click here to listen to Deaconess Pam Nielson from Concordia Publishing House discuss with Todd Wilken on Issues, Etc. how Jesus teaches us to trust God to provide for our physical and spiritual needs.