Sunday, March 01, 2015

A Word From Pastor Mike

My computer is not healthy and it sometimes takes a lot of patience for me to type out a post on it. Today it is working fine, though, so I want to share an excerpt from Mike's Ash Wednesday Sermon. Lent is a time when we examine ourselves and it serves as a time to remind ourselves that we are sinners. His sermon also reminded us that there is HOPE!


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Lutherans teach that the Word of God is divided into two parts - Law and Gospel.

  •      The Law tells us that we have sinned and our sin means a penalty must be paid. The wages of sin is      death.
  •      The Gospel tells us that Jesus paid the penalty for our sin when we died on the cross. By grace you      have been saved, through faith, and this is not your own doing. It's the gift of God.

Christians live with tension. We are saints - We are sinners. We are capable of the greatest dreams and the worst nightmares. The Christian life is a balancing act. We need both law and gospel to keep us on the tightrope.

The Law has two uses.                                    

  •    To restrain us from wrong doing such as you shall not kill.
  •    The law is a mirror to show us that we have sinned. It also shows our need for a savior.

The Gospel is all about God acting for us. God forgives repentant sinners through Christ's death on the cross. Jesus opens the way to eternal life for all who will believe.

A new word that is being used quite a bit now is compartmentalize. That is, we have different compartments, or rooms of our lives. Some of the rooms in our lives need cleaning. Some of the rooms contain bitterness or gossip. In other rooms of our lives there is unforgiveness or selfishness. In still other rooms there is pride and arrogance. Who's going to clean up that mess? Or, are we just going to shut the door and pretend it isn't there?

Thank goodness we have a good maid. His name is Jesus. he can make the rooms of our lives clean and we can have a fresh start. Daily repentance, daily turning from sin, daily confession are all ways to stay in right relationship with God.

But, then we need to believe the Gospel.

  •    Believe that God forgives your sins for Jesus' sake.
  •    Believe that you are a believer.
  •    Believe that heaven is your home.
  •    Believe that God is not mad at you. Believe that God loves you.
  •    Believe that you are God's good creation.
  •    Believe that you can begin again even though you've sinned today.
  •    Believe that you are not bound by your past, your weaknesses, your failures, your negative thoughts.
  •    Believe that God is working in your life right now. God is making a new creation. God has good     plans for your life. You are forgiven and when your life here is done, you are going to live a new life with God and your loved ones in heaven forever.