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Friday, August 24, 2007

Seeds of Faith

“This hurts me more than it hurts you!” is the cry of the father disciplining his child. Really? Are you so sure, dad? Discipline is never pleasant for the giver or the receiver. But whether a child will acknowledge it at the time or not, discipline is for their own good.

Right discipline is only ever given because of the loving relationship between parent and child. If our parents can discipline rightly, even though they are imperfect, how much more our Heavenly Father, who is perfect, will discipline His children.

Since He disciplined His one and only Son, Jesus for all of our errors, we need not fear His earthly discipline now.

The discipline is a continual call back to our God’s grace and mercy in Jesus, so that we will remain in faith and not lose the unshakable kingdom prepared for us.

These Seeds of Faith have been sown by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Bridgeport, NE. I’m Pastor Allen Strawn.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Seeds of Faith

Maybe you’ve heard about some of the people of the Bible: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelites, David. Were these people better than anyone else? Wanderers, laughers, adulterers, and those who boldly turned their back on God.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

These are the great cloud of witnesses? You bet they are! In their failures, they were given faith in the promises of God, who forgives all their sin through Jesus Christ!

These Seeds of Faith have been sown by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Bridgeport, NE. I’m Pastor Allen Strawn.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Seeds of Faith

George Michael sung boldly, “I gotta have faith.” His song was about breaking up with a girlfriend. He just needed to have faith that he made the right decision. He knows that ultimately there will be no hard evidence whether his decision was right or wrong. He just wanted something better.

Scripture defines faith in Hebrews, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Much greater than any hope for a better girlfriend, true faith clings to the One who gives the best. Though there is pain and suffering now, there is something better.

By faith we believe that God spoke this entire world into being out of nothing in 6 literal days. By faith we receive the promise that Jesus died for all of our sin. By faith we believe that He will come again and take us in our glorified bodies to our heavenly home.

These Seeds of Faith have been sown by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Bridgeport, NE. I’m Pastor Allen Strawn.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Luther Quote of the Day

"Note well that the real freedom is freedom from sin….How does it come about? When we hear His Word—for instance, that Christ was born of Mary, suffered, was crucified, died, was buried, rose from the dead on the third day, etc. “Oh,” it is said, “I know all this very well! It is an old story….But learn this lesson of the children, for these words tell us how we are redeemed and set free. “Yes,” they say, “these sayings and words are so common that they do not do the work.” The children are to be highly commended for praying these words and also for understanding them sooner; for the more learned and the smarter we old fools claim to be, the less we know and understand about this subject. To become free implies that you fix your thoughts on something else than that which lies in you… Note well that you will really be pious and free from sin if you believe that Christ makes you free by dying for you, shedding His blood, rising from the dead, and sitting at the right hand of God….

This is a message which must be preached again and again to fill and satisfy people with this doctrine. My hunger, however, has not yet been appeased. This doctrine is like bread, of which the body does not weary. We can be gorged with other food, but not with bread, unless a person is sick and unable to eat. A healthy person does not tire of bread. Likewise, to the end of his days a Christian never finishes with the study of the Creed. Neither will you or any saint, whether it be Mary or John the Baptist.

Therefore it is fitting that we sit down beside the stove with the children and learn this lesson. Of course, some among us have learned from one sermon all there is to know! But when they are confronted with trials, these people are in sore need of having someone recite these words to them and of having a four-year-old child recite the Creed to them."

Luther, Martin: Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (Hrsg.) ; Oswald, Hilton C. (Hrsg.) ; Lehmann, Helmut T. (Hrsg.): Luther's Works, Vol. 23 : Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 6-8. Saint Louis : Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1959 (Luther's Works 23), S. 23:409