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Living in evil days

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Ephesians 5:15–20 Consider carefully, then, how you walk, not as unwise people, but as wise people. 16Make the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17For this reason, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18And do not get drunk on wine, which causes you to lose control. Instead, be filled with the Spirit 19by speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (singing and making music with your hearts to the Lord),20by always giving thanks for everything to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The statistics don’t look good. Pastor Jon Hein, who works in our Synod office compiled a comprehensive demographic study of the WELS and other Christian denominations. The study reveals that if the downward trends continue in the WELS, in the next two decades, we will lose approximately 106,000 members. That’s a 29% decline in membership across the Synod. The Missouri Synod (LC-MS) loses a higher percentage of its membership annuall…

Worship Helps for Pentecost 14

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Art: Moses and Aaron meet Pharaoh Artist: Robert Leinweber
Worship Theme: God’s Word is not always easy to believe. There are some difficult words that we run up against as we read through our Bible, ideas that seem so contrary to our “modern way of thinking.” We shouldn’t think, however, that these words were any easier to believe back in Bible times. They weren’t. God’s people have always been faced with the difficult words of God. That’s why Jesus gives us the Bread of Life, that we might be led to set aside our worldly objections and see the loving and saving intent of every word from our Savior’s mouth. When we see that intent, it’s easier to trust even the most difficult words.
Old Testament:Exodus 7:8–13 8The Lord said to Moses and to Aaron, 9“When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Give us a warning sign,’ then you are to tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh, and it will become a snake.’” 10Then Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh. They did just as the Lord had comman…

Worship Helps for Pentecost 13

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An icon of Jesus as the Living Bread
Worship Theme: Living as a Christian is hard. The devil places many obstacles in our way, all of which lead to sin and unbelief. But by his death in our place (by losing!), Jesus defeated Satan. The risen Christ gives us a way out of every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). Most of all, our Savior gives us the Bread of Life, his promises of forgiveness and eternal rescue. As we nourish our faith on this Bread of Life, Jesus will give us boldness to fight our spiritual enemies.
Old Testament:Proverbs 9:1-6 Wisdom has built her house. She has carved out her seven pillars. 2She has prepared her meat. She has mixed her wine. She has already set her table. 3She has sent out her servant girls. She calls from the highest point in the city, 4“Whoever is naïve, let him turn in here.” To someone who lacks sense she says, 5“Come, eat my food, and drink the wine that I have mixed. 6Abandon your naïve ways and live. Travel the road to understanding.”
1. What charact…

50th Wedding Anniversary for Bob and Marlene Martin

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1 Corinthians 13:4-13Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy. It does not brag. It is not arrogant. It does not behave indecently. It is not selfish. It is not irritable. It does not keep a record of wrongs. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophetic gifts, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be done away with. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part, 10 but when that which is complete has come, that which is partial will be done away with. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 

Fast food vs. Eternal food

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John 6:24–35 24When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25When they found him on the other side of the sea, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26Jesus answered them, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: You are not looking for me because you saw the miraculous signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27Do not continue to work for the food that spoils, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” 28So they said to him, “What should we do to carry out the works of God?” 29Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God: that you believe in the one he sent.” 30Then they asked him, “So what miraculous sign are you going to do, that we may see it and believe you? What miraculous sign are you going to perform? 31Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written, ‘He gave the…