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Showing posts from February, 2017

Hidden Majesty

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2 Peter 1:16-21 To be sure, we were not following cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the powerful appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when the voice came to him from within the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18We heard this voice, which came out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. 19We also have the completely reliable prophetic word. You do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts, 20since we know this above all else: No prophecy of Scripture comes about from someone’s own interpretation. 21In fact, no prophecy ever came by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were being carried along by the Holy Spirit. Peter, James, and John had the awesome privilege of being eyewitnesses of the event that we call the tran…

Lent - A Time for Spirituality devotionals

Lent — A time for Spirituality For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16
Lent is a season of repentance. This means the hearing of the Law and our sin. It also means an emphasis on denying the flesh, which some people exercise during Lent by “giving things up”. This Lenten devotion will be focusing on spirituality. It is a pretty popular Word nowadays, but it largely has to do with a regimen of works and often is very self-centered. The spirituality you will hear about in this devotion will be about receptive spirituality, that is a spirituality that is founded upon what we receive from God first and foremost.
We are going to read about how the Mystery of Christ is the beginning of our Spirituality. We receive from Him everything we have, most especially our spiritual life. We are going to read about what He uses to make us spiritual people — three things — meditation, prayer, and temptation (struggle).
First Christ makes us spiritual through meditation. This…

Worship Helps for the Transfiguration

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Worship Helps: Jesus appears in glory as the Son of God. The Epiphany season is bookended by the voice of God the Father proclaiming Jesus his Son. Before he suffered as man’s substitute, Jesus gave his Church a glimpse of the glory that he set aside to be our Savior.  See how much he loves us! The God of Mt. Sinai, the Majestic Glory, became a man to suffer and die for us, just as Moses and the Prophets had foretold. It’s good that we are here.
Old Testament:Exodus 24:12, 15-18 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Wait there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commands that I have written, so that you can teach them.” 15Moses went up onto the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The Glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered the mountain for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses out of the middle of the cloud. 17The appearance of the Glory of the Lord looked like a devouring fire on the top of th…

Don't pretend to be a Christian

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Romans 12:9-21 9Do not just pretend to love others. Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another with brotherly love. Think of others as deserving more honor than yourselves. 11Do not be lagging behind in zeal, but be fervent in spirit, as you continue to serve the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope. Endure trials patiently. Persist in prayer. 13Share with the saints who are in need. Be quick to welcome strangers as guests. 14Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who are rejoicing; weep with those who are weeping. 16Have the same respect for one another. Do not be arrogant, but associate with the humble. Do not think too highly of yourselves. 17Do not pay anyone back evil for evil. Focus on those things that everyone considers noble. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, maintain peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay,”…

Worship Helps for Epiphany 7

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Art: David Spares the Life of Saul
Worship Helps: The Savior’s Sermon: Love your enemies! What could be more counterintuitive? Yet Christ calls his disciples to a love for our neighbor that models itself after Jesus’ love for the world. As Luther said: Christi sumus in nominativo et genitivo (We are Christs—with and without the apostrophe). A heart like Christ’s has no room for vengeance, but is filled with love for all. 
Old Testament:1 Samuel 26:(1-6) 7-25 The Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah and said, “You should know that David is hiding at the Hill of Hakilah, which is near the badlands.” 2So Saul set out and went down to the Wilderness of Ziph with three thousand men, who were hand-picked from Israel, to search for David in the Wilderness of Ziph. 3Saul set up camp near the road at the Hill of Hakilah, which is near the badlands. David, however, stayed in the wilderness. When he heard that Saul had come into the wilderness after him, 4David sent out scouts, who confirmed that Saul h…

Worship Helps for Epiphany 6

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Art: David and Bathsheba Artist: Lucas Cranach the Younger
Worship Theme: The Savior’s Sermon: Live a holy life! Jesus came to free us from sin. He did not come to free us to sin. The commands in the lessons today remind us just how holy our God is, and their dire warnings remind us just how holy he wants us to be.
Old Testament:2 Samuel 11:1-17, 26-27 Springtime arrived, the time when kings go out to war.David sent Joab out with his officers and with all Israel.They ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem. 2One eveningDavid had gotten up from upon his couch and was walking on the roof of the palace.From the roof he saw a woman bathing.The woman was very good-looking. 3David sent to inquire about the woman, and he was told, “Isn’t this Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4David sent messengers and took her. She came to him, and he lay down with her.(She had been purifying herself from her menstrual uncleanness.) Then she returned to…