-IN COMMEMORATION OF REFORMATION DAY-
On this day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, in response to the abusive sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church. Beyond the immediate problem of indulgences was the ultimate problem of spiritual darkness, from the pope to the pulpit, to the pew, to the public square. While a Roman Catholic monk, Luther himself had been brought out of the darkness by the light of the gospel, and today I am preaching the sacred text of Scripture that saved his life.
Looking at what the Apostle Paul had to say to two fussing women, this is a message on how to deal with conflict to maintain the spiritual and missional integrity of the church body.
I want to climb up on the mountains of biblical truth - of God’s Word - over all the problems and challenges we face today in the valleys of this world, plant both feet firmly against the rock slides of discouragement and despair, and bring you that same good news the people of God needed to hear all those thousands of years ago. This good news is just as fresh and powerful for us as it was for them!
If you are waiting for God to do something, surrender to Him and wait for Him to do the right thing at precisely the right time. Take instruction and encouragement from the Scriptures to persevere in that hope.
Perhaps the most profound words a person may ever speak will be when facing his impending time to die. In thinking about why he was ever born and what his life was about, what might he say for the sake of those that survive him? When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, He looked into the face of the man that would kill Him, not with the actions of his own hands, but with the authority of his words. Leading up to that fateful point when Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified, in their exchange, Jesus had something eternally profound to say about the reason He was born into this world to live in this world for the short time that He did. Jesus answers the question we should be leading the world to ask anew every Christmas: Why was Jesus born? What Jesus says in this one verse should re-calibrate our perspective on the reason for this season.
On this Labor Day, we look forward to an extra day off from our every-day labor - a day for some extra rest and relaxation. The holiday should include a third "R" in the R & R of the break from our labor: reflection with our rest and relaxation - reflection on the value of our labor. We Christians should find value in our work beyond both the personal and public quality of life we can afford and invest in. We should find value in our work in the calling of our Lord.
The future of this nation is not hopeless because the wicked cannot kill Jesus nor erase His gospel. Under His continuing authority, if the gospel is still the power of God for salvation of even one neighbor, then it is still the power of God for salvation of an entire nation.
How are we to bring faith to bear on fighting for the sanctity of the life of the unborn--fighting for the unborn's right to live--standing against abortion as an industry, abortion as an agenda, and abortion as an option? I intend to show you how in this message on the faith we see in Moses' parents. In faith, they hid Moses to save him. In faith, they hid Moses for what they saw in him. And in faith, they hid Moses in being stalwart for him.
Photo by Mindy Olsen
The majority of Americans believe there is no moral difference between getting married and moving in together. More troubling than that, over half of professing Christians are convinced that God does not care about cohabitation. For the Christian, what is right and wrong on this issue comes down to this one question: Does God care? And this one verse in His Word shows that He does.