Dear friends in Christ,
We continue our survey of Church History from the book of Professor E.A.W. Krauss from our St. Louis seminary of a century ago. This month we continue our look at life of one of our founding fathers of our Synod—C.F.W. Walther. This month we find the young Walther daring to be Lutheran in doctrine and practice but facing the opposition of the authorities in the church. Unfortunately Dr. Krauss refers us to another account describing the hostilities Walther endured. But when the Lord calls us to confess our faith and to have that faith tried, He never leaves us high and dry but comforts us. He comforted Walther with another faithful preacher of the word, Pastor Martin Stephan. This month we meet Pastor Stephan. Even in the midst of all sorts of corruption, the Lord preserves His faithful ones. That’s what we also see at that first Christmas—although many had forgotten about the coming Savior or had false notions about who He was, there were the faithful ones looking for the Savior: Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zachariah, Simeon, Anna, etc. Reading through the Christmas accounts keep your eyes open for the faithful ones who were watching and waiting for the Savior. May we be the faithful today watching and waiting for His return.
44.1 [part 3] Dr. C. Ferd. W. Walther
In September 1833 Walther passed his first exam in Leipzig; in 1836 his second. We only want to note that he spent the intervening years just like many others did—as a private tutor. He held this position with the Counselor Friedemann Loeber in Cahla in Altenburg, working faithfully with and as a blessing to his pupil. At the same time he was in regular correspondence with his like-minded university comrades. They were faithful preachers and to some extent had already been reprimanded by the high church authorities. They had their first experiences seeing the Gospel as a stumbling block and foolishness to the natural man—both to the nobility as well as to the beggar.
In 1837, the Minister of the State, Count von Einsiedel, who was a believer, called him to the pastorate in Braeunsdorf near Penig in Saxony. There Walther also had the same experiences. Guenther’s book describes vividly and extensively the great spiritual ignorance and moral degeneration that Walther found in the congregation that had been neglected by 40 years of rationalism; how he strove to improve it by, above all, preaching the fundamentals of the Word of God, clearly and simply, thoroughly and urgently; how, furthermore, he was vehemently attacked by his Superintendent who was a rationalist and by his unbelieving school teacher; how he resisted and fought against the use of the standard rationalistic books in church and school (agenda, hymnbook, school book). I refer the reader to it and only mention that it was especially these experiences in office that lead the Walther brothers and some of their university friends to believe that they were conscience bound to take part in the emigration that Pastor Martin Stephan had long ago announced as being imminent and for which he then gave the signal in 1838.
But before I tell about what is the most necessary thing, I would like at least to express myself briefly about the leader of the emigration.
I would never believe that Martin Stephan was a deliberate hypocrite the entire time that he was preacher of the Bohemian congregation in Dresden, that is, from 1810.
He was originally a journeyman linen weaver but he threw himself into the study of Holy Scripture in order to become a preacher. He certainly did not acquire its philological knowledge and he had to be excused from the Latin exam. But it was no small matter that Stephan was well read in the excellent edifying literature of our church; this literature became flesh and blood in him as he lived and moved in the theology that it expressed. In 1825 and 1826 he published a complete volume of Gospel sermons that he gave in 1824 and 1825 to his “Bohemian Congregation of St. John” in Dresden. The motto of the first volume is Colossians 2.8: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” The motto of the second volume is Ephesians 4.14: “That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive.” He gave his work the title: The Christian Faith. In the stirring dedicatory prayer “for blessing for the present book,” that begins with the words: “Lord Jesus Christ, You are the true Head of Your Church!” he concludes: “It is my heartfelt wish and petition to You that this book bring forth much salutary fruit. But I cannot do this; You must do it by Your power. Now, bless. O Jesus, all who will read it…. If such read it who are already believers in you, so help that also by this reading their faith may grow and become very fruitful in a godly life. If deeply troubled and severely afflicted souls read it, give them the taste of the comfort that I hold before them from Your Word. If it is the erring who will seek truth in it, give them Your divine light that they receive the word of truth that I present with a willing heart and attain to the firm faith. Should my witness get into the hands of the most miserable of my fellow man, that is, into the hands of those who reject You and Your word, who seek their salvation in their unbelief, oh, so shake their hearts that they may well consider the warnings I have expressed, come to You and worship at Your feet and find grace before Your eyes!—Grant me the peace to see that I have not worked in vain! Whatever in this work is good, is Your gift. The imperfections, though, are mine. Let this, my witness, become a living voice in many souls calling them to You, and a bond that holds them to You. When I, be it sooner or later, am wearied by my work of the day, and seek from You, o my Salvation, my last and greatest rest, oh then, God of Peace, let me find this eternal rest before Your face. Confess me before Your heavenly Father and then let me experience for my salvation what I preached here and let me fall asleep blessed in the faith in You that I here describe and confess! Then I will testify of You perfectly; then not with imperfect writing but with Your elect and with glorified tongue I will praise You and call out: ‘The Lord has done everything well! Blessed be His name eternally! Hallelujah!’ –Now, Lord of Your Church bless this book, bless my readers and also me! Amen.”
Reading the sermons of Martin Stephan, one finds them highly inspiring, edifying and instructive. All the wealth of Holy Scriptures is drawn together in order to meditate on and illuminate the individual text. After the theme and points of the sermon are announced, a short, fervent prayer usually follows. If these prayers were gathered together, they would, with only minor changes, make a wonderful prayer book. The outlines are simple and natural. All of the sermons have a characteristic of testimony. Although not without error, it is essentially the “Christian faith” that is here preached with a power, certainty, urgency the likes of which I did not meet again in any other “faithful” sermon book between 1820 and 1830. Faithful sermon books from this period in which Rationalism still dominated are generally very scarce; almost all of them have an unease that timidly asks, as it were, for forgiveness for even existing. Stephan always directs his sermon to the “hearer redeemed at a great price by the blood of Christ” and in this way he always speaks to them. The main summary of his doctrine is: what Christ has done. When he had before him the miraculous feeding, he did not preach on it like the Rationalists of his day, “how difficult it is to keep thousands of people in order in a remote location without police supervision,” nor on the “quiet power that virtue asserts over people by its presence,” (Reinhard), but on the Seventh Sunday After Trinity on Mark 8. 1-9: “Christ cares for our body and soul. Let us 1. Rightly consider this truth; 2. Take to heart how we must use it in our physical and spiritual worries.” He explains on Laetare Sunday [the Fourth Sunday in Lent], John 6. 26-40: “Only with Christ do we find what can eternally satisfy our heart; for we find in Him: 1. A perfect holiness that satisfies all demands of the righteousness of God; 2. A rest that even death and devil cannot destroy; 3. A comfort that sweetens all suffering; 4. A salvation that lasts eternally.”
Karl Hase explains: “I heard him preach in 1825 in poor German but with a natural, moving eloquence. He was considered at the time to be a strict Lutheran. His favorite subject was Original Sin and the atoning death.” And in the face of Vehse, whom he, however, did not read attentively enough, Hase remarks: “Yet it does not seem probable to me that his entire life was a fraud. He was serious about being orthodox. Probably first in later years, but certainly already in Saxony, absolute honor and power awakened and released his wild instinct” (III, 2, 428). This is precisely my opinion. It is also founded on witnesses who heard Stephan through the years but who were not members of his congregation and his followers. The liberal church historian has here judged psychologically more correctly and fairly than most pious and godless opponents of the “Stephanites.” They represented Stephan as always being a perfect hypocrite whom they would have seen through from the beginning but they were deceived by Walther and associates who showed themselves to be poor judges of human nature. To be sure, Walther’s brother, Hermann, more so than the other “Stephanites” appears to have been too trusting. But this certainly does not hold true with C. Ferdinand W. Walther. This certainly becomes most clear when Stephan calls him “his Judas” and would have gladly prevented him from coming to America. (Compare J.F. Koestering, Auswanderung der saechsischen Lutheraner in Jahre 1838, St. Louis MO, 1866, pg. 39)
So far Professor Krauss
- A big “thank you” to all who participated in the cookie exchange! We had a nice variety certainly enjoyed by all.
- Reminder: our Epiphany Dinner is planned for 06 January following service.
- The sign-up sheet for hosting coffee hour in 2019 has been posted. Be sure to sign up early for the date you want.
This newsletter comes to you in Advent for a month that also includes Christmas. Here are some devotions appropriate for the Christmas season.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7.14
What patience God had with Ahaz! If the words of the prophet were not enough, then he should choose a sign for himself that would confirm the promise. An impressive condescension of God! And what does Ahaz do? He hides behind a pious mask and refuses.
But no one goes about without punishment from God and no one can hinder the work of God. If Ahaz does not want a sign, God would still give him a sign—but now one that He Himself chooses. It should be a very exceptional sign, one that is great and clear. A virgin will conceive and bear a Son. Yes, a virgin—and not simply a young woman—would, contrary to nature, expect a Child. What a sign! No wonder that this sign would be spoken against in unbelief, even in the church.
Even more than the virgin birth, will the Child of the virgin, the Immanuel, be spoken against! How foolish is this opposition. Immanuel in English means “God with us!” The Son of the virgin is God’s Help in person. Jesus Christ was born of the virgin. In various places Holy Scripture clearly testifies the miraculous fact that Jesus is the true Son of God. In the midst of this Christmas season we will reflect on this great and important sign of God, on the birth of our Savior. For our rescue, for our salvation Jesus was born! In Him, and only in Him, is “God with us”! Instead of contradicting this sign, let us remain in faith in it.
Lord Jesus, You are our Immanuel! We thank You, that for us You became man so that we can become the children of God. Amen.
[From God Is For Us, 01 December 2018, by Pastor Joerg Kubitschek]
LUTHER’S CHRISTMAS SERMON: But the angel shows most clearly that nothing is to be preached in Christendom except the Gospel. He takes upon himself the office of a preacher of the Gospel. He does not say, I preach to you, but “glad tidings I bring to you.’ I am an Evangelist and my word is an evangel, good news. The meaning of the word Gospel is, a good, joyful message that is preached in the New Testament. Of what does the Gospel testify? Listen! The angel says: “I bring you glad tidings of great joy,” my Gospel speaks of great joy. Where is it? Hear again: “For there is born to for this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Behold here what the Gospel is, namely, a joyful sermon concerning Christ, our Savior. Whoever preaches him rightly, preaches the Gospel of pure joy. How is it possible for man to hear greater joy than that Christ has given to him as his own? He does not only say Christ is born, but he makes his birth our own by saying, to you a Savior.
Therefore the Gospel does not only teach the history concerning Christ; but it enables all who believe it to receive it as their own, which is the way the Gospel operates, as has just been set forth. Of what benefit would it be to me if Christ had been born a thousand times, as it would daily be sung into my ears in a most lovely manner, if I were never to hear that he was born for me and was to be my very own? If the voice gives forth this pleasant sound, even if it be in homely phrase, my heart listens with joy for it is a lovely sound which penetrates the soul. If now there were anything else to be preached, the evangelical evangelist would certainly have touched upon it.
[Martin Luther, “Christmas Day (Luke 2.1-14),” in Luther’s Church Postil, vol. 1, Gospels: Advent, Christmas and Epiphany Sermons, ed. and trans. John Nicholas Lenker (Minneapolis, MN: Lutherans in All Lands, 1905), 149-150.
NEW YEAR’S DAY DEVOTION
But they urged him strongly, “Say with us.” (Luke 24.49)
Entering a new year as you are today, you are not unlike a person setting out on a long and arduous journey, full of hope for its successful completion, yet aware of the fact that all sorts of things can happen that would make that impossible. We assume that you are looking forward to entering another year after this one. Yet we trust that you are aware that there will be difficulties cropping up, possibly even dangers threatening your temporal and eternal welfare. Yes, indeed, there is ample reason to cast all such cares on the Lord.
You certainly do not wish to enter the New Year on a chance. That would be foolish. Our advice to you is that you turn in faith to your Savior who is your very best friend and beg Him to stay with you throughout this year and always. Just as was the case in the old year, so too in this New Year there will be daily brushes with sin. Unfortunately, that is the way it will be. We are not implying that you are minded to go your own way, even if it be sinful. After all, you are a Christian and a child of God. Yet, at the same time you are and remain a poor sinful being. That is why we said that every day there will be brushes with sin. It may even occur that because of the weakness of your flesh and the temptation of the devil you will suddenly find yourself involved in some grievous sin. Who can say that can’t happen to him? Then the question soon arises whether you want to persist in that sin. You certainly don’t imagine that you will be able to extricate yourself by your own powers. Nor would you want the guilt and burden of your daily sins, which will multiply from day to day, to separate you from the love of God. —That’s where Christ Jesus, your sin-bearer, comes in, and for that reason we urge you to turn to him, especially on this first day of a new year, and indeed every day, and beg him to stay with you. Then He will do so in answer to your prayer. He will forgive those many daily sins and graciously strengthen you in the faith so that you can be better on your guard against sinning and against the devil’s snares and assaults. He will keep watch over you as your Good Shepherd because He loves His sheep.
You know that the road through life is a dangerous one even as is the passing through a new year. Besides, you have no notion how many dangers are menacing your way, and if you are minded to go that way alone, your passage won’t be attended with blessing. Simply because you are a Christian and a child of God, the devil is your hardened enemy. This is all the more reason for you to ask Jesus to stay at your side, in your heart. Then, no matter what happens, it will all work out for your good. That hand that was nailed to the cross for you will turn even woes and adversities into blessings. Even if it were your lot to walk through the dark valley of the shadow of death this year, you need fear no evil for your Good Shepherd is with you. If times of weeping and sighing come, he will comfort you with His Word, help you bear your cross, lightening the load, and gladly remove it as soon as it is beneficial for you.
And finally, Christian, there is the possibility that you may die in this year. And after death there’s the Judgment. And what will be your fate if your Savior and Advocate is not at your side then?—Oh, with all your might pray fervently and often, ‘Dear Jesus, stay with me!” Then neither death nor Judgment can harm any, and your dear Lord will see to it that you safely enter the Father’s home above.
“Stay with me, Lord Jesus!”—May this plea ever be on your lips and in your heart; then you will surely have a good new year.
O Lord Christ, our Savior dear,
Be Thou ever near us.
Grant us now a glad new year,
Amen, Jesus, hear us! (TLH 97:4)
From: Manna, by Carl Manthey Zorn.
THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE SUNDAY IS 20 JANUARY: This date is chosen because it is the Sunday closest to the anniversary date on which abortion became legal in our nation via Supreme Court edict. Since then over 60 million preborn babies have been killed, about 3000 a day. Although we think particularly of the unborn when it comes to the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, all human life has dignity. We find dignity in human life—all human life from the unborn child, to the handicapped, to the suffering, to the elderly—in the words of the Creed: “I believe in God the Father.” Luther comments: “‘That you should be children, and I, your Father. I wish not merely to create and sustain you, but I also want you to be My children and heirs, not to be turned out of the house like other creatures, oxen, cattle, sheep, etc., who either die or are devoured. But besides being My creatures, you shall also remain My children forever and live forever.’ …. As He is Father and lives eternally, as children we also are to live eternally and not die. Thus we are a higher and more beautiful creation than all other creatures; not only are we God’s creatures and workmanship, but we also are to live eternally with our Father.” [AE, LVII, 247]
Perhaps you have noticed a black ribbon on the u.s. flag in the narthex. This is called a “mourning ribbon” and is used if a flag, like ours, cannot be lowered to half-staff. We have placed the mourning ribbon on the flag to honor and mourn the 3000 babies that are aborted in our nation each day.
If you have an american flag displayed at your home, we encourage you to honor the 3000 pre-born babies aborted each day in our nation by lowering your flag to half staff or by placing a mourning ribbon on your flag. This is a simple and visible pro-life statement. It will remind you to pray for the unborn and their mothers and give you an opportunity to share your pro-life view with those who ask. Hopefully this will become a popular nationwide movement that will spread the pro-life message and show at least some honor to those victims of abortion.
For more information check out the website: http://lovewillendabortion.com/flags-half-staff/
Is there anything illegal, disrespectful, or inappropriate about this action?
Not at all. This is the most common question about this action by far and it is easily answered. Visit Click here to read the 2008 Congressional Report The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display and Associated Questions which includes verbatim, the United States “Flag Code” as found in Title 4 of the United States Code.
The report clearly answers any debate about whether private individuals and organizations can appropriately decide to lower the American flag to half-staff.
CRS-11 states: “…the provisions of the Flag Code on flying the flag at half-staff are, like all the Code’s provisions, a guide only. They do not apply, as a matter of law, to the display of the flag at half-staff by private individuals and organizations. No federal restrictions or court decisions are known that limit such an individual’s lowering his own flag or that make such a display alone a form of desecration.”
Furthermore, in the initial pages of the report, under the heading of “Background,” the spirit of the Code is made manifest, stating:
“The Federal Flag Code does not purport to cover all possible situations. Although the Code empowers the President of the United States to alter, modify, repeal, or prescribe additional rules regarding the flag, no federal agency has the authority to issue ‘official’ rulings legally binding on civilians or civilian groups. Consequently, different interpretations of various provisions of the Code may continue to be made. The Flag Code itself, however, suggests a general rule by which practices involving the flag may be fairly tested: ‘No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America.’ Therefore, actions not specifically included in the Code may be deemed acceptable as long as proper respect is shown.”
In light of these findings, it is absolutely clear that private individuals and organizations have the authority to lower the American flag to half-staff for the loss of human life as they see fit, in keeping with a patriotic spirit and without any disrespect to the flag or to the nation. In fact, it is good citizenship and patriotism that encourages us to fly the flag honestly for the poorest of the poor and the very least among us: our pre-born brothers and sisters who are being directly killed by the thousands via abortion every day in our nation.
Top 10 Reasons To Lower Flags To Half-Staff For The 3000 Daily Pre-born Victims of Abortion
1. It is a right response to reality.
When 3,000 innocent humans beings are killed in the U.S., we are right to call it a national tragedy and lower our flags to half-staff in response.
2. The dead victims deserve to be acknowledged.
The thousands of pre-born children killed each day because of legalized abortion in the U.S. are sadly treated as if they do not matter. Each and every one of these children matters. The action of lowering our flags to half-staff shows that we will not allow them to die unacknowledged and ignored.
3. It shines a light on the lie at the core of legalized pre-born child killing.
Lie: Pre-born children are merely things that can be ethically killed and thrown away like garbage. Truth: Pre-born humans are of equal value to born humans and we must treat them accordingly. We respond to the national tragedy of 9/11/2001 by lowering our flags to half-staff, it is consistent to do the same every day for the innocent pre-born victims who are killed by legalized abortion.
4. It will begin a national conversation and conversion.
This will get people talking and, when the core lie is brought to the light and discussed, reasonable people will see the foolishness of legalized abortion rather quickly. See An Essential Insight for Ending Abortion as Soon as Possible and Making it Unthinkable.
5. It will help us to better see and respond to the authentic value of all human beings.
Acknowledging and rightly responding to the true value of pre-born humanity will help us to acknowledge and rightly respond to the true value of all humanity.
6. It will remind us to pray for the end of abortion.
Even many pro-life Christians forget to pray frequently for the end of abortion. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mt. 26:41; Mk. 14:38).” We need reminders. Flags at half-staff would help us to never forget.
7. It will remind us to work for the end of abortion.
Just like #6, with the reality of abortion more top of mind, the result will be more participation in pro-life activities and many more new and effective non-violent ideas to be implemented to end legalized pre-born child killing as soon as possible.
8. It will hasten the end of abortion in the U.S.
For all the above reasons, we will much more quickly reach the day when the right to life for all pre-born children will be enshrined into federal law and when pre-born child killing will become an unthinkable option in American society. Where we are as culture toward slavery, is where we will be as a culture toward abortion (a human atrocity that was once legal and commonplace, then became illegal, and finally, rightly ended up an unthinkable option).
9. It will help usher in a new era of respect for all human life.
As a strong leader on the world stage, when the U.S. makes strides to rightly see and treat all human life with the inherent dignity it deserves, the entire world makes strides in this area as well.
10. It will literally save lives and prevent deep brokenness.
Ultimately, if this action catches on, countless innocent human lives will be literally saved from being killed, and countless others will be spared the deep brokenness of participating in abortion. Yet keep in mind, even if only you take this action, and it leads to only one person changing their mind; if it protects only one life from death and spares only one mother from the deep wound of abortion – isn’t it well worth it?
IN THIS NEW YEAR START LOOKING AT THINGS IN A NEW WAY—here is an account from the life of St. Francis of Assisi showing us how he looked at things in a new way.
In every work of the artist [St. Francis of Assisi] praised the Artist; whatever he found in the things made he referred to the Maker. He rejoiced in all the works of the hands of the Lord and saw behind things pleasant to behold their life-giving reason and cause. In beautiful things he saw Beauty itself; all things were to him good. “He who made us is the best,” they cried out to him….
He embraced all things with a rapture of unheard of devotion, speaking to them of the Lord and admonishing them to praise him. He spared lights, lamps, and candles, not wishing to extinguish their brightness with his hand, for he regarded them as a symbol of Eternal Light. He walked reverently upon stones, because of him who was called the Rock…. He forbade the brothers to cut down the whole tree when they cut wood, so that it might have hope of sprouting again….
He removed from the road little worms, lest they be crushed under foot; and he ordered that honey and the best wines be set out for the bees, lest they perish from want in the cold of winter.
Houdek, Diane. Advent with St. Francis: Daily Reflections (Kindle Locations 307-316). Franciscan Media. Kindle Edition.
STEWARDSHIP NEWS FROM OUR MISSOURI SYNOD
It is no secret that God calls us to be generous with the gifts He has given us. Throughout the Bible, we read that just as God has generously given to us, so are we to give generously one to another. As Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35) and “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
But God also calls us to give to Him. And He, who does all things well, presses it into service for the benefit of all the people of God. See for example what God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, after he and the people were safely brought out of Egypt across the Red Sea on dry land:
The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me. And this is the contribution that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, goats' hair, tanned rams' skins, goatskins,[a] acacia wood, oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones, and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece. And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it. (Ex. 25: 1-9)
Notice in verse two that the Lord instructs Moses to tell the Israelites to “take for me a contribution” and that from everyone motivated from gratitude for what God has just accomplished and given to them, Moses is to gather up “the contribution for me.”
Pay attention, though, why the Lord wants the people of Israel to gather up these contributions for Him. God tells Moses precisely why: “let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.” The purpose for the contribution of the Israelites was so that He may dwell with them, that He would live among them. Through the tabernacle and the priesthood, through their rites and ceremonies, through their feasts and festivals, as through means, the Lord God, who brought them out of the bondage of Egypt would live and dwell among them and be their God, and lead them into the promised land, which flowed with milk and honey.
God dwells among us still. In the fullness of time, God’s son was born of woman, born under the law to redeem those under the law. He brought us out of bondage to sin, death, the devil, and Hell, and He did this by His obedient suffering and death, his resurrection and ascension. But He is not gone. He dwells with us through the means of His Word and His sacraments, through the preaching and the teaching of our pastors, through the rites and ceremonies of our liturgy. He dwells with us in the Church through those means. And He is leading us to the true promised land, to the new heavens and the new earth in the new creation.
In the meantime, as God, even now, continues to call us to give to Him, let us, who have been saved from slavery to sin and death, the devil and hell, be so moved in our hearts as to give generously to Him so that the means of grace, the means of His gracious dwelling among us, would continue now and into the future. For just as He did then so does He do now. He presses the gifts given to Him into service for the benefit of all His people. He puts it to use so that we may have Him with us always, even unto the end of the age.
Seeing things New
God’s Word often reads somewhat like a last will and testament. Take this final revelation given through the Apostle John recorded in Revelations 21: 5-8: ‘. . . “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”’
God’s Word reveals His intentions to us and to the entire world. ‘The One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”’ Each believer should take a deep interest in the Spirit’s gifts provided to His Church. Christ invests in the leadership of our world. The picture of creation, made perfect after falling, shows the Creator’s intent for us to live in a perpetual age of blessedness within a secured divine relationship.
With spiritual eyes, newness is not only seen in a different year or a fresh situation. It is recognized in the accordion of every breath. Each second is manna that sustains life. Without it, we are dust. Newness endures forever because of the one who helps us overcome.
The spiritual life is sustained by belief in the One who makes all things new. Set apart and given the inheritance by faith that produces joy, strength and character, the advantage goes to others. In seeing things new, there isn’t any to whom we cannot go with the good news. The power of sin dies in our life, having been drowned with Christ in our baptism.
Just imagine how seeing things new could affect our lifetime journey? God’s Word promises us that He dwells with us and He is our God with whom we have intimate communion. We are His ornaments; perfect partners without sorrow. We impart blessed satisfaction to others while we foster humility. God’s intent is accomplished through us.
We aren’t required to wait until we die to experience God’s intent. ‘The spring of the water of life without payment to the thirsty’ is His promise. “The one who conquers will have this heritage’.
May your lifetime journey reflect this marvelous promise, which is spiritually at work today, in Christ Jesus our Lord. “He will be your God and you will be His child. It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”
For more information, contact Robert Wirth, LCMS Foundation Gift Planner @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-863-4427 to learn how to structure your estate and financial gift plans to direct your passion to give.
2019--Tournament of Roses Parade’s Lutheran Hour Float (Tuesday, January 1st )
The Lutheran Hour Float’s theme is: “Joy to the World, the Lord Is Come”. The overall Parade theme is: “The Melody of Life.” Lutheran Hour Float riders will include the new Lutheran Hour Speaker, Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler. Note: Gerald Freeny, the current President of the Tournament of Roses, is an LCMS Lutheran. The Tournament of Roses Parade can also be seen on HGTV, Hallmark, and KTLA. It can be viewed on the Internet at: www.KTLA.com (Note: KTLA rebroadcasts throughout the day)
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This week on KFUO.org, we wish our listeners a blessed New Year! Continuing this week, celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas on KFUO Radio with exceptional Christmas and Epiphany music selections, readings and prayers for the season, stories from our missionaries, and a special look at the Christmas hymnody of the church. Regular programming resumes January 7, 2019
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