Preaching Christ

We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:5

LatimerBack in the 1500’s, there was a man by the name of Hugh Latimer. Hugh Latimer was a preacher in England during the reign of King Henry VIII. And according to Christian author Michael Corcoris, Hugh Latimer had a problem.

The problem was this. Latimer had just finished preaching a sermon. King Henry VIII was in attendance. Something in his sermon had angered the king so much that the king ordered Latimer to preach a new sermon for him the next Sunday, but to include an apology for what he had said the previous Sunday. No one had to tell Latimer that offending someone like Henry VIII could mean imprisonment or death.

The next Sunday arrived. Latimer climbed into the pulpit. From there he could see the king, waiting for his apology. In essence, Latimer began his sermon with these words: “I know I stand before a king, who is able to take my life. But I also stand before Christ Jesus, who holds my immortal soul.” And with that, Hugh Latimer proceeded to preach the same sermon he had preached the week before.

Perhaps you are someone who attends church regularly. If you do, then you know that preachers can come in all different styles and personalities, weaknesses and strengths. You also know that if a preacher is being faithful, he is going to hit a nerve from time to time. He is going to tell you something that your old sinful self does not want to hear.

Or perhaps you are someone who is searching for a church home. If that’s you, remember what the purpose of a preacher is. His purpose is not to just make you feel good about yourself, to avoid difficult subjects, to avoid hurting your feelings. Rather, his purpose is to preach Christ. It is to call sin what Jesus calls sin. Because only then can Jesus’ message of forgiveness bring real healing for our hurts and real rescue from our guilt.

By the way, Hugh Latimer survived to preach many more sermons.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I pray for preachers. Make them faithful in proclaiming your Word. And bless my hearing of their message to me. Amen.

WhatAboutJesus.com

( Hugh Latimer (1487 – 1555) was an English Protestant who advanced the cause of the Reformation in England through his preaching and through his martyrdom–he was burned at the stake during the reign of Queen Mary 1.)

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What’s on your calendar?

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March 29: Evening Lenten Service at 7:00 p.m.

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April 1 & 8: Spring Clean-up
April 9: Confirmation & Palm Sunday Service at 10:30 a.m.
April 12: Last day to buy tickets for the Luther movie
April 13: Maundy Thursday Service at 7:00 p.m.
April 14: Good Friday Service at 7:00 p.m.
April 16: Easter Sunday >
April 19 Luther movie at Aksarben Cinema
April 22 LWMS NE/IA Spring Mission Rally at Good Shepherd
April 23: Quarterly Meeting at noon

may

May 14: Mother’s Day
May 17: OPL Graduation
May 29: Memorial Day

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Movie night in Omaha!

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A Return to Grace: Luther‘s Life and Legacy

Presented by Living Hope & Good Shepherd

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

6:30 p.m. – 8:20 p.m.

Aksarben Cinema, 2110 S 67th St, Omaha,  68106

$12.00 (plus $1 booking fee)

Click here to order your tickets (deadline April 12th)

Martin Luther triggered a seismic upheaval that rocked the western world in the 1500s—with an impact that continues to reverberate to this day. This film tells the great adventure story of his life. At the same time, it examines his quest for truth—questions we all must face—including “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose?”  The full-length documentary features thrilling reenactments of the sixteenth-century events with commentary from leading church-history experts.

Now you and your family can see this new movie at a special screening in Omaha!

Click here to order your tickets

  • Tickets can not be purchased at the theater box office.
  • Tickets will only be emailed once the event meets threshold.
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Clothed with Christ

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. ~ Galatians 3:26-28

baptismMany consider Baptism to be little more than a nice church tradition, a rite of passage. In today’s Scripture passage the apostle Paul heartily disagrees: in Baptism, a person is “clothed with Christ.” To be clothed with Christ is to have your sinfulness completely covered with the perfect sinlessness of Jesus, the Son of God, your Savior.

Think of how important it is to be clothed with Christ. Clothes allow for modesty. So when you are ashamed of something you’ve done and you’re wondering if you can ever live it down in God’s eyes, your baptism means that God himself has covered your shame. Clothes also provide protection and warmth. So when you’re suffering the effects of your own selfish behavior and you are out in the cold and all alone, your baptism is God’s loving, forgiving embrace: you are warm and safe because God is with you. Clothes make a statement about the person wearing them. So when it’s time to meet your Maker face to face and answer for everything you’ve done, your baptism will speak for you: “Jesus has forgiven me of all my sins.”

Baptism has value for your earthly relationships, too. Paul goes on to say: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” The two points are connected. If believers in Jesus are all wearing the same clothes, it suggests that we are all part of the same team. So here in Baptism is an answer to ugly rivalries and bitter arguments that flare up even among Christians, even in our own homes. Just look at what we’re all wearing. Each of us is clothed with Christ.

Together, baptized believers are “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” To be a son of God means that your Maker is also your almighty and loving Father who is working everything for your good. It means that he has prepared an eternal inheritance for you in the mansions of heaven.

What an amazing gift! In Baptism God gives us Christ and faith and eternal life. Martin Luther was right when he said, “Baptism is so full of consolation and grace that heaven and earth cannot comprehend it.”

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, renew my appreciation for what it means to be baptized into Christ. Amen.

WhatAboutJesus.com

Do you have questions about baptism?  Click here >

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Devoted to worshiping together

disciplesOne thing I love about the first wave of the early Christian church is the passion. They were so excited about their faith that they couldn’t wait to go to church. Nobody needed to argue them into it. The pastor didn’t have to beg or pressure them. Parents didn’t have to bribe the children with promises like, “All right, if you go to church, we’ll all go to McMoses afterward.” Nobody had to threaten the teenagers, “You better go to church or you’re not getting the horse and wagon for two weeks.”

Instead, “all the believers were together and had everything in common. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts” (Acts 2:44,46).

Every day! They just did it. They loved hearing the truth, loved being with other people, loved sharing the Lord’s Supper, loved sharing their faith, loved getting encouragement from others. They had everything in common. And because they couldn’t wait for Sunday to roll around, they met together—every day.

This Sunday, when the snooze button on your alarm clock is calling your name, rejoice with those who say to you, “Let us go to the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1).

Remember, if you’re not coming over this evening for the Lenten service, to find a quiet spot to spend some time with your pocket catechism – – I’ve suggested two pages a day over the 40 days of Lent. Read thoughtfully, look up the Bible reference on each page, and afterward, speak your prayers.

Pastor Jeske

Luther’s Small Catechism online >

Special seasonal midweek worship tonight, 7:00-7:45 pm.
Our Lenten season is mulling over, “Sermons Preached by Christ’s Enemies.”
……Tonight: Roman Soldiers: Hail, King of the Jews!

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Chief of sinners

crossChief of sinners though I be, Jesus shed his blood for me;
Died that I might live on high, lived that I might never die,
As the branch is to the vine, I am his, and he is mine.

Oh, the height of Jesus’ love, higher than the heavens above,
Deeper than the depths of sea, lasting as eternity.
Love that found me–wondrous thought!–found me when I sought him not.

Only Jesus can impart comfort to a wounded heart;
Peace that flows from sin forgiven, joy that lifts the soul to heaven;
Faith and hope to walk with God in the way that Enoch trod.

Chief of sinner though I be, Christ is all in all to me;
All my wants to him are known, all my sorrows are his own.
Safe with him from earthly strife, I await the heavenly life.

Strengthen me. O gracious Lord by your Spirit and your word!
When my wayward heart would stray, keep me in the narrow way;
Grace in time of need supply while I live and when I die.

~ by William McComb

Join us for Lenten Services on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.

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God knows

[God] knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. ~ Job 23:10

girlGod knows. He knows the challenges you are facing. He knows how the economy in your sector or region is weighing on your mind. He knows how a strained relationship is heavy on your heart. He knows the difficult decisions that are in front of you. He knows the past decisions that are haunting you. God knows.

“Then why doesn’t he do something?!” the longing soul cries out. “Why doesn’t he lift my burden? Why doesn’t he ease my pain? Why does God do what he does and allow what he allows? I want to know. I want to understand…”

In the verses that precede our passage, Job confesses that there are things about God that he cannot know or understand. Job confesses that there is no way he can find God or search him out. God’s work and ways, God’s strength and wisdom are beyond human knowing and understanding.

Though it is impossible for us to completely know and understand God, God completely knows and understands us. In his infinite power and incomprehensible wisdom God knows us—our paths, our challenges, our hearts, our longings, our dreams, our everything. And he acts accordingly, bringing his boundless love to bear in whatever situations we find ourselves or in whatever challenges we face.

Like Job, we cannot completely know and understand God. But we do know what he has revealed to us and enabled us to grasp: his love, his grace in Christ Jesus, and his promise to make all things work for the good of his people. Together with Job, our knowledge of God leads to the confidence that what he brings or allows in life, he will use for our good. We will come out stronger. Indeed, a stronger, purer life, comes through a stronger, more focused reliance on God.

Your gracious God wants you to remember this truth today: “He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

Prayer: Lord, bless me with an ever greater reliance on you. Enable me to honor and serve you—in difficulty and in ease, in the complicated and in the simple, in the heavy and in the light, in reflection on the past and in vision for the future. Amen.

WhatAboutJesus.com

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Lent, why does it matter?

Lent (Latin: Quadragesima – English: Fortieth) is a period of 40 weekdays (excluding Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to the day after Good Friday. This is a time of spiritual preparation for Easter as we remember the events in Jesus Christ’s life…leading up to and including his death on the cross.

Why did Jesus have to die?

Isaiah 53:12b …he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors
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Big words, but what do they mean?

To transgress is to sin: commit a sin; violate a law of God.  Romans 3:23b says, …all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Intercession is to go, or come between, two parties to plead before one of them on behalf of the other. Romans 3:24 continues: …and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

What did Jesus say about it?

During his teaching years before his death, Jesus said:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” ~ John 3:16-17

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After Jesus conquered death and was alive again, he said to his disciples:

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”This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” ~ Luke 24:44

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Lent matters because we are sinful beings who need to be reminded that God loves us and wants us to spend eternity with him.  His great mission to rescue us from our damning sins was to send his son, Jesus, to take our punishment on himself.

Please join us at Living Hope this Lenten season on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. as the awsome story is told once more.

Read in the Bible about Christ’s sacrifice for you! Click on the passages below to read online:

Psalm 22 …..Isaiah 53 ……John 19 ……John 20

Learn about Holy Week>

Lenten & Easter Services at Living Hope>>

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Ash Wednesday Service

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Ash Wednesday Service,  March 1st at 7 p.m.

 

My Song is Love Unknown

My song is love unknown, my Savior’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake my Lord should take frail flesh and die?

He came from his blest throne salvation to bestow;
But such disdain! So few the longed-for Christ would know:
But oh, my friend, my friend indeed, who at my need his life did spend.

Sometimes they strew his way, and his sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath, and for his death they thirst and cry.

Why, what has my Lord done? What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run, he gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these themselves displease and ’gainst him rise.

They rise and needs will have my dear Lord made away;
A murderer they saved, the Prince of life they slay,
Yet willingly to suffering goes, that he his foes from death might free.

In life, no house, no home my Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb but what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heaven was his home; but mine the tomb wherein He lay.

Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine;
Never was love, dear King! Never was grief like thine.
This is my Friend, in whose sweet praise I all my days could gladly spend.

Samuel Crossman 1624-83

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