Area Reformation Service ~ Nov. 4th

Area WELS congregations will be holding a joint Reformation Service on

Sunday morning, November 4th at 10:00 a.m.

This special service will be held in the auditorium at:

Bennington High School, 16610 Bennington Road, Bennington, NE 68007     (click for map link)

 The service begins at 10:00. Please allow yourself plenty of time to get from the parking lot, through the main entrance of the school building, and into the auditorium.  For those with limited mobility who would benefit from this, there is a smaller parking lot behind the school with an easy access entrance to the auditorium.  The school has over 500 upholstered theater seats on main floor and balcony.   Please note:  Living Hope’s worship service will be relocated to Bennington for that day only, and there will be no Sunday School. 

LutheratErfurt

 

Posted in FYI, WELS, All posts, Living Hope

Resurrection reality

Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

cemetery2“Tell me again, when exactly does my soul go to heaven, and when will my ‘fallen asleep’ body be ‘awakened’?” These realities are revealed in God’s Word. The truth is known as all passages are interpreted in the light of the rest of Scripture and all totally agree.

Today’s verses from God’s Word point out that “death” came into the perfectly created world when Adam disobeyed God. Death is essentially the separation of people from God caused by sin. There are three separations that the Bible calls “death.”

“Spiritual death” is separation from the one true God. It is the absence of saving faith; it is unbelief, idolatry. God told Adam, “When you eat of it [the forbidden fruit] you will surely die,” and Adam and Eve did die spiritually. (See Genesis 2:17; 3:7-12.) But by the grace of God they believed the promise of a Savior. The Holy Spirit’s gift of faith is “spiritual life.” It is a living and active trust in the Triune God.  Jesus is the Messiah, the only Savior from sin’s just punishment.

“Physical death” is the temporary separation of the soul from the body. At death, the body remains on earth to be interred (buried) and the soul (the person) goes immediately to heaven or to hell by the just verdict of God. (See Hebrews 9:27.) The bodies of all the dead, believers and unbelievers, will be raised at the Last Day to reunion with their souls. That is resurrection reality. (See Acts 24:15)

“Eternal death” is separation from God in the everlasting torment awaiting all sinners who have not trusted in Jesus as the only way to heaven. (See John 3:16-18; 14:6)

In today’s reading, the apostle Paul addresses Christians, people spiritually alive with faith in Jesus. He writes about physical death. First, Jesus’ risen body, alive again Easter morning, proves that his life and death were accepted by the Father as payment for the sins of all mankind. Jesus conquered death! So he says, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).

Jesus rose as the “first-fruit,” like Israel’s “first-fruit” offering to God before the rest of harvest was gathered. It will be your body’s “turn” on the Last Day when all departed believers’ bodies will rise as the resurrection “harvest.” Then, with body and soul gloriously reunited, we will join believers still alive, and instantly transformed (1 Corinthians 15:51-52), to live eternally in “a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” (See 2 Peter 3:13.)  That’s the resurrection reality! Praise God!

Prayer: Father, help me see the dark realities of death in the shining reality of my risen Savior, Jesus. Amen.

WhatAboutJesus.com

Posted in All posts, Devotions & Meditations, Scripture

Quarterly Meeting & Potluck

Sunday, Oct. 21st    Noon – 1:30

fall flowers

This is a working lunch.  We try to keep these gatherings to 90  minutes.  All of our members and their families are invited — guests too!  These meetings are an opportunity to learn more about Living Hope and how we work together to serve the Lord.

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What’s on your calendar?

apples

Living Hope this fall

  • Sunday mornings:
    • Sunday School/Bible classes at 9:30 a.m
    • Worship Service at 10:30 a.m.

October

  • 21st: Quarterly Meeting & Potluck

November

Posted in All posts, FYI, Living Hope, OPL, Women Serving Christ

Unsearchable

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out.  ~ Romans 11:33

solar

Consider this. A stack of one hundred 1 dollar bills is a little less than half an inch. One million 1 dollar bills is 358 feet. One billion 1 dollar bills is 68 miles. And a stack of one trillion—with a “t”—a stack of one trillion 1 dollar bills is 67,866 miles.

With that in mind, let’s go on to another number. In one human body alone there are over 37 trillion cells. Needless to say, one single human cell is beyond tiny.

For decades, scientists assumed that, while human cells made up a vast, complex organism—they assumed that the tiny, human cell itself was a relatively simple thing.

But then, something happened. Just as the Hubble space telescope opened our eyes to the staggering vastness and intricacies of the known universe, so also new developments in technology made it possible to peer into the human cell.

What scientists saw inside a single human cell shattered old assumptions. Some of the scientists have described the shift like this. Years ago, they thought that the human cell was like a basic mud hut. Now they know it’s more complex than a Saturn 5 rocket. Years ago, they thought a cell was more like jelly. Now they know it’s a sophisticated nano-factory. Years ago, they perhaps thought that a cell had as many working parts as an automobile. Now they know that the workings of a cell are more like a galaxy.

As one scientist has said, “[The inside of a single human cell is] one of the most dynamic physical systems in the universe.”

So stop for a moment and give that some thought. There are over 37 trillion cells in your body. And inside every cell there is a level of activity so complex and so sophisticated that it’s like a galaxy unto itself.

That’s the kind of Creator we have. That’s the kind of God we have. And yet all of that is child’s play in comparison to something else our Maker chose to do. To rescue us from our sin, he chose to become one of us in the Person of Jesus Christ. Through his life and death on our behalf, he redeemed every cell in our body along with our soul.

And he did it for love. That is what is truly unsearchable.

Prayer:  Lord, my very body is proof of your unsearchable greatness. Greater still is that you came to live and die and rise for me. Amen

WhatAboutJesus.com

Posted in All posts, Devotions & Meditations

Sunday School

Sunday school heart

Join us for Sunday School, Teen & Adult Bible studies Sunday mornings at 9:30.  Children younger than 3 are welcome to be with their parents in the Adult class.

Posted in All posts, FYI, Living Hope

Oktoberfest! ~ Sunday, Oct. 7th at Living Hope

Oktoberfest 2

10:30: Mission Sunday worship — To the Ends of the Earth

A meal will immediately follow the worship service.  

Afternoon activities:

  • Pumpkin painting!
  • Televised NFL football game (1:00 -4:00 p.m.)
  • Volleyball, game of catch, etc.  for outside
  • Board games or card games for inside

Family fun!  Stay as long as you like! Rain or shine!

 

Posted in All posts, FYI, Living Hope, OPL

WELS movie: To the Ends of the Earth

In the sequence of movies from WELS: Road to Emmaus, Come Follow Me, and My Son My Savior,  the fourth and final movie in this series, To the Ends of the Earth, will be viewed at Living Hope on Oct. 7th as part of our 10:30 Mission Sunday service.

This movie follows Paul’s remarkable visit to the city of Philippi, recorded in Acts 16.  It shows how Paul connected with people from all walks of life, demonstrating that the good news of Jesus is indeed for all people—to the very ends of the earth.

Watch a preview here: https://vimeo.com/272413735

Posted in All posts, FYI, Living Hope, WELS

The value of your soul

“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”  ~ Matthew 16:26

urban

The status quo is unacceptable.   This is the battle cry of our culture. We cannot stay where we are, or we will be left behind. If we keep on doing the same old things in the same old way, we will be overtaken by the competition.  This battle cry is why we work long hours struggling and striving to climb the success ladder. 

The status quo is unacceptable.   This is why our culture fights so much and cries so frequently. We have pierced ourselves with many griefs—and for what? What do we hope to gain? A promotion? Another degree? A “like” on social media? Is that it? Is that all there is?

The truth is we are more than our job titles, our academic achievements, and our social media pages. Our worth is not tied to our salary. Our significance is not established by the reputation of our alma mater.  None of these can make us acceptable, valuable, or worthy in God’s sight.

Our value cannot be captured in a flash—even in the most glamorous of pictures.  We are flesh and blood, but more than that, we have minds and hearts, hopes and dreams, ideas and emotions. We are spiritual beings. We have souls.  So often in our culture we are just a number—one among many others. We are only valuable if we set ourselves apart in some way. But that is not how our God sees us. That’s not how he treats us. Look to Christ and you will discover your value to God.

Jesus loved you enough to leave the comfort and glory of heaven and come down to earth. He took on flesh and blood, because the status quo was unacceptable to him.  Sin kills for eternity.  So he lived the perfect life that you could not—no matter how hard you worked, no matter what you learned, no matter how well you presented yourself. He died the death your sins deserved, so that he could rescue your soul.

We are redeemed by the precious blood of the Son of God. We have been set apart by the Holy Spirit.  We are children of God. We are more than what we know, because we are known by God. We are more than a pretty picture, because we have been washed clean in Baptism. Jesus has made us radiant—without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. We have a new battle cry: In the Son of God, I am accepted.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, lift my eyes to the price your Son paid on the cross for all my sins. Renew my mind to see how much you love and value my soul. Refresh my heart that I may glorify and praise you in all I do. Amen.

WhatAboutJesus.com

Posted in All posts, Devotions & Meditations